“Look, I know the hostess, she’s cool, the people will be cool. Fuck around with your GPU drivers or whatever some other weekend. You’re coming,” her roommate says, “and that’s that. I hate going to these things alone, and you haven’t been out of the house in forever.”
“i like it here. all my stuff is here.” she protests.
“And speaking of stuff! You’re coming shopping with me tonight too. I swear everything you wear has some software company logo on it. No wonder you haven’t had a second date at least since we moved in together. You’re taking ‘one of the guys’ way too literally!”
actually, it’s because very few people and exactly zero mortals have survived a second date with her, but Taylor doesn’t need to know that. not with rent like theirs. Mel sighs.
“okay. fine. i’ll go. this once.”
“Yay! I’ll meet you at work tonight and we can take Muni to the mall. Fuck H&M, we’re going straight to Nordie’s!”
ten hours later, she’d been near-forcibly zipped, strapped, or buttoned into about two dozen dresses in rapid sequence, all of which looked spectacular on her roommate, and generally regrettable on her. eventually Taylor had given up and declared a dark green velvet slit maxi dress the least worst option: “I don’t get it, you’re skinny, but even with a pushup bra, how does everything look like you’re on your way to a piano recital?”
then it was onto shoes, with similar results. after the third time she’d fallen on her ass in regular heels, the salesperson had finally resorted to glittery wedges. the straps were already chafing.
subsequently, the pair had taken an alarmingly long and expensive Uber to somewhere in the South Bay. everything south of the Mission looked exactly identically pointless to Mel. maybe the houses were bigger now?
“I think this is it!”
the house looks much like all the others except for the Korean taco truck and the number of ungodly expensive cars parked out front. ungodly was fine, generally she was all about ungodly, but this would be a bit much even back home.
and really. what kind of chode drives a Lambo to a house party?
this kind of chode, apparently.
after a series of awkward introductions to faces whose names she immediately forgets, she’s trapped in the back bedroom with a steadily dwindling number of people, and it’s down to one guy in a Lamborghini logo polo shirt that she’s struggling to be polite to.
where’d Taylor go? her roommate’s nowhere in sight. she suspects this was Taylor’s plan all along.
“Did I mention I’m the CTO of Ultracoin? We did our series B last year and we’re already scaling so fast we’re looking at an ICO. But don’t tell anyone, heh.”
“i’m not a reporter,” Mel says. “just an interested engineer, i promise. crypto is so fascinating, isn’t it?”
“Oh yeah. But you gotta do it right. Obviously we had to rewrite everything in Rust. Rust is great. It’s secure by default. Totally memory safe. Have you heard of Rust?”
she chokes back a retort about unchecked integer overflows and says “no, tell me more!”
“Haha, but enough shop talk, right? I didn’t come here to pitch. You wanna have some fun or what?”
Mel is pissed. she does not like that her roommate has wandered off and left her alone with this sketchy stranger and his sketchier ideas about smart contracts. she does not like the simultaneously too-short too-long dress or the uncomfortable heels. she does not like being talked down to. she does not like being pressured.
she does not like the vibe she’s getting off this gross startup boy at all; it’s like he’s not even that into her, like she’s some thing put out for his consumption next to the beer and brownies, and he’s going to take a plateful of her and not even think about it.
well, fine. it’s actually the other way around.
“not here,” she says. “let’s go somewhere we won’t be interrupted. isn’t that your Avendator out front? i’ve always wanted to see one up close…”
“Haha, sure, babe. Yeah it’s mine. Let’s… go for a ride.”
he grabs her hand and pulls her towards the foyer. the smug fuck. she seriously wants to punch him.
her heels wobble on the grass outside. the guy opens the passenger door, which hinges up instead of out because of course it does, and beckons her inside. “M’lady?”
“oh wow. ohhh wowww. fffuck. this… this thing is hot.” she makes a show of biting her lip. “hey. can you, um, can you get in first and lie down? i. umm. i wanna ride you. really bad.”
she straddles him in the passenger seat. “do you want me?” brushes his pants with the back of her hand. he’s big and he’s hard. so fucking what.
“Yeah, babe, of course I want you.”
“can i tell you something?” she gives it a squeeze. not gently.
“Oh, fuck, you are a reporter, aren’t you.”
“haha, no, it’s not that, it’s about your car.”
she bends down so her lips are almost brushing his. his breath smells like testosterone and stale IPA and everything wrong with her night. she continues to jerk him off through his pants as she lets her horns manifest, glowing dimly purple in the dark. his eyes widen.
“i like the Diablo better.”
then she kisses him.
by this point, normally she and her victim are both so aroused that she’ll claim the soul with only a mild effort and a tremendous rush of ecstasy, with the body simply crumbling at its departure. but this time, she’s as angry as she is horny at this stupid gross boy under her in these stupid clothes in this stupid expensive carbon factory at this stupid party. so there’s a lot of friction. she uses it.
if there’s a little tiny bit of soul stuck in the smoldering leftovers to watch her leave as the seat begins to catch fire, well, oops.
“Mel.” she says. “it’s Mel.”
“You’re leaving already?”
“yeah. sorry. i just got a critical page from work and i have to take it.”
this is a well-worn excuse for Mel, and of course she’s not even remotely sorry. she can’t wait to get home, throw the heels in the corner of her closet, curl up under a big fuzzy blanket with some trashy anime on, and enjoy the afterglow of her harvest. if anything even tried to page her right now, it’d erupt with violet balefire and melt before it finished the attempt.
“Okay, well, gnight, get home safe.” her hostess shrugs. “Hey, you seen Tim?”
“oh yeah, i was just talking to him.” Mel thumbs confirm pickup on her phone. “i think he went out for a smoke.”