Definitely contains more Mature Subject Matter than my other stuff, so please, don't read it if this makes you uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I'm pretty fond of it, even though it just sort of hit me out of the blue. Enjoy! Lli


May 8th, Mexico City

The streets are chaotic, the smells nearly overpowering her sensitive nose. Women cry from window to window, men holler at each other over the chatter and clang of impossibly decrepit mopeds, and children shriek, still playing despite the late hour. And yet, as she walks along, she feels surprisingly at ease, no one looks twice at a diminutive woman with dark skin and sharp features here. She wears a scarf over her hair and ears.

She pauses in front of an old colonial apartment building, checking the number scrawled on the door against the one scrawled, equally illegibly, on the back of her hand. 10-4, Captain, we have a match. Anxiously, she tilts her head back, scanning the windows above. The far left on the third floor is wide open and its light is still on, she can see the little sun catchers glint and rattle on their pegs along its frame.

With a relieved woosh of breath, she steps back into the shadows to wait. It doesn't take long.

A woman, at whom many do look twice here, steps out into the street. Her long blonde hair is up in an artfully messy bun and she wears tight clothing, though not much of it, unafraid to let the world admire just how fit her lithe little body really is.

Now comes the tough part. Or, at least it would be, if Holly was an ordinary human. Even so, she knows enough about Butlers to follow Juliet at a distance, invisible or not.

Juliet is in no hurry, but she walks purposefully, letting potential pickpockets, attracted by her flashy gringa looks, know that she isn't some lost tourist. It's her version of community service, saving the criminal element from innumerable broken fingers, if not worse. Not that it always works.

But tonight her walk passes without incident and she turns a corner, hopping down the steps into a courtyard bounded on all sides by blaring night clubs. The cobblestones tremble, the whole space thumping like the heartbeat of some otherworldly giant. Unlike Holly, Juliet doesn't hesitate at the foot of the stairs but crosses directly into what Holly supposes to be her favourite.

The next night they do it again. And then again. Slowly, Holly is psyching herself up.