Here’s another cold day
In that old November way
Once again it’s begin
I’m stuck and out astray
And you came in like a wave
Through the same paled grin, I gave
And the gulp’s from the gut
I’m flat on the floor
There’s no use riding waves
Crashed to the shore
Disaster paths’ aftermaths
To the ground
And I’m at best an island
And you’re an ocean
And you came in like a wave
Through the same pale grin, I gave
I can just breathe
I can just breathe
~ Just Breathe (Don Brownrigg)
It made no sense to return with work stacked up at all corners of the other side of the globe, but he didn’t care. They could wait – the marks weren’t going anywhere. He saw no one but Ruth. In his suite, he told her one by one what items he wanted transported.
“Ya know my lawyer, Shaul Yahalom; he’s gonna be here t’morrow t’ pick this stuff up an’ take it with ‘im. All I need ya t’ do is pack it up, nice an’ secure – use gloves, no bare hands touch this stuff, an’ only ya work on it.”
Without looking at her, he moved to the mantel. “Anybody can help with tha boxes. That ledger on tha couch goes … an’ this…” He paused, staring into it.
Gently, as if it were fragile, though he knew it couldn’t be damaged if it was run over by a car, he picked up the palm-sized crystal box. Inside it was a delicate golden curl of hair. Moving it to the safe in the closet, he placed it on a stack of papers. Drawing in a deep breath, he let it out slow, and then closed and locked the safe.
“Shaul can open that.”
“Of course,” she responded. When he paused, trying not to look lost, Ruth asked, “Anything else?”
The ugly truth they were both avoiding abruptly took up the whole room. Victor closed his eyes. “Where?”
“Here on the grounds. Do you want to see –?”
“No. Just … keep things like they are. Ya handled it like I said, when Obinata called, after?”
“I did, yes – to the letter.”
He ran a hand through his hair, smoothing wayward strands out of his face. “If ya wanted t’ know why…”
“I don’t need to know anything unless you want to tell me.”
He almost did it, but then the moment was over. “After Shaul leaves, seal up this suite. Nobody comes in, not even t’ clean.”
“You hate dust.”
“Next time I’ll call first; if I say I’m comin’ in, fine, dust it. Dunno when I’ll be back.”
“May I say that … I’m sorry…?”
“No.” Without another word, he left and didn’t look back.
~ ~ ~
Victor took Broadway for as long as he could to avoid bigger highways, turning the drive back to his private jet at JFK International Airport into over an hour of torment, alone in the near-dark. Joe Cocker sang about a sandpaper Cadillac as the smooth and armored Cadillac Eldorado Brougham cut through the night like a sleek tawny animal on the hunt.
He was breathing her scent – there was no escaping it. Glancing over at the passenger seat, he could almost imagine her there: a creature of golden curls and soft skin. She’d been wrapped in a purple sheet that had been saturated with the smells of their mating. That sheet would soon be on its way to the Yukon safe house along with his mask collection and the rest – and the precious treasure of her DNA in an indestructible crystal box.
When there were lights, they would flash or glow like passing phantoms in the dark as the huge car drove on.
Victor tried to think about the work, where he’d been, where he had to be next. Joe wailed on, as if he knew he was Victor’s only way to express what he felt.
Somebody’s pouring blood on its back
Paint that has pierced all the pores in his hide
Paint that has pierced … all the … pores in his hide…
The memory of the red flood he’d spilled in Denmark warred with emotions he didn’t understand that were clinging to her scent.
Damn, those people had a lot o’ blood between ‘em – coulda maybe painted my car with it… Two more stops, then I’ll head back t’ tha Yukon, take a break before tha Vancouver job.
When he had to, he switched onto I-95 and worked over to catch I-678 South to the airport. Terrorizing people in the toll booths along the way distracted him for a while, but by the time he reached JFK, he was in a foul mood. It wasn’t improved by the sight of the Gulfstream G450 jet – it was the same one he’d taken to kill Kalashnikov. When he’d told the pilot to change planes after the last job, he’d forgotten to add ‘not that one’ to the order.
His employees jumped into action the moment he parked near the jet. Zane was talking to his driver, but they both came over right away to greet him and wait for orders.
“Take tha Caddy t’ tha brownstone an’ store it, secure an’ outta sight.”
“Yes, sir,” the driver responded.
Victor retrieved his duffel bag himself and carried it to the jet, tossing the car keys to the man. “Get me across tha pond fast, Zane – lost ‘nuff time with this fuckin’ woolgatherin’.”
“You got it, Mr. Creed.”
“When ya get me t’ Vancouver after these jobs are done, ya can take off fer a bit – I’m gonna be on vacay. Take this beast wherever ya wanna go an’ expense it; yer gonna hafta live without me fer ‘bout a month. I need a break.”
“Not a problem – wheels up in about twenty.”
“Make it fifteen an’ I’ll toss in an escort bonus.”
Ignoring the man’s grin and enthusiastic thumb’s up gesture, Victor stomped up onto the jet. He got settled in his chair after yanking off boots and socks, stretched out his legs in the comfortable worn denim, and tried to relax. They had done a good job cleaning it and the gray interior and red leather seats were spotless, but he could still smell undead asshole in the cabin.
Zane came aboard, still grinning. “Ready, Boss?”
Victor looked out his round window and watched the people scurrying to get the rich man in the air. One of his huge security men was out there – the Italian with anger issues and a talent for fake charm.
“Not yet. Ya can keep yer perks, but go out there an’ tell Saturno ‘is name means ‘god o’ tha harvest’ an’ he can live up t’ it by findin’ me a distraction fer tha flight. Anybody that wants a free trip t’ Venice on a private jet, somethin’ he’d wanna fuck is good ‘nuff.”
“We’re still going to Warsaw, right?”
He tossed the pilot a wink. “That’s right.”
The man moved to the back and made a lot of noise unfolding rustling plastic before following his latest order.
When he left, Victor growled and leaned his seat back. Go kill people fer money, make it messy just fer fun, fer free. Fuck whatever crosses yer path that smells like ya wanna fuck it. Whatever this is, it’ll fade.
The scent that followed Zane up into the jet was a twenty-something female: brunette, decent body, anxious and excited. She was shown to the undead doctor’s seat across the aisle from him and buckled in. Ignoring her initial hellos and babbled gratitude, he caught Saturno’s eye through the window and nodded to his smirk.
When they were over the North Atlantic Ocean, Victor turned to face the woman. Bonnie’s gone. Ya know ya can’t use what ya kept. Forget ‘er … an’ take what ya got right in front o’ ya. “Hiya. Ever been t’ Warsaw?”
“Hi… We’re going to Venice, right?”
“If ya like, sure, provided yer a good girl – if yer not, I can have ya buried in Warsaw … or what’s left o’ ya.”
“Turn ‘round, see that dark thing on tha floor at tha back? They stretch one o’ those out just fer girls like ya. ‘Stupid ‘nuff t’ take a ride with a stranger’ is just my type.”
“Please…” she whispered.
“Boss?” Zane called. “You can stretch your legs now, if you want.”
Victor grinned at the woman, breathing in her terror. “Don’t mind if I do.” He got up and unclicked her seatbelt as she finally understood and shrieked.
He picked her up as she kicked, hit, and twisted, and carted her to the back of the jet. Setting her down hard on the thick black tarp in front of the lavatory, he smirked when he stripped off his t-shirt and jeans. She was in some kind of shock, maybe – staring up at him in silence as he brushed his thick long braid to his back to get it out of his way.
She tried to fight when he came at her, but he barely noticed as his claws tore away her dress and underthings. Buried deep inside her in moments, he held her head and made her kiss him.
Fighting to free her mouth, she gasped when he let her and shouted, “You’re a monster! Please stop… Help me!”
Her screaming hurt his ears, so he kissed her again, and then ate her tongue. It felt good to suck the blood from the stump of it as he thrust in, over and over. When he finished, he withdrew and immobilized her under him with claws set over one breast to keep her still. Curling up against her, he tried to sleep.
Waking in a cold sweat little more than an hour later, he sat up panting. It had been a new nightmare and he’d woken at the sound of his large hands breaking Bonnie’s slender neck.
“Shit…” Growling, he turned and sank his fangs into his prey, sucking at the blood.
She survived many other bites and cuts longer than he thought she could, but soon her movements started to slow as she fell deeper into shock. When he pulled free of the last bite, he stared down at the face. It was full of horror and speckled with blood.
It’s over, don’t mean nothin’ an’ never did. He turned the head and it almost looked like she was glaring at him, though he knew her mind was already shutting down. Fuck ya, bitch. Yer nothin’. None o’ ya skirts mean shit t’ me – just a collection o’ handy holes t’ fuck, just meat, just…
Memory bloomed, pushed at anger, and tormented him – Bonnie’s sweet scent, her sassy smile, the smell of the tears she’d shed with no fear of him in her, just a heat that could burn him.
Dunno why she cried, wasn’t hurt, wasn’t afraid or sad… What was that? Her soft smile, her voice when she had asked to go away with him, it all rose and circled in his head like frightened birds. Stop it, ya stupid fuck! It don’t matter! Ya saved ‘er an’ went t’ stop ‘er probs – sure she was happy ‘bout that. Once it was done, she woulda bailed first chance she got!
Victor glared down at the prey – soon enough, it would be a corpse. With a hiss, he mounted it again and thrust roughly inside it until he came. As he growled with the pleasure of release, he heard the heart stop.
Getting away from it immediately before nature took its messy course, he leaned against the softly vibrating wall of the jet and tried to slow his breathing. The eyes were clouding but still seemed to stare … with loathing, for the brutal freak who had killed her.
Just like Bonnie in that fuckin’ dream… “Zane,” he called out, as soon as he could speak without trembling.
“Fly low, we got some refuse t’ dump.”
The pilot, as unaffected as ever, simply answered, “No problem.”
~ ~ ~
Victor got off of the jet in Vancouver and picked up his newest helicopter there. The solitary flight to the Yukon safe house helped to soothe his sour mood. He went through the motions of things that had to be done and barely spoke to the two French Canadian caretakers who lived there. As soon as he could, he retreated to the master suite of the house that had been carved right into the heart of the Selwyn Mountains, and slept.
Warsaw and Athens had been the same, and when he woke again in a cold sweat in his bed in the Yukon, it was all he could do not to tear the place to shreds in a fit of rage.
Bonnie’s death was settling into his subconscious and waking mind alike as firmly as her scent, and the ghostly memory of her voice and touch.
Growling, he sat up in the trashed bed and reached for his phone to call his banker.
“Don’t talk, Obinata, listen: I want somethin’ done an’ I want it done fast. That skirt name o’ Bonnie Hale, talk t’ Ruth fer details. She musta used tha phone in my suite at Ruth’s an’ tha call was traced. I wanna know who she called an’ I wanna know every-fuckin’-thin’ ‘bout ‘em.” He rattled off a trio of addresses. “First one’s a lab, by tha landfill near there. Scorch it t’ tha bedrock. Next is a buildin’ where Hale was when I met ‘er. If anythin’ was left there o’ ‘ers, I want it confiscated an’ stored. Last one is tha apartment she told me she lived at. Research that buildin’. Let’s play payroll cops an’ lawyers, an’ then apply yer acquisition talents. I want tha buildin’, buy tha whole damn thing – seal it up. No access, got it? Use some o’ that undead fucker’s money. Call me back when ya got some intel.”
He wasn’t able to sleep again, and grabbed the ringing phone as he was pacing across the floor.
“What ya got?”
Obinata’s voice spoke fast and Victor listened, nodding when he started to get what he wanted to hear.
“She called her parents, at her childhood home, Creed-san. I can send you their address. They have recently filed a missing person report but they are having trouble with the landlord of the building due to the rent being late and the red tape has stalled them considerably. If you want the building bought and sealed up, we’ll need a good story if they get a missing person investigation off the ground.”
“Make sure it’s our boys doin’ tha investigatin’ an’ it won’t matter. Tha parents got any weaknesses, leverage we can use on ‘em?”
“Financial trouble, due to paying a New York law firm and a private investigator to help find their daughter – they were middle class prior to this. If the situation spirals, they could lose their house.”
“Buy tha mortgage. They keep their house. Use one o’ yer sock puppet companies so it can’t be traced back t’ me or ya.”
“Are they to be left undisturbed?”
“Yeah. If they can’t afford tha house, make somethin’ up so that they can. Main thing – I want ‘er apartment sealed as-is. Get yer team t’ clean out tha perishables – but get pictures first. I want tha scents preserved, so put tha buildin’ on lock-down.”
“Now that I have a clear view of the situation, I should have no trouble accomplishing these tasks. I assume Miss Hale is no longer alive?”
Victor stopped pacing and fell silent. He moved to stand at the fireplace and watched the flames with his free hand leaning on the bare mantel. “She’s dead – might give ya tha long ugly story some other day.”
“When you are ready, my friend, or never – I will take care of the details as you wish. Try to rest.”
Victor grunted at him and hung up. When a knock sounded at his suite doors, he growled. “What?”
“Sir,” the cook’s voice called through the door, “you wanted to be told when Mr. Yahalom arrived with your shipment? He’s here.”
~ ~ ~
Firelight flickered on the garish carved wooden masks that crowded on their stands along the mantel. Most of the other items were scattered on the table. Victor sat in one of the chairs at the table and held the crystal box on his palm. The golden lock of curling hair was a dull brass in the dim light away from the fire.
He rose and moved to the fireplace. For one moment, he thought about throwing it into the fire. A breath later, he set it with care at the center of the mantel.
“Time t’ be tha ghost ya are, darlin’. Cling an’ rail if ya want, but this ol’ beast’s battered head has seen far worse than ya.” He moved away to lie down on the bed. “Wish I coulda saved ya … but yer gone. Gonna go on, gonna do what I do, an’ one day … I won’t remember yer name.”
~ ~ ~
In his sleep, he held her and they mated with passion and heat, over and over, until they could barely breathe. She looked at him with warmth as he moved to embrace her, his hands closing around her neck.
“No…” he muttered, twisting the sheet tighter around him. “No… I’ll keep ya safe … keep ya…” His hands gripped, twisted, snapped – and her lifeless body sank against him. He screamed at himself not to do it, even as he did it again.
Her smile was warm.
The hands gripped.
Her scent welcomed him, soothed him…
The neck snapped.
“Bonnie!” he shouted, and woke with a start, claws tearing through to the mattress. Sitting up, he let his head sink into the hands that had taken her away from him. “I had t’, I promised. It was quick…”
Even as the whispered words left his lips, he knew that this torment wouldn’t be quick.
He heard his voice in his head: I’ll keep ya with me, keep ya safe… His body slumped as his hands fell into his lap. “No, yer gone… Bonnie…”
(Sabretooth will return in Redemption.)
Author’s Note: It may be weird that I wrote part 1 of this Sabretooth series after I wrote Redemption, but I had to wrap my head around how to expand the existing comics into a fan fiction story that didn’t have to cut away where Marvel made Mr. Dan Jolley stop. I’ve actually already written quite a few chapters, and in some cases whole story parts, of this series prior to this part 1, as I go where my muse leads me. Most of them need an edit run, though. Also, having found a few more typos, I’m currently running an edit on some of those stories as well. Bonnie Hale is a driving obsession for my Victor Creed throughout this series, but the majority of the series is going to pair Victor with Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man. I have fallen in love with the Victor/Tony pairing, and weirdly, it works. Thanks to the helpful suggestion of a wonderful reader, Canucklehead Cowgirl, I’m going to call my Victor/Tony ship “IronTooth”.
In Redemption, Tabitha Smith ends up being Victor’s version of a messy rebound, and in Blood Song, Victor will be exploring what Bonnie really was to him and what she did to/for him, whether he likes it or not. Also, his run with Tony Stark gets rolling in that story. Then Cutting Edge is full-tilt Victor/Tony, and then on it goes. I hope you will stay with me through the wild ride yet to come in this series, and thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm (@MET_Fic)