After a brief conversation where the two sisters caught up with each other's lives, Adrian and Pierce walked arm in arm down the street to a high-end restaurant on the street corner. Its elegant brick outside led to a rather sleek and modern dimly-lit atmospheric eatery. Adrian had made reservations for two previously, and the waiter led them to a more secluded corner of the place. Pierce had never been at a restaurant this nice, with a live jazz band and all. There were some wealthy people relaxing for meals, dressed in suits worth far more than his, discussing in low tones whatever rich people discuss.
When they sat down, Adrian began, "So I know you think you're here to be my bodyguard for the afternoon, but that isn't really true. I actually wanted to properly thank you for what you did for Miss Fluffles the other day, saving her from that crazy old man." The man was certainly old, but Pierce had looked in his eyes. He had seen crazy before, and that man was not crazy. Miss Fluffles, though, still haunted Pierce's dreams. "That, and you need a break. First the old man, then the Elder Mafia? Too much for a newbie with the company, if you ask me."
"It's no big deal," Pierce said, "I can handle it."
"Oh, I'm sure you can, but everyone needs rest, Mr. Pierce, and right now, resting is your job. Relaxing with me. Do you understand? I want you to order whatever you want. I'm buying."
Pierce sighed, resigning himself to his fate. "Thank you, Miss Adrian."
After a delicious high-end steak dinner (Adrian drank wine while Pierce just had water), the two took a stroll about the East Side, eventually ending up in a somewhat poorer section of town. The weather had grown quite warm for an autumn day. "Pierce, you remember what I said about having an extra assignment for you?"
"Yeah," he said, hoping it wasn't what he thought it was going to be.
"Now, you are under no obligation to do this, but if you do it, I will pay you well."
Pierce shifted nervously.
"I have a problem. You see...there's this guy I like, but I'm somewhat of a nervous wreck when I'm around him." He had a hard time imagining that considering how flirty she had been so far today. "You see that building over there?"
Pierce nodded. It was an apartment complex, much less ritzy than the one that belonged to her cat. Probably nobody rich enough to own an AI lived in there.
"I need you to go up to the top floor. There's an air duct that feeds into the hall and it connects to the duct for apartment 17A."
Where is this going? Pierce thought.
Adrian took a small unmarked bottle out of her purse and held it before him. "This is a love potion I brewed up."
Pierce blinked and stared at her. "Ma'am, I can't..."
"Before you turn me down, you should know that I am willing to give you ten thousand credits for this job. Like I said, I'm not going to make you do it, but it would certainly help you with your sister."
However she knew about that, she was right. He sighed, "Are you sure it's not some kind of poison? You're not having me kill this guy so the NSPD doesn't come after you when he dies, are you?"
"Of course not, it's just a love potion, I swear. You see, I really fell for this guy a while back when he came to protest my appointment to the City Planning Committee. I mean, there were other protesters, but he stood out. He was big, strong...he took down at least four police officers unarmed."
Oh, I see. "Then why don't you go do this yourself?"
"Funny story about that..." she laughed nervously. "I'm legally not allowed to be within one hundred yards of him." Pierce was dumbfounded. "You see, I may have tried to woo him on several different occasions. He didn't reciprocate, and the court granted him a restraining order against me."
"That's crazy," Pierce muttered as he realized all his misgivings about this woman were correct.
"I know! I think there are certain players in the government who are out to get me."
At this point Pierce really wanted to not be there, standing next to that woman. But in truth, he was grateful for the meal, and he definitely needed the money. He decided to trust that she was not crazy enough to kill through him, especially since she seemed so into the potion's target. Pierce sighed, "What if he's not the only one in his apartment?"
"The potion only works on him. Intention is a large part of magick, you know, and my intention is for him to love me."
He stood there for a moment, thinking. "How will you know if I've actually done it?"
"Believe me, I'll know." She looked straight into his soul, her eyes suddenly cold and sinister, her smile gone. A chill shot through his spine.
"Alright, I'll do it."
The smile immediately returned. "Terrific, I'm going to walk around the block while you do that." She handed him the bottle. "Good luck, Pierce. And, thanks." She leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.