Unleashed Ch. 10bycassandraharper©
"You know, Hellion, I'm starting to think that this is becoming too customary between you and me," Eithne said holding up the wall as he literally watched Jessica attempting to sneak out the front door.
She recognized the seriousness in his Irish accented tone and rolled her eyes. "Perhaps if you stopped treating me like a horny, teenage girl willing to run out of the house to have crazy, abandoned sex, this little ritual between you and me wouldn't be so...ritualistic."
"Sarcasm. That's a new one," Eithne dryly replied. "Where are you going?"
Jessica leaned against the door with her arms crossed over her chest and swore that she saw Eithne's eyes bulge out of their sockets. "My sling is in my room. I don't need it."
"When did you become a doctor?"
"Look Mr. Irish Know It All, I'm tired of you acting like my father. He's dead and has been dead since I was eighteen. I've been doing great without him, God rest his soul, so don't feel the need to think that you have to take his place. And speaking of fathers, Dan is wandering around here somewhere. If you don't want him uncovering our dirty little secrets, I think that you should find him. He'll occupy your time."
"Dan has been gone for several days now. I sent him off myself and told him to stay out of trouble because the next time I won't be able to help him."
It was now Jessica's turn to look like a deer in headlights. "What?"
"Like I would let him stick around for too long when things are getting more dangerous," Eithne told her with a 'no duh' look on his face. He smiled when it took her some time to respond, but by then he was already standing in front of her, pulling her gently into him for a possessive kiss. "And if I was truly your father, I would throw you over my knee and lay hands on your sweet. *kiss* Chocolate. *kiss* Arse." He kissed her once more then waited for her to speak.
"I'm leaving because I have a lot of things to settle. Now that we're out of the red with Shorty, almost everyone has heard of what has happened. This is a major move for us now that we have officially obtained all of his territory. We're expanding again and we have to stake our claim before anyone gets it in their idiotic mind to go against us. I have so much work on my plate and I need you to be understanding."
"Then allow me to help."
"You're joking," Jessica said looking up into his changeling eyes to find that he was dead serious. "No, no," she repeated pulling away from him while shaking her head. "I keep telling you that I cannot and will not get you involved with all of this."
"Jessica whether you realize it or not, I'm already involved and it's not as bad as you think it will be."
Jessica scoffed at his statement walking towards the kitchen to lean against the island. "This is not some kind of game, Eithne. This is my life."
"Oh really? Remind me again when I thought that this was Call of Duty? Oh yes, Hellion, you are so damn sexy running around with guns and knives and I love the way you can break someone's back without hesitation. Those are qualities I look for in a future bride," he told her with his voice dripping sarcasm.
"Don't take that tone of voice with me," Jessica warned feeling frustrated. Why couldn't he understand that she didn't want him to be hurt?
"I mean, what, Jessica? What exactly do you want or expect from me?"
"Really? Is that why you keep me inside of this godforsaken mansion while you are out gallivanting about—"
"Eithne, why can't you understand—"
"What? Understand bloody what?!"
"That I'm only trying to protect you!"
They stopped arguing both confused as to when it had transformed from a simple discussion to a dispute with raised voices.
"Don't you think that I've killed enough people to know what remorse feels like?" she asked more softly. "I may be cold-blooded, but my heart still beats. If I had your blood on my hands...that would just..." She stopped talking to walk away, but Eithne intercepted her.
"That would just what, Jessica?" His eyes searched her own for the answer hidden behind her mask of calm. He knew that she was trying to shut him out; nevertheless, he pushed harder, kissing her softly before asking her again. "That would just what?"
"Kill me," Jessica whispered. "I'm so deeply in love with you that it fucking freaks me out and I'm becoming paranoid. I'm afraid that if someone sees you with me, they'll come after you. If you even mention my name, you'll get taken just like Grecko did and I'll have to relive that damn nightmare all over again. I don't want to. Got it," she said then stormed into her room slamming the door behind her.
Eithne sighed, if only Jessica knew who he really was then she wouldn't be so worried for his safety. He should just tell her. He wanted to tell her, but he was sworn to secrecy. The only way he would ever consider letting the cat out of the bag was after they were married because he had no plan on getting a divorce once married to a magnificent woman like Jessica. She deserved to know, but considering the fact that not even his parents knew about his true occupation...he preferred to keep it that way.
"Jessica, I'm coming in," he said before opening her room door. He didn't know what to expect entering her room, but finding her cleaning an automatic was not one of them. In that instant, he knew with a surety that Jessica was definitely the one. He kneeled before her very proud at the rapidity in which she reassembled her gun. He knew that she was using it as an excuse to avoid eye contact although she would be listening. So he spoke. "Hellion, you have to realize that I'm not as weak as I appear to be."
"Yeah, well, my father was once the strongest man that I ever knew in this entire world," she told him putting down the gun to stare at her brown thighs. "But that all changed one night and now he's gone."
From the tremor in her voice and her shifty eyes, Eithne knew that she didn't speak of her father much because then she would be forced to relive the entire ordeal, and although she had gotten over her violation, she had yet to let go of her father's murder. "Well, you know, I took karate. I went all the way to a yellow belt," he teased only to see her smile. She didn't need to know that he was an eighth degree black belt in karate, skilled in judo, taekwondo, and even capoeira, all that mattered was that she smiled. And she did.
"Ooh, I'm shaking in my boots."
"And you should be because my karate chops are nothing to take lightly." He gave her a crooked grin that earned him a kiss. "Jessica, I just want you to trust that I'll always be by your side no matter how dangerous or boring things get. You don't ever have to worry about any type of harm coming to either of us."
"You're so stubborn."
"That's why we get along so well. Now let's get out of here. You can boss me around as much as you want, but you're not leaving alone.
Jessica rolled her eyes hopelessly, "Fine, whatever. What we can do is put you in training," she suggested exiting her bedroom to grab her purse.
"Training?" Eithne snorted. If only she knew the extent of his self-defense training, she would also know that he could kill a man with a thumb tack. He already had. "That's...that's something."
"Yeah, I'll get Marc to look into it. He has police training, you know."
"Ah, Jessica, how adorable you are. You should really be wearing your sling."
She snorted, opening the door to walk to the awaiting car, "I take it off next week. I don't think that doing so in advance is going to kill me." Their light banter ceased as soon as their feet crossed the boutique's doorway. Jessica became all business. Eithne could see why her sisters depended upon her so much, she was a natural born leader and possessed the ability to make anyone listen to her speak even if it was about insecticides.
"Ground zero," she was saying into the receiver while her quick fingers flew across the keyboard. "Liquidize it all and make it disappear. I don't want anything to be left out. I heard that the Trap Brothers are getting too proud. Send them a message to remind them of their place."
Eithne shivered. How could one woman look so damn sexy while threatening someone's life? He almost forgot about the e-mails he was verifying, a task he had demanded that she give him, but he was becoming distracted by the obvious aura of power emanating from her. He wanted to throw her on her desk and work her out.
"What did you find out?" Jessica asked feeling his eyes on her.
"Nothing much. Most of these e-mails are verifying that your plans are going well. There are several transactions that have been processed and Maria has sent a reminder for her dinner party coming up in a few nights."
"Damn it, I almost forgot about that. I need to get her a gift. What do you think we should get her?"
Eithne shrugged his shoulders. "I'll be there. Shouldn't that be enough?"
Jessica gave him the side eye, "Is there something going on between the two of you that you'd like to tell me about?"
He smiled, leaning back in his arm chair to look at her. "Green-eyed are we?"
"Kiss my ass."
"I will later tonight."
Jessica felt flustered. For a lack of a better comeback, she said the first thing that came to mind no matter how lame it seemed, "Go home." She swiveled about in her chair to her file cabinet while Eithne's laughter followed her. Nice, she thought. Real nice.
"You want to get rid of me that badly?"
"Actually, Marc sent me a message over an hour ago saying that he wanted to talk to you. Something about research information. What are you up to?" She looked back at him with a look that told him to stay out of trouble.
"Absolutely nothing, love." He logged out of the e-mail account making sure to shut down the laptop before going to her for a farewell kiss. "I'll see you later."
"If that's all it took to get rid of him, I would have told him sooner," Jessica mumbled to herself snatching up her phone once he was gone. "Dasha, I'm going to give Maurice a visit. Take care of the Traps and we'll check in later."
Eithne returned to the mansion in record time, inviting himself into Marc and Grecko's section of the house. "Yo Marc, you still here, mate?"
"Yeah," Marc whispered with a finger over his lip as he carefully inched his bedroom door closed. "Grecko is taking a nap." Over the few weeks after the sister's confrontation with Shorty, Grecko was steadily recovering. Her body was still slightly bruised, but she was doing much better.
"Where's the little munchkin?" Eithne asked looking about for her.
"She's still at my parents' house. We decided to leave her there until Kallisto is back to one hundred percent."
"That's a good idea. So Jessica told me that you wanted to talk to me?"
"Oh yea, dude, I'm sorry for my slack ass not moving faster," Marc said sheepishly. "With everything that's been going on with the girls and Shorty, I didn't have the time to research that bastard, but I bring glad tidings. I have his recent contact information."
"Jessica's ex Charles Ryder?"
Eithne wore a smile so big on his lips that Marc actually felt badly for the guy. If Grecko wasn't in such bad shape, he would have tagged along to make sure that Eithne didn't do any serious damage.
"What are you planning to do?" he asked just to be sure.
"I only want to talk to him."
"Sure you do," Marc replied skeptically. Eithne only smiled at him smugly as he held out his hand for the information. He placed the paper on his palm almost guilty for giving a sheep over to a hungry wolf.
Eithne turned to leave then changed his mind. "What do you know about Maria Ventura?"
"She's a sweet old lady. Why?"
"Nothing," Eithne told him with a shrug. "Jessica and I are going to one of her dinner parties and I thought perhaps you'd be able to help us choose a present for her."
"I think she has some kind of carpet fetish."
"A carpet fetish?" Eithne asked confused.
"Yeah, she collects old rugs and carpets. And I'm not talking about ones that you put in the living room, but ones that can be hung on a museum wall and take up almost all of it."
"Tell me about it," Marc agreed.
Eithne didn't waste time looking Charles up as soon as he left Marc. He wasn't the type to beat around the bush. He went downtown to Charles's office and flirted his way past reception right into his office.
"Fancy place for a banking analyst," he commented with a whistle as he plopped down behind Charles's mahogany wood desk. He toyed around with his trinkets, regarded his family photos littering his desk, tossed paperclips into the waste basket, and even rummaged through his snack drawer. Everyone has a snack draw.
"Who the hell are you?"
Eithne popped a Skittle into his mouth, assessing Charles face to face. The guy was not unattractive. Being comfortable with his sexuality, Eithne admitted that Charles had a certain type of appeal that could definitely attract women...and even men. He sort of resembled the Indian doctor in Heroes only a slightly paler version, but his attractive exterior wasn't enough to fool Eithne on his viperous interior. Charles possessed an air that reeked of entitlement.
"I'll just cut to the chase," Eithne said, masking, his accent it was something he did whenever he went out on missions and it was a hard habit to break, as he swung his legs down from Charles's desk. "Who I am should be of no concern, but what I'll do to you should be. There is a question, actually several questions, that I would like to ask you and I expect for you to respond truthfully."
"And why should I answer to you?" Charles asked with hostility in his voice while his stare wreaked of outrage. "Are you a judge?" He asked thoughtfully then sneered when his uninvited guest shook his head no. "Then get out of my chair and out of my office before I notify the police!" he spat.
Eithne smiled, his hazel eyes squinting at the corners as he toyed with a few Skittles on top of Charles's desk. He ate a strawberry then flicked a grape, his least favorite flavor, into Charles's forehead so quickly the poor man had whiplash.
"What in the bloody hell?!" he demanded grabbing his forehead in consternation. It felt on fire, at least that's what he thought until he removed his hand and felt another quick flash of pain rip through his skull, making him howl in agony.
"I would watch the way that you speak to me. I don't know how you were raised, but I'm sure your mother taught you about respect. And since we're on the subject of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, it brings me to our first question." Eithne paused his monologue to make sure Charles didn't have any questions then continued. "Several years ago, eight to be exact, you were seeing a lovely young lady."
"I have date many women in my time. How do you expect me to remember who you're talking about?" Charles asked as if the man before him was a complete imbecile.
"If you had allowed me to finish, I would have given you a name, you smartass," Eithne growled, reaching for another candy and smiling softly when Charles flinched. "Jessica Whitaker."
Charles gasped, stumbling back, his eyes registering anxiety. "Why are you concerned with her? I have had nothing to do with her since the day we broke up."
"And why was that? The breakup, that is."
Charles had it in his right mind to ask him why the hell was it his concern, but his forehead was feeling hot with inflammation and this...man was still "armed," so to speak, with at least more than a dozen Skittles. He never imagined that he would be afraid of a man with candy. "We seem to settle our differences," he replied cryptically.
"Do you mind expounding on that?" Eithne told him, his request being more of a command than a question. He purposefully toyed with the purple Skittles before choosing a lime.
"We...uh...no, she had issues that we could not resolve. Sadistic issues that made me second guess our relationship."
"Is that so?" Eithne said softly. "Did you ever try to resolve these...issues...with her?" he asked resenting the fact that Charles was still willingly coldhearted and ignorant towards Jessica's sordid past.
If only he had taken the opportunity to get to know her, Charles would have realized that all she needed was time and love to start her healing process. Instead, this pompous prick had scorned her and marked her deeper than any superficial scar on her innocent body. The fact that Jessica had tried to reach out after her vicious ordeal was proof enough that she was attempting to reestablish some normalcy in her life. Her morals may have been clouded by hurt and pain, but she still tried only to end up with an insensitive jerk off like Charles who crushed her efforts and turned her heart to stone.
"A resolution was and still is unfathomable. That woman is just as scarred mentally as she is physically! What she needs is professional—ouch!"
Eithne gracefully lifted himself from Charles's chair spread his hand out in invitation for him to sit. When he stared bug eyed at his leather back, Eithne slapped the cushion with two definitive strikes leaving no room for argument as to what he was expecting Charles to do.
With trembling legs and a curious urge in the pit of his belly, Charles ambled to his seat, feeling as if he was doing the walk of death. His stomach lurched and he stopped momentarily to reign in his protesting body then sat down.
Eithne smiled at him. Years of experience in hostile situations had taught him that the enemy was most fearful when treated with kindness. It left them uncertain of what was in store whereas anger made it obvious that they would probably get the life beaten out of them. Therefore, he gently rested his hand on Charles's shoulder and gave it a soft squeeze. In a very calm and unthreatening tone, Eithne spoke to him, as if he were a child.
"Did you ever tell Jessica that she was ugly, damaged goods?" Eithne questioned his strong voice softer than a whisper.
"W-well," Charles stuttered. "You know, sometimes we say things that we don't mean." He was sweating profusely at this point.
"No, actually when I speak I mean every single word that I say," Eithne told him bringing his face slightly closer. Charles looked ready to burst into tears. "You, however, are a horrible liar. I'm pretty sure that you were being one hundred percent honest with Jessica the day those words slipped past your lips. Am I wrong?"
Charles mechanically shook his head and Eithne smiled again. "So here's what we're going to do, my friend," he said softly as he picked up a Skittle and held it at Charles's mouth. He pushed it lightly against the resisting barrier then inclined an eyebrow until Charles opened up to him. "You and I will take a stroll down memory lane," Eithne continued pushing more candy between Charles's lips as he spoke. "And you, my dear Charles, will make amends for the wrong that you have committed."
Charles's thick eyebrows shot up in surprise.
"Oh yes," Eithne told him, increasing the speed of his hands as he hand fed the man sweets. "And if you refuse, Charles, I promise that I will make your life a living hell," Eithne said conviction ringing out of his changeling eyes as he stared straight into Charles's soul. "Understood?"
Charles nodded his head vigorously in agreement.
"Good." Eithne tapped his cheeks twice, watching with masked surprise as Charles hurled inside of his mouth then quickly swallowed it down with all the Skittles crammed inside. He righted himself to his full, intimidating height and winked at Charles before walking out the door. "Oh Charles?" Eithne said popping his head back inside and making him jump in shock. "We never met. Don't keep us waiting or I will return," he promised.
Eithne didn't wait for a response already knowing that Charles was probably frantically clearing his schedule for the afternoon to get to Jessica. Jessica. Thinking about her made him smile. He made his way back to her bridal shop to find both her and Dasha missing. Supposedly, they had taken an early lunch. "Early lunch, mi arse," Eithne muttered. He sat at Jessica's desk keying into her computer to check her files. They were well coded, but he retrieved the information he was looking for in less than five minutes then shook his head.