Sabretooth: Redemption – Chapter 11 – Beta

What’s wrong with me?
Why do I feel like this?
I’m going crazy now

No more gas in the rig, can’t even get it started
Nothing heard, nothing said, can’t even speak about it
On my life, on my head, don’t wanna think about it
Feels like I’m going insane, yeah

It’s a thief in the night to come and grab you
It can creep up inside you and consume you
A disease of the mind it can control you
I feel like a monster, oh

Throw on your brake lights, you’re in the city of wonder
Ain’t gonna play nice, watch out you might just go under
Better think twice, your train of thought will be altered
So if you must falter, be wise

Your mind’s in disturbia, it’s like the darkness is the light
Disturbia, am I scaring you tonight?
Disturbia, ain’t used to what you like
Disturbia, disturbia, disturbia

~ Disturbia (Rihanna)

*****************************************************************

 

One lone slice was left in the pizza box in front of her. After getting through only two slices, Victor had pushed the box across the table closer to her.

“I’ll leave tha rest o’ tha kill t’ ya.”

“I can’t date a man who doesn’t share my love of junk food, dude.”

“Better call National Geographic if ya ever bring a bag o’ Cheetos ‘round me, cuz they’d wanna film that shit. Never been a fan o’ greasy pizza.”

“Do you want something else?”

“Nope. Wanna watch tha tube while ya finish – ya mind?”

“Um, no… Go ahead.” So far, this ‘in charge’ stuff is just weird as hell.

After the valet had taken the car away, she had nervously tested this newest insanity he’d dreamed up about her calling shots by telling him she’d like to walk along the street the hotel was on to look at the Christmas decorations. She’d offered her hand and he’d taken it, strolling along for all the world like her over-sized mutant boyfriend.

The way he keeps watching me is nerve-wracking, though. I don’t buy this bullshit of me being the boss one bit – but… She sipped her Dr. Pepper and sighed. The city stroll and the walk in the park had made her heart ache for things she couldn’t have. The power, money, strength and ferocity of the man were intoxicating when she wasn’t the one he was intimidating. I have to remember that it’s just a matter of time before he seriously injures me – whether he means to or not.

Tabitha got up from the table when she finished her soda, abandoning the last slice. Not sure what to do next, she went to sit by him on the couch. He was watching Full Metal Jacket in his t-shirt and jeans, his hair still in the ponytail. He’d ditched the boots even before the coat, and adamantium claws glinted on his toes. The finger claws were retracted. She’d never had the guts to ask about things like that. Maybe now was a good time to start.

There are going to be limits to this, but will he tell me what they are before I cross them? Hell, this is probably just another game to him, but he seems to seriously want me to boss him around? The idea made her shudder and insisting on pizza delivery had been the extent of her attempts since they returned to the suite. Got to admit, though – watching him eat pizza with those fangs in his way was a trip.

The tension between them was palpable, but she didn’t know how to interpret it. She knew she was nervous; it seemed impossible that he could be.

That leaves stuff like frustration, irritation … because I haven’t really tried anything bossy. Shit. Talk, Tab, do something, geez. For a moment, a loneliness that stole her breath crept up to form a lump in her throat. If he was Sam, I’d know what to do. Frowning, she pushed the thought away. He isn’t Sam, he’s Victor Creed. Yeah, he’s scary, but he’s also hot as hell and can out-fuck anybody. Holding back a sigh, having already noticed his eyes flick over to her more than once, she steeled herself to jump in. You’re lonely and horny, Tab – time to roll the dice. “I’ve never seen this, is it good?”

“R. Lee Ermey makes it good, but tha gore is silly.”

“Okay… I would think you’d like that.”

“See? Look – bodies ain’t got that much blood in ‘em an’ it don’t spray like a firehose. It’s funny when Monty Python does it, but this is ‘sposed t’ be a serious drama.”

Tabitha smiled. “You sound like Cable, griping about how the guns never run out of ammo in movies.”

“Yeah, that’s obnoxious, too. Hard not t’ count tha shots, I do it all tha time. ‘Course, some movies, I lived through tha topic – those are hard t’ watch at all unless they get ‘em right.”

“Um, what did you want to do tonight? I mean, in bed? You said you had an idea or something in mind that would be easier on me?”

He turned his head and watched her long enough to make her squirm. “Set it all out on tha couch in tha dressin’ room. Use what ya want, it’s yer rodeo, darlin’.” He looked back at the huge screen that had been hidden over the wet bar. “When ya wanna go up, lemme know. If ya wanna not fuck, say so. Ya know what I want, but we’re playin’ couple an’ yer wearin’ tha pants t’night.”

“I don’t not want to … but I’d like to cuddle awhile first, maybe make out like teenagers again?”

“Want tha tube off?”

“Ah…”

He picked up the remote and handed it to her. “Seen it a hundred times. Live a li’l, Tab. Gimme a few orders; turn ‘bout’s fair play, right? I’m an impatient alpha bastard by nature – but willin’ t’ play along.”

Drawing in a breath, she took the remote and turned the movie off. “Make out with me, sweet and gentle. Um … like a boyfriend.”

She almost leaned back away from him when he turned his body to face her. It was like watching a switch get clicked in his brain. His arm along the back of the couch moved and drew her in, nearly into his lap. Shirtless was almost always better on him, but now it had extra appeal, because the hideous art of the Death Metal band on his t-shirt was hard to ignore.

“Lose the shirt,” she whispered.

Tabitha did lean back as he sat forward and stripped it off, tossing it in a wad on the coffee table. She cuddled up and explored his chest and abs with her hand as he bent his head down to kiss her. She responded warmly in a few moments, surprised all over again that he could be so gentle and make it sweetly hot.

Breaking the kiss to watch his face as her finger played with a nipple, she smiled at the catch of his breath. Darting a peek down at the jeans, she saw them start to swell.

“You’re as easy to get going as I am.”

“We’re easy, Tabs, plain an’ simple. Sex is fun.”

She bent down to suckle the nipple and paused when he hissed. “Is that okay?”

“Can’t help tha critter noises, babe – feels good. Ya oughta know by now, not all o’ ‘em mean bad stuff.”

Meeting his gaze, she swallowed. “I feel like I’m trying to jump rope using a cobra.”

Victor chuckled. “Lemme worry ‘bout mindin’ my pointy bits. Ya already figured out how t’ keep yer tongue in one piece in my mouth. Do whatever ya want t’ me. I put a whip on tha couch upstairs – not like a nip suck is gonna turn me int’ a killer.”

“Okay… Um, yikes.” She moved to sit on his lap and let him kiss her again, his arms circling her in a loose hold. When she had a chance to come up for air, she whispered, “It’s nuts what an amazing kisser you are. I can feel that monster stretching your jeans under my ass, but you kiss like you could do it forever and all with that hungry focus on your face. You’re just – fucking gorgeous.”

His thrumming purr startled her, but his reply made her lean back and stare at him. “Ya know I could really fall fer ya, don’t ya?”

“Well … if we’re playing ‘couple’, wouldn’t you have already done that? As play, I mean?”

He leaned in to touch her forehead with his. “Ain’t playin’ ‘bout that.”

Tabitha couldn’t answer. She didn’t want to know if he was just acting. She lifted his head with a fingertip under his chin and brushed feathery kisses up both of the long lower fangs.

“Shit, girl…”

“What?”

“Love that.”

“Open your mouth – can you drop your jaw down like you do? I – I want to see it.” The look he gave her was almost … worried. “I won’t touch them,” she whispered. “I hate that he did that to you, Victor.”

“Can’t always control those instincts,” he muttered.

“I know. Please?”

She watched the movement, partly hidden under the mutton chop sideburns. A rounded thing under his skin, probably bone, pushed out slightly under his earlobe and then moved down and the lower jaw opened wide, the bottom fangs no longer pointing up on either side of the end of his nose. The sharp carnassials and the serrated inner edge of the lower fangs fascinated her, but she knew she shouldn’t push this for long.

Tabitha put her hand on the side of his face, over the fur, and then the other hand gently touched the twin bunched muscles that stood out on the sides of his neck when his jaw was down. She didn’t know why, but he was looking up at the ceiling. She decided to leave him alone about that.

“I never thought about how you do this,” she whispered. “Is that for slashing deer and stuff?” His eyebrow arched high and she muttered, “Oh, sorry.” She pressed her fingers against him a fraction more and smiled to feel it work as he brought his jaw back up. The lethal fang tips rose up over the lower part of his face again.

His eyes looked at her. “Can’t talk with it down like that, an’ yeah – deer an’ stuff.”

“I had this insane idea of seeing if my whole head would fit, but I think I’ll pass.”

He smirked at her. “Most o’ it would. How quick they forget…”

“So how are you able to roar and make those crazy noises the way you do? Some people can mimic a lion, but it sounds like a person making lion noises. You don’t.”

“This would be a lot faster if I just let ya at Google fer half an hour. Type in ‘roarin’ cats’.”

Tabitha wilted a little. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Ask whatever tha hell ya want. Helluva lotta my anatomy ain’t that close t’ human at all – other bits are an evolutionary grab bag. Got ossified an’ flexible hyoid bones in my throat; they support tha tongue an’ lemme make diff’rent sounds. Tha flexible thing’s an elastic ligament, can’t pronounce what it’s called, ‘epi’-somethin’ – that’s what lets me roar. Tha other ossified part makes tha purr, cuz tha bone vibrates. Guess tha mutant gene couldn’t just pick one.”

“How do you know all the science stuff? Google?” She winked at him.

“Sinister, mostly. He had me in ‘is lab quite a few times, but if ya don’t mind, I’d rather skip jawin’ ‘bout that.”

“Deal. Dueling hyoid bones and ligaments. Cool.”

“Plus, flatscans tryin’ t’ roar an’ shit, they’re speakin’ gibberish t’ other felines. Me an’ tha snow leopard understand each other just fine.”

“You can talk to house cats, then?”

“Yeah, but feral critters got way more stuff t’ communicate with than sounds, though.”

She leaned in and stared into his eyes. “Oh, wow.”

He recoiled slightly. “What?”

She didn’t answer right away, but sat up straighter on his lap and held his face firmly. She’d never had the guts to really stare at his eyes up close. The amber glow wasn’t a blank orb of light like a flashlight. Beneath the luminescence was a black pupil, oval and pointed like a cat’s-eye slit. Around it, an amber iris that looked nothing like a human eye began to move, darting the slit of pupil slightly from side to side. There was no white to the eye; the whole orb that she could see was iris and pupil. As she watched, the slit started to widen.

With a little gasp, she leaned back and moved her hands to his furry chest. “I’m sorry, I … I never noticed before.” Now that she knew, she could pick them out more easily and watched as they contracted again to narrow slits. “I liked your blue eyes, but … um… They’re beautiful.”

His gaze dropped away from hers and he took a deep breath and let it out slow.

“Victor, I’m sorry, if that – bothered you.”

His eyes closed. “Didn’t… Kiss me,” he whispered.

Tabitha sucked in a breath and kissed his soft lips. He deepened it, his arms holding her closer. One hand slipped up the back of her shirt, the fingers poised on the bra catch.

She smiled into his kiss and whispered, “Yes, I think … we need to be naked pretty soon.” The bra snapped open and she balanced on his lap as he put his palms over her freed breasts before reaching down to pull her shirt and bra off of her. When he play-batted at her diamond like a kitten, she smiled and softly smacked his fingers away from it. “You can be such a goof. It’s a bit of a shock, but kind of awesome.”

“If ya wanna see me be a serious goof, lemme take ya t’ see Spamalot in tha Big Apple.”

Leaning back again as his arm circled to brace her, she giggled. “Sounds like fun. Hey, I bet if we pop that buttonfly, your dick might spring out like a snake-in-a-can. Does he miss me?”

“He’s hopin ya want ‘im.”

“I want to play with him, but now I’m really curious about what else might be on that other couch upstairs.”

“Say tha word, babe.”

“Let’s go.”

He picked her up off of him and set her on her feet. When she headed for the stairs, he rose and followed. She climbed enough of them to be equal to his height and turned to face him.

“Strip. Only naked people get to go upstairs.”

His grin stretched as he sheathed his claws and worked open the jeans. The curve of the shaft did push its way out and the rest sprang free when he hooked the belt loops and dragged them down. Stepping out of them, he stood in front of her, back straight and proud.

Tabitha sat on a step and held one of her boots up. “Help a girl out?”

Victor moved in, one hand under her calf, and gently pulled the boot off and stripped away the sock. His mouth kissed her instep, making her gasp. She felt her panties grow even damper when he did the same to the other foot. She opened her button and zipper and scooted with a hop to get them off her ass. He gripped the hems and slowly pulled them off her legs.

“Really wanna eat that.”

“Oh, hell yeah.” She watched him sink to all-fours and stalk-creep up the stairs to her. “Cut the panties off with your teeth.”

His hard cock struck her leg when he lowered himself to obey. She felt the needle-sharp thick upper fangs slip between her skin and the lace.

“Holy shit…”

The fangs hooked the edge and he moved his head back to pull the panties out away from her body. Then the lower jaw snapped, the larger bottom fangs piercing from below and the lace just disintegrated in a slash. A turn of his head cut the side strap and then his mouth was on her and she spread her legs for him shamelessly.

His palm stroked over her lower belly, the fingers flexed back to keep the shining claws away from her. Staring down at it, she felt a flush of embarrassment at the slight mound there.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, looking up at her.

“Nothing… Um, trying to eat – food – like you do is starting to make me gain some pounds. Wasn’t it your job to keep me fit and trim?”

The sound he made was like a chuckle and a purr fighting for dominance. His tongue slipped out and licked her belly. “Probly just bloaty from all tha greasy pizza after I been feedin’ ya real food fer nearly a bloody month. Don’t bother me none; I like it.”

“Works for me. I usually double-down on the crunches after New Year’s. I swear I won’t get fat.” The chuckle won the fight, but she didn’t bother to ask what was funny, afraid the joke would be on her.

“Promises, promises…”

“How about a carry up the stairs? Kind of rough on the back here…”

Still chuckling, he moved to pick her up and held her against him as he went up to the loft level. He set her on her feet at the foot of the bed. “Want me t’ explain all tha toys next door?”

“Ah, no… You stay here, sit on the bed. I’ve seen some of your toys already on a Nancy Drew snoop.” Amused at his playful mood when he sat at the end of the bed and smirked at her, she stood between his knees and kissed him. “I’ll be back in a bit. Behave.”

She walked off into the dressing room and stared at the black couch. The whip was a leather cat-o-nine, its handle polished wood in a shape that could only have one other purpose. The lashes were knotted. Quite a collection of other things were spread next to it, but she didn’t notice them after she saw the leather harness. Stuck through a metal ring in the front panel was a frighteningly thick foot-long black dildo toy. The other side of it was thinner and curved and she knew that was for her.

“Shit,” she whispered. The thought of it started a nervous excitement fluttering in her belly, but the idea scared her, too. What if I do it wrong, hurt him, and then he shreds me? Biting her bottom lip, she reached out and touched the harness. This is his, it was probably in that cabinet, so he packed it. Wow… He packed that, for a trip with me. Okay, Tab … the self-described impatient bastard is waiting. Decide and figure it out.

She picked it up, realized it didn’t look that complex, and then swallowed hard. With trembling fingers, she began to put it in place, blushing when the inside end popped inside her wet pussy. The monsterous dildo, now her surrogate cock, bobbed obscenely in front of her. Making it wag or bounce moved the part inside and she made a quiet noise of pleasure. Blushing again when she remembered he could hear it, she tightened the straps down a bit more. Thanks to her stint as a stripper in thongs, the back strap between her buttcheeks wasn’t too annoying.

Hand hovering over the rest, she picked up the whip and a riding crop, and stared when she noticed the leather of one of his wide black belts placed among the choices in a neat coil. Its heavy steel buckle was a skull like a biker would wear, but the skull had fangs. She knew exactly what that rough leather would feel like lashing over bare skin. She’d been raised with it. Feeling her blush start to go pale, her stomach dropping, she turned away from it with a shudder and faced the open doorway.

Walking was as weird as hell. She tried to look sexy, wondering what powerful sex dungeon women felt like, but feeling mostly foolish and self-conscious. When she reached the bedroom and saw how he looked at her, she froze, surprised. It wasn’t a smirk or a grin and he wasn’t chuckling at her.

He stared, but it wasn’t predatory. She remembered how he’d described Perrin and thought, Eager… He wants this, wants to be hurt, and he’s… Holy shit, how do I do this? “Victor?” she asked, hating how her voice cracked.

“Come here, Tabitha.” He held his hands out to her and all the claws were sheathed. His hair was still banded at the nape of his neck and his soft lips were unable to hide the terrifying lower fangs.

She felt tears prick her eyes as she moved to take his hands, realized she was still holding things to hit him with and nearly started to cry.

He took them from her and set them off to one side. Taking her hands, he pulled her up to him, the heavy dildo striking his muscled thigh and sliding up it as he wrapped her in arms that could throw a car.

“I’m sorry,” she gulped out, and the tears started to fall as her fear rose and he’d know and there was nothing she could do about it.

“Shhh… Hush babe,” he whispered.

The soft voice and gentle touch just made her cry harder. “I want to do what you want, I want to please you … but I don’t know if I can hurt you… I do know that I – I don’t want to hurt you…”

He moved her back to kiss her lips and then pressed their foreheads together again. “Not used t’ hearin’ that; most folks are into it fer their own reasons.”

“Please don’t make jokes like you think you’re not worth any better than that…”

“Ya sayin’ ya think I am worth better than that?” His finger rose and the smooth pad of the wide fingertip brushed at her tears. “Ya forgettin’ ya hate me?”

“I don’t think I do … anymore – even though I should. I’m just scared I’ll mess up and get hurt…” She sniffed and tried to calm down. “Victor… Please don’t hurt me, please don’t…”

“Not gonna, babe. Ya don’t gotta use those if ya don’t want. That’s part o’ bein’ tha boss an’ makin’ tha decisions.”

“You want it,” she whispered.

“Yeah, but we need a special bit o’ fun fer other times, don’t we? Lessee, I get t’ bite ya on my birthday, but ya gotta pick when that is, cuz I ain’t gotta clue. Already had my Christmas nibble, near enough. We can save beatin’ my ass in bed fer Valentine’s day or somethin’, since it’s so romantic. Whattaya think?”

She burst into a nervous crying laugh. “You’re bonkers, you know that?”

“Yup, I know that.” He held her tighter and let her rest her head on his chest. “Can’t really explain it without seriously killin’ tha mood, here – but that stuff is sexy t’ me.” He huffed out a breath. “If I can mind tha teeth, I can hold off on that. Willin’ t’ give ya time, babe.”

“Maybe I could work up to trying it, for you? I just … spent my whole childhood being beaten; it’s hard to see it as … sexy… I’m sorry…”

“Cut it, don’t need t’ be sorry; yer tha boss.” He wiped more tears and she kissed the finger when it moved over her lips. “Def like yer cock, though; ya look fuckin’ adorable with that thing hangin’ down.”

“I have no idea how to use it; I was so terrified I’d fuck up and hurt you, and you’d…”

“I can coach ya. No reprisals, I promised.”

“You did?”

“I am, now. My slut ass has had Sinister’s freaksome horse dick stuffed up it; that soft, squishy toy ain’t gonna hurt me none.”

“Can it be … nice, though?”

“Yup.” He leaned forward, nudging her with his chest to get her to step back and studied her. “Wanna keep ya, Tabitha – but I want ya t’ stay cuz ya want t’ be with me. I dunno how t’ make that happen without force an’ threats – an’ yer right, I am tha poster boy fer trust issues. If ya think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell ya could want t’ be my mate … I’m willin’ t’ learn from ya how t’ get ya t’ wanna stay.”

“Victor … you aren’t … mentally or emotionally … well,” she whispered. “You know you aren’t…”

Those luminous amber eyes dropped away from her again, his head turning away as his embrace went lax. “I know that.”

“Can we take it day by day, maybe? Without making big promises, and just … see how long we can make it last? That’s how ‘couple’ works…”

“Might hafta decide before too long.”

“What’s the rush? I’m twenty-three and you’re probably immortal.”

He shook his head and sighed. “Nothin’. Want ya t’ decide on yer own.”

“Do you think you could really love me, Victor?”

“Babe, no lie, I’m fuckin’ terrified o’ that. Just … wanna keep ya.”

“Why terrified?” she whispered. She wished he would look at her, but he was staring down at the diamond on her chest.

“Ain’t in tha cards fer me t’ have nice things, guess ya could say. Everytime I try, it falls apart or blows up in my fuckin’ face. All carin’ ‘bout somebody’s taught me is that they’ll betray me, run off, or die on me – easier t’ just fuck an’ walk, ain’t it?”

“You keep trying, though; you want more.”

“Sucker fer punishment? Gettin’ my heart yanked out backward through my fuckin’ teeth seems t’ be a theme.”

“How many times have you really put the effort in?”

“Often enough t’ figure out tha BOHICA pattern.”

“The what pattern?”

“Military term – Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.”

“Okay… What does ‘be your mate’ mean, then? Like, one of your lionesses or something? I’ve figured out it probably doesn’t include monogamy.”

Victor smirked. “Means I’d keep ya safe from any damn harm – includin’ harm from me. When my inner kitty takes a mate, he don’t try t’ hurt ‘em, even in a red haze. Don’t go jumpin’ in front o’ ‘is teeth, natch. Also means I’d provide fer ya – an’ anybody else that happens along.”

“That sounds a lot like ‘wife’ to me.”

“We can negotiate tha terms later. Kiss me, boss.”

Tabitha almost felt dizzy when she kissed him, shocked by all that he’d admitted to her. When he dropped his forehead on her shoulder and took a deep breath, she lifted her hand and stroked his hair. She smiled when the purr started.

“Weird question time?”

His voice muffled against her body, he answered, “Shoot.”

“Since you’re all ‘bodies do what they do’, are you freaky about … uh, ‘moon time’?”

He picked his head up and the quizzical expression made her smile. “Tha what-tha-fuck?”

“You know … periods. I mean, are you the ‘oh crap now we can’t fuck for a week’ type? Or one of those ‘I got my red wings’ adventurous types? I bet I can guess, but it’s more polite to actually ask.”

“Ya think we’re fixin’ t’ say hiya t’ yer Aunt Flo?”

“Well, I’m not an obsessive counter of days, but I usually punch my ticket around the end of a month. It occurred to me that my bloat could be Flo and not pizza.” She made a face. “You’re not going to call my tampons ‘vampire tea bags’ and like try to drink me, are you?”

He looked surprised before he threw his head back and laughed. Tabitha stepped back and put her hands on her hips. When the dildo slid off of his thigh to bob between them, she blushed again.

Trying to stop laughing, he smirked at her. “Guess we’ll find out – eventually. Can’t say I’ve ever run int’ that particular issue before. Women don’t stick ‘round long with me – usually cuz I eat ‘em.” Chuckling, he added, “Ate a few on tha rag, though; I can pick ‘em out in a crowd easy – tha smell’s like fine perfume in a cheap whorehouse.”

“You should write for Hallmark, dude. You said you had a son, even if he did turn out to be an asshole – apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… So one woman stuck around a while.”

“She don’t count an’ that wasn’t exactly planned, not on my part, anyhow.”

“Who was she?”

“Wanna play ‘I feel jealous’ or do ya want me t’ suck yer cock?”

“Probably not a great idea with the fangs – plus all the other knives in your mouth.”

“Ya might be surprised. I’m an ace at suckin’ dick.”

“TMI, Vic. You’re sure it won’t hurt you?”

“Cross my heart an’ pinkie promise. Want me on my belly like a slutty li’l bitch?”

“My God, you are so romantic; I’m swooning.”

“I’m horny as fuck, Tabs.”

She thought about it. “On your back, middle of the bed, knees up – like a slutty little bitch.”

“Soundin’ a li’l less like a cock cherry now, huh?”

“I’ve watched gay porn. It’s hot.”

“Be still my beatin’ loins, yer my dream girl.” He turned where he was, set a knee on the bed and crawled up onto it.

“Wow, okay – hold still a second.”

He looked back at her over his shoulder. “What now?”

“Just enjoying the insanely pornographic and mind-blowing view. Carry on.”

Victor snorted and flopped over onto his back. His weight made the heavy bed frame groan. He watched her as he drew his knees up and spread his thighs, and then smirked. “Be gentle, Rhett.”

“I can’t believe I’m doing this…” She managed to crouch between his knees and put her hands on them. “Um, what do I do?”

“Use yer hustler trick. Not that I care if ya just shove it in.”

“That would damage you.”

“It’d heal.” He reached up and opened a drawer in the nightstand easily without getting up. One claw popped and speared a large tube of lube. “Want that?”

“I’m the boss, right?” she asked, unsticking it from the claw.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Then once I get you ready, show me how to move.”

She felt nervous as she worked in lubed fingers and the mattress paid the price, but her excitement grew as she watched him get lost in it. Seeing his toes curl when she rubbed his prostate was fun, even though it popped those claws and made more holes and tears in the covers.

“Ya wanna fist me, babe? Be my guest, but if not, that’s probly good enough – an’ that thing ain’t gonna let ya open it fer long, anyhow.” He snagged two pillows and her fingers were pulled free when he hoisted his hips to stuff them under his lower back, elevating his ass.

“Uh … it … closed again?”

“Told ya. It does that. Don’t fuss ‘bout it; all tha other boys like it that tight, includin’ me. Showtime. Scoot yer knees up t’ my hips an’ set tha tip against tha glory hole. Just pop yer hips when ya get goin’ – ya seen me do that.”

“How do I make it hit your prostate?”

“Oh, it’s gonna.”

“This thing is like your version of a teddy bear, I suppose.”

Victor chuckled. “Anytime yer ready, Tab.”

She slicked up the dildo, set it in place, and then gave her hips a flick. The head of it disappeared and he sucked in his breath sharply. “Is that okay?”

“Shove it in. Fuck me, babe.”

She grabbed his thighs and hauled her body closer, pushing the thing steadily in. The claws hit the mattress again and gouged. She moved to draw it back and made a practice thrust. “Wow, okay, I forgot the other end was in me.”

“It don’t suck?”

“No, doesn’t suck,” she agreed, and did it again. “I can’t go as fast as you do, and I can’t reach to kiss you.”

Victor hoisted himself up on his elbows and curled his long back up. “A shove fer a kiss. Yer too short fer that t’ be real feasible.”

Tabitha shoved and stretched up to kiss him. “Maybe I’ll suck your dick instead; that feels like being on the rack.”

“Lady’s Choice…”

She wrapped one arm around his bent leg, grabbed his leaking cock and sucked the head as she found a thrusting rhythm. Watching his head fall back and hearing his groan inspired her to work both ends harder. She knew her body would tire before he was finished, and the thrusting motion had her muscles reminding her of their rough sex the night before, but she wanted to go as long as she could.

When his fingers reached out maybe fifteen minutes later and gripped her curls gently, she paused. Abruptly, the exhaustion rushed through her. “What is it?”

“Yer gonna damage yerself, babe – yer still recuperatin’.”

“You’re not even close,” she protested, her shoulders falling.

“Back up, I’ll play cowgirl.”

“Um, what?” She wiped sweat off of her forehead and slowly walked backward on aching knees.

He moved with the same lithe grace he always did, not even breathing hard. On his knees facing her, he pressed his body into hers and bent his head to kiss her, deep and soft. His cock was trapped against her body, while hers bobbed between his legs. As she experimentally snapped her hips once, it struck his balls. She froze, but he only chuckled. When he moved away, he picked her up and laid her down on her back.

“Cowgirl. Gonna ride yer pony dick.”

She watched as he faced her and straddled her slender hips, gripped the dildo in his hand and dropped himself down on it all at once. It made her wince in sympathy, but his pleasure was obvious. He used the bunched muscles of his legs to ride it and as his speed increased, the harness nearly lifted her hips on his upstroke. The movement made the other end inside her feel amazing and it wasn’t so wide that she had to think about avoiding injury.

“Lend a hand?” he asked, his breathing finally quickening.

Tabitha was confused for a moment; she’d been mesmerized watching his cock, powerful body, and expressive face. He took her wrists gently in his fingers and placed her hands on the head of his cock.

“Make a tunnel,” he told her.

“Oh…” She surrounded it and started to give it a hard squeeze on his downstrokes. His hand moved between them and two fingers slipped under the leather to pinch and play with her clit. “Shit, yes … oh my God…”

She wasn’t at all prepared when he came, but he managed to lose it and still keep his weight off of her. She did try to catch his cum, but it got everywhere when she lost her hold on his slick cock.

He rose off of her contraption and nearly broke the bed flopping down hard onto his stomach.

“380 pounds with the metal, huh?” she smiled and reached out to stroke his back.

“Now ya know why I hate skinny French furniture. Be a pal an’ stuff it back in – just lie on me.”

Tabitha had to struggle to get up with his weight so far on one side of the bed. She half-fell over him, pushed down on the dildo and was surprised when it punched back in as if the muscle hadn’t been opened at all. It made Victor grunt, but then the purr started up. She moved to shove it in deeper and settled, pillowing her head on his back.

“Yer def a keeper,” he muttered against the covers.

“You did most of the work. I’m too damn little.”

“Hear me complainin’?”

“Um, no…” He fell silent and she began kissing his back. “Are we sleeping like this? Because you roll sometimes.”

“Bitch, bitch, bitch,” he muttered, but she leaned over and saw the smile stretching.

When she realized two of his fangs were caught in the blankets, she started to giggle. “We murdered the bed.”

“It was askin’ fer it.”

Tabitha propped up on her forearm and reached to slide his hairband off of the ponytail. She put it on her wrist and started playing with his hair. “Okay, I like this. I like what it does to you. You’re almost mellow. Don’t fall asleep.”

“I still got duct tape.”

“I’m still the boss. Come on, get up. We can salvage the bed and I can’t sleep in this thing.” To get him out of his stupor, she pulled back and thrust in once before clambering off and out of him.

Victor grunted. He either didn’t notice the fangs were stuck or didn’t care, and they sheared the blanket when he lifted his head. “I ain’t gettin’ up.”

Noticing the whip and crop tangled in the covers, she pulled them loose. She managed to stand and got the harness off, sucking in her breath when the toy popped out of her. “Roll to the middle, then – you might break the edge.”

She heard him roll over. Taking the kinky collection back to the dressing room, she set it all on top of the rest on the couch and went back. Victor was on his back in the middle of the demilitarized bed. He was watching her with heavy-lidded eyes. She crawled up beside him, moved a wad of sheet to pad a wet spot and used his chest as a pillow.

When she leaned in to look closer at his eyes, they opened wider and she smiled. “Your cat pupils are blown out huge – or they were.” She watched the rounded black pupils contract back into vertical slits.

“Not tha only part o’ me that was.” He closed his eyes and shivered. The low groan that escaped his lips almost made her hot again.

“Wow, what was that for?”

“Healin’ factor cinches it up again mighty quick – feels fuckin’ amazin’ when it’s been stretched that much first. Sign o’ a good time had.”

“Silver-tongued devil,” she teased.

“Ya love my fuckin’ tongue.” He shifted slightly and then settled. “Showers in tha mornin’, need sleep.”

“Are we leaving all the lights on?”

“Handy li’l remote’s on yer nightstand, Miss Observant,” he muttered, sounding half asleep.

Tabitha sat up and twisted to grab the thin black device full of buttons. Managing to figure it out without having to ask him, she plunged them into darkness. Putting it back and looking down at him, she smiled to see the thinnest lines of amber light watching her. She leaned down to kiss him before snuggling up again, surprised when he was awake enough to make it a real kiss.

“Goodnight, Vic.”

The only answer she got was the deep thrum of a lazy and contented purr.

~ ~ ~

Before she could bathe, he sat her on the bathroom counter edge and fucked her slow and sweet, careful not to push too deep. He made sure she came before he did, as he almost always had, and then cleaned her up with his tongue. She realized with surprise that she was getting use to that and didn’t comment on it.

Bodies do what they do – and it’s kind of hot watching him lick his junk up out of there. Maybe he’s right about my exes all being babies about that. I bet he’ll totally go for the vampire red wings, too; he’ll probably even manage to make that hot.

He filled the tub for her and set her in it before starting up a shower in the glass stall back by the toilet.

“You’re not soaking with me? I could just shower with you.”

“Ya need tha hot soak. I smell like a yak an’ need t’ scrub tha shit outta all this fuckin’ fur.”

“Are we going out today?”

“Dunno yet. Gotta make a call.”

She stayed in the tub longer than his shower and got the odd treat of watching him brush his teeth after he shaved. “Did it take a long time to figure out how to do that without destroying the brush?”

Meeting her gaze in the smeared clear patch he’d made on the fogged mirror, he snorted. “Ya got no idea, darlin’.”

“I love watching you abuse your hair. Towel it to death, twist it into a damp knot – after all that punishment, it just dries into that curly gold mass anyway.”

“Got it caught in my fuckin’ asscheeks in tha shower, ‘bout ripped my head back. Might be time t’ shave it off again.”

“Don’t you dare, I love it.”

He threw on a huge black bathrobe and came over to kiss her. “Ya got it, boss.”

“Oh, am I still in charge?”

“Nope, but yer my lady, ain’t ya? Don’t ya females in this modern age always think yer tha boss o’ yer compliant men?”

“Ha, ha. I’m smarter than that, dude. There isn’t a ‘compliant’ adamantium-covered bone in your body.”

“Fer tha record, anytime ya wanna totter up in yer cute li’l pony dick an’ stuff my ass with it, ya can be tha boss again.”

“It’s a deal.”

He finished up at the sink and headed out. “Breakfast is comin’. I’ll send tha obligatory came-with-tha-suite servers on their merry way.”

“Thanks.”

“Not startin’ without ya an’ tha impatient bastard is back, Tabs. Get out before ya pickle.”

Tabitha stuck her tongue out at him just to see if he’d smirk at her. When he did, she grinned back at him. She watched him go and then made herself leave the tub. She felt much better and far less sore. Fewer new red marks showed in the mirror and former ones were more faded. The first few, and the first bite, were turning into scars.

Maybe I don’t care. Last night, he blew my mind. I’ve never been someone’s ‘mate’ before. The way he said it, it sounded like it was more important to him than the idea of ‘wife’, like it meant more. Never been called someone’s ‘lady’ either; he says that like I matter, like I’m … special. Maybe I’m not just a Bonnie stand-in now?

In the main room of the suite, she heard him speaking in Japanese and his tone sounded like a businessman. She shook her head as she finished with the towel.

In the park, when he ran off, I heard him roar in the woods like a wild beast. I haven’t forgotten how he acted in the safe house, or what he did. Reaching for her bathrobe, she paused before putting it on and touched the first scars on her neck as she looked at them again in the slowly clearing mirror. He’s marked me and he said it makes me prettier to him. The territorial red flags here should have had me running screaming by now. Plus, I’m still wearing the necklace of his victim just to make him happy. She sighed, remembering the night before and how he had acted since they got up. He might kill me if I run, but I’m not sure anymore that I want to run. I can’t keep my head in the sand, though… Shit. You’re fucking bonkers, Tab, just like he is.

*****************************************************************

Victor thought about just keeping her in the suite, but that wouldn’t ‘feel like freedom’. So he took her out on the town and showed her how the rich lived and played in Vancouver. Lunch was on a boat cruise. They went to a few of the museums, the aquarium, and even saw a play.

When they returned to the lobby of the small theater, its front windows were dark and fogged with frost. It was snowing again. He led her to one side as the rest of the audience, nowhere near as dressed up as they were, streamed out.

“I can’t muster any surprise that you like Sweeney Todd, Vic. Murder, mayhem, cannibalism, throat slashing…”

“Revenge o’ lost love an’ turnin’ tha asswipe that did it int’ a pot pie? That’s romantic as fuck, babe.”

“That pie song was funny.” She looked up at him and smiled. “I like to hear you laugh like that.”

“Stay here, snug in yer new presents. I’ll go get tha car.”

The girl was almost buried in the dark mink coat and she obviously loved it. He liked seeing the glint of the diamond on her skin between firm breasts in a low-cut black and peridot Alexander McQueen frock. She had assured him she could walk in the crystal-encrusted platform McQueen heels she’d chosen.

“Be quick, before someone just has to ravish me.”

Victor grinned, showing all the fangs, before leaning down just slightly to kiss her. “Ya don’t need me t’ protect ya – just stab ‘em with one o’ those lethal heels.”

He’d known the Bugatti would be a target in this part of town, especially in the empty side lot he’d parked it in. He was almost disappointed when there were only three idiots trying to steal it.

“Scratch tha paint on my ride an’ we’ll see where yer bits are gonna end up.”

Only one of them had the sense to run, but Victor already had his scent. He dodged the bullets fired by the skinny one and slammed him up against the side of the car with claws at his throat. The bigger one swung his pipe and Victor sliced adamantium claws through the steel. It fell into pieces that rolled under the car.

“Victor, wait – don’t kill them!”

He turned his head and snarled at the figure coming up behind her – a fourth, with a smell of metal. Without hesitation, he fisted the hand on the skinny man’s throat, the claws nearly decapitating him. The other tried to swing the shortened pipe again, only to double over as his gut was opened above his belt.

“Oh, shit!” Tabitha screamed, as he came at her. He grabbed her and pulled her into one arm, spinning her out of the way against the car as the man behind her raised and fired his gun where her head had been.

Victor staggered back a step, roared, and then jumped. He landed on the shooter, jaw extended and snapping up again even as they hit the cement. The gun skipped away as the arm was sheared from the body. Rolling, he lurched to his feet.

“Get in tha damn car!” He threw the keys to her. She yelped as she unlocked it and slid in, trying to avoid the blood on it. Growling, Victor dropped into the driver’s seat and snatched the keys back. “Told ya t’ wait inside.”

The car leapt forward as he gunned the engine and she didn’t answer as she grabbed for the dashboard. He found an alley a couple miles away, slipped into it and threw the car into park.

“Got somethin’ t’ say t’ me?”

“Yes – I didn’t mean to get them killed.”

“Oh they were gonna get dead.” He hissed as he looked down at his chest. “Aw, fuck.”

“Were you shot? Let me see!”

“Don’t be stupid, that ain’t nothin’.” He opened the suit jacket and shirt, pulled them out of the way to reveal the lump under healed skin and popped a claw.

“Oh God,” she said, and looked away when he opened up his chest to get the slug out.

Victor took her wrist a minute later and dropped the crushed bloody bullet into her palm. “Yer souvenir t’ remind ya that I tell ya shit like that t’ keep ya safe.”

Staring down at it, she muttered, “I’m sorry.”

“Are ya all in one piece?”

“Yes…”

“Okay, then. Good t’ know tha Hugo Boss didn’t die in vain. Ya got blood on yer coat sleeve, though. Hold it over here.” When she did, he licked it off, chuckling at the look on her face.

“Ugh. I bet they have dry cleaners in this town.”

“Ain’t got no time fer that – gotta dinner reservation t’ catch.”

“Are you okay? Everything healed?”

“Everythin’ but my tailor’s heart.” Throwing the car into gear again, he added, “Buckle up.”

She clicked the seatbelt without a word.

Driving up to a coin-operated car wash, Victor stopped in front of a man rinsing his car and rolled his window down. “Be a pal,” he said, and grinned with all of his teeth showing. When he rolled up the window, the man sprayed the blood off of the Bugatti. “See, what’d I tell ya? It’s true – us Canadians’re tha nicest folks.”

He was impressed when she didn’t bring up the dead men at all, not at the sushi bar for dinner, or during the drive back to the hotel.

~ ~ ~

Victor stood nude at the window overlooking the harbor after letting Tabitha take his jacket and wadded up black suit and tie upstairs with her. He’d told her not to bother hanging up the jacket with the others. She had stuck a finger through the neat bullet hole in the front lapel and gone pale. He was just happy his overcoat had dodged it.

Whiskey bottle in one hand and fine Cohiba Cuban cigar in the other, he watched ships move on the water. The fireplace and heat were toasting the suite nicely. It was good to be still and quiet; just as good as it had been to feel flesh open under his claws and fangs.

As she reappeared and came downstairs, she had changed into one of his t-shirts. He turned and watched her sit on the couch, pulling her feet up under her.

“Are you mad at me? I could have bombed that gun out of his hand.”

“Nope – enjoyed tha exercise, though.” He went over and sat next to her, blowing the smoke away from her. “Ya like Pink Floyd, or just wanna cuddle up in somethin’ that smells like me?” She didn’t answer, but her small hands began to stroke the fur that randomly traced some of the muscles of his thigh. “Ya made my inner kitty jump pretty fuckin’ quick t’night – guess he likes ya.”

She cuddled up under his arm. “Next time I’ll stay put so I don’t get people killed.”

“Some folks ain’t worth worryin’ ‘bout, darlin’ – doped-out car-jackers fer instance.”

“Will you tell me who the woman was, the mother of your son?”

Victor snorted. “Still latched ont’ that, huh? Ya make it sound so grand. Most o’ tha time my sonny boy an’ me are tryin’ t’ kill each other – hell, same with ‘is mommie dearest, now an’ then.” She was quiet, looking up at him. He sighed. “Ya know ‘er as Mystique. First time I ran int’ ‘er, she was a blonde German spy named Leni Zauber. East Berlin, Cold War. I was CIA then an’ tha runt was on my team, believe it or not. Me an’ ‘er, we were both ‘sposed t’ kill tha same target, some scientist mook. She got there first. We busted int’ tha West side an’ ended up havin’ t’ lie low fer ‘bout a month in this tiny fuckin’ flat. Wasn’t nothin’ t’ do but drink an’ fuck, so that’s what we did.”

“I don’t usually like cigars, but that one doesn’t reek, at least.”

“Cuban delights, babe. Wanna puff?”

“No, thanks; I do have to worry about my lungs. So … you just fucked for a month and then left?”

“Pretty much, but she wasn’t afraid o’ me. Wasn’t used t’ that. Guess ya could say I was hopin’ it wouldn’t end there. Then she left tha flat t’ meet a contact, said she’d be back, an’ got dead. Saw ‘er in tha morgue. That was tha real Leni … guess I never met ‘er while she was breathin’. I shoulda been able t’ smell that she didn’t have my scent on ‘er, but I was mostly smellin’ chemicals an’ too pissed t’ pay attention much.”

“Pissed because she was dead?”

“Yeah, plus I’d been AWOL fer a month; wasn’t thrilled ‘bout goin’ back ont’ my government leash.”

“Did Mystique kill Leni?”

“Got no clue. She said later that Leni wasn’t even a spy, called ‘er a bean counter. She’d used tha body bein’ found so she could disappear. I never knew I’d knocked ‘er up, not at tha time. Maybe it happened near tha end o’ our tryst. Takes a bit before it changes their scent. Found out later ‘bout bouncin’ baby Graydon Creed; she picked tha damn sissy name. Still don’t know why she put ‘Creed’ on tha paperwork. I was more surprised t’ find out that she was a metamorph pretendin’ t’ be Leni.”

“So what happened to him? As a kid, I mean?”

“Once Raven figured out he was a flatscan, she abandoned ‘im. She’d already shipped ‘im off t’ a school somewhere so he wouldn’t get in ‘er way. I didn’t even know he existed ‘til he was grown, but Raven ain’t winnin’ any awards fer motherin’ an’ he’d found out ‘bout me an’ my rep. Hell, she probly told ‘im. He grew up t’ hate us an’ ended as one o’ tha biggest anti-mutant assholes t’ ever crawl up tha Capital steps o’ D.C.”

“There’s a lesson buried in there somewhere, you realize that…?”

“Yup. Don’t let ‘em grow up once ya hear they hate ya that bad. Irony bein’ a bitch, he was tha one that sent me t’ kill ‘er. Had our throw down smack in tha middle o’ ‘er Paris date with tha runt – guess she don’t mind cheap knock-offs o’ tha real deal.”

“So you didn’t kill her, since she’s still around…”

“Naw, she told me all ‘bout our li’l mistake an’ ‘bout ‘im bein’ behind tha hit an’ I let ‘er walk t’ go pay ‘im back fer what he’d done t’ me an’ mine. Handin’ me over t’ crackpot surgeons an’ puttin’ fuckin’ bombs in me so ya can use me as yer own personal killer ass-puppet is a fast track way t’ get on my bad side.”

“I’ll, uh, keep that in mind. It makes shopping for your Christmas present a challenge, though.”

“Diggin’ my shit outta that house he trashed an’ haulin’ it all up t’ tha Yukon was a tedious bitch, too. Biggest prob was losin’ Birdy, my pet telepath. Needed that psychic glow then t’ keep my brains straight. Sure, I’d probly got ‘round t’ killin’ Birdy, she did sell me out t’ Junior – but by tha time he killed ‘er, I wasn’t done with ‘er yet.”

“I’m … so sorry for your loss.”

Victor smiled, leaned down, and kissed her curls. “Coulda killed tha brat, but ‘is malice in deprivin’ me o’ tha telepath was kinda impressive, so I let ‘im live.”

“What a sweet father-son bonding moment. Dude, you got issues.”

“I wasn’t much o’ a family man type then. Could change – if tha right girl stuck ‘round an’ turned in ‘er X.”

“Hmm. Hey, if Mystique wasn’t afraid of you and wanted you – why didn’t you fall for her like … um…”

“There’s def a diff’rence, babe. Raven a.k.a. Leni wanted some dick. At tha time, she wasn’t real fussed ‘bout who it was attached t’. I was tha dick that happened t’ be there.”

“I understand. Who is the guy in Chicago? You called him a ‘minx’?”

“‘Nother metamorph – has a torch burnin’ fer me. He works fer one o’ my oldest friends, a madam who runs an all-mutant brothel. She’s one o’ tha teachers ya been enjoyin’ tha teachin’s o’.”

“Oh. So you have a thing for metamorphs…?”

“Pretty fuckin’ handy fer crazy kinky fun, ya know.”

“I guess, but I wouldn’t know.”

“Not much beats ‘em when ya gotta hankerin’ fer variety. Dick or pussy? Tentacles? Or ya wanna bone George Clooney? They got it all. Maybe I’ll take ya there. He can turn int’ yer long lost cornhusker fer ya. I’d even pay if ya lemme watch.”

She made a face. “No thanks and eww. Besides, doesn’t your aversion to monogamy not extend to me? I bet I’m supposed to only let you fuck me, right?”

“Knew ya were a clever gal.”

“Uh-huh.” She got up and kissed him. “Okay, bathroom. Um … when you’re done smoking that, how about getting into bed and I’ll be there in a bit?”

“Sounds like a plan, babe.”

Victor was half-dozing on his stomach when she crawled onto the bed. The leather and rubber scent of the rig mixing with her heat tugged his lips into a smirk. He knew leaving that case unlocked after cleaning up the toys had been a genius idea.

“Ya like that, huh?”

“Um, yes…”

“One condition, darlin’ – ya gotta grow int’ those rubber balls an’ just shove it in this time.”

“Okay… I will.”

“Mmm… Lay on, babe.” He spread his legs for her and when her fingers touched him simply to open the cheeks and set the thing at his hole, the purr sparked on its own.

“Ah, I brought this.”

He didn’t need to look; he’d smelled the crop tucked in her harness, too. “Go fer tha back an’ legs with that an’ I’ll work on not buckin’ ya off.”

“Does that mean … yes, you want that?”

“Told ya if ya wanted t’ play with that again ya’d get yer boss title back – do what ya want; use me t’ make ya feel good. Toss outta command or two an’ ya might get an even wilder ride.”

“You really like that, don’t you…”

He didn’t answer. She drew in a deep breath and shoved her hips forward. The rubber toy tore into the muscle, rough and brutal, and all of his claws popped and dug in at once. The staff had replaced the whole bed that morning – they might need to replace it again.

“Fuck! Do it, babe – fuck me rough.”

“Shut up,” she ordered, and the flat of the crop smacked hard on his back. “You’re not allowed to talk unless I ask you a direct question.” She popped the toy back out and moved back. “Get up on your hands and knees. I … I’m going to hit you with this thing wherever I want.”

The purr modulated into a low growl, but she was starting to figure out the differences. Her fear stink was there, but her heat intensified when he obeyed. His claws dug deeper into the mattress when she started to rub at his sack with the flat of the crop. Hoping to encourage her, he purred louder. It was only a gentle smack, barely more than a kiss of leather, but it woke his cock up fast.

“If you don’t behave, I’ll hit them harder.”

The purr instantly became a snarl but he was still surprised when she actually followed through and snapped the thing hard. The pain pinned his ears down, his hiss making her hesitate. Then, greatly daring, she got closer; she set the dildo at his hole again and paused.

“Tell me you want me to fuck you, Victor.”

“Shit, yeah…”

“You want me to hurt you?”

“Yes…”

“Beg me.”

Holy fuck… He growled at her instead and she hit his back with the crop. When he snarled again, she struck a thigh. He felt his body’s nerves start to fire, the instinct to twist and slash rising only to hit the wall of her sweet scent and fall back. Hold ont’ it, fuck … control it, ya damn piece o’ shit! He forced himself slowly under control and let her fear and her courage to hit him again help him to submit, to get exactly what he wanted. He made his head sink low between his shoulders. “Please,” he whispered, “hurt me…”

Her scent spiked into excitement at the exact moment that she popped her hips and dug the dildo back into his body. Her free hand gripped his long ponytail and wrapped it around her fist like it was a bucking strap.

“I’m going to fuck you, Victor, and you’re going to be good and let it happen. You’re nothing but my toy to play with.”

Victor groaned and let the words, the senses, and the near-assault of her cock and crop wash over and through him. His heat rose, threatening to cloud his mind, and when she used the shaft of the crop to scrape up the underside of his cock, it swelled so fast it hurt. The foreskin stretched and retracted, the tip blushed darker as it began it drip. He couldn’t control the claws.

“I’m going to come first, and second, maybe even third and you aren’t allowed to. Not until I’m done.”

He splayed his knees wider and felt the fucking in of her cock arrow right to the pit of his balls. The growl sparked again, a sound of need he couldn’t control if he’d wanted to. She found a rhythm and the cock beat against his prostate as it pushed deeper. He began to think about how she couldn’t fuck hard enough without hurting herself, but then the flat of the crop popped in a brutal smack to the leaking head of his cock.

A snarl was torn out of his throat through bared teeth, but the change had begun and he let it take him down. It was something deep and private, a need he had hidden even from himself for most of his life. His head sunk lower as the jaw started to drop, the fangs dripping saliva in strings.

He was struck again, but his mind didn’t register where or why. He breathed deep and smelled a masculine scent, mixed with tobacco, cheap wine, sweat, and layer upon layer of the cloying smell of sex. In his mind, he heard the low, urgent voice again. Be still, Victor, mon grand, be still. You need this, you want it. Bite into the pillow, mon beau chat, mon cher, if you must. I know it hurts, but I must … have you… He lowered down onto his forearms, his head pressed to the thin cold padding. The growl slowed to a low rumble, as he fell still, submissive and opened wide.

Something soft touched his cock, a hand that reached around his hip to squeeze the head. He felt lost, almost drunk, until a female voice spoke his name, her English words dragging him back to himself.

“Victor… I want you to come, you need it…”

His mind’s eye saw rough bedding, heard the harsh shouts of men calling to each other in many languages outside a small tent. Calloused fingers held his smooth chin and turned his head, the mouth that tasted of tobacco and wine kissed him. The man broke it to chastise him to be careful of fangs, and then kissed him again, as the hot seed burst deep inside his craving and aching body.

“Victor, come on,” the female urged, the small hand without callouses working his cock.

He groaned, and then his hips bucked. His body was still filled. His heat rose and swallowed his mind and his body bucked again. The sensation of soft flesh and calloused memory blended and he came, the release simply washing his fragile sense of self away as the blackness took him.

~ ~ ~

The scent of water slowly pulled him awake, and then the sounds returned – a gentle splish noise, and his name. A soft piece of wet cotton touched his back.

“Victor? Are you awake? Please be awake?”

He groaned, turned his head and breathed deep, scenting again. Tha female … mate … “Tab?” he muttered, his voice sounded rough, shakey. The thought of that made him growl low.

“Yes, Victor… I’m … glad you’re back. That sort of seriously worried me… Are you okay?”

He looked for the water and saw a glass beer mug from the wet bar on the nightstand. She was wiping a washcloth over his skin. The soft touch modulated the growl into a purr.

“Yeah… Shit…” Smelling her fear, he twitched and woke more, lifting his head to look back at her. “Did I hurt ya?”

“No, not at all. I was afraid I managed to hurt you.”

“Naw… Feel drunk… I think.” Her smile of relief, fear scent receding, strengthened the purr.

“Do you want me to leave you be, let you sleep?”

He frowned, feeling his stomach drop. “No, stay. Just … keep touchin’ me. Please…”

“I will, okay.” She continued wiping his back with the cool cloth. She’d dropped the rig somewhere, maybe in the bathroom. “I’m … just going to keep cleaning you up. I’m kind of guessing you like this, so … tell me to quit if you don’t.”

Bold as brass, she ran her cloth right over his hole. He could feel the lube trying to dry in his fur and abruptly wondered how long he’d been out of his head. She hadn’t had the thing lubed up at the start.

“That may require a hot bath; you’re furry in some surprising places.” He smiled at the thought of the mess he was lying in. “Can I ask – what happened? You kind of went away…”

“Guess ya could say it’s like subspace. ‘Cept it happens t’ me pretty rare; usually play like that wakes up my inner beastie instead.”

“Is this a kinky deal? I’m a newbie.”

Victor growled. “It’s a BDSM deal. Subspace, look it up.”

“Okay… I’m sorry…”

He sighed and quieted. “Look out, gonna roll. Might leave some fur behind, I think I’m glued down.” Once he settled on his back, he could feel the endorphin crash creeping through him. “Come here, cuddle me, babe.” He held her close when she curled up against him. “It’s kinda like a trance that rides tha endorphins high o’ play like that. I’m a crazy motherfucker with jacked up senses, so it can do some weird shit t’ my brain.”

“It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around the idea that you can be … uh, submissive.”

“It has its charms an’ a whole new range o’ feelin’s t’ explore. Not all comes are equal, ya know; sometimes lettin’ go an’ givin’ over can make it intense as fuck. My sticky mess down south’s proof.” His claws retracted before his fingers toyed with her curls.

“I can’t tell if you sound mellow or down.”

“Endorphin crash, babe. Healin’ factor’ll wipe it out in no time. Ya did good, baby Domme an’ all; ya had fun?” She blushed and he smiled. Those blushes could kill him.

“I did. I didn’t know what you meant in the park – but I could get addicted to that, sure.”

“Truth is, might be a safer game fer us, long as we’re careful o’ pullin’ tha beastie’s tail wrong.”

“That sounds nice.”

“What?”

“Hearing you say ‘us’ and ‘we’.”

“Tell me yer willin’ t’ be my mate an’ ya’d hear more o’ tha sweet stuff.” She fell silent and still at that. He could almost hear the wheels turning in her head and wondered if the men he’d killed that night were lashed to them. “Didn’t mean fer ya t’ see those flatscans die at tha theater. Thought that last one was gonna paste ya an’ I had t’ –”

“Shh…” She rose up against the pile of pillows and kissed his brow. “Just relax, Victor.”

He turned onto his side toward her and laid his head on her shoulder, one arm draped over her waist. “Why’d ya tell me all those secrets, back in my Danger Room cell?”

“I … guess I just wanted to say it to someone. I needed to express it, my feelings and my past, and you seemed like a safe person I could share with … at the time.”

“Did it help? Ya know – before I got my brains back an’ started usin’ it all against ya…”

She cuddled closer and kissed his head again. He couldn’t help the little shudder that moved over his skin, but then the purr started up on its own. “It did help. I had … feelings for you then, too, even if they were pretty complex and guilt-ridden. It helped to tell and to see and feel that you still accepted me afterward.”

“Ya had feelin’s then … too…?”

“Yes, too.” She brushed his hair out of his eyes, but he couldn’t look up at her. “What is it, Victor?”

“Wanna hear a secret, ‘bout that subspace shit?”

“If you want to tell me, yes, I want to.” Her fingers reached to slip the band off of his hair. She pulled some of it over his shoulder and played with it.

“It was almost like a hallucination, diff’rent smells, like a dream. Memories o’ smells can really stick. Remember I told ya ‘bout time compressin’ in my brain sometimes?”

“I remember. Was it a … good … hallucination?”

“Think so. I was all o’ a sudden bein’ fucked by tha Frenchman in a tent. Probly a buried memory cuz tha scents were so real, tha sounds, everythin’. Now I think ‘bout it, tha smell o’ tha steel an’ piles o’ rail ties was all ‘round me – an’ ‘is cigs.” He thought about her question and frowned. “It hurt. Maybe cuz he was hung an’ I wasn’t so big then.”

“But … weren’t you only fifteen? Wasn’t that kind of … awful of him?”

“Diff’rent century, darlin’, diff’rent ways o’ thinkin’ – an’ I ain’t been a kid since I was ten. Fifteen, yeah. Guess he woulda been ‘bout forty. ‘Sides, back then, legal age o’ consent was ten or thirteen, dependin’ on where ya were.”

“Yikes.”

“Folks didn’t know stuff like they do now an’ they didn’t live as long, neither, so they started sooner. Ya know Romeo an’ Juliet, Shakespeare?”

“I know of it…”

“They were considered o’ tha age t’ be married off, but in that time, way before my time, Juliet woulda been ‘bout thirteen. I know what ya mean – I’ve killed plenty o’ those perverts in this century just cuz. Thing is, back then, nobody woulda called me a kid. I was walkin’ int’ saloons an’ drinkin’ whiskey at fourteen an’ not one man blinked. World’s changed a helluva lot.”

“Okay, I understand. I still think it sounds like a pretty harsh life.”

“Naw, harsh was what I’d run from. I wanted t’ be ‘round those men, not runnin’ in tha woods no more. I wanted t’ be poundin’ railroad spikes an’ learnin’ how t’ pretend I was a man. Tha Frenchman took tha trouble t’ teach me all that. Taught me how t’ write my name; hell, he helped me remember my damn name.”

“What was his name?”

“Michel Richoux.”

“Is that why you don’t want Brys and Perrin to speak French around you?”

“They told ya that, huh? Yeah, it started buggin’ me. Don’t hate it, but in tha wrong frame o’ mind it can mess with my head.”

“Although… I heard Perrin speaking French to you … in bed. I didn’t understand it, but it sounded like sweet-talk to me…”

“That boy ain’t one bit scared o’ me an’ I’ve had time t’ feel relaxed ‘round ‘im. Ya know I talk in my sleep sometimes. He’s heard some stuff I wouldn’t choose t’ tell any-damn-body. My inner beast reacts t’ those memories o’ Richoux an’ tha boy’s figured out French sweet stuff can calm me down. He’s also smart enough not t’ take those liberties at other times.”

“So tell me about your Frenchman … if you want to. How did you end up … um … together?”

“He wanted me in ‘is bed an’ I ‘spose I had no clue what he was after at first, an’ then I found out pleasure could be good, real good, even if it hurt. Kinda started as ‘what tha hell’re ya doin’ t’ me’. Was probly more confusin’ cuz I’d seen animals do it t’ make babies, an’ thought he was fuckin’ cracked cuz I was male… Still, shit, it took my mind off tha screamin’ hell Pa left in my head.” He sighed as the purr died out, but kissed the side of her neck. “Guess maybe I sound sorta twisted as fuck t’ ya.”

“No, you don’t. You were trying to survive and learn. It’s okay. I hope he wasn’t intending to hurt you, though?”

“Nope, but I was a pretty sharp wildcat an’ it was kinda a case o’ control my ass or get killed. Hell, I thought he was just assertin’ dominance tha first time, ‘til I got split down tha middle. Probly asked me if I wanted t’, he was always doin’ that ‘bout other stuff. I just remember a scent that was drivin’ me crazy – had no idea what it was, but it had t’ be his heat, pheromones. It made my dick stand up, though. Don’t recall that I’d ever used it prior. Still dunno ‘bout that doc, neither. Lotsa my earliest memories are just gone. It’s happened before, meanin’ that hallucination thing – but it … it’s good, t’ me… At least if it’s him.”

“Then I’m glad he was good for you. I’d say call that your first and don’t worry about the murky stuff before. My first was a drunken fumble in an asshole’s backseat; he was the only one who had fun. Can I have a kiss?” He lifted his head and kissed her soft lips before settling on her shoulder again. Her fingers touched his throat, without sparking a growl. “You stopped wearing the bones and teeth.”

“Natch – ya don’t like it.”

“Victor … when did it become important to you to consider what I do or don’t like?”

“When I realized I want ya fer my mate.” He huffed out a breath when she fell silent again. “Dunno how t’ do this, Tabitha.” He looked up at her as she stared back down at him. “Wanna try t’ not make ya afraid o’ me. Dunno how t’ do that, neither. I know I’m not tha sharpest tack an’ I gotta shit-ton o’ issues an’ a mean streak tha size an’ speed o’ a bullet train. Don’t it count fer somethin’ though that I wanna try?”

“Why, Victor?”

“Don’t make me say it, darlin’ – ain’t ready fer that.”

“No, I’m not either. I don’t want to even think it, but I’ve been here before, and I know I could…”

“Why’d ya pick my shirt t’ wear when ya felt upset still ‘bout those dead men?”

“Don’t make me say it, Victor,” she whispered his words back to him.

He rose up over her and kissed her breasts, working his way down her body. “Lemme show ya, then.”

His hands were gentle as he moved her to open her legs. Little fingers slid into his loose hair when he settled in and put his mouth to her, his groan hungry and full of need.

With tears filling her eyes, she whispered, “Oh, my God… I want this … I wish … I wasn’t so afraid of it.”

Victor couldn’t speak and didn’t trust the words anyhow. He drove her body to come over and over until she was gasping and softly asking him to stop. He began to move up, needing to fuck her, but she pressed her hand against his chest. He met her gaze and no words would surface in his muddled thoughts.

“You want it?”

“Need it…”

“Then let me say no.”

His ears pinned. “Yer scent says ya want it.”

“I need … to say no. If I’m not allowed to, this won’t work.” Confusion sparking anger, the growl began. She pressed a finger to his lips. “Please let me say no, Victor. I do want you, I do, very much – but I … need this, too. I’m sorry if you don’t understand.”

He watched her in silence, feeling the heat crest. The aching need, denied, was almost perceived as pain in his fractured mind. Driven by the warm and wet scent of her heat, his fears tried to whisper that her words were false.

“I’m cold, Victor… Please keep me warm?”

Taking a deep breath, his thoughts whirling like frightened birds, he moved to lie at her side and gathered her into his arms. She clung to him and lay still. A single word crept back into his throat. “Sleep…”

She fell asleep soon after, and then snuggled closer against his chest. Victor listened to her breathing and the pounding of his own heart. In time, his heat broke and faded, but he couldn’t sleep.

~ ~ ~

Victor didn’t have CNN on long before breakfast arrived and Tabitha appeared in her robe as soon as the men left. She carried on a largely one-sided conversation for a while and he tried to respond, but he felt keyed up and distracted. When she had stolen his hair tie on the way to the table and teased about giving it back ‘later’, he’d almost snapped his teeth at her.

“So can I call you Sabretooth Barbie?”

His ears pinned. “Do ya like yer intestines where they are now?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Then, nope, ya can’t.”

“Got it.”

She took the band off of her wrist and held it out to him. He managed not to snatch it, but pulled the hair out of his face and tied it back quickly.

“Sorry, I’m just trying to get your attention. You’re a million miles away and crabby. Is something wrong?”

“Nothin’ t’ worry yer pretty head over. Thinkin’ ‘bout tha job. We ain’t got much vacation left.”

“Just today… Are we doing this at night, I guess? You never said…”

“Night, yeah.”

“So that means it’s tonight.”

“Yeah, it does.”

“Time for maps and stuff then… Right?”

One claw tore its way out of his thumb to shred the label of the beer bottle he held. Her question seeped into his awareness as pieces of it fell to the table. “Right. Later.”

“I need to take up a hobby to fill the time between your responses, dude. If you’re really going to try to learn how to be a boyfriend and not a warden, can I ask about your work schedule? I mean … I found out I hate being left alone and ignored… If you’re often gone for weeks at a time…”

He drank the rest of the syrup and met her anxious gaze. “Kinda depends on tha jobs. Reason I got safe houses all over is cuz it’s more secure. Most o’ tha time I move from one t’ tha other an’ try t’ make tha itinerary make sense, from a time an’ fuel perspective. If ya wanna just be in Hawaii, fer instance, I could make that work some o’ tha time an’ keep goin’ back there. Other times, it ain’t gonna be practical. Can’t go from a job in Moscow back t’ Hawaii an’ then jet back out fer Krakow. If ya want me t’ tuck ya in each night, ya’d have t’ travel t’ where I gotta be.”

“I could just travel with you…”

“Not gonna happen.”

“I have no idea what your problem is, because – news flash – you won’t tell me. If it’s some kind of ‘wow last night was intense’ nerves thing, trust me, I can relate. I asked if you wanted to talk about it, but you ignored me; I’m not even sure you were listening. You can’t let me in and then push me away, it makes me nuts, and if we’re going all the way back to ‘obey and shut up’, this isn’t going to be a good morning.”

Frowning, he held up a count of fingers. “One, it ain’t always safe. Two, ya can’t stick yer head in tha sand if yer seein’ me flop int’ a chair on tha jet covered in gore. Three, ya’d end up a target when enough assholes that hate my guts see ya ‘round me more’n once.” She opened her mouth to answer but hesitated and his eyes narrowed. “Don’t start with tha ‘give it up’ shit, neither. This is what I am.”

“So … what can we do?”

“Safest bet? Ya decide t’ stick in one spot an’ I aim there as often as I can. Or, ya travel separate from safe house t’ safe house where I’m gonna be next an’ don’t gimme lip ‘bout draggin’ my ass in tha door bloody.” He got back to polishing off the t-bones, licking his fingers when the bones were piled up. He drew in a deep breath and let it out slow. “Ya wouldn’t be alone in my houses, neither. They got caretakers, like Brys an’ Perrin.”

“If I picked the Yukon house, which I wouldn’t, trust me, Perrin wouldn’t be a happy camper. How many Perrins would I be pissing off because you want to fuck me instead while you’re there? I wouldn’t like that, if it went the other way.”

“Believe it or not, he’s more exception than rule. Tha caretakers make it work; I sure as fuck can’t grocery shop fer a pile o’ houses dottin’ tha damn globe. I don’t intentionally stock ‘em with tasties t’ fuck. Most o’ ‘em are more like stodgy butlers or house fraus.”

“Who are always stimulating company to live with while you’re gone for weeks, I’m sure… Also, I know what ‘most’ means; Perrin’s not the only one. You already told me one of the safe houses is a brothel. Maybe I should go there; you could put me to work for you, huh? At least then I wouldn’t be alone, or bored.” She started poking at the last bite of waffle on her plate before stabbing it with her fork.

Victor picked up one of the bones and crunched into it, watching her with narrowed eyes. She looked up sharply and stared as he chomped them, one by one.

“Trying to scare me into shutting up and toeing your line?”

He sucked on the last bit and crunched it down, licking his fingers again. “Nope.” Grabbing his beer bottle, he finished it off and set it down with a smack. “Ya asked ‘bout schedules an’ said ya don’t like bein’ alone. I’m just rollin’ with tha chat an’ puttin’ my two cents in, darlin’. Fer yer sake, gonna forget tha rest o’ that shit ya decided t’ toss in. Way I see it, this was always gonna be a tangle with scarce workable compromises. That’s gonna be tha case whether ya toe lines or act like a pissy fishwife.”

“Not only am I the one making all the compromises, I also get to worry about you deciding to kill me when you get tired of putting up with me. Your risk seems pretty minimal; all you have to worry about is your ghosts telling you I’ll leave, betray you, or die on you. Oh, and I guess we can share the new one of watching out so your enemies don’t try to kill me. Hey, maybe they’ll beat you to it. Should I give you a lock of my hair now, save you the trouble later?”

Snarling, Victor rose and left the table. “This shit is snowballin’ int’ a chat I ain’t interested in havin’. Go ahead, girl – push me some more.”

He left her there and went upstairs to the dressing room. He was halfway into Armani by the time she crept upstairs and curled up on one end of the couch to watch him button up a new crimson dress shirt. He ignored her and kept getting ready, fastening ruby cufflinks and slipping on his gold Bvlgari watch.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I’m not sure how any of this is my fault, from day one, considering all you’ve done to me, but I’ll say it anyway.” She huffed out a breath. “I’m having a hard time seeing where and how I fit into all of this. My God, what you call compromises are insane, do you know that?”

“Ya know what I am, Tab; ya know what I do. Turnin’ shrew on me ain’t gonna bring out my best side. Tha compromises on tha table are what they are cuz ya won’t drop tha X an’ join me as a partner as well as a bed toy.”

“I won’t kill and I don’t think I can pretend that you aren’t, but I’d have to try to pretend, to keep you. Here’s the thing, though – I don’t have you; you have me.”

“I keep tryin’ t’ give ya all o’ me, t’ give ya my whole world; how can I, when ya won’t take it from me? So I try t’ compromise, try t’ make ya happy with whatever ya can accept – without any guarantee that ya won’t turn on me tha first chance ya get. Then ya tell me yer tha only one takin’ risks.” He slammed a drawer shut. “Figure out how deep int’ tha jungle ya wanna go, or walk away.”

“I can’t walk away. You’ve made that clear. I’m nothing but your marked property.”

Her voice, sharp as knives before, had become a thin murmur. Her fear filled the air as she tightened into a ball and began to watch his every move. It was like the night that had torn a piece out of his soul and laid it at her feet had never happened.

A riot of emotions tangling in his veins and thoughts, he couldn’t stop the growl as he began to pace. Finally turning to his luggage, he batted off the case he’d repacked the cleaned toys into and reached for the briefcase under it. Unlocking and opening it, he grabbed what he wanted and left it open.

When he approached her, she ducked her face under her arm and shuddered. He dropped the heavy brown paper sack next to her curled up feet, ignoring her frightened yelp and wince. Then he dropped the extra card key to the suite onto it.

“That’s half o’ what ya’d make on tha job an’ yer own key card. “I gotta go out t’ meet my client. Probly gonna be a few hours. Get some clothes on an’ go out somewhere, do somethin’. See a movie, shop, hop a plane t’ tha fuckin’ Big Apple if ya want. I ain’t gonna chase ya, ain’t gonna hunt ya down. If ya come back, then it’s yer choice. If ya don’t … then ya don’t. I can’t shadow ya tha rest o’ yer damn life keepin’ ya in line, so I ain’t even gonna try. Ya bring any o’ those X-freaks down on me an’ I’ll slaughter every worthless one o’ ‘em I can get my teeth int’. Got it? Ya lead ‘em t’ my home, an’ I’ll slash tha throat o’ every friend ya ever had. Ya understand that?”

“Victor, please, don’t do this – I’m sorry –” She tried to reach for his hand, but he popped claws with a snarl and turned away.

“Tell me ya understand, Tabitha.”

“I understand, but I can’t trust you not to hunt me.”

“Run back t’ Cueball, then. Find out if he gives a fuck ‘bout protectin’ ya when ya drag yerself through his door in tha state yer in. Ask tha runt what he thinks o’ ya, with every hole ya got smellin’ like me. He knows what my marks on a livin’ throat means.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“Ya better go somewhere, Tabitha. Go out, clear yer head an’ make yer choice. If ya come back, we can figure it out.” He whirled and strode back to her, grabbed her shoulders and ignored the slight scream she tried to cut off and swallow. “Told ya what I want an’ ya fuckin’ want it too, don’t ya?” He tossed her down over the bag and card, fell to his knees, forced her legs open, and put his mouth on her. She did scream, but his tongue drove in deep and lashed her into a shuddering silence before the moaning began.

She clutched at his hair, pulling it askew from the ponytail at the nape of his neck as he drove her body to come. He slid on his knees and moved up, his kiss on her mouth hard and desperate. She struggled until an upper fang pierced her bottom lip and then went limp. He kissed her until she began to respond with a frightened passion. One hand slipped down and the fingers entered her again, made her come again.

Kissing and licking her throat, he slowly fought to master himself, his jaw trembling to drop and bite. He rested his forehead on her chest instead and felt her hands instantly cradle his head and stroke his hair. Her touch could tame the beast, if not the man – her touch and the sweet scent beneath the acrid fear.

“Victor … please calm down, I’m so scared … please… I’m sorry…”

“Need ya, Tabs,” he whispered, “but need ya t’ want t’ be with me more. Ya think I wouldn’t move tha earth t’ keep ya safe if ya were mine? Ya think I wouldn’t carve a path in guts t’ protect ya? I’d bury ya in any fuckin’ thing ya ever wanted an’ I’d never hurt ya … if ya were my mate…” He drew in a deep breath, his hands on her, one on her thigh and the other moving to rest gently over her belly. “I can’t be a normal man, I’m a beast. Tha man I am is a brutal mask worn by tha animal within, but he protects his mate … an’ he protects his cubs…”

Her hands on his hair froze. “Cubs…”

Victor struggled to breathe, to calm. “Yer pregnant … with my child,” he spoke in a rasped whisper. “I can smell it, tha change…”

“Oh my God…”

He moved his head to breathe in her scent, filling his lungs with it. “Wasn’t gonna tell ya… I’m sorry fer that… Wanted ya t’ decide before … ya knew.” He yanked himself away from her and grabbed his suit jacket. “Make yer choice. If ya wanna leave, take tha whole damn briefcase, I don’t care – call it … hazard pay.”

“Victor…”

“Whatever ya do … take care o’ yerself. Even if … ya don’t keep it. I won’t hurt ya, I swear I won’t. I can’t.”

“Victor!”

He left her there in tears and went swiftly downstairs, grabbing his coat and slamming the suite door shut behind him. He threathened them to bring the car up fast and drove off with a shriek of tires.

Shifting with a growl, he popped his claws and stabbed them into his thigh as the Bugatti leapt into traffic to a chorus of frantic horns.

Gotta tell Ellison I’m changin’ tha deal. Can’t pull this shit his way if … she stays. If she … leaves … I won’t care how many people he wants me to kill.

 

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Author’s Note: For those who have read this story before, you may want to poke through earlier chapters again – I’ve run a full course of edits and ended up adding a lot more dialogue and other goodies, especially in chapters 8 and 9. If I missed any accent typos, I’ll catch them on the next round. The French stuff: mon grand (my big guy), mon beau chat (my beautiful cat), and mon cher (my dear). I looked it all up, so if I got it wrong, blame French.About.com. George Clooney and R. Lee Ermey belong to themselves. Nancy Drew belongs to Carolyn Keene.

I was going to outline this and go pick up Chainsaw or Joker, but then this chapter ate my brain. Sometimes I think I need a Sabey plushie so I can hug it when I’m mean to him.

As always, thanks to everyone for reading, please do review, I love to hear from you. I just noticed that this story now clocks in at over 143,600 words. Yikes. I can’t post them until this story is completed, but I am writing other Sabretooth fics; one with Jean Grey, and one with Tony Stark. Yes, I may be nuts. I can respond to comments/reviews here, via email, or via @MET_Fic – AnonGrimm

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