The characters in the story are a product of my own imagination and hopefully have no resemblance to any living persons. But if it does it is entirely coincidental. Some of the places mentioned are either fictitious and or adapted to suit the plot of the story.
Sex: This story contains sexual content of a graphic nature between consenting adult women, thus if you are not 18 years old and not allowed to read content of this nature, please move on to other suitable stories.
Archiving : This work is copy written and should not be posted anywhere else without the writer's expressed permission.
Thanks to my beta, rleef. All and any mistakes I claim since they were made after the final edit. I apologise in advance.Feedback: Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, so feel free to drop a line or two at email@example.com or sent me a friend request on Facebook .
The music was loud, throbbing. For the woman lying spread-eagled on the bed in the dark room, the throbbing bass matched the stabbing lust that pounded through her body. She prayed her ‘date' was late and hasn't stood her up. She needed release urgently and this was the only place where she could get it without drawing attention to herself. The bed vibrated lightly with the sound of the deep bass, further spiking her arousal. Biting her lower lip, she stole a glance at the closed door. It would take her but a minute to make herself come, but the last time she did that, she got a spanking from her Mistress that made it uncomfortable for her to sit for two days.
Just then the door opened.
A tall silhouette filled the doorframe and the woman on the bed moaned with anticipation. All their sessions took place in darkness and in silence. The moans and screams, the sound of flesh slapping against flesh, the wet sound of fingers plunging deep… those were the only sounds breaking the monotony of silence. No words were spoken…ever. It was strictly forbidden. As she watched, the tall woman closed the door and walked over to the music system and turned it off. The woman on the bed took a shuddering breath and closed her eyes.
With a soft satisfied sigh, Logan rolled off the sweaty, trembling body of her partner. Turning her head to the side, she looked at the gasping woman lying next to her. The dark head turned and liquid amber eyes met hers.
“You're a great lover…the best.” There was a slight accent in the voice and Logan felt a faint stirring of renewed desire course through her body. Emmanuelle's voice always turned her on, especially that soft French accent that laced her English.
“You are even better, my angel.”
She smiled as the brunette blushed. Logan's chest squeezed at the flustered sight of her lover. She still can't believe how lucky she was to have snared this beautiful woman. She shuddered as she recalled her life before Emmanuelle. The endless one nightstands, the beautiful shallow women, some downright dangerous, the partying…the sex…OK, the sex was spectacular. That was maybe the only thing missing with her and Emmanuelle. Their sex life was really good, satisfying and…yes…it was extremely satisfying. Scenes from their earlier sexual encounter flashed through her mind and she smiled warmly. Emmanuelle was too genteel to be exposed to her earlier brand of sex. She studied the soft amber eyes again. No, she was happy to have found her sweet Emmanuelle.
But only if there could've been more to their sex life… She closed her eyes and felt guilt pour from her. Other women would not have been necessary. She truly loved Emmanuelle and hated lying to her.
“Is something bothering you, my love. You look so serious.”
Logan eyes opened and she shook her head quickly. “No, I was just thinking about us and how happy I am to be with you.”
Emmanuelle smiled and her beautiful face lit up. “You are still happy to be with me…even after two years?”
Frowning, Logan smiled at the brunette. “Why wouldn't I be, ma cherie?”
The amber eyes darkened slightly.
“Because…because of who you are. You are…”
Logan lifted herself up to her elbow at Emmanuelle's hesitation. “You will have to explain, my dear.”
Long slender fingers combed through short raven strands, a sign Logan knew as an indication that Emmanuelle was nervous. The amber eyes were soft as they studied her intently.
“You are a very beautiful woman, Lo.” The amber eyes were serious. “You are the head of a billion dollar company and…and you can have anyone you want. I'm but a lowly teacher and…and where you are constantly in the spotlight, I live in obscurity.” The amber eyes looked away. “I know that you need more…in bed. You are an exciting woman who should be dating someone exciting and adventurous. I am still surprised that you chose me.”
Logan leaned closer and placed a gentle kiss on the soft lips.
“What makes you think that I would want more in bed, baby? I am happy with what you give me and I find you to be a great lover.” The blue eyes were tender even as guilt burned a hole in her stomach. “I will not lie to you, yes, I used to date wild women before I met you and we had wild sex, but that is not why I chose you, Manu. I chose you because you are what I have been looking for my whole life. You are gentle and kind and beautiful. I love you so much, baby, more that I can begin to tell you.”
An unfathomable look flashed in the amber eyes before they became tender. “Am I really enough for you?”
“Yes, yes, yes. I would not want you any other way.” Please, forgive me for this, Manu. I truly hope that one day I can be totally honest with you and earn your forgiveness.
They looked at each other for a long while before they kissed again.
“Ok, then. Let's go take a shower. It's almost time for us to go to work.” Manu swung her feet of the bed and rose, making Logan breath catch in her throat. Manu was truly gorgeous. She herself was quite tall and it helped in the boardroom when she wanted to intimidate her male counterparts, but her lover was even taller. Her love for martial arts added supple muscles to her tall frame and her broad shoulders, giving her a sturdy appearance.
Built like that and with her expertise in three martial arts disciplines, Logan knew that her lover was in fact a dangerous woman who could easily overpower her, but in the two years that they've been dating, the French teacher has never even raised her voice in anger.
Unlike Gwen. She shuddered mentally. When she started dating Gwen, Logan had been turned on by the fact that the martial arts instructor could overpower her in bed and ravish her until she was raw, but her displays of power suddenly took on a menacing air. She quickly put an end to their six-month relationship and ordered her bodyguards to block any attempts by Gwen to see her. It was a wise decision from her side, because not long after their relationship ended, Gwen was arrested for battering her live-in girlfriend. Watching Manu, she felt safe and protected because she knew her lover would never lift a hand in anger at her.
“You're going to be late, love.” The golden eyes were amused as Manu watched her looking at her body.
“I can go in a bit later. How ‘bout you? Do you have an early class?” Having seen what she had been feasting on for the past two hours, her appetite has return with a vengeance.
“No, but we have to prepare for the board meeting next week.”
Disappointed, Logan sighed and got out of bed. If she was lucky she might score a quickie in the shower. It will have to last her until they saw each other again.
The amber eyes were cold as they scanned over the contents of the folder. She cursed silently. This wasn't good, not good at all. She looked up and her gaze skewered the man who was standing against the wall, sweating profusely as he tried not to make eye contact. He had his hands in the pockets of the dark trousers, but she knew that they were shaking. They always did when he was in her presence.
“Who ordered this?” There was no trace of an accent in the cold voice.
“Now take it easy, Manu,” the man warned quickly. “It only came through this morning and I was instructed to inform you as soon as possible since…since…”
Manu rose to her full six foot height and walked over to the opposite wall. She stared at the barrier for a long time, trying to control her rage, before she turned to the man.
“I don't like this, George.”
The man pushed away from the wall and cautiously made his way over to the tall Amazon. He was so bloody unlucky to have pulled the short straw this morning, settling him with the unpleasant task of meeting with Manu. They had worked together many times before, but she still gave him the creeps when she looked at him with her piercing golden eyes, just like she was doing now. He'd seen what she was capable off and although he knew she would not strike out at him, he was always careful around her.
“We believe it's the Japanese.”
“Do you know who they will send?”
George grimaced. “Probably Lulu Chen.”
George had expected this reaction. Lulu Chen was bad news. Experience has taught him that female assassins were so much deadlier than their male counterparts. To find out why, he had studied his wife carefully. He'd come to the personal conclusion that women were patient, that was a killer trait in itself, and secondly, they held grudges and got even every time. That was his personal opinion and that was what he believed made them so fearsome. Lulu Chen was not as good as Manu, but she had many scores to settle with the American and that alone made her a force to be reckoned with.
“Find out when exactly the hit was ordered. If it's Lulu, I want to know if she's in the country already.”
George nodded. “About the target…what do you suggest we do about it?”
The amber gaze was hard as they looked into his eyes.
“Leave her to me. I will take things from here.”
“But the agency—” George began.
“—will find themselves in a trouble if they even think of interfering,” came the curt reply. George could see in Manu's eyes that this wasn't an idle threat. “I will take things from here.” She grabbed her jacket and walked to the door. “Call me when you have what I asked for, George.” As she left the room, George sank into the nearest chair, rubbing his sweaty brow.
Dealing with that woman was absolutely nerve-racking. He remembered the day he'd first met her about seven years ago. She was already operational for more than ten year by then, but she'd only come to their attention seven years ago. She was that good. The agency had offered her a job. It meant that she had to switch sides, become legit and be exonerated for every crime she'd committed before she joined the agency.
He was to meet her at a downtown nightclub, a perfect location for her to scout him out thoroughly before she approached him. While nursing his second drink of Jack and soda, a beautiful blonde approached him with an offer to dance. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, he'd accepted. This was the one thing he loved about his job—beautiful women. Under the guise of a secret agent, he could let loose and be another persona. He got laid too, once in a while, but that was information that never reached his wife. A fast dance number was playing and he was just starting to enjoy himself when the blonde suddenly turned and left the dance floor.
The next moment he felt soft hands running up his back, clutch his shoulders, and he was spun around. Slack-jawed, he'd gaped at the woman who was rubbing her unbelievably tall body against his. Pulling back a little, his eyes trailed up a well-toned body, over gorgeous breasts to a face so beautiful it made him want to weep. He only snapped out of his stupor when he met her eyes. They were flat, the eyes of a killer. It struck him then that he'd met the Mist. Looking into those creepy eyes, he'd wished he'd stayed at home.
She'd calmly pushed her hand into the inside pocket of his jacket and took the document he was to hand over to her. The music changed and for a few seconds the dance floor was in complete darkness with only the DJ box glowing a bright red. He never saw her again for the rest of the night, the week, and thankfully the year.
Now as he sat there, he knew that the agency was being placed in a very uncomfortable position. If The Mist and the Tokyo Blade clash on American soil, someone, either the FBI or the CIA will get wind of the titanic showdown between the two most prolific female Assassins of the century. They needed to find a way to divert attention from what was to happen. What made matters worse was the identity of the target. It was Logan Keppler, CEO and owner of Hansom Industries, an international communications heavyweight.
The lover of one of the most dangerous woman on the planet.
Logan was running late. She'd almost completely forgotten about the Japanese delegation she was meeting for lunch at Kong's. She skillfully slid out of traffic and brought her red SLS AMG GT coupe Mercedes to a stop in front of the restaurant. Getting out, she tossed the key to the valet and strode into the cool interior of the Japanese restaurant. A bald man of Asian descent rushed over to her and she smiled at him.
“As always it's an honor to be met personally by management, Shimizu,” she said in a sultry voice, knowing exactly what it does to shorter man.
The dark eyes twinkled as they discretely looked her up and down.
“You don't know how many times you've made me wish that I could be a woman for just one day, Ms. Keppler. Please allow me to escort you to your table.” He bowed deeply and turned, briskly walking pass the main dining area to a private dining room at the back of the restaurant.
Stepping into the room, four men in dark suits swiftly came to their feet. Their eyes ran appreciatively over her tall frame, making her smile faintly. She was used to this kind of reaction from men and women alike. She actually thrived on it. She bowed her head and the men returned the gesture.
“Ah, Logan san, you look as ravishing as always,” the eldest of the men said in a heavily accented voice, waiting for her to take a seat.
“And you, Lee, are a terrible flirt. Remind me to report your antics to Gloria. She will have your head for flirting with me,” she teased him good-naturally. The other men broke out in soft chuckles. It was well-known that Lee Takahasi's gorgeous blonde American wife was a little spitfire. The twenty-two year old, made sure to keep her husband's attentions firmly focused on her, using her physical attributes to the maximum to achieve just that.
“Ah, how cruel of you, Logan. How very cruel, indeed.” His dark eyes were smiling as he looked at her. “We have ordered the usual. Hope you don't mind?”
Logan didn't mind at all. As a woman operating in a largely male dominated world, she knew that most of her male counterparts felt the need to always try and intimidate her. They marveled at her beauty, admired her business sense and hated her shrewd brain, especially when she bested them time and again. Sitting through a business lunch, stuffing her face with deadly blowfish, was just another challenge for her. One she knew she'd win again.
A slight movement behind her made her stiffen slightly and a tall woman stepped forward to stand behind Lee. His bodyguard. She carefully studied the woman. Her eyes brightened as she picked up on the ominous aura which clung to the woman. She slowly took in the short, spiky hair, the cool black eyes and the trim body. She was pleased to find the black eyes staring back at her, unflinching. A slight twitch in her groin made her smile faintly, her eyes holding the cool gaze of the bodyguard. Even after a rather satisfying session with Manu a few hours before, she was still hungry for more. Hungry for a wild, sweaty romp. The bodyguard looked just perfect for what she had in mind. Her eyes faltered a little. If only the damn guilt would leave her.
“She's new, Lee. What happened to Chang?”
The Japanese billionaire rolled his eyes, unexpectedly, making her chuckle delightfully at his uncharacteristically juvenile gesture. Gloria was definitely rubbing off on the fifty year old.
“His wife is expecting and he wished to stay with her since she is very close to giving birth. You should have seen him, Logan. He had this really smitten look on his face every time his phone rang. Who will take a bodyguard serious who looked like a…how do you Americans say…a whipped puppy.” He shook his head. “I'm happy for him, but I wasn't comfortable travelling with a bodyguard who looked so obviously distracted. The agency sent Miri to stand in for him.”
Her blue eyes flickered to the bodyguard and she was slightly uncomfortable by the even colder look in the woman's black eyes. Okay, that's creepy. Maybe trying to seduce her wasn't such a good idea. She returned her gaze to Lee to find him looking at her with amusement.
“I think it might not be a good idea either,” he whispered and they both simultaneously burst out laughing.
There was a short silence on the other side of the line.
“Same time, same place?”
The silence was a little longer this time.
The phone was snapped shut, abruptly ending the call.
The cold eyes bore into the back of the woman's head. No, too messy. Maybe she should go for an area which will not bleed too much. But then, the idea of taking her out was to send out a message. To all the others who try to stifle global Japanese expansion plans—more personally to her American counterparts. She had been dormant for a while now, enjoying life to the fullest.
Over the past three years she'd actually settled into a domestic relationship and was really considering retirement. She really didn't need the money anymore. She was lucky to have made great investments. Now all she really wanted was to get the job done in such a way that will make her peers quake in their boots before she returned to Tokyo and her partner.
The woman turned abruptly and she quickly averted her eyes. She needed to think fast and find an ideal place to deal with her.
Location, location, location…
Pushing a stubborn curl behind her ear, the grey eyes studied the woman carefully. She hasn't changed much. She was still as arrogant as ever. To boldly meet her target like this were dumb, sick, or just plain arrogant.
“Excuse me, ma'am. Would you like a refill?”
The blonde nodded without looking up. Come on, look up , she silently encouraged the woman, but the blonde was obviously deeply engrossed in the almost-transparent slices of flesh on her plate.
“Will that be all, ma'am?” She put a slight forceful tone in her voice and was rewarded by a cool blue gaze. That's more like it. I need you to take note of me, Blue Eyes. She smiled softly when she saw the slight interest in the blue eyes.
“Well, what else do you have to offer,” came the lazy drawl and although she held the woman's eyes, making her own interest known, the pain searing through her heart surprised her.
“As an honored guest of Kong's, your pleasure is my business, ma'am.” She smiled, showing just enough interest without coming across as unprofessional.
This time the lust in the blue eyes were unmistakable. Insatiable devil, she thought as she bowed deeply, trying to hide her triumphant smile.
“I will surely take you up on your offer, miss.”
One of the men at the table laughed softly at their display and leaned closer to the blonde.
“No need to hang around anymore, Logan. I know where to find you when I need you.” He turned to the other gentlemen around the table. “I have arranged for a guide to take us out to experience the nightlife here. If you are ready we could return to the hotel where Logan will meet up with us.”
The blonde speared the last piece of the blowfish with her fork and popped it into her mouth, chewing the deadly treat with open relish. The businesswoman's eyes turned to her, holding her grey ones.
“I have to make a quick phone call first if you don't mind.”
“I'll have to cancel.”
Closing the phone slowly, Logan once again felt overwhelmed by guilt. Here she was cancelling a sex date to have sex with a stranger in the backroom of a restaurant. How ironic? She lowered her head slightly.
To be honest, she was worried. She was worried because she wasn't careful anymore. It was almost as if she didn't care anymore. Why couldn't she just stay faithful to her partner? She'd yearned for stability before, hoping it would cure her from her meaningless sexual encounters. Now she was threatening her somewhat perfect existence with the same smut she'd ran away from.
She looked up and found herself alone in the dining room. Lee and his entourage had left already. She glanced at her watch. She still had an hour before she had to be at the office. Coming to her feet, she sighed deeply. Oh, Manu, why am I doing this to you…to us? But still her feet led her down the hallway, past the kitchen and to the backroom.
Manu was watching TV when she heard the key in the door. Sitting up straighter, she reached for the remote and turned down the volume. The door clicked closed and for a few seconds, there was no other sound. Manu cocked her head to the side. Silence greeted her as she slowly came to her feet.
She heard the jangling of keys and then footsteps followed. Logan's form filled the doorway. Manu couldn't help but see the tension in her broad shoulders and the tenseness of her jaw. The blue eyes were infinitely sad and she took a quick step closer to her lover.
“What's wrong, love? You look terrible.”
Knowing Logan well, she expected her to blow her off with some lame excuse and therefore was shocked when the blue eyes suddenly filled with tears.
“I can't handle it anymore. I thought I could, but I just can't.”
Deep, sorrowful sobs raked through the blonde's body as hugged herself tightly. Alarmed, Manu quickly stepped closer and wrapped the sobbing woman in her arms.
“Oh, Logan, what's wrong, baby,” she asked gently as she held her lover close to her heart.
This was totally uncharacteristic of Logan to just break down like this. The business woman was iron-willed and very rarely showed her true emotions. Because she knew what she was looking for, she could see that Logan was a little stressed the past two days, but she couldn't gauge the true extend of her strain. She held her tenderly as Logan cried until only a hoarse keening sound remained. She gently swung the blonde up in her arms and carried her over to the couch where she sat, cradling her in her arms.
“If…If I t…tell you it would mean the end,” came the trembling voice.
“What do you mean, my love?” She quietly lifted Logan chin from where it was buried against her breasts. “I don't know what you're talking about.”
The blue eyes were dark with torment. They stared at her unblinkingly for a while before Logan looked away. Her usually steady hands were shaking as she rubbed over her eyes.
“I've been…I haven't been honest with you, Manu.”
She nodded encouragingly. She was never one for suspense. Her job offered her way too much of that.
“Manu, I…I…” Logan stumbled to stuttering halt, her blue eyes scared. “I've been cheating on you for the past six months.”
With the confession out in the open, Logan quickly looked away, scared for what she might see in those expressive amber eyes. When the silence stretched for longer than two minutes, she slowly turned back to face Manu. The amber eyes were unreadable as they looked back her. Unnerved by the uncharacteristic tension in her lover's usually relaxed posture, she quickly looked away again.
“I'm sorry, Manu.” Her voice thickened with emotion. “I never wanted to hurt you.”
“I know, Logan.”
The blue eyes filled with fresh tears.
“Can you ever forgive me, Manu? Please?”
This time the amber eyes were sad as they looked at her.
“I've known about your affairs for a very long time, Logan.”
Logan's eyes widened and she felt a sharp pain pierce her heart. She'd known all along and didn't say anything—even when she had lied about it to her face. Oh how Manu must have hurt knowing that she was lying. She felt the tears spill over, streaking down her cheeks.
“I had six months to mourn the death of the confidence I've had in our relationship.” For the first time since they'd met, Logan saw Manu wipe away a tear. “I don't want to make you feel worse than you do already, Logan. But I have a few things to get off my chest as well as a few answers I need from you.”
Taking a shuddering breath, Logan nodded. To be fair, she owed Manu this much.
The amber eyes hardened suddenly, making her stiffen slightly. For the first time she actually realized that there were so many layers to the woman she'd been dating for the past two years. Looking closer at the tall, muscular woman, she was shocked that she'd never seen it before. Emmanuelle did have a dangerous aura about her. Deadly to be sure. The tall woman slowly lifted her from her lap and placed her gently on the couch next to her and stood up.
Stunned, by how her quiet, reserved lover had changed in the blink of an eye into the flint-eyed, deadly-looking stranger, Logan warily watch Manu pacing the thick carpet restlessly. The long legs came to an abrupt halt right in front of her.
“Can you tell me why, Logan?” The husky voice was calm.
Showtime, Logan, she told herself and sat up straighter. For a few seconds she debated how much she should tell, but discarded the thought immediately. She will tell the truth. Even if it will aid in Manu's decision to leave her.
“I'm a sex addict, Manu. I've never admitted it to myself and I've never ever told anybody.” The only reaction was the slight widening of the amber eyes. “This is not an excuse. I should've confided in you a long time ago instead of going out and cheating.”
Logan watched anxiously as Manu pushed her fingers through her short curls.
“I know it's a disorder, but we have a lot of sex together. What exactly were you looking for in the other women?”
Logan felt her stomach drop at the question. This was the most embarrassing for her to admit. She took a deep breath and made eye contact with her lover.
“I like it rough.”
Manu nodded and came to sit on the couch next to a visibly nervous Logan. She was stunned by Logan's honesty as well as her willingness to open up. It was obvious that she was more than willing to try and save their relationship.
“Like your alter ego Renoir.”
A loud gasp.
“You…How do you...?” Logan slowly lowered her head and Manu felt so incredibly sorry for the blonde. There was still so much to talk about and she was already struggling. But they need to get through this if they stood a chance at saving their relationship. She'd known about Logan's infidelity already. Although she'd never really given thought to the fact that they would try to save their relationship. She did love Logan, but wasn't willing to permanently shackle up with a serial cheater. She knew now that it was an illness, a treatable illness. But did she love Logan enough to want to try again? Heavens knows, she had enough secrets of her own. She wondered what Logan's reaction would be to her revelation.
“As much as you like it rough, you still prefer to remain anonymous, Logan.”
A puzzled look came into the blue eyes. “What…What are you saying?”
“Your escapades as Renoir usually take place in the dark. Am I right?” At Logan's hesitant nod, she continued. “All this time that you were cheating on me, especially as your alter ego, Renoir, you were having sex with me. Even earlier in the backroom at Kong's.”
Manu watched as the news sunk in. She watched as the blue eyes widened in horror, fear, and then confusion.
Logan's face was as white as a sheet now as she averted her gaze. How was it possible? How could she not have known? She tried to recall some of the moments she'd had with the faceless woman. They would meet in a dark dungeon in an exclusive nightclub. No words were spoken, except for the lewd comments coming from her as she allowed the large woman to take her over and over again. She felt her cheeks burn at some of the acts they had committed together and the shame that washed over her made her stomach roll. What must Manu think of her? What was Manu thinking as she begged her, like a bitch in heat, to ravish her?
“Even before we started dating I knew about your trips to the dungeon,” Manu said softly, jarring Logan from her thoughts. She looked up to see that the amber eyes were a little softer now. “In fact, that was where I saw you first.”
“What…why were you there. I mean…except for the obvious reasons.” Logan sighed at the sight of a dark brow lifting. “What I want to say is that I can't see why you would go there.”
The amber eyes darkened. “I was there to meet someone who frequented the dungeon. After seeing you there I wanted to know you better and went back again until I managed to get closer to you.”
For a moment it was quiet in the room as they just looked at each other. Logan shook her head slowly and lowered her head. Manu wanted to meet her even though she knew why Logan went there. How could she have messed this up so bad?
“I'm so sorry, Manu.” Logan could hear herself say in a raspy voice. “I love you so much, but…but it…I was trying so hard.” She felt tears leaking from between her close eyes. “I really wanted to be different for you. I wanted to be a better person for you.”
She felt a soft breeze and looked up to find Manu standing before her, her amber eyes shining with unshed tears.
“I know, Logan, and I love you for that.”
“Do you still love me, Manu?” Logan asked in a tiny voice, scared to believe that she might still be able to salvage their relationship. She saw Manu hesitate and felt her heart sink to the bottom of her feet. It was too late.
“I do love you, Logan, but I can only stay with you if you are willing to get help for your addiction.” The amber eyes bored into hers. “You are strong, one of the strongest women I know, and I am convinced that you can beat this thing. You can also count on me to be there with you every step of the way.”
Logan nodded eagerly, a tremulous smile on her lips. Looking into the golden gaze of her partner, the magnitude of love she felt for this woman surprised her. She loved her more at this moment than ever before. She felt her heart expand with emotion, filling her chest and spilling over her lips.
“I love you so much, Emmanuelle.” She felt fresh tears trickle down her cheeks, blurring the image of Emmanuelle.
“Come here,” Manu said softly and Logan felt herself wrapped up in the strong arms of her lover. “Hush, now. I promise you everything will just work out fine.”
They stood like that for a few moments as Manu felt a heavy load lift off her chest. It was liberating to have everything in the open, almost everything. She felt Logan burrowing deeper into her embrace and smiled weakly. She would be stupid to underestimate Logan. The woman had one of the sharpest brains she know and it won't be long before she snapped out of this emotional dip to question her. Logan was sure to query her presence at the dungeon. After all what would a shy, high school French teacher do at such a place? Maybe it was time for her to come clean too.
She gently held Logan away from her and looked down into her eyes. She was surprised to see a brilliant smile on the blonde's beautiful face. She lifted a questioning eyebrow and saw the smile widen even further.
“I think you're the sexiest woman alive and I am so happy that you're my girlfriend.”
Manu grinned and planted a soft kiss on the upturned lips. “That's good to know, my love.”
A slight movement out of the corner of her eye, made her head snap up just in time to see a flash under the harsh florescent lighting of the room. She quickly pushed Logan away from her, not caring that the blonde tumbled over the sofa and rolled over onto the carpeted floor. With a practiced side-step her hand snaked out and snatched the blade out of the air. Manu felt it slice through her finger as she twisted it, ready to launch it back to where it came from. Her eyes caught sight of the intruder and she was momentarily surprised by the identity of their unexpected visitor. It took a second to sum up the situation, seeing the shock register in the eyes of the assassin. She slowly dropped her hand with the dagger still clutched in her hand. She was unarmed, except for the dagger and it would be stupid to throw it, especially knowing that the assassin could have an arsenal of weapons stashed on her person.
“What an unpleasant surprise to find you here, Mystique,” came the heavily accented voice.
Plastering a fake smile on her face, Manu studied the black clad woman before her, her eyes searching the Assassin's body for hidden weapons. Her eyes trailed over the woman's tight leather pants and boots. She would definitely have more blades stashed there. She also saw how the waist band of the pants strained tighter around the woman's thin hips, cutting into her skin. That was a clear indication that she had a weapon pushed into the waistband behind her back. She rarely wore leather clothing to a hit, knowing that these little telltale signs are a dead giveaway and could be fatal. She fingered the blade in her hand and made a mental search of all the places in the lounge where she had hid a weapon. The closest would be the Glock hidden under the large sofa. She just needed a diversion to get to it.
“On the contrary, I must say. It's a great pleasure to see you again, Blade. Last I heard you were setting up housekeeping with that secretary you met in a bar. Although you and I know who she really is.” She gave a genuine smile when she saw a flash of anger in the Assassin's obsidian gaze. “Ah, Lulu, don't tell me that was supposed to be a secret. Come on now, you know in our business there are no secrets. The world's simply too small for us to afford such a luxury.” Her gaze narrowed as she took a sideway step under the pretence that she wanted to lean against the sofa. The Japanese woman stiffened and Manu could see the tension in her shoulders.
“But I think you have been very negligent and that's stupid, Lulu-san.” For a bystander it would look like her taunts were falling on death ears, but Manu was trained to notice miniscule changes in her environment and in people. This little gift has saved her life countless times. She could detect a slight ticking muscle in the woman's cheek, as well as the tightening of her jaw. She was getting under Lulu's skin.
“Why would you say that?” The Assassin tried to portray a relaxed stance.
“Your target is my lover.”
This time Japanese woman didn't try to hide her surprise. Her mouth fell open as she quickly glanced to where a dazed Logan sat flat on her behind, her eyes darting between the two Assassins. The Japanese woman turned back to Manu, a taunting smile on her lips.
“You must be absolutely terrible in bed, Mystique, because earlier tonight she was panting after me.” The obsidian eyes turned back to Logan. “All I could think about then was how much fun it would be to cut of her tits and her labia to feed to the dogs.”
Manu knew what Lulu was trying to do, but she couldn't help the icy rage filling her. She grinned at the Assassin.
“I admit that I could probably do better in bed. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. That's why I take offense at you wanting to cut off parts of her—parts essential to my ongoing training.”
Lulu's eyes narrowed as she looked at the blonde woman. She was completely taken aback by the fact that she was the Mist's lover. Her gaze hardened and saw the fear in the woman's eyes. Her intel on this job was incomplete and once she was done here, she was going to make sure that whoever was responsible for this sloppy job paid for it—with his life.
She had looked forward to this job. With the right setup and execution, it was to be her big comeback into the arena. Her gaze moved back to her nemesis. Mystique was truly an unpleasant surprise. She had many run-ins in the woman and in many she had to back down, because the bitch was always a step ahead of her. It grieved her even more that the woman was regarded as the best. Her eyes travelled over the tall, muscular frame. Mist wasn't easy to take down in hand to hand combat. She had tried before and had managed to get in quite a few well-placed blows, but Mist still managed to come out the victor. The great Dan Lee had created a near indestructible weapon when he took her under his wing fifteen years ago.
A thought crossed her mind, making her raise her eyes to look at the big American. Why was it possible for the Yakuza spies to have found out so much about the Mist's past but nothing about her present life? If the target was indeed her lover, then there should've been ample opportunities to have captured them together. She received a number of pictures and background information on the target. Why leave out such an important thing as her relationship with the deadliest Assassin alive. Something wasn't right here and she always trusted her instinct. There was something else going on behind the scenes.
“Doesn't it strike you as odd that I would know everything about the target except the fact that you are in a relationship?”
She saw the amber eyes sharpen as the wheels started to turn behind the golden curtains. Yes, even she hadn't picked up on it.
“Now that you mention it, it is rather strange.” Lulu heard the reluctant note in the American's voice. “But on the other hand it could also just be sloppy work by your spies.”
The obsidian eyes were cold as they studied the American. “I doubt it. I know everything, even her telephone code at work.”
She noticed a tightening around the American's mouth and knew that the seed of doubt was planted. She raised her hand slowly, but stopped halfway when the American held up the dagger.
“I'm leaving now. I don't know about you but I find this too much of a coincidence.” Her eyes met fear-filled blue ones. “I promise to leave her unharmed until this thing has been cleared up.”
She gave one last look at the Mist and retreated. She quickly slipped through the window she had broken into earlier and disappeared into the night.
Logan pushed herself up on shaky legs, her eyes fixed on the flint-eyed woman who stood in the centre of the room, a faraway look in her eyes. She slowly walked over to the bar. As much she wanted to hit the inside of the tumbler, the more she spilled whiskey on the surface of the bar. She finally gave up and brought the bottle to bottle to her lips, taking a long pull. She felt a hand on her shoulder and yelped.
“Easy, baby, it's just me?”
Logan turned dark blue eyes on her lover. She could still see her standing there with piercing eyes, radiating raw power and menace. How could Manu have kept this side of herself from her for so long?
“Who are you really?”
“What do you mean, Lo?” Manu spread her arms wide. “It's me.”
Logan took another sip from the bottle, grimacing as the fiery liquid scalded her throat on its way down.
“From what I've witnessed tonight, I'd say you're a spy or something. Am I right?”
“No, but you're close.”
“Cut the crap, Emmanuelle. What happened here tonight?” She took another mouthful from the bottle. “Since this has been a night of revelations, why don't we look under your hood for a change? Let's start with the disappearance of the accent.”
The amber eyes flashed and for a moment Logan was stunned by the dark predatory look in the Manu's eyes. Just as quickly it was gone and intense golden orbs studied her calmly.
“My name is Emmanuelle Mistral and I'm a hired gun for a clandestine government-affiliated agency.”
Logan stared at the woman she had been dating for two years. A woman she realized she barely knew. She lifted the bottle to her lips again, sighing as the liquid hit her stomach.
“From my understanding a hired gun is the same as an assassin.” She searched the Manu's face, as she waited for her reply. “Are you an assassin?”
“Yes, Logan, I'm a contract killer.”
“Oh my…” The breath caught in Logan's throat as, for the second time this night, she witnessed Manu's transformation from the shy, soft–spoken woman, to a flint-eyed stranger radiating danger.
The longer she stared at her once tender lover, the more Logan found a trickle of fear course through her. She suddenly wondered how many times Manu had crawled into bed next to her after having killed someone. She shivered at the thought. Had she kissed those hands, allowed them to glide over her body, bringing her pleasure? She couldn't take it anymore and she quickly turned away, leaving a stranger standing the living room.
Manu dropped to the sofa, her face buried in her hands. This was not how she had wanted Logan to find out about her nor that she, Logan, had become the target of a hit. She sighed deeply and dragged her fingers over her face. It was all out in the open now. There was nothing else she could do except to wait and see what Logan threw at her. She slowly came to her feet and walked through the house, checking each lock and window. She partaken enough of Lulu's company for one night. She didn't want to give the woman an easy chance to take her out. She walked out to the garage and brought a piece of plywood with her to barricade the shattered window. After she had fixed the window, she set the alarm and made her way to the guestroom. She was sure that Logan would need space after what she'd seen and heard tonight.
Stepping into the room she softly closed the door behind her and immediately started to undress. Revved up by Lulu's presence, a nice warm soak would be wonderful. She walked into the large bathroom, shedding the last of her clothes before filling the tub. She sorted through the bottles of bath salts, sniffing and replacing them. When she lifted her head, she caught sight of her face and stared. She looked bad. Her eyes were dark and looked a little bruised. Her face looked stiff with the skin pulled tight over her cheekbones. She lifted her hand to her face and roughly stroked over her eyes. Whom was she kidding? She was scared of losing Logan. Even after the cheating and the lies. She still wanted to try and make it work with the blonde. She sat on the rim of the bath, her hands hanging limply between her legs. But after tonight she doubted if she would have another chance. She heard a soft knock on the bedroom door and quickly reached for her dressing gown. She opened the door to a disheveled-looking Logan.
“We need to talk.” Logan's eyes were bloodshot and slightly puffy.
Guilty for being the cause of Logan's state of mind, she stepped back allow the blonde to enter the room. She closed the door softly and made a quick excuse as she walked into the bathroom to close the taps lest the tub overflowed. She returned to the room to find Logan sitting on the bed, her hands in her lap.
“Before we start, I have to tell you that I will not hold back on anything. If you want to know the answer to a question, I will be brutally honest with you.” Manu's eyes darkened with emotion. “You should also know that it'll not be easy to hear about it. I have been in this line of work since I was sixteen.”
Bruised blue eyes looked up at her. “Why didn't you tell me about you…your job?”
“At first I thought it wasn't necessary, because I wasn't sure if we were going to work out. Later…later I tried to find the right opportunity to tell you. But once I found the perfect opportunity, I was at a loss for words.” She rubbed over her tired eyes. “Once I found the words, the opportunity was gone. Lulu Chen appeared.” She slowly seated herself on the bed.
The silence stretched in the room until Manu couldn't handle it anymore. She got up and started to pick up her discarded clothing.
“Have you ever made love to me immediately after a kill?”
Manu's eyes became shuttered as she looked Logan. She relived one night not so long ago.
The house was dark as she let herself in. Her eyes were sharp as she pierced the darkness. Logan was attending a function and Manu quietly made her way over to the whiskey decanter to pour herself a drink. Taking it in one gulp, she had poured another and carried it over to the couch. There she sat looking at the faint glow of the moon through the curtains, her mood dark as she relived the events of the night. Jorge Menendez had died brutally earlier. The drug lord had begged for his life, but all she could see was the numerous pictures documenting his reign of terror. Children and women abused and slaughtered like cattle, just so he could assuage his dark lust for power. She had lost whatever humanity she had left as she had chased him through the marsh, making sure that he knew what her intentions were. Like an angel of death she had pursued him. After killing his bodyguards, she had taken him to the corner of the room. His death was noisy and messy. The message had to be clear.
She'd just finished her drink, when she heard the garage door open. Logan was home. Not ready to face her lover, she made her way to the bathroom. A quick shower might buy her time to pull herself together.
Logan, however, gave Manu very little time to gather herself . Her company had just acquired a new Government contract worth over two billion dollars and was in the mood to celebrate. Against her better judgment she had broken her personal rule of never allowing the morbidity of her ‘other' life to infect the one she lived with Logan. As wrong as it felt that night, she had used Logan to drive away the darkness in her soul.
She felt bile rose in her throat as she nodded. Logan's eyes widened in horror and Manu felt like the worst kind of monster.
“No matter what I say, I will never be able to find the words to apologize for that.” She bundled the clothes in her hands into the laundry basket. She turned back to Logan and found her looking down at her hands.
Manu closed her eyes. “Would it make any difference if you knew the exact date?”
“When, Manu?” Logan's voice sounded hoarse with tears.
At the start of the conversation she had promised to be honest with Logan. There were to be no more secrets.
“Do you remember when you landed the DOD deal?” She saw a pensive look came over Logan's face followed immediately by shock. “I returned from...”
“A teacher's conference in Austin,” Logan chocked out. She lowered her head into her hands.
A shudder went through Manu. Was she ever going to be able to get through all the layers of lies?
“No, I returned from Panama.”
The blonde head jerked up. “You…you weren't in Austin? But you showed me pictures.”
“They were all doctored.” Manu held Logan's eyes as she watched how the blonde's face crumbled.
Logan slowly came to her feet as she ran a shaky hand through her hair. “I don't think I can do this.”
Manu quickly walked over to door, blocking the exit. She sighed when she saw a flash of terror in Logan's eyes. “You asked to talk and I promised to be honest. I need for you to know everything…please.”
“It's too much to take all this…there are so many lies and…and death. The person you had to meet at the dungeon was…was it a target of yours?”
She held Logan's eyes for a moment before she nodded. “We have to get all this in the open. Please sit down.”
Logan stood motionless, her face pale. Manu desperately wanted to pull her into her arms, but knew that the timing was not right. Not when Logan was trying hard to hide the fear that clung to her.
“Maybe I don't need to know anymore,” Logan whispered after a long while. “I just want to leave.”
Manu gasped softly. She wants to leave? She took a step closer and her shoulder drooped when Logan took a quick step back. “Are you leaving me, Lo?”
She saw confusion and fear in the blue eyes, before she looked away. “I need time away from…” Logan waved her hand around her. “… from all this?”
“And what about me?”
Logan's eyes were dark as they met hers. “I don't know. I…I feel like I never really knew you.”
Manu shook her head slowly. If she was honest with herself, she knew she wasn't really expecting a different outcome. She'd known all along that once the truth came out that Logan would leave. “I understand. I will be out of here tomorrow.”
Logan's mouth opened then closed. She gave a shaky nod and pointed at the door. Manu stepped aside. She couldn't help herself leaning closer as Logan passed. It will probably be the last time she would ever smell the familiar scent again. She closed the door softly after Logan's departure. Her eyes hardened as she reached for her cell phone. Something was up and she wanted to know who was stupid enough to try and set her up.
To be continued...
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