Shani clutched the brown paper bag to his chest as he leaned back against the elevator wall. This thing always took forever to get up. Cruddy, old, piece of shit… he was only going one story up. Why the hell was this useless piece of fucking shit taking so long? All the other apartment buildings had much faster equipment than this. His old place had a faster elevator than this, and that one was practically falling apart.
The paper bag rustled in his arm as his grip tightened against it. The young man sighed and the elevator dinged. Finally the doors were beginning to open, and Shani stepped out into a lime green hallway.
It was eight in the morning. People were heading out just as he was coming in. Heading out to their jobs, or school, or wherever they were going. The greenet didn’t particularly care.
He noticed the way that they all avoided his eyes and gave him a wide berth in the halls. They’d heard the rumours about him. They knew who he was. He’d only been here for a couple of months now, but he already commanded torrents of respect and fear.
Shani made his way through the isle parted for him by the people as they hurried to get past him, to avoid him. Perhaps he should have been insulted, but he didn’t care. As long as they paid their debts, and as long as they didn’t get in his way, whatever fool things they did was their concern, not his.
That was the code Shani had abided by all this time, and he would continue to stick to it. It had always served well in the past.
Finally, he reached his room. Inserting his small, silver key into the lock, he turned and opened the door, closing it behind him.
Shani walked over to the table that often served as his desk in the evenings, and placed the paper bag down. Yanking the headphones from his ears with a lazy hand, he pulled the portable music player from his back pocket and switched it off, noting the cacophony of treble filling the otherwise silent room as he did so.
He placed the device carefully on the table next to the large paper bag so he’d know where it was. It was essential that he didn’t lose something as important as his music. He never left home without it.
Home at last. It had been a long morning. As he made his way to the kitchen, his eye was caught by a strange lump in the blankets of the bed. So there she was. Shani pushed the blonde from his mind as his arm groped for the coffee grinder.
As the machine worked, the lanky greenet slid into a conveniently placed chair beside the bench. Face resting in his claw-like hand, he lent his elbow against the countertop.
His eye glanced once more toward the bed against the back wall. He noticed the bed sheets moving, contorting.
Good, it was about time she got up.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee filled the room and Shani poured himself a black cup. As he made his way over to an old armchair, the silence was penetrated by a quiet moan.
Shani felt a knowing smirk creep its way up his face as he sat down in his favourite chair. As he sipped the black liquid, he suddenly got the feeling he’d be waiting a little longer for the blonde than he’d thought.
Taking another mouthful of the scolding liquid, Shani placed it down on the floor at his feet. His eyes glanced once more over to the girl. Leaning back into his chair, he watched as her ministrations added to the sounds and smells of the room.
She tossed and turned under the blanket like a child playing ghost, her breathing quickening with each movement she made. Her excitement seemed to grow with every passing second, and the noises she made with it, until Shani was able to hear her voice in every breath.
Shani drank more from his mug, eyes glazing over as the girl’s movements steepened and her body convulsed under the heavy blankets. With an audible moan, the girl spasmed as though having a fit. She cried out, her muffled voice forming a name. Her body finally relaxed after her morning’s work.
“Neo…” the girl murmered, speaking around her heavy breathing.
Shani smirked once more. Him again. For all her fantasies about the guy, Shani still had no idea who he was. Was he the blonde’s ex-boyfriend, or had she simply made him up? “No such luck,” he remarked. “Neo’s not here. You’ll have to settle for me instead.”
Suddenly, the girl popped her blonde head out from underneath the blanket. Wide, magenta eyes peered innocently at the greenet. “Shani?”
The young man smirked once more. It was amazing how Stella could be who she was, and still look so innocent while doing the things she did. It was a talent very few possessed, and it drove most guys crazy.
He was honestly lucky to have found her. “If you’re all finished,” he continued, I bought you breakfast.”
The girl’s eyes glazed. She looked as though the mere mention of food would get her drooling all over the place. “What did you get me?”
“It’s on the table,” Shani replied, taking another gulp of coffee. “See for yourself.”
Stella nodded and slipped out of the blankets, wearing only a pair of black panties.
Shani downed more of his drink as he casually took in the familiar sights. Though he’d seen her body a thousand times, he never tired of it.
The girl’s medium length, blonde hair reached down to her chin. Her body wasn’t toned in any sense, but she was thin. She had actually put on quite a bit of weight since she first met up with Shani, which said a lot, considering her current shape.
Stella had come a long way from the pathetic wretch he’d found begging on the streets. The other guys had scoffed at him at the time for his charity, but they all saw her now. Showing pity for the girl was probably the best thing Shani had ever done. She’d paid him back every cent, and then some.
Stella had the curves many would die for, but it hadn’t always been that way. When he’d first taken her in, the blond had been little more than a stick figure. She never said a word, she stunk worse than a cheap whorehouse, and she’d thrown up on him more than once.
Where most would have passed her by, Shani brought her home. Where better men would have felt contempt, Shani felt sympathy. Where his cohorts would have preyed on her addiction, Shani cleaned her up. He didn’t want to think where she’d be if he hadn’t. Her life probably wouldn’t be worth living, if she even had one to live.
Stella wasn’t exactly appealing back then, but now; she was stunning: Possibly the single greatest investment the greenet had ever made, and not just from a financial standpoint, though the blonde did earn a killing. Things had changed so much since those dark days. Shani’s lip curled. All things considered, he was glad he’d stuck with her.
The blonde turned around, and the greenet got a glimpse of her front; an unobstructed view of her firm, free, D-size breasts.
The girl’s flat stomach revealed that the pale skin of her face did match that of her entire body. The white skin, tinged with pink, was of a girl who ‘should get out more,’ as many the casual observer had pointed out. Little did they know?
Stella got out more than most, just not during the day. Her night schedule was chock, which left her sleeping through the mornings, and during most of the day. Shani usually allowed the girl to sleep in for that very reason, but today was special. Shani would be out all day, and he didn’t like the thought of leaving the blonde on her own for too long, even now. He had no choice other than to take her with him.
Shani smirked in amusement as the girl rifled through the paper bag, retrieving the various baked goods he’d provided for her. The greenet drained the last of his coffee as he watched the girl happily devour a pastry. “Stella,” he voiced, standing to his feet. The girl didn’t respond verbally, but her eyes latched onto his: her sign that she was listening. “It’s a busy day today. You’d better get dressed. We’re heading out as soon as you’re ready.”
“Okay,” the girl replied. Whatever Stella may have been like in the past, she was so easy to deal with now. She was so obliging. So willing, as though she couldn’t say no. At least, if she had the ability, she’d never exercised it. Not to him, anyway. That was one of the best things about Stella. It could, of course, also present itself as a liability, but for the most part, it had worked to Shani’s advantage.
Sure, he had to keep an eye on her, but that wasn’t a huge deal. Besides, Shani quite enjoyed having the blonde nearby. She followed him about like a puppy: All the loyalty of a hound, but with none of the threat or protection, so she was honestly more like a lapdog or some kind of pup.
Shani smiled as he watched the girl. Not just a smirk, but a genuine smile. They were rare, but they happened. That’s what she was. She was his. His own, nobody else’s. Stella was his lapdog, now and forever. “Come on,” he spoke, forcing a straight face as he crossed the kitchen. “Get a fucking move on, would you? We gotta get moving.” Stella looked at him for a moment, then her lip curled.
“We’ve gotta go,” the blonde repeated. “Places to see, people to screw, right?” The words seemed so strange coming out through Stella’s subdued monotone.
Shani snorted, shaking his head slightly. He’d have to remember to keep her away from those two in future. “Clotho’s a bad influence on you, he stated.”
Stella shook her head. “You’re a worse role model than he is.”
Shani succumbed to the corners of his mouth as they tugged upward. “You’re probably right about that.” He placed the empty mug in the sink and turned around to face the blonde. “Come on, get dressed.”
The blonde nodded in compliance. “okay,” she agreed, heading to one of the back rooms.
Stella was so obliging. She never said no to him. Sometimes it could be a liability, but in the grand scheme of things, it had always worked out for the best. She may not have been the most threatening of henchmen, and she may not have possessed much in the way of physical strength, but she was his. His lapdog, and there was nobody he’d rather have behind him. Besides, Shani’s presence and reputation provided security enough for them both. Not to mention his associates.
Shani had friends in high places, and word travelled fast in the underground. If anything happened to either him or Stella, the witless bastards responsible would be drowning in their own blood before the week was out. Clotho and Orga would make sure of that. Speaking of which….
The greenet pulled out his vibrating phone to see a new message on the screen.
‘Where the fuck R U?’ Definitely Clotho.
He was about to put the phone away when it vibrated, and a new message popped up.
‘You two better get your asses down here now!’ That had to be Orga. Shani could tell by the more formal language. Well, formal for the three of them.
The greenet wondered if he should wait for a third message, but when none came, he called out. “Stella, we have to get going!”
“Okay!” the girl replied from the next room.
No more than a few seconds later, she emerged wearing a black, formfitting, sleeveless turtleneck and jeans, under what had once been a leather jacket – mostly white, but with patches of light pink running down the sides under the arm holes: Stella had removed the sleeves herself, so the jacket was really more of a vest.
Stella noded. “Let’s go,” she answered.
Shani moved for the door, subconsciously picking up his music player and pocketing it as he passed the table.
As they walked, Shani placed an arm around the blonde at his side and shot Orga a quick reply:
‘On our way.’
As I said, next chapter should be up soon, and I’ll be shifting the focus back to Lacus, as well as introducing Dearka.