The Duellist


He drove into her, his cock sliding easily into her wet cunt, her legs wrapping themselves around his waist, pulling him into her with a soft grunt. He slid his hands under her shoulders, gripping her wrists, pulling her hands above her head, pinioning her. She grinned, her tongue dancing in his mouth, her hips thrusting to meet his, his cock scything into her willing flesh.

"Oh, come on, Jay" she whispered. "Fuck me harder." Her lips brushing his ears, her tongue flicking over his lobe.

He grinned, driving into her so that she gasped, her muscular legs gripping him, pulling him into her harder, faster. He felt sweat prickle his skin, her teeth nipping his neck, her tongue stroking over his cheek, following the outline of his tattoo.

"Mm. That's it - come on, fuck me hard, Jay, fuck me hard..." She shrugged her hands free of his grip, sliding them around his shoulders, into his hair, her tongue driving into his mouth, grunting gently with each breath. Her hand slipped to his ass, caressing him, on the small of his back guiding his rhythm, pushing him into her willing body, the room full of the wet, slick sounds of their fucking. Her neck tasted of perfume and sweat, his tongue licking her soft skin.

Her body rocked with the rhythm, jerking under him with a sexy little gasp each time he thrust into her. She whispered small fuck sounds into his ear, teasing him with her tongue - pushing against him, her legs levering her against his body - meeting each stroke with one of her own. Slowly her sounds increased, sighs turning to gasps, becoming moans. She rubbed her tits against his chest, slick with sweat, moaning as she clutched at him.

"Oh, fuck! You're making me cum..." she said sexily, her voice earthy. He bit her neck gently, alternating his teeth and his tongue. She groaned. "Fuck, Jay, I'm going to cum..."

Felt his own climax building, her body gripping him, sliding wetly along his cock, her cunt sliding easily along him. Moaned with her, his mouth seeking hers, their tongues leaping together - a new intensity entering their kissing - sounds of fucking turning to moaning, grunting.

With a low squeal she came, her body going rigid beneath him, her legs gripping him like a vice, pinning him deep inside her body, shaking, shuddering against him. For a while, they lay still like that, his cock still rigid inside her. Slowly, she released him, her eyes opening, looking at him, a sexy little smile turning her lips.

"Fuck, Jayden," she said, grinning enigmatically. "You didn't cum"

"Nobody's perfect," he said, grinning. He pulled his cock from her, sliding it slickly from her wet flesh, his eyes bright. "What you going to do about it?"

She smiled playfully. "Don't know. Maybe nothing." She looked at him, one finger on her lips, mock pensive, her eyes on his cock.

He grinned stroked his cock, kneeling between her thighs, thick fluid dripping from the end. "If you don't do something, I'll cum all over you in about a minute," he said.

"Fucking cum on my tits, then," she said, laughing. She reached up, knocking his hand away, took hold of his cock - jerking him off slowly. "That's my job I think," she said, a knowing smile on her lips.

"They're very nice tits," he said, staring at the creamy flesh of her chest, her nipples hard. With her free hand she pushed them together, examining them.

"They should be, they cost enough," she said. He nodded, unable to speak. Her hand stroked his cock, a mischievous grin on her face. "You going to cum, Jay?"

He grunted.

"Good," she said, grinning. Her body was supine below him, his eyes following her slim belly, the curve of her thighs, kneeling between her still splayed legs. He felt his climax come on quickly, her hand firm and clever with his cock, stroking him expertly. She was watching him closely, gauging his arousal with expert eyes. "Right on my tits," she said breathlessly.

As if on cue he came - hot ribbons of semen jetting over her tits and belly, draping her hand in white strings, pooling on her chest, dripping over her tits. "Fuck," he said, sensation spasming through his body. He felt suddenly weak, limbs rubbery.

She laughed, milking his cock, squeezing thick drops of cum from the end, drawing a moan of pleasure from him. Holding his eyes she lifted her hand to her mouth, tasted his cum. "Mmm. Salty," she said quietly.

"What did you expect, Laphroaig?" he said, laughing, flopping onto the bed next to her.

"If it was Laphroaig I'd have let you cum in my mouth," she said, shifting over so that she lay with her head on his chest, his cum dripping onto the bed, dripping over his body.

"Promises, promises," he said.

She laughed. "Did you see the look on John's face this afternoon, when you asked your question?"

Jayden laughed along with her. "He knew he'd been set up."

"Of course he did, where would the fun be otherwise," she said quietly, her hand stroking his muscular chest. "Will you kill him?"


She smiled, snuggling close to him. "Just like that."

"Just like that."

"And then you'll be working for me," she said.

He stroked her back, feeling the velvet softness of her skin, damp with sweat, nuzzled her hair. "So you'll get to bust my balls at work and at home, is that it?"

"That's it." He heard the laugh in her voice. She paused, said, "I knew you would."


"Kill him."

He grinned. "Of course you did, that's why you get off on duellists."

She hesitated, looking at him. "Is that what you think?"

He made no reply.

For a time they lay in the quiet, snuggled together. Eventually she laughed, twisting to face him, her eyes shining. "You'd better go, I'll be falling asleep in a minute then I'll never get these sheets clean before Conor gets in."

He sighed. He felt tired, sleepy. "Sure," he said, extricating himself from her embrace. He pulled his pants over his damp flesh, feeling her eyes tracing his muscled body as he moved.

"Oh, poor baby's been kicked out," she said, laughing, not quite hiding an undercurrent of tension. "Don't worry, he's away part of next week, you can fuck me then." She stretched out on the bed, showing her lean, athletic body to its best effect. The sales pitch wasn't lost on him.

"What's the matter, Niamh, worried some duellist groupie will seduce me away?"

She glared at him, half playful. "You'd better not..."

He sat on the edge of the bed, stroked her thigh, ran his hand over her damp pubic hair. "Guess you'll have to wait and see..."

He scooped some of his dripping cum from her nipple, felt her shiver slightly. For a second he rubbed it between his thumb and forefinger, feeling it - slimy, viscous, still warm from her body - then he held it against her lips. For just a moment she didn't react, staring up at him with hard green eyes, then her mouth opened ever so slightly and she licked his fingers clean, her tongue lapping at him gently.

"Bastard," she whispered, glaring at him above her grin.

"It's a duellist thing," he said.


He wore Mitsue to work the next morning. Black suit, matching shirt and tie. Italian shoes - always Italian but never loafers - Japanese chic.

There were eight messages waiting for him, the communication panel light blinking like an angry red eye. He ignored it, twisting in his chair, putting the industrial look table with its glass top and brushed steel frame behind him, staring from the window across the dome below him.

From his vantage point the arching roof of the gigantic geodesic seemed almost close enough to touch, looking like nothing so much as being trapped inside a multi-faceted diamond like some fly in amber. Beyond it the sun burned brightly, obscuring the star field but making Planet Earth shine like an enormous emerald moon.

He could see only one more dome from here - Boston, he thought. It was too far distant to make out the city itself - shining brightly in the sun, but he knew that there were nearly a thousand in orbit now and talk of adding more as the population grew, as Earth got worse.

"Tea, boss?"

With a small sigh he turned his back on the view, back to face the day's work and his secretary.

"No, coffee. Black and strong, please Toni," he said.

"Sure thing," she smiled, her brown eyes sparkling, long red hair contrasting with her dark eyebrows. "Bad night?"

"No, actually. Quite productive," he said. "Coffee..."

She took the hint.

Four of the eight messages were from the same guy, a Wim De Vries, his recorded image showing a man in his mid thirties, tangled sandy hair, a small goatee, cornflower blue eyes and the rugged look of a man used to outdoor activity. Even if he hadn't said it his woollen roll neck and jeans, his trimmed beard and floppy hair would have identified him as an environmental bleeding heart. For a moment he listened to him waffle about wanting a meeting then he deleted him for the more productive sound of silence.

One of the remaining messages was from an old duelling buddy, telling him he'd heard about his upcoming challenge on Dome Radio and wishing him luck. Jayden smiled at that, but he still deleted it. He glanced at the media pod on the desk, he'd downloaded the sports from last night, so he could enjoy hearing it himself later.

By the time he reached the final three Toni had delivered his coffee and he was at least able to listen to Niamh invite him to the divisional party tomorrow evening and to his boss mouthing platitudes about being sorry to lose him, with the comfort of a coffee in hand.

The last message was from her. Her face filling the screen without warning, hitting him like a hammer in the gut. He stared, his whole body gone cold, his skin tingling, gooseflesh running across his arms. Emma Louise Peyton.

"Hi Jay," her image said. "It's me. Emma... But I guess you know that right? Look, I guess you're not in right now, which is why I'm leaving this message, right?" Her image smiled, cocking its head in the way the Emma he used to know did, her blond hair falling to one side. "Look, I need to talk to you, Jay... Call me okay?" She smiled again, blue eyes like lapis lazuli, sparkling, a flash of white teeth against her smooth tan, her red lips, then she was gone.

He sipped his coffee too quickly, the hot liquid burning his throat.

Had it really been eight years? It felt like yesterday.


Slowly he got up from the desk, closed his office door, flicked the transmit button off on his screen and punched redial.

It took a moment to connect, then her face reappeared. "Hi, Emma Peyton." She was in a house, bedroom in the background, white blouse, hair long and loose.

"Hello Emma," he said.

"Jay, is that you? Screen's blank this end..." she peered at the machine her end, looking for a problem.

"Yeah, it's me. You're on an unsecured line, Achilles disables visual to prevent espionage," he lied.

"Oh, right." Her face reappeared in the centre, smiling a little nervously. "Uh, I heard about you on the radio, Jay."

"Yeah?" That wasn't why she was calling, he'd been radio profiled many times, all duellists were.

"Yeah..." She looked unsure, awkward, talking to a blank screen. No body language to gauge his demeanour. "Look, uh, this is hard to do like this, uh, can I meet you, Jay?"

He paused, curious. "If you like." He leaned back in his chair, sipped his coffee. "What you doing tonight?"

She looked about. "Few things on... Tomorrow or Saturday would be better."

"Busy tomorrow, duelling Saturday," he said, flat, businesslike. "Tonight or next week."

"Right, sure. Uh, tonight then... Where, when, Jay?"

He grinned wolfishly. "Bitter End, ten pm."

"The Bitter End?" She looked thoughtful. "That's in New York Dome, right?"


"Uh, okay... Ten pm."

"Good. See you then." He hung up.

He turned back to staring out of the window, all thoughts of work banished. Emma Louise Peyton. He sipped his coffee. Had it really been eight years?


"...and for those baseball fans amongst you, the Boston Dome Blue Sox will be playing the New Delhi Raiders in the second round play offs. Sox need this game, fans. Turn out for 'em, 'eh? Now duelling groupies we've got some news hot off the press at Achilles..."

Jayden stopped towelling his hair, turned the volume of the media pod up, the DJ's banal tones echoing about the shower room.

"...our favourite poacher turned gamekeeper Jayden Carney is on the move again."

He grinned, one leg on the low bench, drying his thigh.

"Word is he called out senior exec John Fitzpatrick and the duel is slotted for Saturday morning. For stats lovers amongst you, Jayden is running at three kills and one blink, so he'll be looking for his first ring out of this..."

Jayden glanced at his hand, the tattoo on the web between thumb and forefinger. Four small circles - three full one hollow - forming a partial flower shape. One more would complete the flower, make a complete ring. When you shook hands with a duellist you knew who you faced.

"...Fitzpatrick, good luck - rather you than me," the DJ said. Jayden grinned, knocked it off.

He dumped the used towel in the laundry, opened the pale wooden door of his wardrobe. For this evening, he thought, Ernesto Saddachi. Black suit, thick white shirt to contrast his tattoo. No tie. He stared back at himself from the mirror above the sink - tanned skin, black hair, eyes as grey and hard as brushed steel.

Emma Louise Peyton, look what you missed, he thought.


The Bitter End was a duellist club - a hang out for the pros, not executives with a couple of promotions under their belt. For the pros and for the wannabees and the admirers. Duellist groupies. When Achilles' driver dropped him off there was already a queue snaking from the door along the narrow lane, confined behind grey barriers, lining the backs of redbrick buildings - ankle deep in litter and discarded fast food containers.

He walked straight to the door.

"Hey Jay," he touched fists with the bulky black man standing at the entrance, noted the ring plus two on his hand.

"Hey Carl, busy?"

"Yeah, man. Heard 'bout you and Saturday."


"Yeah. You watch yourself, yeah... No such thing as an easy kill, man."

Jayden nodded. "I'll be careful."

Carl grinned. "Yeah, man... Keep chill, yeah?" He stepped aside and Jayden slipped past him into the dim light of the interior.

Inside was busy, mostly groupies and corporate execs on the piss, he recognised a couple of pros, drinking hard at a table in the far corner, groupies hovering like flies. Emma wasn't hard to spot. Amongst the duellist chic she stood out like a missionary at a cannibal soiree - her simple white blouse a stark contrast to the cheap suits, tattoos and wildly dyed hair that most groupies sported. She was sitting at a table near the front, just above the dance floor, elbow leaning on the chrome railing. Across from her sat the rugged features of Wim the Bleeding Heart, utterly out of place in his poverty chic jumper and jeans.

For a second he watched them from across the club - the music loud but not shattering, people dancing, swaying around the floor in front of him, light alternately bathing everything in red and green and blue. Their body language said all that he needed to know. He turned to the bar, bought a rum, neat.

She didn't smile when she saw him approach, coming from Wim's offside. She just sort of stared, moved in her seat, looking at him, her face unreadable. Wim looked around, stood, was the first to speak.

"Jayden? I'm Wim De Vries." His handshake was like a vice. No tatts.

Jayden nodded, all the while watching Emma. "Nice to meet you, Wim."

Wim's eyes flickered between the two of them, the silence filled with a strange tension. Finally Emma said, "Hello Jayden." Offered him her hand. She was looking at him carefully, her voice as enigmatic as her face. "Thanks for coming."

He nodded, took her hand briefly, the contact strangely familiar even after all these years. He pulled up a seat, sat on it backwards - leaning on the seatback - saw them exchange a glance. There was obviously an understanding between them.

"Right, I'll, uh, leave you to it then," Wim said, pushing his chair back, standing. Jayden said nothing, watching him neutrally. Wim paused, unsure. "Okay, then. Uh, see you later," he said to Emma. She nodded almost imperceptibly.

Jayden tracked him across the club with his eyes, letting the silence stretch, watched him settle by the bar, a bear amongst wolves.

"Well, this is awkward," Emma said after a while, brushing her long hair back from her face, hooking it behind her ear. Her hand toyed with a half empty bottle of beer on the table in front of her.

He looked at her. Sipped his rum. She needed him for something. Wanted him for something. Advantage Jayden, he thought.

The silence stretched. She laughed nervously. "You aren't making this easy, you know."

"And I'd want to do that why?"

She shrugged. "So... How've you been, Jay?"

He stared at her. "That has got to be the dumbest question I've ever heard."

Her eyes flashed. "Hey, fuck you! You got a better one?" she said angrily.

"I heard you got married."

She stopped. The anger seemed to drain out of her as quickly as it had come. "Yes," she said. "It didn't work out."

"Shame," he said evenly. Sipped his rum, watching the dance floor.

She glared at him. "That's right, Jay, it's a shame. A fucking shame, but life moves on..."

He nodded. "Where'd you get that? The book of banalities and platitudes?"

She gave him a murderous look. "Oh, listen to Jayden the duellist," she said, dripping sarcasm. "How many innocent people have you killed now? Care to share that fucking wisdom with us, hotshot?"

"I've done what I had to do."

"Like you haven't enjoyed it, right?" she said, eyes angry, face flushed. "Mister Bigshot fucking duellist, name on the fucking radio, groupies getting all wet over your fucking picture every night-"

"That's right!" he said savagely. "And it's far fucking better than the place you fucking left me. I've had to get where I am with no fucking hand-up from Governor William James fucking Peyton the third, no fucking silver dildo shoved up my fucking ass..."

She leaned back, eyes wide. "Ooh... I was born poor, I was born in the reclamation estates," head rocking, dripping sarcasm, "I've got a get out of jail free card... It's not my fault I'm a fucking killer!"

"Spoilt rich bitch," he said quietly. "What do you know about what I've had to do?"

She looked at him. Took a breath, letting the silence leak in, music from the club wailing in the background. "You're right, I don't know anything about your life." She drank some beer, calmed her breathing. "Look, I didn't come here to fight-"

"Yeah? Well it feels like a fight to me." He looked at his watch. "Unless you've got something else to say, I'm going."

She sighed. "I want your help, Jay."

"So that shouting," he gestured with his glass, "that was some kind of sales pitch was it?"

She stared at him. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fight with you. Will you hear me out?"

For a moment he paused, poised to leave, then gradually the tension leaked out of him. "Sure, why not?" he said at last.

"Thank you." She sipped her beer. "Wim-"

"He your boyfriend?" he said, his eyes picking an uncomfortable looking Wim out from amongst a group of young groupies near the bar.

Emma followed his eyes. Looked back, challenging him. "Yes."

Jayden nodded.

"He works for the United Nations Commission on Planetary Rehabitation..."

"You always were one for lost causes."

She took a breath, almost visibly willing herself to remain calm. "Look, he's been working with the corporations for ages, trying to get them to take notice, to commit. Nobody would. Then he met with a young executive at Achilles-"

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