Chapter Five: Madam Hatter:
The blonde woman smiled as her target approached her.
"Excuse me," Anna addressed her. Light gleamed across the woman's glasses.
"Yes, dear?" she asked.
"Um…" Anna began. "You wanted to buy me a drink?"
"Take a seat," the other woman commanded with grace in her voice. Anna took a seat as if in a trance.
"Good," the blonde murmured. Her target got a good look at her. This lady's wardrobe screamed Vegas showgirl with the dark blue corset and black miniskirt; the matching fishnets, high-heeled boots, and top hat completed her look. However, her face really startled Anna.
It's Watari, she thought. As a woman… and the Mad Hatter?
"I know I'm pretty," the blonde said. "But you could just take a photo if you're going to stare at me all night." Anna quickly shook her head as she snapped out of it.
"Oh," she said. "Sorry, you just reminded me of someone else."
"Do I?" the woman asked.
"Yeah," Anna said. The blonde chuckled at her response.
"I get that a lot," she said. "Say, what might your name be?"
"Anna," her target answered. "And you are?" The blond grinned as a gleam flashed over her glasses.
"They call me the Mad Hatter," she said. "Well, Madam Hatter." Anna nervously giggled.
Figured as much, she thought. "Listen," she spoke up. "You said you know how I could get home."
"Yes," the Mad Hatter said.
"Well, how?" Anna asked. The blonde put up her hand.
"Hold on," she told her. "What's the rush? The night's still young. We've got plenty of time." Anna didn't like where this was heading. It feels like a scam, she thought. The Mad Hatter stuck up her hand.
"Bar tender," she said. "Two drinks, please?" The bar tender nodded and got to work. Anna focused on the Mad Hatter.
"Um," she said, "I want to know something."
"Yes, dear?" she asked. Anna tilted her head at her.
"What do you mean?"
"Why help me at all?" Anna asked. "I mean, you just met me and all." The Hatter gave her a little smile.
"Oh," she replied, "Let's just say I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress."
"But how do you know I'm a damsel in distress?"
"Word travels fast," Watari's feminine counterpart said.
"Right," Anna muttered. This sounded rather convenient in this case. Can't be too open around this lady, she thought. The bar tender came back with their drinks.
On the other side of the bar, violet eyes watched them. The owner had a bad feeling about this situation, too. However, she couldn't interfere. It wasn't time just yet. For now, she could only watch, follow, and guide. Her stomach turned as she eyed Madam Hatter; for she knew what she was capable of.
Be careful, Anna-chan, the violet-eyed woman thought.
The mad Hatter looked down and noticed Anna's aquamarine and black pearl ring.
"That's a pretty ring," she said. Anna looked at her own hand.
"Thanks," she said. "My husband gave it me." A glint appeared in the Mad Hatter's eye.
"Why yes," Anna answered. The Mad Hatter eyed her closely.
"For how long?" she inquired.
"Six months tomorrow."
"A newlywed, huh?" Watari's counterpart asked. "Interesting." Her plot spun into action quicker than she plotted. Anna's stomach grumbled. She let out a small chuckle.
"I suppose you're hungry too, huh?" the Hatter asked. "When was the last time you ate?"
"Morning," Anna answered sheepishly.
"Damn," the other woman said. "Well, come by my place. I have plenty to eat." Anna looked rather uncertain about the idea.
"This late?" she asked. "But I don't really know you." The Hatter put her arm around her target's shoulders and hugged tightly.
"It's fine!" she said. "I have plenty to eat. Besides…" She leaned in close to Anna's ear. "I can help you get home to your husband." Anna bit her lower lip. Despite this possibly being a trap, Anna did need to get home. She lowered her eyes nervously.
"And you really mean this?" she asked.
"Of course," the Hatter insisted.
"You won't do anything weird?"
"I promise," the blonde pressed. "Now, let's go!" She hurried out of the bar before Anna had the chance argue. The bar tender shook her head as they left. She nudged her head toward the pair of violet eyes. The owner leapt to her feet.
Oh, right! I have to go after her! She paid her tab and raced out the door after Anna and Madam Hatter.