For my entry to Tumulus' Nov/Dec fanfic challenge, I wanted to do a little story of Cal disguised as a girl. Don't know why, but the image just amused the heck out of me.
Cal tugged at the nylons creeping up his ass. "I still don't see why I have to go as a girl," he snarled softly to Niko, who was escorting Promise just a few feet ahead.
Niko frowned back in warning. "Leave it alone. Promise worked all afternoon to get it right. And we've been over this. You can pass as a girl; I can't."
They moved up the steps slowly, waiting their turn to enter the high society fundraiser. "I don't think I look like a girl at all, Goldilocks," Cal growled.
"It's only for a couple of hours, Caliban," Promise soothed. "And the point of a disguise is that no one will know who you are."
"Provided you don't give it away with your trademark whining and slouching," Niko added. "We're almost there. Remember your cover."
Oh, sure: like he could forget the padded shaper, high collar dress and elbow length gloves, nylons, and torture device that was supposed to be a bra. Add to that the hot, scratchy wig and the pointy heels his feet were jammed into, and it was a sure bet Cal would remember this night for the rest of his life. Worse, Niko would remember it and remind him. Cal glared daggers at his brother's shoulder blades. Damned if they weren't shaking slightly in barely concealed amusement.
"Laugh it up, big brother," he muttered. "The wheels of karma keep turning."
When it was his turn to show his invitation, Cal handed over the creamy vellum sheet with the name "Amelia Cranston" embossed in gold leaf. The security guard glanced at it, leered at Cal's enhanced cleavage, and waved him through. Cal had to satisfy himself with an imaginary punch to the idiot's larynx.
The sponsors had spared no expense and everywhere Cal looked there was an excess of flower displays, tables buried under food, and waiters carrying trays of champagne glasses. There was a small orchestra and a floor cleared for dancers in the main ballroom that was dominated by a fish tank that ran the length of one wall. Cal shrugged and thought, what the hell. As long as he was pretending to be a guest he may as well load up. Moments later Cal was circling the main ballroom with a plate piled high with caramel topped mini-cheesecakes. He kept an eye out for their target and the kin who were supposed to meet up with him. Cal had doused himself in so much perfume the werewolves wouldn't recognize his smell even if he walked right past them.
An all too familiar voice piped up behind Cal. "Ah, what a heavenly vision!"
Cal had just crammed an entire cheesecake in his mouth. Choking, he spun around to face a nightmare: Robin Goodfellow, looking extremely dapper in a vintage tuxedo and long, white silk scarf. The puck grinned rapaciously at him.
"Mmph fmp!" Cal made shooing motions at him.
Robin took the plate away from Cal, handing it off to a passing server. "Nonsense, my dear. You're far too modest. Please do me the honor of this next dance." Before Cal knew what was happening, he was being guided out to the dance floor as the band struck up a waltz.
Cal swallowed hard. "I'm going to shoot you."
"You don't have your gun tonight."
"How did you…?" Cal scowled. "Fuck it. I'll stab you."
Robin clasped Cal's hand and put an arm around his waist. "Promises, promises. Just follow my lead."
The puck's eyes glittered with mischief as he began leading Cal into the dance. Cal did his best to kick him in the shins, but Robin dodged easily. "I must say your style is more…energetic than other partners I've had. Who did you say your instructor was again?"
Cal hissed, "This isn't funny. I'm here on a job."
Robin eyed him up and down in mock disappointment. "What a pity. You look marvelous in velvet, but why a girl at all?"
Cal grimaced. "The only last minute cancellation we could find was a woman, and Promise would have been recognized in this crowd."
He sighed "I'm heartbroken it was you and not Niko who drew the short straw." Robin took Cal through a spin and then a dip. As he held Cal suspended back for a moment, he said, "Perhaps I can help?"
Someone cleared his throat right beside them. Robin brought Cal upright again to face Niko. "Really? I'm flattered." To Cal he said, "You don't mind if he cuts in, do you dear?"
"Hell no," Cal muttered.
Niko frowned sternly at them both. "Goodfellow, Cal is here for work, not to amuse you. Cal, our target is heading towards the back, possibly the kitchens. You know what to do."
Niko gripped the Robin's upper arm and lead him off the dance floor. "Just one little dance?" Cal could hear the puck pleading. Given that Promise was at the edge of the dance floor, drink in hand, eyes turning black as she focused on Robin, Cal could only imagine the outcome of that little scenario.
Instead he had to turn and make his way quickly through the crowd to intercept the drug company CEO who was meeting with a kin rival of Delilah's. The businessman was making a deal to move prescription drugs through the kin representative out onto the streets, and Delilah needed a name so she knew whom to go after. She had hired Cal and Niko to find out since she was having trouble getting close enough to the man without tipping off the other werewolves. She didn't ask how they were going to get the name, and Cal was never going to tell her.
An hour later Cal slipped into Promise's limo, joining her, Niko and Robin. Cal collapsed against the plush leather seat. He felt like he was running on only one cylinder at this point – he had completed Niko-approved workouts that took less out of him than what he went through tonight. Niko tapped the dividing glass and the driver pulled away.
"Did you get the information we needed?" His brother asked.
Cal groaned and closed his eyes. "Yeah, after I spent a half hour dodging that asshole around the kitchen. He promised he would get my picture in a magazine if I gave him a preview of the goods. I swear; men are pigs."
Promise smiled and reached across to pat him on the knee. "Not all of you are, dear. And we do appreciate the gentlemen among us."
Cal grunted. "Great. Happy to oblige." Cal looked over at Niko. "And you owe me a week of sleeping in. And French toast with extra cinnamon."
"Extra cinnamon," Niko parroted back without the slightest smirk.
Cal wasn't fooled; he knew Niko was smirking on the inside. Bastard. He yanked off his heels, opened the window, and tossed them out one after the other. "Anyone who ever called women the weaker sex never spent an hour in heels. I don't know how the hell you do it, Promise."
Robin piped up, "Those are nothing. You should have seen how courtiers were expected to dress in Louis the XIV's day. Heels, stiffened collars, padded doublets, hose, wigs, the whole nine yards. Of course, we couldn't hold a candle to you tonight, dear. Such elegance, such refinement…!"
Cal glared at the puck. "If you so much as breathe a word of this to anyone, especially anyone at the Ninth Circle, just remember: I know where you keep your wardrobe."
Robin clutched at his heart. "You're a vicious child, you know that?"
Cal smiled coldly. Yeah, he knew it. Although it was nice to be reminded of that fact when he was still wearing pantyhose and rouge.