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He Only Had Himself To Blame

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There was, Hereafter thought, something very nice about having a high-level bureaucrat of Hades in his pocket.  Mr. Wyatt Vancroft was coming for his third visit to the Elysium Fields, and he'd been permitted to bring Hereafter with him.  Now, Hereafter had a perfectly good thing going in Hades, it wouldn't really do to make himself miserable with what he couldn't have.

But it'd be awful nice to see what Wyatt was making himself miserable with.

So Hereafter followed Wyatt through the gates into a club of some sort.  Two women were up on stage, making utter fools of themselves and having a very good time of it, though their skills lacked the conviction of their enthusiasm.  The bartender was a dragon man, flirting with a woman whose ears were shockingly sharp and very interesting.  A horned woman giggled and snuggled with a blue-haired person a little further down the bar, and at a pool table was a bird man with another sharp-eared person.

The last two were the first ones to notice Wyatt's arrival, and they both bounded over to greet him--the sharp-eared one with an enthusiastic hug, the bird man enfolding both in his wings to nuzzle his head into Wyatt's.  The intimacy of the embrace was enough to make even Hereafter feel the faintest twinges of discomfort, way deep down somewhere he didn't look.  It couldn't be guilt.  Perhaps the public display of affection.  That had to be it.

Hereafter made his way to the bar, and the bartender canted his head to look at the new arrival.  Hereafter offered his hand with a smile, "Pleasure to meet a friend of Wyatt's.  I am Hereafter T. Undersigned, Esq."

Hereafter realized he couldn't read the dragon man's face as he replied, "You're Hereafter?"

"I see my reputation precedes me."

"It most certainly does," the dragon man replied.

The women from the stage chose then to tumble over to the bar, breathless and sweaty with delight.  Both women had more muscles than a lot of men Hereafter had met, and the taller one was babbling about what they needed to do to celebrate Wyatt's arrival.

The dragon man (whose name was apparently Seshmir) nodded in Hereafter's direction, "Tessa, have you met Hereafter T. Undersigned?"

Tessa (the larger of the singing women) paused and gave Hereafter a look that told him he didn't want to be where he was once she'd decided what to do.

Sudden, blinding pain exploded in his groin.  The smaller woman had decided what she was going to do, and she'd opted for punching him.  In the crotch.  He crumpled in on himself with a pained groan, sinking to the floor in misery.  He didn't have to play up precisely how much pain he was in, because the answer was a lot.  He distantly heard a faint, chiding murmur, but he couldn't process it.

The next thing Hereafter knew, he was being bodily thrown into a boat by the bird man, just before said man turned to say a fond farewell to Wyatt.  Had Hereafter passed out?  He hadn't learned anything useful, beyond 'avoid Tessa's singing partner.'

Wyatt was terribly pleased the entire ride back.  He even hummed a little.  Hereafter decided he would break some things when they got back.  All the broken stuff got back to Wyatt eventually.