The Sweet Smell Of Success


 The Sweet Smell Of Success

"Where are you going? To show him the door?" I asked nervously.

"Nope," replied Juniper, her voice soft and soothing. "I'm just going to sit with him for a few hours and listen to his problems."

"But - but he might be dangerous!" I protested. "He's a murderer!"
"So am I," said Juniper, calmly. "I figure he won't hurt me if there's no way out of this room. Besides, a good friend would be happy to help his friend."
"You're not going to simply help him out!" I protested, "You're not - that is, she's not -"
"I'm not what," said Juniper.
"I mean... you're just not..." I was floundering as best I could in my wobbly state. "You're a good person! Why would you - I mean..."
"What?" asked Juniper. "What are you talking about? What do you think I am?"
With that question, the truth of it hit me like a blow to the stomach. I had always known the truth about her, but I'd refused to believe it.
"The smell of success is perfume to you, isn't it?" I asked. "You're not just a succubus. You're the succubus! You're the reason they call this place Hell!"
"Oh, that," said Juniper, waving her hand dismissively. "Old news."
"But... but you turned me into a girl!" I said. "I didn't want this!"
"Do you know how many times my kind have been hunted down and killed?" asked Juniper. "Do you know what it's like to live in Hell? If a few people have to suffer to keep the rest of us alive, it's worth it. Besides, if you'd rather be a man again, I can fix that."
"No!" I said quickly. "I mean... I guess it wasn't that bad..."
"Good," said Juniper, patting my head. "You're not going to tell anyone about this little meeting, are you?"
"Of course not," I replied. "I don't want to get you in any trouble."
"Good boy," said Juniper with a wicked smile. "Mimosa, could you please take him to the dorms and lock him up there?"
"Can I light his room on fire first?" asked Mimosa. "I mean, that's what murderers deserve."
"Suit yourself," said Juniper. "But don't come crying to me when he's a pile of ash at the end of a matchstick." Mimosa laughed as she led Juniper out. The door closed behind them.
I lay on my bed, listening to the sounds of Juniper and her friend in the next room. I was unsure what they were doing or how long they would be there for; but even if it took a few days, I had no way of escaping from here.
"I suppose I've come to the right place," Juniper had said. "You know one of the best ways to resolve a problem is to sit down and talk about it. I have some good ideas on how you could get that job at the big company, too."
I blushed as I thought about what she would say if she knew what a pathetic failure I was.
"And don't worry," said Juniper, "It will be just like when you were a man. You won't need any garters or makeup."
"Juniper - but how can you -?"
"There's nothing in this world that can stop me from doing my job," she had replied. "Trust me."
She had been right. Every time I'd tried to escape, she'd appeared just in time and wrapped her long black arms around my body. I always ended up where I wanted to be: trapped in her arms and helpless in front of her pretty eyes.
"Are you okay?" asked Juniper's voice from a few hours later.
"Yes," I replied, "I'm fine. You can let go now."
"Oh, don't worry," she said, "We're just taking a little rest before we hear your big new dream. Now tell me what it is."
Juniper was obviously lying. We'd spent the whole day talking about my dreams, just like she'd said we would. Now she was going to take me to the top of a tall building and throw me off it. The least I could do was make her listen to my whole story first.
"This is what I've always wanted," I told her, "Ever since I was young. And one day, if I work hard enough, maybe you'll be as big a star as Jessica!"
"Oh, stop it," said Juniper with a laugh. "I'm not even allowed in Hell right now."
"How can you say that?" I asked.

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