A long time ago on the Tale, I started writing a story called Snoops. I think of it as, in a way, sort of a succubi spy story; you can find Part One here. I finally figured out where I wanted to go next, and so … let’s see where this takes me …
Two months after Tera had met with Deirdre and Nadia, plans were afoot and the two succubi were deeply involved in them. They had found, to their surprise, that, while Tera had given her tacit approval to their plans, they really weren’t all that sure what to do next.
Setting aside the rest of their problems, their first item of business was where they were going to set up shop. Even this question was something that they had been arguing over for some time. Deirdre wanted a place out in the middle of nowhere in the Realm, far away from prying eyes. Nadia pointed out they could really put themselves anywhere in the Realm and just bampf there.
They were walking down the main boulevard in one of the Realm’s more popular fashion districts when Deirdre came to a stop and Nadia, in the midst of texting a message to the bean counters to leave her alone, walked straight into her.
Rubbing her purple tail, Deirdre turned: “That’s the place. It’s perfect.”
Nadia was speechless when she saw it. Tera had told them, clearly, to find a nice quiet place in the Realm and Deirdre was almost mesmerized by a rickety building that looked like it hadn’t been used in years. She sighed and put her phone away: “Out of the way. Quiet. Not sticking out. What part of this don’t you get?”
Deirdre pulled her along towards the building and explained: “This place was once—oh gosh, a long time ago—one of the biggest. Everyone came here; it was just amazing what you could find.”
Looking up, Nadia saw an old three story building, paper over the windows, and a sign on it that directed interested succubi and incubi to call the Palace if they wanted to use it for whatever reason they might have. But it seemed like no one had a use for it, hadn’t for some time. “Why are you so thrilled?”
Deirdre was trying to peek between two sheets of paper over one of the windows: “I used to work here, right after I got my tail. It was the most fun I ever had … well, except for spending the night with a certain green-tail who can give an amazing tail massage.”
Nadia blushed, a little: “You’re just lucky that I get bored easily.”
Deirdre turned and kissed her on the lips before holding her close: “Well, the whole idea is to see to that you don’t get bored again, y’know.”
Nadia sighed and then walked past Deirdre, towards the main doors: “Flatterer.” Her tail swished in that certain way that told the purple-tail she was feeling frisky. “Come on, let’s have a look at this place.”
The door was open, as was the way of the Realm, and the two peered inside, curiously. The lights weren’t on, but it was clear, mostly, they were looking at a large, open space, a flight of stairs at the back leading upwards and another downwards into an inky darkness.
Pulling a small penlight out of her purse, Deirdre led the way, Nadia closing the door behind them: “Who owned the store?”
Deirdre was poking about here and there with her light: “Farah. No, not that one—I know you are going to ask.”
The green-tail stayed close, but looked at the ceiling in some frustration: “You aren’t Tera, and you can’t read my mind.”
“No, but I know how you think, and you were thinking it. Anyway, Farah was really into swing, she loved the fashions and she had a really interesting way of promoting the shop.”
Deirdre giggled: “No. That would be that place two streets over. You know the one; they have their salespeople doing striptease while you shop.” She waved the flashlight off in one direction: “When we were working, we wore her fashions, obviously, but we also had to talk the talk and walk the walk. It was like you were walking back in time when you came in the store. But what set things apart was that the second floor was a nightclub and, when you came in, if you weren’t all dolled up, you had to go and buy her stuff. Considering how popular the club was, it was a no-brainer.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“It had its moments. But, eventually, the fashions changed and Farah retired, closing the shop and then going off somewhere. I haven’t heard from her in a long time.” Approaching the stairs, Deirdre pointed the light upwards: “The upper floors are like this, Farah cleared everything out. So we can turn all of this into whatever we want. It’s the basement that I’m interested in.” She tried a light switch beside the stairs and found the light had burned out. Turning her light downwards, it was clear there were a couple of steps that looked like they were ready to fall apart. At least, that’s what it looked like.
Nadia, the wiser, if not older of the two, was looking into the darkness, her green tail moving slowly behind her: “Are you really sure about this?”
Deidre, being a purple-tail and therefore loving mystery, shrugged and then made her way down the stairs: “No, not really. But we need to get a look at things. Tera isn’t going to be a lot of help, so we need to figure things out on our own.”
“Including falling down a flight of stairs?”
The chocolate-skinned purple-tail started down them: “Yup, if we need to.”
It turned out that the stairs were stronger than they appeared, and, after two flights, they found themselves in the basement. As Deirdre moved the flashlight around, it became clear that the basement wasn’t exactly empty. Where she had expected another empty space, where she was planning on starting out their enterprise, they found stack after stack of boxes, piled to the ceiling in places. There was just enough room for the two of them to squeeze by, though at least once they bumped a stack of boxes and it swayed menacingly before settling down again.
“I thought you said this place was empty?”
“Well, it’s supposed to be. Farah wasn’t the sort to leave a mess behind. This isn’t like her at all.”
Turning around a corner of crates, Deirdre noticed a single sheet of paper laying on top of them. Shining her flashlight on it, she shook her head … and once again the blonde Asian walked straight into her, brushing her tail in the process …
“Ow! Darn it …”
… and dropping her flashlight, which then rolled off along the floor before it went out.
In the pitch black, Deirdre called out: “Don’t move. There’s another light switch against the far wall. I’ll find it.”
Nadia was brushing her hands against a wall of boxes: “Why don’t we just make some light with magic instead of messing around?”
The green-tail tossed her right hand to the side, creating a ball of light which blinded the pair of them.
“Hey! What the … ? Gosh damn it!”
Blinking, Nadia mumbled: “Some snoops we are. Can’t even make our way through a basement without making a mess of things.”
Her dark partner came back and reached for the sheet of paper, reading it and then shaking her head: “Yeah. I think we got led into this one.”
The note read:
To the Snoops: It’s about time you got here. You need a cover story, so this is it. Deirdre, you worked with Farah a long time ago. You know what to do. Nadia, I think you’ll find the basement has some interesting features that will be helpful. Move your tails now, you’ve been messing around for long enough, and watching the two of you going in circles is making me dizzy.
The letter was signed with a very familiar “T.”
Deirdre looked at the ceiling: “I should have known. Tera’s always got something cooking.” She heard some rustling from off in the distance and followed it to find Nadia looking through one of the boxes. She was waist deep in the box, her tail moving about happily, in that way that Deirdre recognized as her friend finding something she really liked.
“So, what are we going to be selling? Shoes? Jewelry? Cans of Redi-Whip and coconut oil?”
Nadia poked her head out of the box: “Better. Never let anyone tell you that Tera doesn’t keep her tail out of things … or that she doesn’t have a sense of humour.”
The following month a new shop opened, the buzz surrounding it bringing citizens from far and wide to attend the opening day. The building had changed dramatically from what it had been a short time before. Now a sleek and modern, well-lit, and, all things considered, quite loud fashion store was in full swing, the place packed with shoppers looking at the items on display.
Nadia was in the midst of talking to a visitor to the Realm and explaining how one of the items they were looking at did, in fact, have that hole in the right place for any of the succubi or incubi when she heard a voice behind her.
“Nice to see what you’ve done to the place. I always hoped someone would take up where I left off.”
Turning away from her customer with an apology, Nadia found herself looking at a smiling platinum blond with red horns: “Um. Thank you. I’m sorry, but I don’t know you.”
The blond, her hair in a bun, a smokey almond sheen to her skin, was wearing a vinyl corset and skirt in black that told Nadia one important thing: this succubi was used to getting her way and wasn’t afraid to make sure that it happened the way she wanted.
Her partner’s voice came from behind before she could ask another question: “I do.” Deirdre walked around Nadia and then embraced the new arrival. Before the green-tail could speak, the two of them were twining tails and kissing each other deeply.
Nadia felt a flush of … disappointment as she watched. The kiss wasn’t a kiss of hello. It was clear that whoever this was, Deirdre knew her intimately. Nibbling her lip, she asked: “Who are you?”
The two finished their kiss and then the Asian green-tail found herself smothered in a kiss that was every bit as hot as the one her partner had gotten moments before. When it ended, she barely managed to whisper: “Wow.”
For that, she got a squeeze of her tail before the platinum blonde pulled hers away: “It’s nice to know that I haven’t lost my touch.”
Deirdre then offered: “Nadia, this is Farah. We … a long time ago … I mean …”
Farah looked sideways at the purple-tail: “No need to be bashful. I was Deirdre’s mentor when she became one of the succubi. I know her intimately.”
Nadia answered, with a little hesitation: “I’m …” She looked at her companion, then continued: “… Deirdre’s lover and partner.”
Deirdre’s purple tail shot straight up into the air for an instant in a way that was unmistakable before she quickly recovered herself asked: “What are you doing here? I haven’t heard from you in ages! What brought you here?”
“Oh … Tera called me. Said that you and your partner … “in crime” I think is how she put it … needed someone to help you both out. I’ve been out of touch for a while, but fashion is fashion, and I know that much.” She looked around the store: “So, tell me: which one of you has the secret agent fetish? Who’s idea was to call this place ‘Snoops’?”
Deirdre and Nadia looked at each other, then answered in unison: “It’s all Tera’s fault.”