"And there it is." Jack stood in the doorway and flicked his hand at Dale's unconscious body slumped on the floor while Kim finished running a wet cloth over the sofa. "Just finished a day at work that actually wasn't life-threatening, for once, then we come home to this. Just had to slip something awful in before the day was over, didn't we?"
He moved aside so Taura could step through the front door and take in the scene. She sighed and shook her head.
"Dale throw another one of his parties?"
"Yep. I managed to get everyone out of here a while ago except Dale and some girl he's been trying to fuck." Kim's cybernetically-augmented voice had an unsettling reverberation effect that Jack and the others had gotten used to, but he could only imagine what the partiers who'd never met her before had made of it. "They passed out on the sofa. I just let 'em sleep it off while I cleaned up their mess. Then Dale regained consciousness just enough to puke all over her, then he passed out again."
Jack shook his head. "His parents must be so fucking proud of him."
"Yep. She wanted to use our shower, but I told her to leave." Kim pointed toward her red glowing cybernetic eyes and her generally pale and veiny face and smirked. "One advantage of practically being a reanimated corpse is the ability to scare off people like her. She didn't even argue, she just turned and staggered out. I had to fight the urge to tell her to drive home because she's too fucked-up to walk. No need to worry, though, she called an Uber or something and it picked her up about twenty minutes ago."
Jack snickered. "You're handy to have around. I would've been too tempted to photograph all of 'em in compromising positions and send the pictures to their families and employers."
"Oh, if only I'd thought of that." Kim tossed off a lopsided grin. "I'll keep it in mind for next time." She pointed a thumb over her shoulder. "Oh, Corona got home a while ago. She's waiting upstairs."
"Thanks." Jack headed for the staircase just inside the doorway to the kitchen.
"Sorry we didn't get here in time to help you clean up," Taura said as she followed him.
"Aw, no worries. When Mom drops by, we'll probably go hang out somewhere just to get away from Dale. That'll make up for the mess I just cleaned up."
"Well, have fun, then." Taura smiled and waved at her.
"You guys have fun, too." Kim winked and grinned before taking one last look at the sofa and carrying the towel through the kitchen and into the utility room.
Jack climbed the stairs and walked to their bedroom, wondering if Corona had kept any clothes on while waiting for him and Taura. He hoped not.
He opened the door and found her handcuffed to the bed at both wrists and ankles, wearing only her panties. She twitched, snapped her head around to stare at them, and a lockpick slipped from her right hand.
Jesus H. Jack shook his head quickly and took his duster off as he moved out of the doorway.
"Back to this again, are we?" He hung his coat in the closet and rolled his eyes.
"Well … yeah. I mean, I only managed to pick one of these once, so I wanted to keep practicing. I actually got pretty good at it, so I decided I needed a challenge."
"Oh, dear," Taura muttered.
"Ehhh … yeah." Corona shrugged and her wrists pulled the cuffs taut. "If you wouldn't mind unlocking these? I'll try again later. It's almost time for dinner, so …"
Jack glanced at Taura, raised an eyebrow, and smirked. Taura grinned. Both of them turned back to Corona.
"Well," Taura said, "I think dinner can wait. I'm seeing an opportunity here to get back at you for making me lead you around town with a leash last week."
"Oh, come on. It was funny!"
Jack glanced around, settled on the huge feather next to a set of fuzzy handcuffs on top of Corona's dresser, and picked it up. Corona stared at him and her eyes opened wider.