Sunlight streamed in the kitchen window as Shir idly flipped through a newspaper while sipping a cup of coffee. It was nearly midday, but the young socialite was still in her fluffy yellow bathrobe and picking at her breakfast. Usually, she had no interest in current events, but after the night she'd had, her day was off to a slow, lazy start.
Due to the slight throbbing in her head, Shir was barely even reading the headlines, but an especially large one caught her eye. "JACE PATTERSON TO JOIN PIATA'S POLICE FORCE UNDER THE COMMAND OF HIS FATHER". She snorted at the mention of the cadet's name; as he was also from a wealthy family, her parents had encouraged her to date him, but she had found him to be an absolute bore. She could only pretend to be interested in his stories about hunting with his father for so long and she usually wound up making excuses to cut their dates short.
Twirling a lock of short green hair around her finger, Shir skimmed through the first few paragraphs of the article. Unfortunately, not even the most talented reporter could make Jace sound interesting. Shir spotted some pictures at the bottom and opted to skip over the rest of the text.
The portrait of Jace standing proudly with his parents made her yawn. An old school picture of him almost caused her to completely lose interest and turn the page, but then she saw the third photograph. It was a close-up shot of an ornate dagger, the hilt of which was covered in sparkling gemstones. According to the caption, it had belonged to Jace's grandfather.
Shir turned her attention back to the article, now yawning slightly less. In a week's time, on the evening of Jace's induction ceremony, the Pattersons were hosting a cocktail party in the garden of their large manor. The most affluent families in Piata would gather to celebrate and during the affair, Sergeant Patterson would present his son with the valuable heirloom. Shir knew that she and her parents would be invited; normally, she'd dread being dragged along to what would inevitably be a dull event, but the sight of the bejeweled weapon had caused a familiar tingling sensation in her fingers.
The pretty heiress couldn't remember when she had first started stealing things. At first, it had just been monomates and dimates from the small tool shop in town, usually on a dare from friends. It hadn't taken long before she graduated to taking larger and more expensive items. Her parents would have bought her anything she wanted, but shoplifting from the stores provided her with some excitement and gave her something to do during the day as she waited to partake in Piata's nightlife.
Eventually, however, stealing from the stores began to lose its appeal. After some practice, Shir didn't find it very difficult to distract a clerk and make off with some merchandise. As she traveled around with her parents making social calls, she would frequently find herself itching to steal something, to see if she could get away with taking little trinkets from the homes of her parents' friends. Others may have worried about such an affliction, but Shir didn't care that she was almost physically driven to steal things. Besides, so far, she had never been caught.
The beautiful dagger called to her from the pages of the newspaper. She had never attempted to steal something so valuable, with so many people present. Could she get away with it?
As expected, the Gold family's invitation to the garden party soon appeared in the mailbox. If Shir's parents noticed that she was actually excited to be attending, rather than plotting to get out of it, they said nothing. Shir herself couldn't remember the last time she had actually wanted to go to one of these events.
The day of the banquet arrived and Shir spent most of it getting ready in her bedroom. She didn't think she had to worry too much about capturing Jace's attention, but she wanted to be sure he'd notice her as soon as she walked in. Her makeup expertly applied, hair elaborately pinned atop her head, it was now time to choose what to wear.
Shir finally emerged from her room wearing a silver, skin-tight, backless mini-dress. She'd chosen a silver clutch purse and silver stiletto sandals to complete the ensemble. Her father looked her over from head to toe and summed up his opinion in a single word: "No."
After rifling through her massive closet and changing into something new, she reappeared in a bright pink knee-length satin dress with thin straps. As she refused to blend into the crowd, the neckline of the dress scooped dangerously low and the skirt was slit up to mid-thigh on one side. She'd opted to keep the same accessories.
Her father raised an eyebrow, but her mother knew when to choose her battles. "Let's go," she sighed. "I don't want to be late."
The usual crowd of Mota's wealthiest citizens was present at the Pattersons' expansive garden. Shir kissed the cheeks of her parents' closest acquaintances and waved to others from afar as she looked around. Thousands of tiny white lights were strung up around the grounds, casting a pleasant glow. A string quartet sat atop a small platform at one end of the designated space, while a well-equipped bar and several waiters stood at the opposite end. Tables of various sizes and heights were scattered throughout the grass.
Shir waited with her parents to be presented to the hosts and the guest of honor. As they approached the family, she smugly noted that Jace's eyes seemed to bug out of his head just slightly as he saw her standing in the line. Maybe pink really was her color.
As they approached the Patterson family, even Shir had to admit that Jace didn't look too bad that night. His new uniform flattered his tall, muscular frame, and his jet-black hair was now cropped close to his head. When she was finally standing in front of him, he took her hand in his and brought it up to his lips. Normally, she would have scoffed at the old-fashioned gesture, but this time, she gave his hand a little squeeze and winked at him before moving on.
Shir mingled with the crowd, never approaching Jace directly, but she made sure he caught her looking at him several times. Approximately an hour after all the guests had arrived, Sergeant Patterson pulled his son into the center of the garden and commanded everyone's attention. Shir couldn't be bothered to listen to him speak, but she slithered through the crowd until she was standing right at the front.
At the conclusion of his speech, the decorated officer presented his son with the exquisite dagger. As the rest of the guests applauded, Shir casually dropped her purse in front of her. Her hand flew up to her lips as she pretended to look embarrassed and, moving slowly, she bent down to pick it up. Lingering in her crouched position, she peeked up through her wispy green bangs and saw that her little ploy had worked, as Jace was staring directly down the front of her dress. This is going to be too easy, she thought.
The crowd dispersed and Shir decided to wait just a little longer before attacking her prey. When she saw a trio of girls, barely old enough to be out of school, giggling foolishly around the uniformed man, she made her move. Throwing her shoulders back and lifting her chin just slightly, she confidently strode over to wear they were standing.
"Excuse me," she said with a fake smile as she inserted herself between him and the other girls. "Jace! My goodness! I can't believe it's taken me this long to personally congratulate you, I'm so sorry!"
"Aw, Shir, don't worry about it."
"I kept trying to make my way over to you, but it always looked like you were talking to someone important," she said sweetly, while giving a quick dirty look to her unimpressed competitors. "You must be thirsty after all that excitement! Come, let's go get something to drink." The conniving beauty took him by the hand and led him to the bar, to the dismay of the three other young ladies.
After ordering and receiving their beverages – a tall glass of ale for him and some fruity cocktail for her – she guided him towards a secluded table in the corner. Jace must have indeed been thirsty, as he quickly downed half of the cool liquid. Shir sipped her drink far more slowly, as she needed to remain in control of the situation.
"I'm glad you made it, I didn't think you were going to come tonight," Jace told her.
Shir tried to look confused. "Why wouldn't I be here?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. It just seems that every time we've gone out together, you've always had to rush off somewhere. I didn't think you were interested in me."
Confusion had been easy, but trying to look innocent was considerably harder for the green-haired woman. "Oh...I was just trying to play hard to get. I thought men liked that sort of thing." Somehow, Shir managed not to laugh as the words came out of her mouth.
"I thought you were trying to blow me off."
Maybe Jace wasn't as dumb as he had previously seemed. "I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to mislead you," she said, stroking his arm. "I just haven't been out on many dates like that before, I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do." That last part was a bit much, there's no way he's buying that, Shir thought.
For whatever reason, either willful ignorance or the number of drinks he had consumed over the course of the evening, Jace seemed to believe her. As was to be expected, he immediately reverted to telling the same stories Shir had heard dozens of times, but on this night, she pretended to be hanging on his every word. Every time he emptied his glass, she signaled for a waiter to bring him another drink, but she did monitor the number as she didn't want him passing out on the table.
As the party continued late into the evening, the number of guests began to dwindle. The Golds bid their daughter farewell; normally, they would have reminded her not to stay out until all hours of the morning, but they seemed pleased that she was finally voluntarily spending time with the Patterson boy. Before long, the last group had departed, Jace's parents had said goodnight to their son, and the only people left in the garden were the members of the cleaning crew.
"...and then a Wolfang came out of nowhere! I grabbed my knife and..."
Shir had no desire to hear the end of this story for what had to be at least the third time. "You know, Jace," she interrupted, "I don't think I've ever seen the inside of your house." She moved in closer to him. "Why don't you show me?" she purred into his ear.
Jace stared at her blankly. "Well, it's kind of late, and I'm sure my parents are going to sleep soon and..."
She reached underneath the table and put a hand on his knee. "I'm sure someone as smart as you can think of a way to avoid them," she cooed, giving him a gentle squeeze.
The newest member of Piata's police department finally got the hint, his expression changing from one of confusion to one of surprise. "Okay, let's go!" He took Shir's hand and started to lead her towards the house; she rolled her eyes behind his back.
Jace's bedroom was in the east wing of the mansion and it seemed as if he had most of that section to himself. The bedroom itself was quite large, complete with its own fireplace and sitting area. Shir had hoped that her tipsy companion would fall asleep soon after entering the room, but he kicked off his shoes and sat down expectantly on the four-poster bed. Though she had back-up plans, she wasn't willing to let him think he had won her over so easily.
The scheming socialite walked past him to one of the overstuffed armchairs by the fireplace and sat down. Crossing her legs daintily, she turned and gave him a pointed look. He obediently followed her and sat in the opposite chair.
"This certainly is a lovely room you have. You must entertain lots of guests here," she said with a sly smile.
Jace looked away. "Uh...not really...maybe sometimes...I mean..."
Shir couldn't decide if she thought his inability to decide what she wanted to hear was endearing or irritating. It didn't matter much, anyway. "Oh, I'm sure a handsome guy like you is never lacking in female company. I'm just glad you were able to find the time for me."
Regardless of the insincerity behind her flattery, she was still able to make him blush. "I'd always have time for you, Shir."
She swung her legs over the arm of the chair, making sure the slit in her dress fell open just enough to reveal the long line of her leg. "You say that now, but soon you're going to be so busy with your new job." She dropped one of her shoulders and let the strap of her dress casually slide down, managing to make it look purely accidental. "In a few weeks, you'll probably forget what I look like," she teased.
Jace was gaping openly at the partially exposed woman, but he was eventually able to realize that it was his turn to contribute to the conversation. "No! How could you say that?"
Shir giggled and crossed her legs again, her dress shifting enough to show more of a creamy white thigh. Jace's jaw dropped a little lower as she waved her hand. "Let's not worry about that now. Tonight we're supposed to be celebrating you!"
He grinned at her. "What did you have in mind?"
The charming seductress decided that she had played with him long enough and her fingers were itching with the thought of being so close to her ultimate goal. She stood up and moved until she was standing directly in front of him. "I know you've been working so hard lately," she said in a low voice as she put a hand on each arm of his chair and leaned over. "I think it's time you've earned yourself a little reward."
Jace's heart was racing as his green-haired goddess delicately hiked up the skirt of her dress and straddled him on the chair. Placing her hands on his cheeks, she kissed him passionately, paving the way for completing her mission. He grabbed her by the hips and pulled her close to him, eagerly returning the kiss.
Shir wasted no time in unbuttoning his uniform jacket and pushing it off his shoulders. When his hands briefly left her body, she quickly pulled his undershirt off over his head; he never stopped to question her proficiency in disrobing a man. As she playfully entwined her tongue with his and explored his chest with her hands, she felt him stir beneath her. She was ready to move on to the most crucial part of the plan.
Jace groaned slightly as he felt Shir tug at his belt. She kept her face close to his and breathed heavily in his ear to help ensure he wouldn't look down. As she undid his belt and unbuttoned his pants, she used her knee to gently nudge the sheath containing her prize closer to her hands. The next part would require a bit of a balancing act, but she'd come too far to give up now.
One hand freed him from his pants while the other deftly removed the antique dagger from its holder. She managed to fully distract him while sliding the dagger into the thigh holster she always wore in case her kleptomania arose unexpectedly. As the small weapon hadn't been used in battle in decades, its blade was quite dull and Shir wasn't too concerned about the possibility of an accidental laceration.
The dazed officer moaned as Shir's hands moved all over him. Now that she had the dagger in her possession, she needed to ensure that his mind was completely off the events that had occurred earlier in the evening and that he only remembered one thing about this night. After kissing him one last time, she slid down his body until she was kneeling on the floor between his legs.
When she was finished, she looked up and noted his near unconscious state. Though she was satisfied with herself and felt ready to leave, she figured it would be more polite to not leave him half-undressed in a marginally comfortable chair. "Come on," she said, tugging on his hands. "You've had a long day, let's get you to bed."
Jace grumbled a bit at being disturbed, but stood up obligingly. He kicked his pants off the rest of the way and, clad only in his boxer shorts, let Shir lead him to the bed. "I'll come by and see you tomorrow," he mumbled as he climbed between the covers.
"Sure!" she said cheerily, knowing that the meeting was not going to take place. "Sleep well!" She leaned over and kissed him lightly on the forehead before slipping out.
Shir hurried home through the streets of Piata, realizing that the sun would be rising before long. She snuck quietly back into her parents' home and examined her loot. Any remorse she may have felt for Jace was erased by the enticing sparkle of the colorful gemstones. "That really was too easy," she thought. "I didn't even have to mess up my hair..."
After slipping the dagger back into the strap around her leg, she quickly changed into a simple light blue cotton dress with a white collar. She scribbled a quick note to her parents, claiming to be visiting friends for a few days, but then she was faced with the decision of where to go. She wasn't sure if she would be suspected in the larceny, but she assumed it would be in her best interests to disappear from her hometown for a while. Unfortunately, most of her friends lived in Piata; she did have a close friend in Zema, but after their last caper together, she wasn't sure if she was welcome in that family's home...
Shir wasn't exactly sure what made her think of the strange group that had traveled through Piata several days prior. They were investigators from Paseo – an agent, a hunter, a doctor, and some strange scantily-clad girl with pointy ears. It wouldn't be very hard for the smooth-talking thief to blend into the diverse team. "Tagging along with a government agent would be the perfect hiding place!" she whispered softly to herself, before letting out a low chuckle.
The sun was just starting to come up as the carefree criminal made her way to the teleportation station. She paid her fare and slipped a few extra meseta to the clerk with the instructions to forget that she'd ever been there. "Nothing can catch me..." she murmured as she stepped into the portal. In a few seconds, her body shimmered slightly before vanishing into thin air.