January 2, 2022

Opening the Window

Previously: Bigger Steps

Nicolao Daos looked up from his steaming cup of Earl Grey to find Trish Flores suddenly standing next to his favorite table at the tearoom.  He hadn't heard her come in, but he wasn't entirely surprised to see her there.  Just like he wasn't surprised Dominador had skipped the tearoom altogether in favor of a coffeehouse.

Her arms were folded across her chest and she had her cynical brow raised.  "What's this I hear about you stripping for Ladies' Night?"

He played it cool.  "You gotta be kidding me, Trish."  He reached into his satchel and pulled out one of his old volumes.

"The woman you summoned onstage is my intern; she works for the Herald, Daos," Trish pressed.  "It's all she could talk about over coffee this morning.  She kept babbling and giggling like some teenaged bimbo."

Despite himself, Daos laughed softly.  "I was undercover, Trish.  It was all for a job, so just calm down.  I didn't learn anything; there is no story here."

"Shouldn't you be at work?" she suddenly demanded.  "Last I checked, it's Friday morning."

"Boss gave me the day off," Daos shrugged.  "Now, if you don't mind --"

"Yeah, right," she rolled her eyes impatiently.  "Nicolao Daos goes undercover as a stripper at a club which then burns to the ground later that night...and his boss gives him the day off the next morning?  I don't think so."

"Nobody died, Trish; it's not homicide, ergo: not my jurisdiction.  The arson was completely unrelated to my investigation.  Do you mind?"

"I'm onto to you, Daos," she scowled.  "I know you're holding out on me and I'm going to find out what it is sooner or later."

"Then I should let you know that I probably won't be in town for much longer," he shrugged.  "Turns out, Soleado Valle isn't as special as I thought.  Now...if you don't mind...."

Trish finally left him (in a huff) so he could enjoy his two pleasures in life: hot tea and an old book. But only moments after she left, someone else came and took a seat opposite him. When the server asked for her order, she replied, "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."

Daos sighed loudly and rubbed his temples. "Seriously?"

"Seriously," his Consultant replied.

Daos lowered his voice.  "I did the job, okay?  Me and the newb, we did the job.  I'll admit you were right about him; he's not bad, very quick on the uptake and good with computers.  But we did the job, and I'm not sticking around in this dusty little town when there's nothing to else stick around for."

The Consultant snorted.  "Please tell me you're not that naive, Daos."

He shook his head as if to clear it.  "What are you talking about?  I took care of the only 'problem' this town had."

"Yes, but think, Daos," she pushed.  The server arrived with her tea.  "Gracias," she thanked him, before turning back to Daos.  "The belief these people had in Naberius helped to eliminate some of its more troublesome elements.  In a way, it was like a shield protecting the town."

"You told me to find out what was offing these people and stop it," he bit out.  "I did the job.  Just like I always do.  I'm ready for my next assignment, which I already know you've got lined up."

"And you're already on it," she mused.  She took a small, delicate sip of her tea and set it back down.  "You will remain in Soleado Valle and Dominador will stay with you, for as long as necessary."

"I've only got him for another seven weeks," Daos raised both hands.  "After that his assignment here ends and there's nothing I can do to change that."

She gave them that look which said, Oh, please, making him sigh again.

"Let me guess," Daos twitched.  "You're going to 'pull strings' again?"

She shrugged.  "You know how I do."

"Why is it so important that he stays?  He doesn't need this life.  He can leave here now and spend the rest of his career tracking down regular criminals."

"He may not need this life but he has this life," the Consultant assured him.  "That was no bottom-feeding warlock he shot in the chest that night, Daos.  Not many can stand toe to toe with the likes of Im Hyun-jun and live to tell the tale."

Daos felt his own heart briefly stop.  "Dominador...shot...Hyun-jun?"

The Consultant nodded.  "Dominador is known to the darker forces now.  This is his life now.  And it shall be well; his instincts are sharp and he's a gifted fighter.  He will protect you, as you will protect him."

"But why does it have to be here?" Daos pressed.  "I'm still not grasping what could possibly still be the problem in this town?"

The Consultant appeared amused.  "You ever hear that saying, 'When God closes a door, He opens a window'?"


Thank God it's Friday.

Dominador had been waiting for this moment since Daos took him to that god-awful tearoom with its bland Earl Grey and blindingly blue walls.  Unfortunately, his first sip of coffee caught him off guard.  He could taste the coffee, of course, and something resembling cream, but there was a host of other flavors he wasn't expecting.

"The hell...?"

"My guess is cardamom," another voice piped up behind him.  "They probably added the spice to the coffee, like they do in Thailand."

"Well, who the hell asked them to do that?" Dominador exclaimed.  "God, what is it with this town?  First, they've got that weird little tearoom where they charge an arm and a leg for some shit I could make at home.  Then my boss takes me to a bar where they spice up the tequila - whatever the hell that means.  And now I can't just grab a cup of regular coffee?  I gotta get outta here."

"I'm sorry,do we know each other?"

Dominador finally turned to the voice and saw a very polished, exceptional-looking man he didn't recognize.

"No, I don't believe we do," Dominador shook his head.  He tossed his coffee into a nearby trashcan on the street corner.  "I'm not actually from this town.  I'm just passing through."

"So am I, but you just seemed...familiar somehow."

Dominador eyed him once more, running memories of college friends, academy rivals, and even perps he'd questioned, but he still drew a blank.

"Sorry, nothing."

The gentleman shrugged.  "My mistake, I guess."

"What brings you to Soleado Valle?" Dominador asked, eying the man's impeccable suit.

"Well, I'm a broker," he explained.   "As I understand it, there have been some recent changes in this town, economically speaking.  It's a lot more...viable now than it was before."

"I see," Dominador nodded.  "I'm Dominador, by the way."

"Pleasure to meet you," the man beamed.  "My name is Hyun-jun."

John Cho as the "Broker" Im Hyun-jun

~ END DAOS Vol. 1 ~

Next: Daos II


  1. It's only been a few days and 9 chapters already?

    You're really on fire!

    1. *nods* Mikael Daez really is the cure for writer's block. Same for Aljur Abrenica.

  2. Replies
    1. That should cover it. We've got our reps from Gaya's Astronomy, the Xiaowei misadventures, and Sleepy Hollow...all under one original fic roof.

    2. So she IS Section 31! What, did she get an earth assignment? Quiet retirement? lol

    3. You are a funny woman. *gives a look*

  3. You know your writing style is very enjoyable. And your subject matter is compelling. *dances for Vol.2*

    1. I agree Nguyen your writing style is amazing. I always fill like you show the readers rather than tell them what is going on, which is amazing. I wonder if Trish will find them out. Andy lol I miss Sleepy Hollow! I am liking the cast even better. Nice picture of Cho in a suit.


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