What The Cat Dragged In Ch. 19bypsyche_b_mused©
Thank you all so much for your comments, your compliments, your questions and your speculations. Each one makes my day.
To answer one of those questions, the story is bloody and violent in places because that's the kind of life Victor lives. It's not my ideal, but since he's an established character with an established history, I have to kind of go with the available information....while putting my own spin on other parts of his personality. :)
I hope everyone had terrific holidays!
19. Assassin's Creed
A sharp knock at the bathroom door made Kelly jump. She stopped her contortions for the moment. "What the fuck're you doin' in there?"
"Trying to reach the scratches on my back." She stood naked in front of the wide mirror. Most of the scratches had stopped bleeding even before she got off the sofa. Still, a little peroxide was never a bad idea.
He opened the door. Kelly covered her breasts instinctively. "Why the hell didn't you say so." He put his hands on her shoulders, pushed her forward and studied her back. She braced herself with one hand on the cool countertop. "When did I give you those?"
Kelly shrugged a little. "I don't know, but I don't usually remember every single one."
He picked up a gauze pad and pressed it to the deeper part of the wounds. Kelly winced. "First time I ever heard someone say that."
"There's a point where the line between what hurts and what feels good kind of blurs." Her eyes were fixed on the matte finish faucets as she said it. "Probably means there's something wrong with me."
"Depends on who you ask and if you give a shit about what they say." He taped the gauze to her back.
She lifted her eyes to look at his reflection. "What you think matters to me."
He smirked at her. "Means I gotta be careful not to overindulge either one of us. Go on. I'll be out in a minute to clean it up right."
Kelly brushed past him and closed the door behind herself. She picked up her discarded towel and wrapped it around herself again. He was comfortable being casually naked in front of her. Kelly wasn't sure if she would ever be that comfortable with her own body. She got a glass of orange juice and sat sideways on the sofa to wait.
"No." He got a bowl out of the kitchen, then walked over to her carrying a small bag of first aid supplies.
"Take the towel off, put it on the floor and lay on it on your stomach."
It seemed harder to move with his eyes on her, but she did what he said. She rested her head on her crossed arms and waited. She could hear him taking things out of the bag and lining them up next to her. He pulled off the hasty dressing and dabbed at the still-oozing wound.
"Is it deep?" She winced when he tugged at the edges of the wounds.
"Not too bad. If you stop squirming around it might even scab over. You manage to clean it out at all?"
"Just the shallower parts above it."
She could hear him open the bottle of peroxide. A moment later he pressed on her lower back and started dabbing at one of the wounds. Kelly bit back a whimper. The stinging eased and she took a deep breath. "Where did you learn to do this?"
"Why?" The question sounded even more guarded than usual. He started on the second wound.
She squirmed a little this time and he increased the pressure on her lower back just a bit. "Because you have a healing factor, it seems like you wouldn't need it for yourself."
His hand paused for a moment, then he started on the third wound. "I ever tell you how old I am?"
"No, but I guess I never really thought about it either." She turned her head a little bit, trying to catch a glimpse of his face. He made sure to turn away.
"First time I was ever involved in a battle was at Fort Sumter South Carolina." He let the words hang there. It took Kelly a moment to process what she'd just heard. When she did, she turned fully to look at him.
"But that was during the Civil war."
He gave a derisive snort. "Wasn't a goddamn thing civil about it from where I was standing."
Kelly's mind was still reeling. "But that was in 1860-"
"1861." His voice was still matter of fact.
"Okay, but it was still-"
"It was a goddamn long time ago is what it was. Healing factor makes me age slower." He put his hand on her head and pressed it back down. "I gotta give you time to process that, or can I go on?"
She relaxed under his touch again. "I guess it makes some sense, if aging is damage and your healing factor repairs damage-"
"Didn't ask you to comment on the logic of it."
She smiled a little. "You can go on." She would need time, but it would be easier if she got the whole story at once.
"Anyway, medical care during the war between the states was basically shit. There weren't enough doctors. The ones there were didn't have anything close to the kind of training needed to deal with the major battlefield injuries they were seeing by the thousands. Course having a leg shattered or your guts blown out wasn't all that could happen to a guy. The little shit could kill you too because of infection, and the docs didn't have time for the little shit. Guys either took care of it themselves, or got help from someone else in the camp. I wasn't squeamish and didn't really give a shit how much someone yelled, I got the job done. By the time it was all over, I figure I learned about as much as the doctors, just in an unofficial way." He pressed firmly against all three wounds. Kelly groaned.
"You're good at it." Kelly turned her head a little and smiled.
A short laugh. "Better wait on that assessment until after the first time I have to stitch you up."
She turned quickly her eyes wide. "Stitch-?"
He grinned. "What? It ain't like I'd cut you that bad on purpose."
Kelly squirmed a little. "I'll have to hope that you don't have any accidents."
He chuckled, but before he could say anything his phone started to vibrate. He checked for a text message. "Conlon's back." He taped a fresh dressing over her back and pulled on his jeans. Kelly sat up and put the towel over herself.
"Is he eating up here?"
"Fuck no." He turned to look at her, his eyes full of suspicion and enough danger to make her tremble. "Missin' him already?"
She picked up the shirt he'd left behind. "No-"
He took a step forward. She stayed on the floor at his feet. "Then what?" There was a dangerous growl in his voice.
Kelly's heart was pounding. "I was thinking if he was going to be up here, I should probably wear more than this."
He watched her for a minute, then a slow smile spread over his face. "Should invite him up here." He squatted in front of her and grabbed a handful of her hair. His voice a dangerously seductive purr. "Make sure you're bare-ass naked." A soft nip to her lower lip. His eyes were locked on hers. "Make sure he sees every fuckin' mark, just to make sure he doesn't start gettin' ideas. Maybe you need a reminder too."
She stroked her fingertips over his inner thigh, a low growl stopped her just inches from his crotch. "The whole time you've been gone, the only ideas I've had have revolved around you being back again."
He move forward, his hand tightening in her hair. Kelly leaned back a little, she bit her lower lip hard. "You're a shitty liar, frail." She opened her mouth to protest, but he grinned. "You have got a way of telling the truth though." He let go of her hair.
She kissed his lower lip softly. "Not fair."
"Who said I had to be fair?" He toyed with her right nipple. "What I'm gonna do to you later ain't gonna be fair either. Won't stop me from doing it, won't stop you from loving every minute of it and begging for more."
Kelly reached out for him but he stood up.
"I want a beer when I get back." He went downstairs bare-chested. Kelly pulled on his shirt while he was gone. She got the distinct impression that any more clothing than that would have been as pointless as asking what was going to come later. She got his beer and set the table. The elevator chimed. He stepped out carrying an extra large pizza and a medium one.
"Bring that shit over here." He set the boxes on the coffee table. "I been sitting on furniture that's too fucking small for almost two weeks now. I wanna stretch out."
He watched her nibble at her second slice of pizza. She was resting on her hip, her feet drawn up under her. The hem of the shirt and her position maintaining her modesty but still drawing his eye higher. Her hair was tied back haphazardly, a few stray strands caressing her forehead and cheek. The wide neckline of his olive drab shirt revealed pale skin and darkening bruises as well as the beginning of a bright red raised scratch. He knew that one ran all the way down to her navel. He remembered how her pussy had tightened around him when he gave it to her. Almost as tight as she did when she came.
He'd listened to her when she talked about her grandparents and how her grandmother had finally started talking to her again. He didn't really give a shit about who wasn't talking to who or what the reasons behind it were. He knew it meant something to her, maybe that was good enough. After a few minutes she fell silent, but the relaxation that had settled around her was obvious.
Now he got to be the asshole who fucked everything up.
"Ever hear of something called Panacea?"
She looked up from her pizza. "Goddess of cures, or was it recuperation?"
That wasn't a direction he was expecting. "Cures. Where the hell did you learn that?"
She smiled a little. "You have a few mythology books in Maine."
He looked at her curiously. "You read those books once, if that."
"I have a good memory for things I read."
He chuckled and shook his head. "Frail you are full of surprises. That ain't what I meant though. There's a street drug called Panacea. So far as I can tell, Paulie C is the only one with the recipe."
A shrug with one delicate shoulder. "Okay." He could tell from the look on her face that she wasn't drawing any kind of connection between Stan and the drug.
He explained the marketing scheme as Fallon and his other contacts had explained it to him.
"And you think Stan is selling this drug?" She almost laughed. That pissed him off.
"What the fuck is so damn funny?" The deep growl rose in his chest. "Do you know how many favors I had to call in to get this information?"
She trembled and retreated. "I didn't mean to laugh. It's just...Stan's a lot of things, but I can't picture him selling drugs. Every time he spoke he talked about how drugs destroyed lives. It was the one thing he said that made any sense at all."
"Panacea ain't like any of that other shit. From what my contacts told me it don't change a person or give them a high, it just makes them feel like their best selves all the time. Once you start taking it, you gotta keep taking it though, otherwise it fucks up your brain. That ain't been a problem though, his target market has good jobs, homes, families and no reason to stop because everyone around them seems to appreciate the change."
She looked disgusted. "What an outstanding thing to hold over someone's head."
He nodded. "Might even get you a big new job."
"I just..." She started again. "He..." The scent of intense anger bloomed around her. He looked down to see her nails digging into her palms so hard that her knuckles were white. He recognized the murderous rage. Knew what it felt like when every cell was consumed with it. He pushed his thumbs into her curled fingers, forcing her to release the tension. She looked up at him. "All of this has been about money all along." The words sounded as though they left a bad taste in her mouth.
"Usually is." He uncurled her fingers and saw the deep indentations of her fingernails in her palms.
Her hands relaxed. "Does Cavallo know?"
He'd known the question was coming. With anyone else he would have either told the truth or come up with a serviceable lie on the spot. With her, he had to learn to equivocate. He looked away. "I got no proof one way or the other."
Desperate as Stan was and from what he could gather from other sources, he was reasonably sure that the cowardly asshole was trying to make a trade. The frail gets handed over like a sacrificial lamb, Stan hopes that Cavallo will forgive his little lapse. He'd seen it before. Participated in it. Seen the shocked and pained look on the sacrifice's face when he or she realized what was about to happen and who was behind it. She'd worry enough on her own without hearing his suspicions. He handed her plate back to her. "Eat."
"How much weight have you lost since I been gone?"
She blushed a little, her eyes were down. "I don't know. A little I guess."
He grasped her chin and forced her to look into his eyes. "How much was that frail?"
"Three pounds you can't spare." He pointed at the plate. "Eat."
She started to nibble again. Creed knew it was just to please him, but he could live with that.
Kelly spent the next few hours doing laundry and getting things in order. He seemed content to lounge on the sofa. From time to time, she would feel his eyes on her. The sensation made her aware of how the hem of the shirt floated around her thighs as she moved. The apartment was cool and the sensation of the fabric in motion against her bare skin kept her nipples prominent. For most of the evening she tried to keep her back to Victor.
She was folding the last load of laundry when she heard him start up the stairs. "Don't be too long, frail."
She smiled over her shoulder. "I won't." Kelly finished up and left the folded clothes stacked on the top of the dryer. The need to be in his arms was almost a physical ache. She turned off the downstairs lights and trotted lightly up the stairs.
Kelly had expected to find him in bed, but she hadn't expected to find him naked with the covers pooled around his feet. The intense way he watched her made her hesitate. The fact that he was already erect deepened and changed the ache she was feeling a moment ago. She paused at the top of the stairs, just watching.
He smirked. "You gonna stand there all goddamn night?"
She blushed and walked toward him. "You surprised me." She pulled the shirt off and sat next to him. "If I had known you were in that state I would have hurried a little." She reached out to stroke his chest. When there was no reproach, she let her fingertips trace the slopes of his muscles.
"What kinda state d'you expect me to be in? Dancing around all fucking night." He pulled her into a hungry kiss. "Showing off that little ass of yours. Teasing me."
Her fingers drifted down to his stomach and then over the front of his hip. "Why didn't you say something?" Her mouth moved to his collar bone, feathering kisses over the hollow of his throat. A little tremor went through him, followed by a soft purr.
"Like what? Spread your legs a little more when you do that so I can get a better view of your pussy?" Claws bit into her hip just enough to make her shiver. "Question is, what are you gonna do about it?"
A little shrug. She started tracing the thick veins on his shaft with a teasing touch. "Depends on what I'm allowed to do about it." Her mouth moved down his chest, her tongue tracing around his nipple. His back arched. She felt the rumble of his growl. Her fingers grew more bold, wrapping around his shaft.
"You don't seem to need ideas from me." His fingers tangled in her hair. His hips rocked against her hand.
"No." She moved to the other side of his chest. Her tongue flickered over his other nipple, wetting it. "Seems like the last time I needed permission." She blew cool air over the wet skin. Claws bit into her scalp and shoulders as he arched.
He took a deep breath and eased the tension on her hair. "Well, let's just say you asked nice this time and I said yes."
She smiled up at him. "Thank you."
Her mouth continued slowly down over his stomach, stopping just long enough to tease his navel and draw a surprised gasp. She smirked a little, then continued down to the hot, pulsing organ in her hand. This time, she wasn't afraid or uncertain. She got lost in the musky scent of him, the flavor of his sweat and the saltier, baser taste of the fluid that leaked from the tip of his member.
She swept her tongue around the swollen head, teasing the slit while he groaned and pushed forward. Kelly backed off with a little smile. When he relaxed again, she took more into her mouth, applying ever intensifying pressure as her head moved. Her fingers stroked his shaft, then moved lower to cradle and tease his sack. She could feel the tension growing there and in his stomach and thighs. She kept pushing that tension further, her head moving faster, hands applying just a little more pressure. When he was deep at the back of her throat she moaned. His back arched. His hand tightened in her hair, pulling her back up. His mouth covered hers in a bruising kiss.
When he pulled away she was breathless and he was grinning. "Promised to make you suffer."
"Don't you want to...finish first? I mean, I thought you were-"
He chuckled. "Oh I will. Hearing you beg will make it better." He pushed her onto her back and wrapped her hands around the spindles of the headboard. "You're gonna be a good girl and stay put, right?"
A shrug and a grin that was made all the more lascivious by the presence of his fangs. "'F you don't, I can find some rope someplace."
Kelly drew her arms in to her chest, her eyes wide. "What are you going to do with-?"
"Keep misbehavin' and you'll find out." He looked at her wrists. Kelly moved her hands back to the spindles. "Good girl."
Kelly lay with her back against his chest. His body was wrapped around hers, his warmth suffusing her pleasure-weakened muscles. He'd kept her on the edge of orgasm for what seemed like hours, teasing her mercilessly with his tongue and lips until she was begging for release. That hadn't been enough though. It'd only made him stop long enough to laugh at her. When she began to cry, he'd relented, driving her over the edge with such intensity that she'd gotten lost in it for what seemed like days. Somewhere in her pleasure, she'd felt him enter her and not long after that had heard his roar of release. In those intense moments, it was far away and unimportant.
When she finally came back to herself, all the lights were off and she was tucked against his chest with her knees drawn up. Even though her relaxation was total, sleep was still elusive.
"Why aren't you asleep?" He murmured close to her ear.
"Why aren't you?" She countered.
"I asked you first."
A soft sigh. "I don't want to tell you."
He pinched a nipple softly. The touch was more soothing than arousing. Kelly sighed.
"Don't remember giving you that option."
"It's stupid and it'll upset you."
His touch was teasingly gentle as he played with the firm nub of flesh. "You don't want to leave."
She sighed. "It's not that. Your reasons make perfect sense. I just have a bad feeling. It's not rational-"
"Shit like that ain't supposed to be rational. Every instinct I got in me is telling to stay here and fight. All my training says I need to know what I'm going after 'cause if I go into this blind I just leave you more exposed. Never have been very patient I guess."
She smiled a little. "I don't know, you were pretty patient earlier."
A soft chuckle rumbled through his chest. "Told you you'd love every minute of it."
She turned her head enough to kiss his bicep. "I always do."
"Go to sleep. When you don't sleep you get cranky and when you get cranky you piss me off."
Kelly smiled. "You're the one who can spend a whole day communicating in growls"