or, enter your birth date.*
or, enter your birth date.*
Chapter 1: Introductions
Joan stepped off Caltrain with her phone in hand, waiting for the next communication from her boyfriend. It was their fifth date and he had invited her to meet him at work, telling her to wear something cute. Not one for frills and ruffles, Joan opted for a knee-length navy blue dress with a white floral pattern. The neckline plunged low enough to attract attention without being dangerous.
Joan didn’t have to wait long for Marc. The tall, Filipino descendant of Genghis Khan strode towards her on the platform, a prince of this urban jungle. Although a mere fraction of a centimeter shorter than him, Joan fell into his arms a quivering lump of woman, the excitement and tension from the past three weeks of not seeing him overtaking her. Her head pressed against his firm shoulder as she tried to steady herself.
“Calm down. I’m here now. We’ll have the whole weekend together,” Marc said as he stroked Joan’s arms.
After the trembling subsided, she lifted her head and kissed him for as long as he would allow. He laughed, pushed her off him gently, and escorted her through the town as she worried about office etiquette.
“We’re having a May Day party,” Marc explained as if this was all she needed to know.
They entered a recessed door at the base of a three-story Victorian building and walked up a dark, narrow staircase. After passing a room with six adults playing on their phones around a boardroom table, they entered a gigantic office with an open floor plan. Six rows of white desks with white computer monitors gave Joan a pang of agoraphobia, recalling an internship she’d endured five years ago. She took a deep breath and reassured herself that she worked from home now.
Marc led Joan through the maze of desks to the only other familiar face in the room: his wife Laura. Laura’s middle-aged features were smoothed by flawless makeup and an impeccably clean-cut Italian stood beside her chair. Joan tried to get a good look without staring too hard.
Marc kissed Laura and Joan exchanged nods with her. “Matteo has a theory on Dark Magician Girl,” Laura said.
“She’s a serial monogamist,” Matteo explained. “She grows stronger with every Dark Magician or Magician of Black Chaos in the graveyard. Shame they have to be in the graveyard and not on the field.”
“Ouch!” Marc commented.
“I know, right?” Laura added.
“OK, well I’m going to show Joan around a bit,” Marc said before guiding her to a different aisle of desks.
A huge touch-screen monitor set at a nearly horizontal angle dominated Marc’s workspace. Marc gestured to some images tacked to the wall. “Those are the skins we haven’t released yet. The animators are still working on them.”
Joan looked from the big red devil on the wall to a dull training blade on Marc’s desk. He picked it up and handed it to her, a knowing twinkle in his eye. Joan admired the dents and scratches, wondering how many hours he had spent with the thing.
“Hungry?” Marc asked.
“A little,” Joan admitted. She put down the blade and followed him.
As they passed another desk, Marc spotted one of his 3D artists manipulating Flame Wingman’s crotch. “Don’t flatten it!” Marc exclaimed.
“I wasn’t. That was just for . . .” they passed a few technical phrases back and forth. It all went over Joan’s head.
“All right,” Marc patted the artist on the shoulder and proceeded to a lounge with a buffet table and a huge banner of a man in a billowing trench coat flourishing a smartphone like some sort of sword. “Arrogant prick,” Marc whispered. “I told my boss that an Amazoness or something would attract more attention, but the CEO wants his face on everything. Seriously, that ensemble would hinder him in a real fight.”
Joan nodded and picked a few morsels off the buffet table. She glanced around for a place to sit, but Marc had other ideas. He led her over to an Asian man with shaggy black hair and deep violet eyes. “What do you think of the banner?” the Asian asked.
Joan swallowed. “It makes it look like you’re developing an otome game, which is something I’d play, but you’ve got a . . . what’s it called again?”
“A MOBA based on Duel Monsters,” the Asian stated.
“OK, so yeah, if you’re trying to get a bunch of girls to play the game, he’s hot and all, just . . .” Joan trailed off.
The Asian sighed. “That’s my brother for you.”
Joan froze. “Brother?”
“She has a brother fetish,” Marc supplied.
“I see. Kaiba, Mokuba Kaiba,” he stuck out his hand for Joan to shake. “You’ll probably want to steer clear of my brother. He only fucks prostitutes and won’t get a real girlfriend because he’s afraid of gold diggers.”
“Well, Joan only fucks married men,” Marc said with a grin.
“One of my Michaels isn’t married,” Joan corrected. “I’m steering clear of divorced men, though. Too much baggage.”
Mokuba smiled. “You polyamorous people are complicated. How do you ever agree on anything?”
“Lots of communication, both verbal and nonverbal,” Marc said.
Mokuba’s phone buzzed. “Speak of the devil. I’ll get back to you later, OK?”
“Later,” Marc said. He then led Joan over to a friendly Dutch lady proudly explaining the history of May Day to anyone who would listen.
Chapter 2: That One
Seto stepped out of a limo onto a quaint street lined with intricately detailed three-story buildings. He turned to his suited bodyguard with dark glasses and a thin mustache. “They call this Silicon Valley?”
Before Roland could reply, Seto was assaulted by a “Big brother!” call from Mokuba.
“Mokuba, is this some sort of joke?” Seto asked.
Mokuba looked around. “What? This? We got a really great deal on the place, it’s a historic landmark, it’s really close to Caltrain, and just wait until you see the inside.”
Seto grumbled under his breath as he followed Roland and Mokuba up the dark, narrow staircase. When they reached the top, he was temporarily blinded by the brightly lit office.
“Eh? Eh?” Mokuba waved an open palm at the workspace.
“Better,” Seto admitted.
Mokuba introduced the nearest person, a dude with sun-bleached hair wearing a “Monsters of the Duel” sweatshirt. “This is Rob Fletcher, our video content manager. Rob, Seto.”
Rob stuck out a hand for Seto to shake, which he reluctantly took. “Hey bro, amped to finally meet you. How long are you going to be in Cali?”
Seto crossed his arms. “Two weeks.”
Rob shook a wavy lock out of his eyes. “Far out! Hey, you wanna make a guest appearance on our next livestream, bro?”
“No. You’re fired.”
“Whaaa?” Rob’s jaw dangled.
“Nobody gets to call me bro except Mokuba.”
Mokuba pinched the bridge of his nose. “It’s just an American expression, Seto. And I’m not firing him. The fans like him.”
Seto turned his back on Rob and drew closer to Mokuba. “That slang actually attracts gamers?”
“They eat it up!” Mokuba assured. “People play games to relax, and there’s nothing more relaxed than that California surfer vibe.”
“As long as he’s actually boosting sales, you can keep him. Just don’t put me next to that guy in front of a camera.”
“Noted.” Mokuba led Seto over to Laura and Matteo. “This is our narrative designer Laura Aurelio. Laura, Seto.”
“Hey,” Laura gave him a quirky smirk. “How did you like my portrayal of the Shadow Realm in the lore?”
Daggers of ice shot from Seto’s gaze as traumatic memories of ancient Egyptian hooligans with magical 24-karat gold artifacts flashed through his mind. “The what now?”
“You know, since you and Mokuba spent some time in the Shadow Realm and all . . .” her confidence faltered and Matteo put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “I mean, have you even been reading the lore?”
This time, Seto kept his glare on the object of his scorn while he conferred with his brother. “Mokuba, is there something I need to know about the lore?”
Laura looked away from Seto, her eyes pleading with Mokuba for help. “Don’t worry Seto. Everyone knows it’s pure fantasy. Laura is just bouncing off some stories I told her.”
“You read every word this woman writes before it gets published?”
“Practically the entire staff does. I always check the final version before it goes out, of course.”
“She so much as tries to slip in any slander and she gets canned, got it?” Seto caught Matteo rolling his eyes. “And pretty boy here can pack up his things and leave now.”
“He doesn’t work for us,” Mokuba said.
“What is it, bring-your-boyfriend-to-work day?” Seto scoffed.
“Actually, kinda. It’s May Day and that’s . . . never mind, but Americans will glom onto any excuse to celebrate. Consider it part of our vibrant and diverse office culture,” Mokuba explained.
“What a sham.” Seto turned on his heel and sauntered into the lounge. He made such a dramatic entrance with his arms crossed and his death glare that everyone in the room fell silent and turned to stare. Seeing his face beside the huge banner, he needed no introduction. Someone started clapping, and it crescendoed into applause until Mokuba showed up.
“Thanks for giving my brother a warm welcome everyone. He’s had a long flight and he’s glad to finally meet you all,” Mokuba announced.
Seto ignored the cheers that followed. “Mokuba, why is that banner in here and not outside on display?”
“Oh that? We need to get permission from the city before we can put it up, especially since this is a historic landmark and all. It’s going to take a month to approve our application,” Mokuba lied.
“Then why didn’t you just bribe the city officials or . . .” Seto’s gaze fell on a pair of C-cup breasts pressed against navy blue fabric. The woman they were attached to stood tense but bored at the same time, soaking in every detail of her surroundings but eager to move on to something else. Such women, in his experience, were the most eager and passionate lovers. They didn’t simply go through the motions or lie in bed like a dead fish trying not to ruin their makeup before the next client. Seto reflexively tapped Roland’s chest with the back of his hand. “Get me that one. In the floral dress.”
Ever since an incident involving a broken wine glass and eight stitches followed by expensive scar removal procedures and lawsuit threats from both parties, Seto had Roland screen his prostitutes. “Sir, may I suggest a jaunt to Nevada? The laws here don’t permit-”
Roland remained stock still.
“Never mind. I’ll get that one myself.” Seto took a step forward but Mokuba caught his arm.
“Seto, no! That’s my art director’s girlfriend, and you already threatened to fire his wife!”
Seto’s eyes gleamed with the hunger of a hunter. “Really now? Turns out I do know a good whore when I see one.” He jerked his arm out of Mokuba’s grasp and strode past the chattering game developers towards his target.
Chapter 3: The Deal
Marc slid a hand around Joan’s waist and pulled her close. “It’s that look in his eyes,” Marc whispered. “Kaiba’s not here for me.”
Joan barely had time to comprehend before Seto Kaiba stopped mere inches away from her. “How much?”
“For what?” Joan asked.
“A night with you,” Seto clarified.
“Um . . . five hundred dollars?” Joan suggested.
Seto snorted. “Let me guess. That’s the base price and you charge extra for all the bells and whistles. I’ll pay you one hundred . . . thousand . . . yen, no more, for the all-inclusive package.” He enjoyed watching the emotions flicker across her face as she crunched the numbers.
Though Seto’s gaze pounded on the windows to her soul, Joan felt safe encircled by Marc’s powerful arm. “Oh . . . OK. Wait, are you talking tonight? Because I’m already spoken for tonight. Unless you happen to be into threesomes,” she added hopefully.
Seto eyed the athletic art director, who was completely at ease and in fact seemed to be enjoying the show. “How much is he paying you?”
“He’s not. He’s my boyfriend. Can you wait until Sunday evening? I was planning to go home then, but if I can do laundry at Marc’s place, I can take a sick day on Monday.”
“Tsk tsk, lying to your employer,” Seto taunted.
“It’s an expression. My boss will never know, actually. I work from home and stay ahead of schedule so I don’t drop behind if something comes up.”
“Ooooh, smart whore!” Seto’s cock began to harden in his tight leather pants. “If you’ll excuse me, Roland will handle-” he took a step away.
“Hold on!” Marc grinned wickedly upon seeing Seto’s predicament. “You came all this way and you have no words for the art director who worked so hard on your lovely banner? Marc Aurelio.” Marc stuck out his hand to shake.
Seto obliged. “Hello Marc. If you weren’t the only artist who could portray me properly, I’d fire you for bringing a whore to work. By the way, did you know that your girlfriend is a whore?”
Marc’s dark walnut eyes twinkled. “Of course. She told me about this one time a college boy paid her for a blowjob. And I just heard through the grapevine that she got another customer.”
Taken aback by Marc’s positivity, Seto blinked. He’d been trying to make a quick getaway by insulting his subordinate and leaving Marc speechless, but it had oddly backfired. At least that had alleviated his erection. “Good for her. So, I hear your wife has been dicking around in the Shadow Realm.”
“Oh yeah, that. It’s more of a side thought to the game, really. When a player’s life points reach zero, they’re not traditionally dead but rather banished to the Shadow Realm until they respawn. American parents like the sound of that better,” Marc explained.
“Just to be clear, there’s no actual Shadow Realm, right?”
“It’s represented by a blue and purple nebula surrounding the battlefield, but practically speaking, no. No actual Shadow Realm,” Marc confirmed.
“Good. If a man dressed in a towel and heavy gold jewelry shows up trying to poke your forehead with a giant key or some bullshit, have the fucker arrested.”
Marc chuckled. “Oh I’m so doing that for Halloween now.”
“Is that another one of your crazy American holidays?”
“You should see the Halloween skins we’re planning. The American market is going to eat. it. up.”
“Are you going to put Joey Wheeler in a dog costume?”
“I’ll add it to the list.”
This elicited a little smile from Seto. “Do a good job and you just might get a raise. Same with your whore.”
“My girlfriend, your whore,” Marc corrected.
Joan smiled with her lower lip between her teeth and Seto’s cock pulsed again. “K thanks bye.” Seto rushed back to Mokuba and Roland.
“I’m surprised you didn’t get slapped,” Mokuba said.
“Or punched,” Roland added.
“I told you I know a good whore when I see one. I’m going to the washroom. Roland, I expect to find her in my suite Sunday evening.”
As soon as Seto was out of sight, Roland sighed. “I hate cleaning up after his messes.”
“I think this one will be OK,” Mokuba said.
“Do you happen to know her name?” Roland asked.
“It’s Joan. Don’t know her last name, though.”
“How about her bodyguard?”
“You mean her boyfriend? That’s Marc Aurelio.”
“All right, thanks.” Roland made his way through the crowd to Marc, who was now introducing Joan to one of the programmers. “Mr. Aurelio, may I have a private word with your lovely companion?”
“Popular today, aren’t we?” Marc teased. “Go ahead.”
“Please follow me, madam.” Roland led Joan into a corner of the room. “I’m sorry, Mr. Kaiba neglected to tell me your name. I’m his bodyguard and personal assistant Roland.”
“I’m Joan Saunders.” She offered her hand and Roland shook it.
“Ms. Saunders, have you come to a satisfactory business agreement with Mr. Kaiba?”
“How much, if I may ask?”
“One hundred thousand yen.”
Roland blinked. “Is that per hour or for the entire evening?”
“The entire evening.”
“To be clear, you’re being paid for your time only. Any action Mr. Kaiba may request of you will be performed only by your own free will or not at all.”
“Understood. You know, if both Kaiba brothers were involved, I’d do it for free.”
Roland frowned. “Don’t let Seto Kaiba hear you say that. He’ll think you’re a gold digger pretending to be an escort.”
“Good to know. In that case, how about I offer Mokuba a discount?”
Roland glanced back at the younger brother, who was discretely observing from afar. “He’s never asked me to arrange such matters for him, but I can pass along the offer.”
“All right, cool.”
“In any case madam, what is your preferred method of payment and contact information?”
Joan gave him her PayPal address and phone number so he could send a car to collect her. Roland shook her hand once again and returned to Mokuba. Seto still hadn’t returned from the washroom.
“So how’d it go?” Mokuba asked.
“She’s . . . offering you a discount,” Roland said.
Mokuba watched the woman smiling and laughing with his art director. She was positively glowing. “Does she offer the girlfriend experience?” he blurted before he could think too hard about it.
“Possibly. I can ask, but first I should check on Seto.”
“Right. One thing, though. If she does, don’t tell me how much it costs. I don’t want to think about how much I’m paying her. As long as it’s a reasonable rate, I’ll trust you to manage it.”
“Understood.” Roland made his way to the washroom and knocked. “Mr. Kaiba, is everything all right in there?”
“About time! Roland, I need a change of pants. Get me some pronto!”
Rather than ask why or argue, Roland called the limo driver immediately. He looked around the hallway to ensure that nobody was listening. “Special request, rush delivery.” Roland then proceeded to give detailed instructions.
Roland ended the call and made his way to the open office. He snatched a blank piece of paper from a printer and a sharpie from a desk. After writing “Out of Order” on the paper, he taped it to the washroom door. He then went out to the curb to wait.
After a little while, Joan and Marc passed him on their way out. They gave him a little wave and continued on their way. Not long after, Laura and her boyfriend Matteo appeared. “Yo! Seto Kaiba your boss?” Laura asked.
“Affirmative,” Roland responded.
“Tell me honestly, is he a little fucked in the head?”
Roland Remained stoic. “Laura Aurelio, was it? Any connection to Marc Aurelio?”
“Yeah, we’re married. Why?”
“It’s curious seeing you two leave separately and with different people.”
“Well, we’re polyamorous and it’s not like it’s some big secret.”
“Does he work for you?” Roland gestured at Matteo.
Laura stepped closer to the bodyguard, offering challenge. “What the fuck? Are you saying he’s out of my league?”
Roland remained unfazed. “No disrespect intended, madam. Merely making conversation.”
“Then why would you ask such a thing?”
“Are you Seto Kaiba’s gigolo?”
That elicited a snort from Roland. “No. You’re the first to come to that conclusion.”
Laura grinned. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”
“Think all you want. I’m not at liberty to disclose anything without Mr. Kaiba’s express permission, and one of those few things I’m allowed to say is that he’s not gay.”
“So you mean if he was diagnosed as psychotic and off his meds, that would be a secret too?”
“Mrs. Aurelio, why are you pressing this matter?”
“Merely making conversation,” Laura quipped. “Ciao!”
Roland watched the couple walk away, disappointed to see his entertainment go but also relieved that temptation was gone. Working for Seto Kaiba could drive most people nuts, but the pay was excellent and Roland had been doing it so long now that it was second nature to him. It had put his kids through college, and though his wife stayed back in Japan when he accompanied Seto on business trips, he was looking forward to traveling the world with her during retirement.
Seto’s limo pulled up and the driver handed Roland a discrete briefcase. Roland nodded to the driver as he took it and then made his way back up the narrow staircase.Closing note: I have many more chapters drafted that I need to edit and publish. I will be updating this on fanfiction.net more frequently than I will here on DeviantART
I'm really just a writer who sometimes likes to put together dolls and virtual avatars of my characters. I used to be into photography, but not so much these days. My passion is promoting polyamory in a way that people can come to fully understand and accept it as one of many legitimate relationship structures.
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