I stepped inside the warehouse and removed my sunglasses to let my eyes adjust to the light. Jealousy and Hate padded along beside me and paused when I did. The renovation of the warehouse worked out nice. And since Ares took the heat from Zeus for me stealing his workforce, I didn’t even have to hear about it. From the door there was a receptionist desk, but it was currently unoccupied. The woman I hired didn’t work out. Turns out my black eyes “creep her out” and she was afraid of wolves. My next applicant interview is in an hour. I’m going to make sure there are interview questions.
“Hey, baby,” said a sultry voice from my left that interrupted my thoughts.
I smiled and replied, “Hello, Truffle.”
The woman, sitting at another desk, pouted her lips and said, “It’s Tiffani, with an ‘i’. I can’t believe you forgot me.”
Tiffani (with an ‘i”) was in charge of my “tips” line. She and five others were working for something called a phone-sex company that I got control of after my third successful bounty. Once they were installed, tips and hints about other felons skyrocketed. Sometimes these girls would be on the phone twenty to thirty minutes with the same caller. I had no idea there were that many felons in the area. Good news is I have captured three of felons and collected the money. In addition, I have moved in and taken chunks of the businesses they were profiting from. That’s where I got my phone line girls.
I walked over and rapped my knuckles on her desk.
“I’m sorry, Tiffani,” I apologized, “I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Hmmm, that’s okay, sugar. You know I couldn’t stay mad at you.”
“Thanks,” I replied as I looked deeper into the warehouse. Behind the tips line girls were several rows of desks. Aunt Demeter insisted I get an accountant, then there was an office manager, security manager, and several more empty desks to be filled later when needed.
I looked back down at Tiffani and said, “Did we have any mail?”
She nodded and handed me a pile of envelopes. “There ya go, boss.”
“Thank you, I’ll be upstairs. Buzz me if you need me.”
Tiffani had just taken a call and waved to me as she talked to the caller, “No, baby. I know you’re excited but I don’t need the whole thing, just the tip is good.” I shook my head as I climbed the stairs to the second floor. I had to hand it to those girls, when it came to information these girls could coax a full load out of every caller.
I reached the second floor and stood for a moment looking it over. This was the real heart of the operation. Near the staircase were several empty desk spaces, or cubicles as people kept correcting me. Farther back was another set of cubicles for four desks. That area was our research center. After Tiffani and her silver-tongued wenches extracted the information from the phone callers, they would enter it into a computer. Then the research department, which consisted of four people called web researchers, would pore over the information to track down the location of the suspected felon. Then they passed it onto security, who would confirm the identity and location through direct surveillance. After that, I went out with my two wolves, Jealousy and Hate, and brought them in to the authorities.
I walked down through the area to the other end of the warehouse that held the armory and indoor shooting range. When I borrowed some of Zeus’ workers, they had snagged a large load of special sheeting that completely silenced noise. It was something Uncle Heph had developed, and I had them use it to coat the indoor gun range as well as my own personal quarters. Someone could be shooting a Specter Black Diamond in 300 Blackout or an LWRC Mark VII in the 7.62 x 51 NATO round and it didn’t matter. Not a sound emanated from the range. My men could be practicing on site and never disturb anyone. I had my personal quarters sheeted with it for the same reason. So when I had someone over for intimate activities, I wouldn’t have to worry about the noise disturbing anyone else in the building. I have specific tastes. Sometimes, well, it gets loud.
Anyway, across from the range was the armory. The area was dominated by multiple workbenches and heavy equipment such as drill presses, lathes, etc. In the center was a large freight elevator that came up from the loading dock on the first floor. My armorer, a nervous little mortal man named Markos, had been an apprentice to Uncle Heph. However, Uncle Heph has been gone for a month or more now, and Ares was in charge. Markos didn’t particularly like Ares, so that meant I liked Markos. I brought him over and no one at the Olympus Administration Building seems to have noticed him gone. Not surprising with the level of disorganization going on there. Markos seems to like working for me, except he’s nervous Uncle Heph or Ares will go nuts if they find out he left. All in all, he’s a good mortal. I mean, the construction crew over at the OAB was throwing an orgy almost every week, and Markos hasn’t complained once about me not having any. I think that speaks a lot.
I got to the back of the warehouse and Markos was nowhere to be seen, so I headed back to the stairwell and up to the third floor, my personal living space. A quick nod and wave to the research department on my way back by and I was on to the iron stairwell that led to my office. I climbed the steps and at the top landing opened the door to my office. The girls were laying by the desk already. All my doors are fitted with large wolf-doors in the lower half so the girls can come and go as they please. I dropped my jacket on the walnut desk and flopped into my large leather chair. The girls instantly began nuzzling me and whining for attention. I sat and rubbed their ears as they nipped at one another playfully and vied for attention.
Suddenly I heard it. The unmistakable *pop* of a god teleporting closeby. In fact, there were two of them. The girls stopped and pricked their ears up at the door to my inner quarters. I stood up and called through the closed door. “Who’s there? Come out and show yourself.” I pulled my pistols and pointed them at the door.
The doorknob jiggled for a moment. I cocked the hammers on both pistols. The door opened slowly and in walked Phobos and Deimos.
I exhaled a sigh of relief as I uncocked the hammers and holstered my weapons. The wolves, Jealousy and Hate, growled low. I reached down and patted each of them to let them know it was okay.
Phobos waved sheepishly and grinned.
“Hey, brother. How have you been?”
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