The bounty was a bust. That was certain. It was also a small fry with an expensive taste so it wasn't like the Bebop lost any money in the chase. They figured if they were in the city limits, and had nothing else to do on Venus, it was something to do for pocket change.

The place was a fancy lounge called Heathens, and they had a dress code. Everything had to be black, and the ambience of the place was dark and brooding. Sexual tension was exuding through the walls and with subtle permeation through the lounge patrons.

Faye left with Jet, not seeing how she could con anyone in the room; a woman like her couldn't get past a room full of smart and young business types. The women, other than the servers, were looked like models or members of a high-end sex club. Faye stuck out like a sore thumb. She would never allow anyone to see her self-conscious, so she would feign complete disinterest. There was no point in staying if she didn't stand a chance to win the game. Jet had no interest and had his bonsais to attend to.

Spike, remained though, saying he wasn't ready to turn in. He was already dressed in his best black jacket he had hidden under his bed.

Truth be told that while he had a preference for hole-in-the-wall dive bars, this lounge was like a rare trip to his past and it drew him in.

Lounges, where the light was artfully set and the music was low with a heavy beat (and the drinks were more refined), was a standard for Red Dragon gatherings, especially with the underlying "protection" that was agreed upon between the owner and the local capos.

Women were provided, high-styled and skilled. They were everywhere. He hadn't been to many of these places since Julia….

Spike never did return after he began seeing her. Maybe that was where everyone got the drift on their secret activities.

Lounges reminded him of a much simpler time, and Heathens was a welcomed distraction from his pitiful dysfunction.

Spike was seated in the middle of the room watching everyone from the black tufted chaise, smoking and savoring his scotch. It was like he was a dragon all over again. Sometimes he missed it, but then he remembered why he had to leave and banished the thought.

After an hour he was anxious to leave having had enough brooding to last a week. He would want a woman and then feel guilty. They were all so beautiful here.

He sat forward and stumped out his cigarette and began to light up another one, and then another one on a long holder entered his peripheral.

"Could you light me up, please?" the voice asked. He turned his head to get a view of the owner who was leaning over the chaise.

She was wearing a tight black number with long sleeves and a plunging back line that left her bare but enough to tease. She had skin like porcelain and deep brown hair in pin-up like curls. Her eyes were light hazel, but stunning.

He lit her cigarette, which was on the end of a long black holder, and she flashed the slightest grin. "Are you expecting anyone?" she asked.

"No," Spike replied.

"Then why are you sitting here alone?" she continued.

Spike wanted her to go. She instead made her way around to sit next to him. The dress she was wearing had a long slit up her leg. Had very rarely seen a sight like this. "I just am."

She raised an inquisitive eyebrow to him. "You're obviously new around here, or you are in town for business and need a little side of pleasure?"

He snorted, "I'm almost afraid to ask what your charges are." He needed her to leave. Unlike Faye, she knew how to carry herself. Unlike Julia, she had an overabundance of sexual prowess. He figured that the jab would insult her and she would go away.

"Who says I charge?"

"Then why are you here?" he asked her.

"I like what I see. Your body language is tense, like you are ready to lead a charge of some kind. You work in law enforcement or business?"

"Both, actually."

She seemed impressed. She ordered both their drinks and took a long drag from her own cigarette. "Well, you're the first bounty hunter I have seen in here. Most of them are too broke to afford the clothes to get in let alone order a drink. You must do very well."

Her voice was like satin, smooth and elegant.

Spike had to admire her bravado. He still wanted her to leave, but didn't mind her hanging around. He was either going to take her and tear her to the ground or take a cold shower later. Either way seemed fine with him. "I do well enough. And you?"

She crossed her leg, letting the slit reveal her pale thigh. "Pleasure mostly. I was in town to make an appearance at a boring gala. I just like coming here."

"Must be really something to take you away from society," he drawled.

They sat in silence a little longer, but this woman was making small moves that nearly exposed her to the world. It was like she had a secret and she was tempting those around her to find out what it was. At the same time, her body language suggested that she was going to make her next partner work for it.

"You're hiding something," she blew smoke in his face.

"You think you know everything, don't you?"

She pointed to an older gentlemen sitting at the lit up bar, "He's cheating on his wife. There is a dent and a tan line where his wedding band would be. He's just waiting for his male escort."

Spike snorted, "How would you know that his date is male?"

"A woman can tell when someone is contouring and putting on highlighter."

"Touché, but two can play at this game." He turned to find a suspecting individual and set his sight on a girl walking the perimeter in a black bodycon dress. "She's wearing a cheap knock-off of the dress, just enough to get in. She's a hooker."

Spike's new friend chuckled, "That's too easy." She dashed the ash of her cigarette into the crystal ashtray in front of them. "We should take this game elsewhere," she concluded.

Spike knew exactly what he meant by that.

/ / / / /

He watched her stand up and began to walk away. She turned her head to give him a knowing smirk.

He followed shortly after. Whatever happens, happens.

He followed her as she walked through the maze of the kitchen, leading through the service halls under fluorescent lights.

Now that he could see her clearly, he wanted her more. She started a different kind of game and he would be damned if he lost.

He caught up with her, maintaining his cool.

She sighed, "You are more than just a bounty hunter."

Spike smirked back, "Tell me about the supporting evidence."

"Besides the lack of monetary means, they are brutes. They don't care about the context of the situation. You are more calculating about your words. You were a dangerous man before you hunted other dangerous men and women down. It's your turn."

Spike looked her up and down, knowing full well that in a normal situation that would get him a stinging slap across his face, but she let him. "You are from an escort if that is what you are getting at. You like money and status, but you prefer a challenge. Chances are you have been doing what you have been doing for a long time."

"You are not looking for anything with strings attached. You prefer to be as distant as possible."

"The same for you."

They stopped at the end of the long service hall and she pushed the up button. They both entered together and alone when it arrived. She pushed the top floor button. "I got the top floor penthouse while I'm in town and the elevators are nonstop."

She made the first move by reaching her hands through his shirt. He returned the gesture by slipping his hand though the highest point of her dresses slit.

They reached their destination ten floors later. The doors opened to the actual luxury penthouse with glass walls for the outer perimeter overlooking the glowing city below.

Their actions were almost carnal and they did not care if anyone saw.

Their clothes were left at the door.

They did not kiss. They did not speak. In fact, the only sound was the raw cry of pleasure over and over. They fought for dominance on the penthouses dining and bar. At one point he had her against the outer glass wall.

"Let them see," she moaned. That only encouraged him.

They changed the pace and location based on instinct and the eventual give and take of pleasure.

Somewhere in their breaks and haze they made their way to the actual bedroom.

Neither of them tired. She was flexible where he was strong and dominant.

Spike had thought he was more adventurous as far as sex was concerned, but she made him look conservative. There wasn't much she wouldn't do, and most of it he didn't even ask. He didn't have time to think, really. He tried so hard to make mental notes of the things they did with that four post bed.

She got off him for a moment and he was almost grateful for the break.


He caught site of her slender body as she stepped off the bed.

"I have an idea," she purred.

"I wanna hear it."

"Get on the bench at the foot of the bed."

He obeyed. She disappeared for a moment and came back with a blindfold and two handcuffs. Spike scoffed. "After everything, isn't that a little tame?"

"Oh you'll like this surprise," she teased.

She placed it over his eyes first and cuffed him to the two posts at the foot of the bed.

"Don't worry, I have the key," she assured.

Spike waited for the next thing. Then he waited some more while he heard some commotion happen at what he assumed was the closet.

"Well, there is a first time for everything," he sighed.

He could feel her presence as she came back. She crawled to the foot of the bed behind him. He felt a powder and a sort of tape being placed on his hands and ripped off.

"At least give me the courtesy of describing what you are going to do next. It's becoming one of my turn-ons."

She didn't say anything.

This wasn't how he imagined this would go.

"Where did you go?" he asked.

She took the blindfold off and revealed herself.

She was wearing a tight cat suit with a sort of utility belt around her waist. Her hair was rolled up in a tight ponytail.

Spike nodded, "Okay, role-play?"

She smirked. "You would like that, wouldn't you?"

Spike shrugged, "Alright, I give. What's next, is this a sort of fetish?"

"You only won a little part of that game we played."


She got down on her knees and teased him. "I do like a challenge, I do like to stay on the move, and I have been doing this for a very long time." She stood back up and made her way to the balcony where her grappling equipment was sitting.

Spike was left hanging with no way to release. He was never the type to be needy, but now he was pent up and pissed off. "Are you fucking serious?!"

She hooked herself and leaned against the balcony railing. "Indeed I am. Gotta say though, it was an amazing night. I'll keep the keys to those cuffs as a souvenir." She climbed over the railing and smiled at Spike. "Oh, and have fun with that room bill, bounty hunter."

She disappeared over the edge. A few minutes later, the grapple hook was gone.

/ / / /

There was no way for Spike to get out of this jam. His com was in his pants in the other room. He couldn't reach any sort of phone. No one knew he was up here. He was bare for the world to see.

Spike Speigel's ego was severely bruised. He checked the time on the alarm clock on the dresser next to the closet and it read three in the morning.

No one was going to find him until dawn, and that was if anyone checked in or sent housekeeping.

He waited in the mess and watched the sun rise. In that time he cursed that woman, cursed all women actually. Only brief glimpses of the damage brought a smile to his face.

The sex may have been meaningless and based on primal urges, but it was fun.

He never did get her name.

Spike heard his com device go off several times. Jet left him a message asking where he was. Faye asked if he was going to meet them at a new crime scene. Ed left him links to their locations and the new bounty.

He was tired and angry now. It was ten in the morning before he heard the doors open. He didn't even panic at his immodesty. He called for help and got the cleaning lady.

The short lady rolled her eyes and grumbled something about how men only think with their dicks and if they used their brain they wouldn't end up like this.

She called the cops and the building owner to do something about the cuffs and damage to the penthouse. She at least had the decency to cover his waistline while everyone else came.

The cops came, uncuffed him, then cuffed him again.

"Shit, what gives?" Spike asked. "I didn't do anything."

The cop stated, "Mr. Speigel, you are a suspect in a heist that took place the metro museum between three and five this morning."

"Might want to add trespassing," the building owner added.

"Okay, you are not completely stupid are you?" Spike asked, exasperated. "How can I move let alone steal something from a fucking museum?! Ask the woman who did all this! She took my finger prints, dammit."

The cops turned away to discuss what their suspect had said. One of them turned back with a notepad, "Describe the woman."

Spike gave them all the details, moment for moment with the exception what contributed to the damages around them. They figured out he was a bounty hunter and called him a bad one too. "At least give me my clothes back."

"You mean these?"

Spike knew that voice and knew he was screwed. There stood Jet with Spike's pants and the look of shame and confusion. At least there was no Faye or Ed. The cops uncuffed Spike and he took his pants in haste. "Don't you dare tell Faye or Ed."

"I won't say a word, but I can say that this is going to make for some great blackmail down the road." Spike rolled his eyes at his partner and put on the rest of his clothes.

They released them and the building owner only collected twenty-five percent of the bill and did not press charges, mostly out of pity.

When they got back to the Bebop, Faye and Ed were trying to watch Big Shot, which was interrupted with breaking news about the heist.

"Are you seeing this?" Faye asked.

Spike said nothing. Jet huffed, "A cat burglar. Don't even think about it, Faye. They cost more than they're worth. Too damn elusive."

"So let's take that chance. Spike, you in?"

Spike saw the cat burglar's profile. The charges were immense. Robbery, damages, trespassing, identity theft, impersonating an officer, suspicion of other heists and association, and breakouts.

Her name, among other names, was Bianca Voleur.

Jet interrupted, "There's no point. This girl's a pro and an escape artist."

"Among other things," Spike mentioned.

"Lookie lookie!" Ed squealed. Faye and Jet peered behind the teenager's shoulders. "Bianca has a rich history. Multiple bounties on multiple cities, planets, asteroids, and satellites. Fifteen lock-ups and fifteen prison escapes. Total value one-hundred and sixty-nine million woolongs!"

"Yeah, but you have to turn her in at all those headquarters," Faye commented.

Jet added, "Even then, it would be a lifetime before they process everything, go through trials, and that's if she doesn't escape from prison."

Spike didn't hear much of that. He glanced at her backstory that was available on the news. She was a sixth generation thief of French descent. "Every family has a tradition," he sighed.

He turned around, exhausted from the night, and made his way back to his room. He wanted to forget and hoped that Jet would forget too.

Faye stopped him, "Hey where were you all night?"

Sorry for the chapter confusion. I didn't like how it worked and thought it gave too much away (if I were to continue to writing, which isn't out of the cards for this girl). Life has been cray with the husband graduating and looking for work, I had a lot of real life stuff come up, and block is real. Oh well, as our favorite bounty hunter said, "Whatever happens, happens."