What The Cat Dragged In Ch. 17


Kelly flinched back. "But we just got here-"

He pulled her against him again and held her there. "Ain't like me to stay in one place very long. We were being followed by idiots, but I would bet there's someone higher up with more than two functioning brain cells. If that's the case, this place is still being watched. If I stay, it'll be a clue that something's up."

Kelly glanced around at the tall, wide windows. She could almost feel eyes on her. "If you leave, they'll still see the place is occupied though. Who will they think is living here?" She realized she was holding on tighter.

"Conlon'll be here. He's got 'em thinking he's some kind of double agent. Working for me, feeding them information. Made sure to set up a paper trail to show that he owns this place and has for a couple of years. You're gonna stay inside, but seeing him coming and going won't be any big deal."

"How did you-"

"Computers. Any kind of record you want is on a fucking computer someplace. You've just gotta know how to find it and how to change it without leaving a trace."

Kelly looked up at him, a little smirk on her lips. "Is that all?"

"Pretty much." He shrugged a little, the quirk of a smile revealing the tip of one fang. "Having someone on the payroll who knows how to do all that shit without asking questions is pretty goddamn useful too."

Kelly laughed softly and put her head back down again. The details of who this mysterious person was or where Victor was going when he left were really not something Kelly wanted to know anything about, so she didn't ask. His hand wandered down to the back of the towel she had wrapped around her body.

Her fingers moved through the thick mat of hair on his chest. "Is that why you have so many houses?"


"The fact that you don't stay in one place long."

Claws traced her bare shoulders. The gentle scraping warmed her chilly skin. A little shrug. "Wanted places to go back to, but I'd get bored. I can be bored and make money at the same time when I'm working. 'Sides, in my line of work you need places to hide out from time to time." He picked up the bottle and started to turn it slowly, his eyes focused on the way the bottle caught the light.

The meaning was clear to Kelly, that she was simply another annoyance and when he got bored enough he would disappear from her life completely. The searing pain that idea caused was worse than anything physical he'd ever inflicted on her. It took her breath and sent cracks radiating through her tenuous confidence in herself and in the way she read him. She started to pull away from him, but he twisted his hand in her hair. Still, she squirmed, but he held her in place as if he'd merely been discussing the weather. Kelly reached up to untangle his hand from her hair. He held on tighter.

"Different now." His eyes were still on the slowly moving bottle. Kelly froze. "Not so easy to just leave..." He pulled her face against his chest.

Kelly slipped her arm around his waist, her lips brushed against his clavicle. The grip on her hair eased. He turned to face her, his eyes still not quite making contact.

"It's not easy to watch you go." Kelly whispered.

His eyes locked on hers. Curiosity, anger, incredulity and something softer flickered through them. He stroked her cheek with the backs of his fingers. She moved closer. He advanced at the same time. Both paused when their mouths were scant inches apart. The faint scent of alcohol was still on his breath. She took it into herself and felt the world contract with each inhalation. Before long, there was nothing left except the parts of the world that he created. His breath. The scent of his body. The warmth and texture of his skin. The way the barriers had shifted behind his eyes.

He advanced first. His lips brushed against hers with a tenderness that Kelly had never dared imagine. A tremor course through her. For a moment it seemed like he might pull away, but Kelly arched closer. Her tongue caressed his lips tentatively. A low purr emanated from his chest. His tongue met hers in a gentle sparring match that continued until they were both breathless. Still, his mouth stayed on hers, simply resting against it, as if breaking contact would break a spell.

"Yours." Kelly breathed.

"You mean that." The tint of surprise colored the statement.

She moved back just enough so that he could see her eyes. "Yes, I do."

For what seemed like forever, he just looked at her. Kelly's heart started to pound. He grasped the back of her head and kissed her again, this time with familiar, hungry passion. Kelly surrendered, her hands wandering over his chest and down to the waistband of his sweats. He pulled the towel off of her. Her fingers wandered over his growing erection. Without warning, he pushed her away.

He growled. "Not here."

He got up with swift grace, pulled Kelly to her feet. The towels were forgotten. So was the bottle and the television. As soon as they were up in the dark loft his familiar aggression was back. Kelly was unbalanced by the dark and the unfamiliar space. She kept her hands on Victor's chest, retreating as he advanced. His hands wandered over her arms and down her back, the light scratches he left only served to heighten the sensation of the moment. When the backs of her legs hit the bed, she sat down and he moved over her. Kelly lay back and arched up to his body.

Their coupling was swift and filled with a ferocious need. Need that he expressed with his growls and his claws as well as with his hips. Kelly felt his claws trailing fire over her arms and breasts. The contrast pushed her deeper into the fast-moving, all-consuming pleasure. Her hips met his with an intensity that revealed her passionate lust and need for intimate connection. When the building pleasure consumed her, she wrapped her legs around his waist and held tightly.

Nothing in the world mattered more than the connection between them. In those moments it was easy to believe that nothing ever would.


Creed watched the frail sleep. He was half-propped up against the headboard. She straddled his hips and had nodded off against his chest. One hand was tangled in her hair, the other followed the angle of her body, over her back, down over her thigh and back again. He wasn't sure how long they'd been sitting there, but dawn was starting to filter in to the large space. He reached out and tapped a button on the remote next to the bed. Hidden shades descended with a soft whirring sound. The frail shifted against him, but didn't wake. Surprising, considering how long she'd slept under the influence of the drug.

Still, he wasn't going to complain. As long as she was asleep, he couldn't fuck it up. He knew as sure as he was sitting there that he was going to fuck it up. Maybe she'd figure out a way to live with it, even after her own crisis had passed. Probably not, but at least now there might be a slim chance.

He shifted her carefully. She whimpered and trembled, but lay down next to him. He purred softly until she settled again.


"Frail, when you finish with those come over here."

Kelly laughed a little, but kept her eyes on the dinner dishes. "Victor, I don't have a healing factor like you do."

He grinned. "You got two weeks to recover. And why do you just assume that's what I want?"

She shrugged a little and the wide neck of his t-shirt slipped over her shoulder. "Well, you followed me into the shower this morning. The breakfast dishes sat until lunch. Lunch sat out half made for-"

"Didn't see you complaining." He walked over to her and squeezed her bottom firmly. Kelly jumped a little.

She tried to suppress a smile and feign indifference. "I might've been faking."

He laughed out loud and gave her nipple a playful pinch. "You might be able to fake the sounds, but there's no way in hell you could fake the way your scent changes."

Kelly stepped back, a deep blush on her cheeks. She rarely thought about the way scent added depth to his world. "You can tell when I...?"

"Fuck yes." A fang-baring grin. "Hurry up. I gotta get you set up in the security system before I go."

Kelly finished the last few dishes quickly and joined him at the computer workstation that occupied one of the spaces between the large windows. Even though he'd assured her that no one could see in, Kelly was still nervous about standing in front of the windows. Clearly, he didn't seem concerned so she stepped a little closer. On one of the three screens was a schematic of the apartment. He pointed to it.

"I changed out the windows last year. These have two layers of glass with a layer of nanoctystals between 'em. Left alone the crystals aren't organized so it looks like clear glass. In the presence of an electrical charge, the crystals line up. From the inside, it looks lightly tinted. From the outside it just looks black."

"Even if there are lights on in here?" Kelly had noticed the slight tint, but had no idea that the glass was so special.

"Lights on, lights off, doesn't matter. The outer glass and inner glass are both bullet-proof. Not that it should matter, but I figured as long as I was replacing things I might as well cover all my bases." He pointed at the schematic. "See how they're all showing up green?"


"Means they all have power. During a power failure, they're hooked up to a generator that'll power all of them for seventy-two hours. If any are running on generator power, you'll see the ones affected turn yellow. If for some reason there's no power to 'em at all, they'll turn red and the shades'll come down automatically."


"The shade mechanism holds enough power to raise and lower them twice, even during a complete power failure. Put your hand on the scanner." He nodded to a piece of equipment with the outline of a hand on it. Kelly put her hand inside the line while he entered a few commands into the computer. A bar of light much like that found in a copier began to descend. "The garage in the only way in from ground level. Conlon has the codes and since you're not going anyplace you shouldn't need them, but I don't want you trapped in here if this all turns to shit. To get to or from this level the system needs your palm print and your personal code in that order."

"What happens if-"

"Just remember to do it in that order, and that's a last resort." The scanner beeped. "Take your hand off and enter the six digit code you want."

Kelly typed in the first six numbers that came to mind. He wrote them on the list with the others.

"Conlon knows all the details, but that should get you through anything you need in an emergency."

She watched him typing commands quickly and waiting for the computer's responses. It all looked like gibberish to Kelly, but that wasn't really what was on her mind anyway. "Conlon hates me, doesn't he?"

He looked over his shoulder. "What the fuck are you talking about now, frail?"

"I broke his nose. I apologized, but-"

He groaned. "Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. All that matters is that he's paid to make sure you stay safe and have what you need when I'm not here. If he fucks that up, he better make damn sure he gets himself killed in the process." He tapped a few more keys, turned and advanced on her.

Kelly retreated until her back hit the rough brick wall. "Thought you had other things on your mind?" She smiled and trailed her fingertips down over his bare chest to the waistband of his shorts.

"I did." He grinned. "Now I got something else on my mind." He lifted the hem of her shirt. His grin widened when he saw she wasn't wearing panties.

"Still sore." Kelly knew her words didn't sound convincing, even though it was the truth. She moved her hands down over his thighs, her fingers barely teasing the sides of his hardening shaft.

He sniffed the air. "Maybe so, but your still so wet for me." He lifted the shirt up higher. "Take this off."

She pulled it over her head. One large hand found her right breast and squeezed roughly. Kelly's knees went weak. She did ache, but the intense need made her feel a different kind of ache. He bent down and rubbed the rough side of his tongue around her ear. "I'm gonna fuck you, frail." He pinched her nipple hard enough to bring tears to her eyes. "Either I'm gonna do it here, or you're gonna bend that sweet little ass of yours over that sofa." He bumped his head against hers so that she would look over at the big sofa she'd woken up on the night before.

Kelly already had raw spots on her back from an earlier encounter with the rough brick. "Have to let me go so I can walk over there." One of her hands was tracing the contours of his thick erection, the other was on his wrist, trying to coax him to release her throbbing nipple.

He chuckled, increased the pressure for just a moment and then he let go. Kelly moved from between him and the wall and walked slowly across the open space. She heard him discard his shorts and follow her. Her knees trembled. Need and anxiety coursed through her veins in equal amounts. When she reach the sofa she stood frozen. Clawed fingers moved up from the small of her back to wrap around her shoulder. She shook her head slightly.

He stroked the back of her neck. "Broken frail ain't no good to me." His voice was little more than a soft purr next to her ear. She heard the reassurance in the harsh words.

Kelly bent forward. He took his time, stroking her back, positioning himself, teasing her with sharp scratches and slow pressure. Kelly pressed back as much as she could. Finally he pushed inside her. Kelly whimpered sharply with each movement of his hips. Her inner muscles clenched as pleasure and ache mingled, fused and became inextricable from each other. She began to move with him, to encourage him. Claws bit into her hips as the intensity of his passion increased, driving Kelly deeper into pleasure. His hand was on her shoulder. She reached back and laced her fingers with his. Moments later, the pleasure consumed her.


Creed sat in the car. It was a little after midnight and he knew he should leave. The frail was pretty damn sore, but she'd been close to falling asleep again. Conlon was there. Leaving was the right thing to do. The only thing to do now. He turned the car on, and drove out. If anyone was watching, they'd see exactly what they expected to see. Him leaving...alone. He'd change vehicles when he was sure that no one was following him, but right now, he wanted them to watch.

At the first red light, he played with the mp3 player until he found the song he wanted. "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica filled the quiet car. The words used to be true. Some of them still were. He turned it up to an almost painful level and forced himself to focus on his schedule of jobs.


Kelly was always amazed at how many places Victor could make ache with an act that was usually so pleasurable. The raw spots on her back, a long scratch on her ribs and her bruised nipple were obvious. The place between her legs was obvious too, though she also hurt from her navel down and her knees up. One of these days she would have to ask how he managed that. If she ever got up the courage. For two days until the ache abated, Kelly relaxed in bed or on the sofa. She called her grandparents daily. Her grandmother still wouldn't speak to her. Her grandfather said that she needed 'more time'. Kelly wondered how much more time she would need.

Victor called once in those two days. Kelly had learned to expect those conversations to be short and limited to superficial topics, but hearing his voice always made her day.

Conlon was another matter. She hadn't contacted him at all. Victor told her that he'd let Conlon know when he was leaving, but the other mutant would stay downstairs unless she called. For the first couple of days, it was easy to put off talking to him. She was sore and she had to get settled into the strange, cavernous space. From what Victor had told her, this was a temporary arrangement. Getting familiar with the place would serve to ease her anxiety and that had to take precedence over figuring out how to apologize.

By the third day, Kelly was glad that the apartment was a temporary location. It was nothing she could put her finger on exactly. At night, the space was so large that even with all the lights on there were pools of darkness throughout the downstairs. During the day, the tall, wide windows all made her feel as though she was being watched all the time. She knew it was silly. Victor would have never left her alone somewhere inherently unsafe. That didn't change her general feeling about the place.

She also knew that she was going to have to settle things with Conlon. She searched through the fridge and cabinets and put together a batch of fresh focaccia, and while that was rising, she started a pot of tortellini soup.

While the soup simmered and the bread baked, she tried to figure out what to say to Conlon. Several times she picked up her phone, only to put it back down immediately. "If I promise not to hit you, will you have lunch with me?" "So, you still have a nose, right?" "I bet you looked distinguished with a broken nose." It all sounded stupid. Finally, she picked up the phone and dialed.


"Have you had lunch yet? I mean, this is Kelly..."

He chuckled. "I know. No, I haven't had lunch."

"Neither have I. I'm making soup. It should be ready in about twenty minutes."

"I'll be up in twenty." He said.

Kelly set the table and put a salad together. In exactly twenty minutes she heard a soft tone from somewhere. She paused, terrified that the windows weren't working how they were supposed to. A moment later the elevator door opened and Conlon stepped out. He looked at her.

"What's wrong? Am I early?" He crossed the room. Concern was on his features and in her eyes.

"Does the elevator make a sound when it comes up here?"

He looked at her curiously. "There's a chime that lets you know someone is on the way. Why?"

Kelly released the deep breath she hadn't realized she was holding. "Victor must have forgotten to tell me about that. Please, sit."

Over the meal, they made awkward small-talk about the food, how her visit was with her grandparents and a hundred other insignificant things. Silence grew between them.

"I'm so sorry about your nose," Kelly said quickly.

Conlon just looked at her for a moment and then he started to laugh. "Is that why you're so nervous?"

She looked away. "It's not like I just go around hitting people. I appreciate you being here-"

"It was just a broken nose." He shrugged. "By the day after Mr. Creed got back you couldn't even tell anything happened."

"You have a healing factor too?" The words were out before Kelly had a chance to think about whether or not it might be rude to ask.

He smiled a little, the emotion reached his eyes. "Well, it's not as good as Mr. Creed's, but yeah. Makes my line of work easier. Besides, it wasn't the worst thing a client ever did to me."

"Really?" Kelly was fascinated now.

"Yeah. Most of 'em aren't so bad. They think they're in danger so they hire me. Most of the time it's not as serious as they think, but that means all I have to do is be there and I get treated pretty well. The one before you was a pain."

"Why?" Kelly asked. She took another piece of warm bread.

"Lots of things. Is there more iced tea?"

"Yes. Sorry." She started to get up, but he stopped her.

"I'll get it. In the fridge?"


"You want more?" He pointed to her half-full glass.

"No, thanks." Kelly waited until he got back to the table, hoping that he would continue.

"She was about your age, but I think she must have dragged me to every trendy dance club and flea-infested dive in New York City. She drank like a fish and had to be the meanest drunk I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. I could have lived with all that if she hadn't expected me to kick out whatever guy she brought home that night. I got into more fights with random, half-naked guys in the six months I was there than on any other job I've ever had. Course what made it even more fun was that they were all under the influence of something. Half the time she'd be screaming and yelling, he'd be trying to hit me and I'd be asking myself what the heck I was doing in the middle of that mess."

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