Creatures of the Night

Author: dlline (Diane Line)
Rating: NC-17. Nothing vague, nothing ambiguous, just simple smut tinged with some cold, hard violence. You might not want to read this at work. If you're looking for fluffy hugs and puppies, or if you have control issues, you might not want to read this either.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, so it belongs solely to me. The characters of Willow and Tara belong to Mutant Enemy. I make no claims, nor will I make any money from their use.
Feedback: Please, yes. .
Summary: This is a totally uber fic, so there are no spoilers. Read the story. No further explanation is necessary.
Notes: Special thanks to my beta (and my love) Chris. I couldn't do this without you.

Check out Diane's bio page at Bold Strokes Books, publishers of LGBTQ fiction and non-fiction, for news on D.L.'s upcoming published novels.

The night was cold and I was barely dressed for it. The streets of Berlin pulsed with life, despite the cold, as I wove my way through the maze of alleys in the dark, underground nightlife section of the huge city. A cacophonous mix of dance music created an odd sensation, the noise commingling in the air to create a feeling that rattles in your chest, rather than any one true sound. Scents drifted on the cold drafts from the sewers. Smoke, from tobacco and marijuana, liquor, cologne, Chinese food, exhaust, and industrial waste. Not a nice smell, but I wasn't in the nicest part of town.

None of it mattered to me as I headed toward the last door on the left side of the alley. I was here to do a job, an ugly job, but one that had to be done.

After a quick turn to face the door, I stopped. I had to take a couple of long breaths to quell the anxiety that was growing in my gut, as I smoothed out my very short, very tight, black dress, and steeled myself for the task at hand. Being truly good at a job doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy.

Especially when your job is killing people. That's never easy.

I stepped around a puddle and reached for the heavy iron handle on the blood-red door. Kind of appropriate, really, considering what I was there to do. After the initial assault of smoke and heavy German techno music, I stepped from the chill of the night into the sweaty heat of the club. Lights flashed, their colors dancing on the dingy, black walls, creating an odd effect on the pale faces that turned to see the face of the stranger at the door. Apparently, not a very interesting stranger. I watched as their eyes left mine and returned to the familiar faces of their friends.

Good. As it should be.

I walked in time to the beat of the music, past the tables at the edge of the crowded dance floor, and made a beeline for the bar, passing a mirrored wall on the way. Despite my desire to look away, I made eye contact with my own reflection. It never failed to amaze me how I could transform into anything that the job required. Every aspect, every detail of my appearance spoke of seduction this evening, and I truly looked the part. You can't play innocent in a dress that looks more like an elongated tube top and four-inch stiletto heels. Just doesn't work that way. I debated a quick trip to the ladies room to check my make-up, but there was really no need. Who really cares if your lipstick is smudged while you cut their throat? I certainly wouldn't.

I stepped up to the bar and watched as a bartender approached. He leaned across the black Formica surface and nodded, silently asking me what I wanted to drink.

"Absolut auf den Felsen."

He nodded again, and left to fetch my vodka on the rocks. As I turned to look around the club, I was again drawn to my own reflection in the mirror behind the bar. The make-up looked good, and my light brown hair fell in soft curls, arranging itself nicely around and down past the thin straps of my dress. The only thing out of place was something I could do nothing about. Blue eyes. Ice cold blue eyes that shone of death. Those frigid, unfeeling eyes stared back at me, daring me to look away, but I didn't.

They weren't always like that. Once, many years ago, they sparkled with innocence. Not any more. There's something about watching your family members as they're being shot, execution-style, in your own living room that changes your eyes. It sure changed mine. I've heard it said that revenge is a dish best served cold, but my reason for being in Berlin had nothing to do with revenge. It was work. It was cold, unfeeling work, and I suppose it was necessary, but that wasn't my decision to make. That decision belonged to the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States Government. And so did I.

I used to have a name. I have several now, depending on where I need to be and how I need to get there. I was christened Tara Maclay at birth, but she left the day her parents died. I might even still have a passport that says that, but it's just another alias, another name for a hired assassin with government authorization. I've been cold and numb for so long that a name just seems irrelevant.

The bartender returned with my vodka. I offered him a soft "Danke" as he set the icy glass on a napkin in front of me. I swirled the glass lightly, further chilling the clear liquid, as I became aware of eyes watching me. I made no move to react to the look; I just knew it was there. I reached into my small handbag, past my compact Walther PPK handgun, to retrieve money for my drink and the pack of cigarettes that I always carried on jobs like this one. After leaving ten euros on the bar, I pulled a smoke from the pack. Before I could get it all the way to my lips, a hand appeared in front of my face. A woman's delicate hand, short fingernails painted black, clutching an expensive Colibri lighter. The lighter clicked twice before catching, the flame leaping upwards as I leaned toward it to light my cigarette, drawing sharply to urge the tobacco to ignite. I turned my head to offer thanks to the face that belonged to the hand, but never got the words out as I felt a strong hand wrap itself around my upper arm from behind and a hypodermic needle as it buried itself in my neck.

The last thing that I recalled thinking, as my eyes rolled back into my head and my knees gave out, was that this was not good. Not good at all.

The first problem with Fentanyl is that it negates the passage of time. Knowing what I do about pharmaceuticals, I probably wasn't out that long, no more than an hour, but that was hardly an issue. What was an issue is that I was in trouble. Big trouble. Up to my ass in trouble, but I think you get the point.

The second problem with Fentanyl is the bitch of a headache that it leaves you with. And I had the mother of all headaches as I swam out of blackness toward consciousness. I'm pretty sure that there was enough surgical anesthetic in that hypodermic to knock out the entire defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I received every drop of it. And I was feeling it.

I struggled to lift my head, provoking an interesting sensation, one that made me feel like my brain was on fire. Bad idea. I moaned quietly, drawing the attention of the people in the room with me. I had no idea how many, but quickly dismissed the idea of counting them as I became aware of handcuffs biting into my wrists, holding my arms securely around the back of the hard wood chair in which I was seated. I immediately tried to take stock of my situation, and realized that my ankles were bound to the legs of the chair. Judging from the way my stockings moved as I twisted a foot to check things out, I could only assume that the binding material was duct tape. I almost laughed out loud as I realized that my decision to wear stockings and a garter belt was not a very good one, since my lack of underwear left me in a really compromising position. It just seems a little ridiculous to worry about panty lines when you're handcuffed and duct taped to a chair.

So, to sum it all up, I was basically screwed. Well, fuck.

Then I heard the voice. The same voice that I had heard for the first time several days before I left for Berlin. The voice that I had heard on the surveillance tapes from not one, but two agents who had been shot and killed attempting to carry out the mission to which I was currently assigned. The voice that preceded the sharp crack of a Walther PPK, just like my own, as first one, then six days later, another agent had their careers ended with a .32-caliber bullet between the eyes. The voice that offered only two words of explanation as to why its owner had murdered two US government agents.

"Bored now."

That voice haunted me, my fears made animate by its proximity to my own ears. While I struggled to make sense of the words in my anesthetic-addled brain, she continued to speak softly. Her words were calculated, almost clipped as she led me from my stupor with nothing but the sound of her voice and an almost gentle hand on the back of my neck.

"Welcome back, Ms. Maclay."

I tried to speak, to form some kind of answer, but the words were as of yet unavailable. A second attempt to move my head proved to be just as excruciating as the first, sending lightning bolts of pain down from the back of my head, through my neck and into the knotted muscles of my shoulders. I groaned softly as the hand on my neck began to gently work away the discomfort.

"Take your time, Ms. Maclay. Don't try to rush this. You're perfectly safe."

If it hadn't been so painful, I would have laughed out loud. She told me I was safe. Anesthetized, abducted, and bound to a chair in an unknown location, all orchestrated by a woman who was a known killer.

Yeah, I was safe. Sure.

I tried to digest the facts as I finally attempted to open my eyes. Unh, bad move. Searingly bright lights assaulted my retinas, launching more vicious bolts of pain down the back of my neck. I squeezed my eyes closed, but the damage was already done, so I slowly tried it again, this time with a little more success and marginally less pain. Focusing was difficult, but I found that I could do that too, as long as I did it slowly. She seemed to sense this. How remained a mystery since she was still behind me, almost taunting me with her soft hand on the back of my neck. The hand left my neck as I became aware of movement accompanied by the sound of footsteps moving back and away from me. I heard her voice again, as she dismissed the bodyguard, speaking in German that was just as perfect and precise as her English.

"Please, leave us alone."

"But, Ms. Rosenberg, I don't think..."

"GŁnter, you heard me. Go. Now."

Her last two words were chillingly reminiscent of the voice on the surveillance tapes lamenting its boredom at having to blow the brains out of not one, but two government agents. I failed to contain the shiver that shot down my spine at the coldness of that voice. I fought against my own panic as I heard the door close and lock behind me, and the unmistakable sound of high-heeled shoes on a hardwood floor, headed back in my direction. I could only assume that we were alone. That couldn't be good, but it did level the playing field a bit in my direction.

I felt a light brush against my bare shoulder as she returned, placing herself directly in front of me. My head remained lowered as a defense against the brightness of the overhead lighting as my eyes locked on the four-inch heels of her black boots, shoulder width apart, mere inches from the toes of my own black shoes. I struggled not to gasp with shock as the cold tip of a rather deadly looking knife found its way to the soft flesh just below my chin. She used the blunt edge of the blade to urge my head upwards, my gaze traveling along with it, noting the boots that ended just below her knees, the bare skin of her toned thighs, and the hem of her tight black leather minidress. Continuing up the zipper that ran the full length of the dress to the scoop neck and tank straps, she urged me to look her in the eye. Bright green eyes that held the dangerous sparkle of a hint of madness, framed nicely by straight, dark red hair that fell just below her chin. She smiled as our gaze locked, that kind of smile that comes from the knowledge that you're fully in control, and that there's nothing that anyone can do to change that fact. I wasn't going anywhere and she knew it. The knife was removed from my chin, leaving behind not so much as a scratch, as she stepped back, surveying her prize, and began to speak.

"Special Operative Tara Maclay of the Central Intelligence Agency. It's so lovely to meet you at last. I know that you know who I am, so let's not get bogged down with trivialities. Are you feeling a little better now? Not quite so foggy?"

I nodded and swallowed hard. My mouth was so dry that words were still impossible, but she sensed this as well.

"Oh, do forgive me, Ms. Maclay. I'm being an inattentive hostess." She turned, stepping around to the back of the desk that I was facing, and withdrew a small bottle of Evian water from a refrigerator hidden within the credenza behind the desk. After removing the cap, she returned and offered the water, helping me to drink. I finished almost half of the bottle in a long slug, stopping to breathe once before I drank the remainder in one last long gulp. She lowered her head to watch me, setting the now empty bottle on the desk behind her as I sputtered and gasped for air. I raised my head again, squinting against the light. She didn't miss that either, as she spoke into the air.

"Lights to forty percent."

I was more than a little impressed as the lights dimmed at her command. Nice touch. She asked another question.

"Better now?"

I nodded, quietly testing my own voice as I answered.

"Yes. Thank you."

"Good. The water should help your headache as well. I can assume that you are familiar with Fentanyl and its aftereffects. Correct?"

I nodded the affirmative.

"Wonderful. Then you know that its effects are short lived. I figure you'll have the headache for about another thirty minutes, but that we can have a little chat sooner than that. Wouldn't you agree?"

My head really was beginning to clear as I nodded my agreement. Despite the throbbing in my skull, I decided to jump in with both feet.

"What would you like to chat about?"

She returned my question with a smile that I couldn't quite decipher.

"I could think of a few things that I'd like to chat about with you, but how about if we start with an old favorite of mine? One I'm sure you'll be familiar with as well. Dr. Robert Maclay."

That cold-hearted bitch could have hit me with a sledgehammer and it wouldn't have hurt any less. I gritted my teeth and answered her.

"What does my father have to do with any of this? He's dead."

She returned my comment with a look, that kind of look that a smart-assed brat gives you on the playground when they know something that you don't. If I could have gotten my hands free, I would have smacked that evil smirk right off her face. Hard. But she just kept grinning as she shook her head from side to side, letting me know that she did, in fact, believe that she knew something that I didn't.

"I don't think so, Ms. Maclay."

That's when I lost it.

"What the fuck do you know about anything? You're a murderous bitch, a parasite that I've been sent here to exterminate."

Despite the handcuffs and duct tape, she stepped back just a little as my rage took over and I fought against the restraints. I only succeeded in hurting my wrists as I pulled against the steel cuffs, finally giving in when I realized that all of the anger in the world wasn't getting me off that chair. She simply waited for me to calm myself, stepping back toward me when she had decided that I was done struggling and ready to listen to her again.

"Well, Ms. Maclay, I actually know a great deal more than you could possibly imagine. Your father is not only alive, but also responsible for the execution of your mother, brother, and countless others."

She hesitated, I could only assume to allow me to digest what she had told me. I didn't believe a word of it, but circumstance forced me to hear her out as she continued.

"Yes, your father is very much alive. His death was staged, with you left alive to serve as witness to his apparent demise." She turned and walked around the back of the desk again, this time pulling a mysterious file out of the top drawer and tossing it across the polished mahogany surface where it came to rest inches in front of me. "And I have the proof of that right in there." She pointed to the file for emphasis.

I looked to the file and then back toward her, eyes locking over the contents of the plain, manila folder. Everything would have been fine and dandy if I had had x-ray vision, but I don't. Realization dawned as she remembered my plight.

"Again, Ms. Maclay, my apologies." She leaned across the desk, offering me a spectacular ringside view of her breasts squeezed into the tight, black leather, and opened the folder, revealing a single black and white surveillance photo. The picture looked just like the ones that I saw every day at work, with the exception of one thing. The subject.

I gasped lightly, unable to contain my surprise as I registered the face of the man in the photo. A little grayer around the temples, a few more lines around the eyes, but I knew that face as well as I knew my own. A face that I last saw twenty years earlier as a hood was placed over his head and a Russian-made Makarov pistol fired one shot into the back of his skull.

But it was him. My father, here, in a photo time-stamped a mere three weeks prior. An apparently happy image, eyes squinted slightly, mouth open, suggesting a man who had just been told something funny on the way to lunch. I was dumbfounded, but her voice pulled me out of it again.

"Well, Ms. Maclay, you can see clearly here that I was telling you the truth."

I struggled again for words, not against the pain, but against the overwhelming sense of betrayal.


She just continued to look at me as my words trailed off, lost in the confusion of my own thoughts. I'm not sure what I really thought at the time, seeing that photograph, except that I was enraged. She waited for me to ask another question.

"What about my mother and brother?"

The expression on her face actually softened, like she didn't want to be the one to tell me what I already knew.

"They are dead. And your father killed them." She paused long enough to let that little tidbit of information sink in and continued. "Just like he orchestrated the execution of my own mother and father." She paused again, but this time I realized it was to collect herself before continuing. "So you see, Ms. Maclay, we have something in common."

The light was finally beginning to dawn and I began to understand why she had gone to such lengths to abduct me. This was all about revenge, but not mine.


As the realization hit me, I felt a strange wash of relief. This was it; this was how it was going to end. I had nothing to lose, so I put it out there.

"So, you're going to exact your revenge for my father's actions on me. That's pretty clichťd, don't you think?"

For the second time that evening, I really wanted to slap her for her reaction. She started to laugh, tossing her head back and wrapping an arm around her own midsection in a failed attempt to restrain her mirth.

"Oh, Ms. Maclay, you cut me to the quick. You can't seriously believe me to be that shallow now, can you?" She didn't let me answer before she continued. "You don't understand me at all."

God dammit, this bitch just never quit.

"No, Ms. Rosenberg, I suppose I don't. I know that you murdered two CIA agents, apparently in an attempt to lure me here. You'll understand my confusion."

She was finally starting to calm from her rather boisterous fit of laughter as she sat down behind the desk and attempted to piece together an explanation that would satisfy me.

"Yes, Ms. Maclay, I do understand. As for the first two agents... well, that was unfortunate, but I needed to send a message to the CIA. One that I was sure they would understand."

She hesitated again as if she understood my need to process her words slowly.

"What I wanted was you. You're the best at what you do, and I wanted to procure your services. I really didn't think I could simply call you up and invite you over. I fear you would have thought me insane, or perhaps just quirky, but I need your help."

For the second time that evening, and I suspected not the last, I had no idea what to think. She reclined in her high-backed executive desk chair, and put her booted feet up on the desk, crossing them at the ankles. Fiddling idly with her knife, she waited for me to digest what she'd just said.

She wanted my help. The only thing I could think was that I couldn't imagine why the fuck she wanted me. That thought led me to my next question as I squirmed in my seat, hoping that if I played it right, she'd release me and I could deal with her at last.

"Why me?"

She smiled again, that maddening grin that I was actually becoming accustomed to. Leaning her head back, she studied a spot on the ceiling as she answered my question.

"Well, Ms. Maclay, I actually have several answers for that question. I've already covered the first one. You are the best at what you do. And as you can see by simply looking around this room," she waved her hand idly in the air to punctuate her point, "I have a fondness for the best."

I was forced to agree with her as my head was finally clear enough to take in my surroundings. Priceless works of art on the walls, expensive Oriental rug on the floor, the computer-controlled, voice-activated lighting. All of it spoke of opulence. Right down to the 17th century mahogany desk that still supported her feet. I could only nod my agreement as she proceeded down her list.

"Secondly, I've watched your work for long enough to know that you have a, what shall we call it? Perhaps tense is the best word to describe your relationship to your employers. I surmised that when I told you that your father had faked his own demise, you'd be shocked. But perhaps not so shocked as to believe me when I told you that the Central Intelligence Agency, the very people for whom you work, was behind him, actually setting the whole thing up with you as a thirteen-year-old witness to the execution of the only family you'd ever known. Nice folks you work for there, wouldn't you agree?"

I was right earlier. Again, I didn't know what to think or even believe for that matter. Pragmatism seemed my best option, so I asked the question.

"You have proof of this?"

She nodded her affirmation as she slid her knife silently into the top of her boot.

"Of course."

In a repeat of her earlier action, she pulled a file from within the confines of her desk, tossing it across the surface to land just inches from me. I was, of course, unable to do anything but stare at the damned thing. Again, she displayed that she was aware of my predicament, as she got up from her chair and leaned across the desk to open the folder. I sensed an opportunity.

"No, Ms. Rosenberg, not this time. You want something from me, but I need something from you first. Release me, then I'll look at the file."

I'd swear that I could see the wheels turning in her head as her eyes locked with mine. The decision had to have been difficult, but she made the right one. Well, the right one in my opinion anyway, as she stepped out from behind the desk, pulled a small key from within the bodice of her tight leather dress, and moved around behind my own chair. I heard the key, felt the handcuffs release as she gently urged them off my wrists, and enjoyed the sensation of finally being able to move my arms. I can't say for sure what she was thinking as she returned to a spot right in front of me, half-standing, half-sitting on the edge of the desk, while I stretched and urged the blood back into my cramped shoulders.

If I had been in her position, I never would have let me go, but she again seemed to know something that I didn't. She didn't move a muscle as I reached toward her boot, removed the knife she'd placed there moments before, and sliced through the duct tape holding my ankles to the chair. She didn't even blink as I stood up, grabbed her by the throat, and placed the razor-sharp blade of that evil little knife about an inch below her left ear. What she did do shocked me more than any revelation that I'd seen yet that evening.

With an eerie calm, she tilted her head to the right, offering me a clear angle of attack to her smooth, pale neck. Simultaneously reaching forward with both hands, she grabbed my hips, pulling them snug up against her own as she spoke softly, almost whispering to me.

"Before you do that, cut my throat that is, you really might want to look over that file. There are some truly interesting things in there that you need to see." She wasn't smiling this time, but her serene, almost seductive demeanor led me to believe that she knew me even better than I knew myself. She continued, "Plus, you have to be aware of the fact that if you do kill me, you'll never leave this room. I have someone outside to see to that."

God dammit, this bitch had a titanium set of balls. Well, not actually, because I certainly would have felt that considering the way she was holding me, practically grinding her pelvis against mine. Anyway, I knew she was right. I could very neatly cut her throat and maybe get as far as the door, where I'm sure GŁnter was waiting, silenced pistol in hand, to blow my brains out. She smiled again as I disengaged my hold on her neck and lowered the knife. Releasing her grip on my hips, she reached to her left, retrieved the file from the surface of the desk, and handed it to me.

"Thank you, Ms. Maclay. I am honored by your trust."

I had to laugh as I accepted the file from her hand and returned to my chair.

"Trust is a strong word here, Ms. Rosenberg. Let's just see what's in this file first before I decide whether or not to trust you, okay?"

She nodded her acceptance of my statement as she used both hands to lever herself up onto the surface of the desk, offering me what I could only assume to be an intentional crotch shot. No, definitely no balls there, as evidenced by the blatant display of her lack of underwear. I could only shake my head, wondering what she was up to, as I turned my attention to the file in my hands.

With more than a little trepidation, I opened the manila folder, noting that the papers were photocopies of standard CIA reports, all dated twenty years prior. Mostly typewritten tales of execution, nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Well, not out of the ordinary if your career involves international espionage and murder. But, it was comfortable territory for me. Until I caught a glimpse of familiar handwriting. My father's handwriting, really just scribbles and amendments in the margins, as well as his signature added with a flourish at the bottom of the page, closing the report. I allowed a small wash of sadness as I thought back to the last time I'd seen his signature, proudly scrawled across the bottom of my straight-A, eighth grade report card. But this was no report card. This was the report of a death warrant, issued by the CIA against my family, seen out to its heinous conclusion by my own father. The fact that my own eighth-grade school picture grinned back at me didn't make it any easier, as I pushed aside the sadness and came to realize that everything I was, everything that I had become since, was orchestrated by him.

That bastard.

I collected myself enough to look up from the papers in my hand, meeting her steely, green gaze. I couldn't be sure what she was thinking, but she took that responsibility from me as she spoke.

"Please, Ms. Maclay, read the next one."

Doing as requested, I turned the report of my family's demise over, replacing it with the next report in the stack. It looked almost identical, right down to my father's scribbles in the margins, with two exceptions. The photograph of a smiling, redheaded thirteen-year-old girl, green eyes sparkling with a child's innocence, and the name of the victims.


The fact that this second report was dated a mere ten days later wasn't lost on me. Drs. Ira and Sheila Rosenberg, a team of East German scientists in the same field of study as my father, apparently deemed to be enemies of the United States and dealt with accordingly. And their only daughter left alive to serve as witness to that fact. I knew right then and there why she wanted me here, why she needed my help, but I vocalized my concerns anyway.

"And what is it that you want from me?" I motioned idly at the folder, now closed and sitting in my lap. "Are we going to go riding off into the sunset to hunt down my father? Is that the plan?"

I watched her as a small smile crossed her features and she shook her head to indicate that she had other plans.

"No, Ms. Maclay, that's not exactly what I had in mind. You see, your father is merely a cog in a much larger machine. A machine that I would love to see shut down forever. This is not about anything as pedestrian as revenge." She leaned forward from her seat on the desk, her face now mere inches from my own, a touch of madness returning to her eyes. "This is about power and control. They have it. I want it. And I need you to help me get it."

While I certainly understood what she was saying, specifically about power and control, I was still unsure about what she wanted from me. Again, she demonstrated that she knew me well enough to continue with her statement, anticipating my next question before I even asked it.

"It's terribly simple if you think about it, Ms. Maclay. I have resources. I have money, loyal employees, weapons, everything I need to make a truly powerful statement. The one thing I don't possess is a network. Simply put, I have the goods but not the people. And the people that I need are people that you know. You know the system, you travel amongst these people. You are the best solution to my problem."

I did understand what she was telling me. It made perfect sense. What still eluded me was who exactly she was targeting, so I asked the question.

"And you think these people can help you. I'm not sure..."

She stopped my words with a gently placed finger to my lips, again answering my question before I could even ask it.

"Not these people. You. You can help me. No one else."

"So, you'd like me to work for you. I don't think..."

Stopping my words, again with a simple touch, she sat back and took a deep breath. I'd swear that she looked a little frustrated, but I came to realize, rather quickly, that her frustration was not with me, but with her own inability to make me understand her predicament. I knew that she was choosing her words carefully, most likely because she came to the realization, somewhere around the same time that I did, that I was listening, opening to the idea more and more with each statement out of her mouth. She took another deep breath, finally confident that she had found the necessary words, and continued.

"Ms. Maclay, I have spent the better part of the twenty years since the execution of my family trying to make things right in my own head. I've come to understand that the only way I can do this is to take the power from those who took my power from me. I know you, of all people, will understand me when I tell you that I died that day. The day those bastards murdered my mother and father."

I could see that her veneer of calm had finally cracked. I could hear it in her voice. She didn't offer tears, but anger, as she spit her next words out, venomously, through clenched teeth, punctuating her tirade with her hands, striking at the surface of the desk repeatedly with her closed fist.

"And for what? State secrets? Rocket fuel? Who honestly gives a fuck? Why they did it doesn't matter to me anymore. They took my power and control from me, and I will have it back, if it takes me until my dying day to do it."

And with that, everything became crystal clear to me. I chose my next words carefully, needing her to understand that I did, in fact, know exactly what she meant.

"And you need a partner, an equal who knows what you know, and feels what you feel."

She nodded furiously as I continued.

"You need someone exactly like yourself. A mirror image of your own damaged soul. Someone with enough hatred and lust for your cause, who is willing to stop at nothing to see it through. Someone like me, the walking dead, with no compunctions, no fear of the outcome."

She surprised me again as she almost leapt from the desk, landing squarely on both feet, and pulled me into a standing position by my upper arms. Never letting go, she put my thoughts into her own words, her face centimeters from my own, her eyes boring hotly into mine, her words warm breath on my lips.

"Yes, yes. Exactly. You see, Ms. Maclay, I've been watching you for a very long time. Studying your moves, your habits. I know you, perhaps better than you know yourself. We are cut from the same cloth. You and I are the living, breathing undead. Creatures of the night. Feeding on the blood of the living, exchanging human lives for money and material gain. Not like the fictional undead, vampires on an inane television program, but simple hatred incarnate. We are what those bastards made us into, and now they're going to pay."

I had no words to respond, choosing only to nod my agreement. I felt the depth of her need as surely as I knew my own. And as if she hadn't done it enough, she shocked me again as she removed her hands from my upper arms, releasing the grip that I was sure had left finger-shaped bruises behind. She moved quickly, placing her hands on either side of my face, pulling me toward her, closing the gap, tilting her head, crushing her mouth against mine in a searing kiss that stole my breath away.

I reacted out of instinct, as if I had been attacked. Remembering that I still had her knife, I pulled it out, as I pushed back, her motion impeded by the desk behind her. I clearly saw the flash of something in her eyes as tempered steel made the lightest contact with skin, finally making the connection in my own head. The way she had responded, pulling me close as I had threatened her before, the dangerous blade flush with the pulse of the jugular vein in her neck. It was all there in that razor-sharp edge. All of the power and control that she wanted.

And she was giving it to me. Her chin jutted out defiantly, daring me to take it.

And just like that, I did. In a repeat performance of our earlier little dance, I raised my left hand, wrapping my fingers around her throat, pushing upwards against her jaw, forcing her to continue looking at me. I slid the knife, turning it slightly so as not to inflict any serious damage, tracing a line starting just below her left ear. I could hear the hiss of her ragged breathing, drawn hotly through clenched teeth as the tip of the blade trailed lower, down her neck, across to the hollow of her throat, and down again to the top of the brass zipper that divided the front of her leather dress.

For the first time since the death of my family, I became aware of another sensation. I could feel the heat and energy of my own blood, pounding wildly through every inch of my body. My own breathing grew ragged as I looked down to the tip of the knife, noting the way her breasts heaved as she panted against the blade pressed lightly to the center of her chest, a single drop of blood welling up to roll free down her sternum. Her hands pulled urgently at my hips, again urging me closer, grinding her need roughly into my pelvis.

With the strength that comes from years of dealing out justice to the deserving, I yanked her away from the desk by the neck, pulling the knife back as I turned and propelled her bodily against the closest wall. She hit with a dull thud, impacting hard enough to knock one of her priceless Tang dynasty vases to the floor where it shattered like a grenade with a sharp crash. Ignoring this loss, she watched me as I closed the distance, stopping only long enough to stab the knife violently into the woodwork before I pinned her to the wall with my hand around her throat.

I'm not sure what compelled me to hesitate, but it didn't last long as I felt hot breath against my face, her fiery gaze boring into mine, and two simple words spoken through clenched jaws telling me everything I needed to hear.

"Take it."

With my free hand, I slowly worked down the zipper of her dress. I stopped half-way, noting the rich, black satin of her bra as I realized that it was in my way. Removing the knife from the wall with a quick tug, I turned the blade, sliding the blunt edge up against her chest, and sliced the offending undergarment neatly in two. She grunted her approval as I returned the knife to paneling, released her throat and savagely yanked her dress open with both hands. Her small, perfect breasts spilled forth as she watched me lower my head, stopping long enough to lick the thin trail of blood from her chest, taking from her just as she'd requested.

I became aware of her hands on my ass, again pulling urgently, her need for friction driving her mad as I took her breasts, one in each hand, and squeezed hard, roughly teasing out her nipples. I looked up, intending to gauge her reaction, but saw only her closed eyelids as she knocked her head against the wall, whispering her mantra that was now so intimately familiar to me.

"Take it...take it... take it...please, take it."

The thought idly rambled through my lust-addled brain that she was totally and completely at my mercy. I could have yanked that wicked blade right from the wall and finished the job that I was sent to do, because she was now mine to do with as I pleased. But I couldn't do it. The one thing that stopped me from my work was that I realized, simultaneously, that I was hers too, our shared purpose forging a bond that no one outside of that room could possibly comprehend. With that understanding, I experienced a wash of peace that I had never known.

I snapped back to reality as I felt her hands leave my ass, her fingers clawing desperately at my shoulders. She didn't need to tell me what she wanted. I could tell as she hooked a booted foot around my leg that she needed me, needed my hands and fingers, needed me to fuck her. Releasing her breasts, I returned my left hand to her throat, applying just enough pressure to remind her that I was there to take what she was offering, while I trailed a path with my other hand down her heated torso. The combination of the shortness of her dress and her previously-established lack of underwear made my task easy as I reached down to stroke her, momentarily marveling at just how wet and ready she was. One long pass, followed by another served to lubricate my fingers, the only preamble necessary before I shoved three fingers roughly up into her.

I felt more than heard the rattling expulsion of breath that she released as I slid into her. She continued to claw at my shoulder, releasing my other one to drape her arm over her head as I let go of her throat and slid my hand around her back to help keep her upright. Pulling harder with her leg around mine, she spurred me on, urging me to take from her, driving down with her hips while I thrust up with my fingers. Faster, harder, none of it seemed like enough as I lowered my shoulder to improve the angle of attack. Gritting my teeth against the effort required to give her what she so desperately wanted, I felt her urgency as muscles began to contract, pulling me in deeper with each thrust.

I might have been hurting her, but I didn't know for sure, and she certainly didn't seem to care. She became a picture of raw desperation and need as she clawed at the wall over her head, searching for anything to hang onto against the energy I could sense coiling in her gut. And then I heard the growl, knowing exactly what it meant as she started to come, grabbing my shoulders with such force that I knew she was leaving bruises behind. I just didn't care anymore as I felt my own desire, wet heat crawling down the inside of my thighs, my body reacting to what I had just done to her.

She unhooked her boot from my leg to improve her footing, spreading herself wider against my thrusting as she continued to come. I wasn't sure she was ever going to stop, and I actually found myself hoping that she never did. It was too good, watching her face, contorted in ecstasy as she removed one hand from my shoulder to pound it repeatedly against the wall. I'd never seen such satisfaction in my life, and I could honestly say that I'd never been that turned on before, watching someone enjoy my attentions in that manner.

Not like she gave me long to think about it.

In an almost superhuman display of recovery, she pulled at the front of my dress, knocking me off balance, forcing me to let go of her. My back hit the wall with such force that it knocked the wind out of me, forcing me to gasp for air. I became dimly aware, through my surprise and haze of lust, that she had me now. Pinned to the wall with one hand flat against my chest, I watched from the corner of my eye as she pulled her knife from the woodwork. She twirled it in her palm to improve her grip, bringing it to bear perpendicular to my throat. I saw the madness glistening in her eyes as she licked her lower lip, studying me like a wildcat stalking its prey.

I had no idea what she was thinking at that moment, but I must admit to another flash of trepidation as she forced my chin up with the side of the blade. I felt the skin break, just a small cut, and the warm trickle of blood down my neck. A stray thought crossed my mind, just a flash really, hoping that she'd at least be decent enough to fuck me first if this had all been an elaborate ruse before killing me. My fears dissipated as she lowered the knife, using it to cut the straps of my dress before stabbing it back into its place, buried an inch deep in the wall.

I felt a second drip of blood down my neck right before she turned her attentions to that spot, cleaning me up with a long swipe of her tongue. The cut was so clean that there was no pain, but that changed quickly as she latched onto my neck with her teeth, biting me hard enough that I was forced to bite my own lip to keep from crying out. I could tell that she knew exactly what she was doing, creating just enough pain in my nerve endings to heighten my other senses. Biting and sucking her way down my neck, across the plane of my upper chest, and down toward my cleavage, before her progress was halted by the top of my black dress.

She looked up, meeting my eyes one last time, before roughly yanking down the top of my dress, exposing my breasts to the chill air of the room. My nipples were already painfully erect as a result of her earlier trip down my neck, but she didn't let that stop her. She sucked and bit, and rolled and teased, almost torturing me with her attention to detail. Neglecting nothing, she divided her time equally between both of my breasts as she allowed her hands to trail down my hips and around to my ass, squeezing the firm flesh with her strong hands. Her attentions stopped long enough for her to get down on her knees, face level with my throbbing pussy before she pulled me closer with her hands on my ass. I quickly understood her intentions as she urged me to throw a leg over her shoulder, wrapping it around her back as she dove into my wet arousal with her tongue.

In a display of strength that I would have never imagined myself capable of, I managed to remain upright, somehow leveraging myself against the wall with one hand while I grabbed a fistful of red hair with the other. Her hot mouth on my pussy was driving me wild, her hands slipped up under my dress kneading my bare ass only adding to the delicious torment. I pulled at her hair, not giving a shit if I hurt her or not, while my head rolled against the wall. She seemed to sense that the time was right, urging me to finally give up and cry out as she slid first two, then three fingers roughly into me. Oh god, she was sucking me and fucking me and it was all just so good that I didn't want it to ever stop. I knew I was close, though, as I felt a chill shoot down my right leg and a sensation that felt like fire in my lower belly. She just kept thrusting and licking me, finally forcing me over the edge with a shout as the world exploded behind my eyes.

But that wasn't enough for her. She kept right on pushing with a tenacity that I could barely comprehend, until I was forced to pull her face out of my crotch by her hair. Looking up with that evil little grin on her face that I'd seen so many times that evening, she locked eyes with me, licking my juice off her chin while she reclaimed her fingers, and eased me down to join her on the floor. I had nothing left. She could have killed me right then and there, and I wouldn't have cared less.

Once she had me situated on the ground, she got up, zipped her dress, crossed the office to her desk, and removed my small handbag from one of the lower drawers. While I pulled up and rearranged my own dress, she opened my purse, removed one cigarette from the pack and grabbed her lighter from the top of the desk, sparking the butt to life. Drawing heavily, she urged the tobacco to ignite, inhaling deeply before returning the smoke to the air with a rush. She came back to sit with me, offering me the cigarette, which I accepted, and she finally spoke.

"So, Ms. Maclay, we're in agreement?"

I laughed lightly as I exhaled a stream of smoke, nodding to indicate the affirmative.

"Yes, Ms. Rosenberg, we are absolutely in agreement." I hesitated, needing to ask her about something that was bothering me. "There's just one more thing..."

She cocked an eyebrow, meeting my comment with a silent question.

"You seemed fairly certain that I'd be leaving with you tonight. Why?"

She smiled and offered an explanation.

"Well, I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that we'd be leaving together. I had hoped that it wouldn't be in matching body bags, but I knew you'd be coming with me either way. This way is better, don't you agree?"

I nodded my agreement as I handed the cigarette back to her. She accepted it as she got up off the floor and returned to her desk. Punching a button on the intercom, she alerted her bodyguard that it was time to leave.

"GŁnter, please bring the car around. Ms. Maclay will be joining me for dinner at home."

I heard his voice through the speaker as he answered.

"Right away, Ms. Rosenberg. Shall I call ahead to have a room prepared for Ms. Maclay?"

She looked right at me again, quirking her eyebrow in another silent question. I closed my eyes and nodded my head, mouthing the word no in silent response.

"No, thank you, GŁnter. Ms. Maclay will be staying in my room."

"Very good, ma'am."


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