Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead are purely coincidental, and should not be construed.
Lyrics Beauty and the Beast by Nightwish are the sole property of their respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.
Warnings: NC-17. This is a dark piece containing explicit scenes of extreme violence, sex between two consenting adult women, foul language and non-graphic mentioning of sexual abuse. If you don't have the stomach for any of it, you better skip this one.
AN: For the curious ones, any strange language encountered, including the names of places and characters, is either fictitious or belong to my Native. A translation has been provided for your convenience at the very end and is highly recommended before continuing.
“Bravery is a contradictory notion.
It's expressing a strong will for life
under the guise of indifference toward death.”
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton
~ Chapter I ~
“Say cheese.” chirped the tour guide looking through the digital camera, prepared to take a joined picture of the tourists.
“Cheese!” twenty voices sung in sync.
Just as the cheery woman was about to click the button, a bullet whizzed through the windshield, shattering the protecting glass into a million little pieces. The deadly projectile, however, continued its way undamaged, entering in the back of the guide's head and, easy like a knife through a melting butter, routed through the skull and gray matter, leaving behind a dead woman and a trail of blood, dissipating the pieces of a human being all over the poor souls who had the misfortune of sitting in the front part of the bus.
As the bullet exited her head at the angle, the woman's finger involuntarily clicked the button and the camera took the picture. Falling to the floor along with the lifeless body, the camera rolled out of the grip of the dead human, showing to anyone who was willing to look the last picture taken. A picture which was supposed to be a happy memory on the vacation of a lifetime. Instead, it showed the shock and the horror written on the faces of men, women and children present, now forever immortalized in that single image.
A second shot echoed.
The driver was its unfortunate victim, taking the bullet in his right shoulder. With a bit of luck on his side, he had just about enough time to step on the brakes before a third shot rang and the bullet embedded itself in his chest. A red stain immediately appeared on his dress shirt and grew bigger as the blood sipped from the wound, marring its pure whiteness.
The mortified tourists gathered at the far end of the bus, women trying to console three crying children, men prepared to protect them all from whoever was attacking them.
Almost immediately as the bus hauled to a stop, three masked men armed with assault rifles barged into the bus through the broken windshield and started yelling something on, to the tourists, unfamiliar language, pointing at the group with the perilous ends of their weapons.
“All you Americans, off the bus! Now!” the leader of the trio yelled in English but with a heavy Slavic accent.
He gave the man to his left a nod to go ahead and usher the tourists outside where the other four members of his group awaited them, when the third man inside the bus opened the back door. The leader watched the group carefully, hoping someone would be foolish enough to suddenly get the urge and play a hero, just so he could make his point about who was in charge around here by putting a bullet somewhere in his or hers anatomy.
And, as always was the case, life hasn't left him disappointed.
The last man exiting, a tall, black haired, bearded man thought he could surprise the one man who was pushing them out, so he suddenly twirled around, trying to grab a hold on the rifle. Unfortunately, he wasn't faster than the finger nervously twitching on the trigger, nor was he fast enough to dodge the bullet, which settled in his heart.
The undestined hero gasped before his lifeless body tumbled down the few steps leading out of the bus, rolling face down onto the gravel road, raising the foggy cloud around him as his weight disturbed the dust.
“Bruce! NO!!!” a small, red haired woman screamed when she grasped her husband was the unfortunate third victim.
She wanted to run to him, but the entire tourist group stopped her advances by blocking her path after seeing the warning glances through the eye-slits of the masks on their attackers' heads as all weapons were suddenly raised, ready to fire.
The message was more than clear.
The leading man who fired the deadly shot started barking orders in accented English. “Separate women and children from men. Wolf,” he pointed to one of the tallest militants, “you and Sale will escort and watch the women.”
Turning around, he called the other three men. “Jovo, you Aleks and Mrga are taking the men. Popeye and I will watch the children.”
The men nodded and did as they were ordered. After they had separated everyone into the groups, the men bound the tourists with plastic ties. Wolf and Sale, the two militants designated to watch the women, aligned them in one line, linking them all together with a long, thin but strong rope.
“Let's go.” Wolf ordered in perfect English, nudging the last one of the eight women in the line, a small blonde, with the butt end of M16 between her shoulder blades, after the leader announced he collected the tourists' IDs and some of their personal belongings.
The group complied, albeit two mothers cried for their children, who were led several yards ahead of them, wanting to hold their babies in their arms. But, the barrel end of the rifle irritated Sale presented them with quickly silenced their further protests.
* * *
Leading the tourists on foot through a small, seemingly abandoned village, the militants were extra alert, watching for any anti-militants or soldiers hiding.
It was a known fact not all of the citizens of their fair country were against the government whom this particular cell held responsible for the state of disarray and common misery the country was currently in, and those citizens were dangerous, for they often offered their houses, barns and other buildings to the soldiers to take residence in and await for any anti-government group to walk upon them unprepared.
Noticing the three men who were supposed to watch the men's group were more focused on their surroundings than their captives, a ginger haired man, the last in the line, decided to roll the dice and gamble with lady luck.
Finally loosening the plastic bond around his bloodied wrists he struggled with the entire way, he pulled his hands free one by one and elbowed the man who was watching the rear in his solar plexus, leaving him bent over and out of breath. Spurting away as fast as he could, the ginger man silently prayed he would make it to the tree lines and possible freedom.
However, it wasn't meant to be. His prayer went unanswered as his dice haven't turned the lucky numbers.
“Hej! Stoj, picka ti materina!” the militant who was guarding the left flank yelled in his Native tongue when he noticed the ginger man was running away.
He took a steady aim, firing a single shot right through the man's right kneecap.
The man fell down like struck.
“Watch them.” the leader ordered in English to the remaining militants.
The he motioned with his head to his comrade who had fired the shot to follow him, switching to his Native tongue, “Jovo, dodi sa mnom.”
Walking to the ginger man lying on the ground and clutching his injured limb, the leader stood next to him and smirked when he heard the man whimpering from the enormous pain. He handed his rifle over to Jovo and crouched next to the squirming man. He grabbed a handful of the man's thick hair and forced him to look up into his dark brown, angry eyes.
Smiling maliciously at the terrified young man, the leader stated, “And now you are going to serve as an example.”
With that words the leader patted the ginger man's cheek then dusted off his hands as he slowly got up. Regarding all the captives, he shook his masked head from side to side, speaking to the entire group.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk. First you have a stupid hero and now you have a stupid coward. Obviously you did not get the message.”
Taking a deep breath, he started to pace around.
“People, I will be expecting money to ensure you return alive to your country, but make no mistake. If you fuck with me, or try something stupid like running away, I will kill you without batting an eye, as will my comrades here.”
Sighing, the leader turned briefly to the man on the ground. “And now, I will demonstrate what will happen to any single one of you who would try to pull something like this again.”
Walking back to the ginger man, the leader leaned down and yanked him up into a half-kneeling position by his hair, then backhanded him across his mouth, breaking his two front teeth from the force of the blow. The young man fell down on his back, crying out, when the leader took a swing with his leg and kicked him in the left kidney.
The man whimpered and rolled on his side, his arms wrapped around his body in a vain attempt to ward off the attack.
“No more! Please!” he begged, but his words fell on deaf ears.
The leader ignored the man's crying and took another swing, kicking the man in the small of his back, causing him to arch then curl into a small ball. Nudging the young man back on his back with his boot, the leader kicked him again, this time in the right kidney.
The man on the ground now cried openly, begging through his tears for the abusing to stop. However, that only brought him another series of kicks, punches and blows with the butt end of the rifle all over his head and torso, resulting with several knocked teeth, broken ribs, broken jaw and nose, and fractured skull, as well as a handful of serious internal injuries. Beaten to the very edge of his life, the man embraced the much welcomed darkness, mercifully slipping into the awaiting hands of unconsciousness.
The tourists stood there in shock, some with turning stomachs, some with silent prayers for the poor man's soul, knowing he wouldn't, couldn't survive this display of savagery.
Satisfied with the given result, the leader smirked nastily as he stepped away from the unrecognizable man, shaking the blood off of his swollen knuckles.
“I am hoping you have got the message this time.” he addressed the captives before signaling for the group to start moving again.
He didn't even bother to throw one more glance at the battered man left behind for the animals to feed upon.
* * *
Walking up the steep and narrow mountain track, flanked on both sides by the shadowy spruce forest, for more than three hours, the group called for a stop at the small clearing, taking a short break. When they all settled, several 0.5 liter bottles of water were distributed among the captives, and children were even given some snacks.
“You have five more minutes.” the leader announced after looking at his wristwatch and noticing it had passed 40 minutes in their break.
After taking four long gulps of tepid water, the young, smallish blonde woman passed the bottle to the brunette sitting next to her. The woman smiled at her as she gratefully accepted the offer.
“Thank you, Spencer.” she whispered.
Smiling back, Spencer nodded in acknowledgment then turned to observe their surroundings before fearfully glancing toward their watchmen. Gathering her courage, she gulped audibly around the lump which formed in her throat and opened her mouth. However, when she tried to speak, no words came out.
Snapping her mouth closed, the blonde lowered her head and stared at her shoes, bouncing her feet nervously where she was sitting on a fallen log with the rest of the women. Taking a deep breath, she once again looked up at the militant standing nearest to her and tried to speak, and yet again couldn't form the words. Giving up, she hung her head and continued to rhythmically squeeze her thighs with her hands.
Noticing the squirming blonde, Wolf rolled her eyes in irritation and stepped in front of the woman.
“What?!” she barked.
Scared half to death, Spencer jumped in her sitting place, barely swallowing down the scream when the tall militant spoke to her.
“I-I-I, uh... have to pee.” she admitted quietly, her face immediately coloring in embarrassment at having to voice her need out loud in front of so many people.
Wolf growled in annoyance, but untied the rope around the plastic tie and not so gently grabbed Spencer by her upper arm, yanking her up on her feet and steering her toward the trees.
Seeing their comrade taking one of the women into the dark aegis of the woods, few men catcalled and howled after the departing duo.
“What matter, Wolf?” one of them asked in broken English, smirking lasciviously and making obscene gestures with his hands while thrusting his pelvis in obvious innuendo. “Can't wait to get camp?”
“No.” Wolf replied coldly and the blonde felt dread gripping her heart at the implication.
When they were out of sight, Wolf stopped and turned Spencer so they were face to face.
“C'mere.” she ordered, tugging on the blonde's belt loops, pulling her closer.
She then unfastened Spencer's belt and unbuttoned her cargo pants which immediately pooled around the blonde woman's ankles.
“W-what are you doing?” Spencer stammered and fear seized her stronger in its clutches when Wolf's fingers hooked in the waistband of her panties.
Wolf looked down into the green eyes filled with terror and smirked. “You need to take a leak, right?”
Spencer blushed and nodded her head in confirmation.
“Well, then, unless you wanna piss in your pants, you'll let me strip you 'cause I ain't gonna free your hands.”
Receiving another, rather tentative nod, Wolf crouched in front of the blonde and slowly pulled her panties down, letting the suddenly hungry eyes to feast on the honey-colored triangle at the apex between the young woman's shaky legs. Looking up, Wolf winked then stood up, folding her arms across her chest. Walking to a nearby tree, she leaned one shoulder on the tall spruce, crossing her legs at the ankle and nodding to Spencer to do her business.
“Y-you're going to... watch me?” Spencer asked incredulously, her eyes widening.
“Yep.” Wolf answered casually, leering under the mask and giving the blonde another wink. “Just consider yourself a very lucky lady I'm here with you and not one of the guys. They'd be already fucking you senseless without saying please and thank you.”
The blonde gulped as that bit of information was stored in her brain, then blushed again when those pale eyes openly observed and admired her body. So much wanting a little bit of privacy but knowing it won't be granted, she sighed in defeat and squatted down, averting her gaze from the prying eyes. After a minute she announced she was finished and, without much choice, let Wolf help her stand up and dress her up.
Standing so close to the militant, Spencer looked up straight into the sparkling blue orbs then lowered her gaze to the partially revealed, smirking lips. Lowering her eyes further down, she gained an unobstructed, intimate view of the militant's chest. Her eyes widened upon noticing for the first time the curves of two breasts hidden behind the thick, black fabric of a zipped commando sweater.
“You're a woman.” she whispered in surprise just as Wolf buckled her belt and smoothed her shirt.
“Mmm, very observant. I like you already.” Wolf chuckled and nudged the blonde to walk back the way they came.
When they rejoined the group, Wolf retied the rope around Spencer's bond and signaled to the leader they were ready to go.
* * *
Two hours later, deep in the mountains and far away from something one would consider a civilization, several men sighed in relief when they reached one of the twelve forest watch towers surrounding the perimeter around the main camp, because it meant they were now only ten minutes away from it.
Expelling a deep breath, Wolf, following the suit of her comrades, pulled the balaclava off her head and welcomed the fresh mountain air into her lungs, allowing the slight breeze to cool off her sweaty face which was hidden behind the black mask the entire day.
Revealing her striking features; tanned skin and aristocratic face, to a pair of curious green eyes, Wolf combed her fingers through her collar-length, dark brown, shaggy hair, gracing Spencer with one of her most dazzling, sexy lopsided grins and a wink when she sensed she was being stared at. Embarrassed for being caught, the blonde blushed and quickly averted her eyes.
Wolf laughed at the woman's reaction and slowed down to walk beside her.
“You didn't expect someone like me behind this mask, did you?” she teased and chuckled at Spencer's deepening blush. “Yeah... I don't know why, but it's like people expect some kind of ugly motherfucker hiding underneath every mask by default, you know, never giving it a thought it might be a hot babe.”
“Modest, I'll say.” Spencer muttered sarcastically.
Nevertheless, Wolf's keen hearing easily picked up the quietly uttered words and she laughed again. “Well, I'm perfectly aware of my good looks and I certainly know how to use that to my advantage. And, girl, the times and the world we're living in, modesty is overrated.”
Not getting any response, the tall woman silently returned to her position without a backward glance.
“Can't argue with that.” Spencer murmured, following the retreating figure with her eyes.
Suddenly, Wolf didn't seem so frightening like the rest of their kidnappers.
* * *
Although they were exhausted by the long walk, the captives cursed inwardly all they were worth once the camp came in their sight.
By the look of it, the place didn't hold anything sophisticated, but it served its purpose. There was one huge tent in the middle of the clearing, flanked by ten small, reed huts on each side, and three rather large tents stood on the right side of the camp, a little separated from the other structures. Four 10x13 feet shacks made of plank wood, with 10 feet of space between each, stood in the background, on the verge of the surrounding forest, three of them empty and waiting for their new tenants.
Wolf and Sale led the women to the second shack on the right, while the group leader and the man known as Popeye led the children to the shack in the middle. That has left the last shack on the left for the men.
Without a single word, Wolf stepped forward and unbolted the door.
“Get in.” Sale ordered when the tall woman opened the door wide, and he nudged with the butt end of his rifle the first woman in the line to step inside.
The small brunette stumbled, but entered without falling down. The other women followed her silently, each one sending her own prayer to God for this nightmare to end soon.
Once they were all inside, Wolf untied their hands and showed them to the blankets spread on the wooden floor against the right wall.
“That's where you'll sleep. If you have to use the head, the bucket's over there.” she pointed to a black, plastic bucket resting in the opposite corner. Turning back to the women, she added, “You'll get some food in about two hours. Good day, ladies.”
With that she and Sale stepped out, leaving the terrified women in the musty, windowless shack, dimly illuminated by a single, oil fed lantern hung high above their heads.
Alone at last, the two women, whose children were herded in the shack next to theirs, allowed themselves to break and burst into a heartbreaking cry.
Seeing that the redhead no taller than she was about to collapse, Spencer hurried toward her, catching her just as the woman crumpled down. Laying the redhead down on the rough blankets, she put the woman's head in her lap, giving her best to console the broken mother, while the other women did the same with the other mother.
“Shh, it'll be alright.” Spencer murmured, stroking the red hair while the woman desperately clung to her, seeking comfort. “It'll be alright, Janie.”
After some time, Spencer felt the woman in her arms relax as she cried herself into a restless sleep, but she kept stroking the woman's hair.
The small blonde raised her head as her name was being called in a whisper. She looked up at the slightly taller, blue eyed blonde, whose name she learned was Michelle, and with whom she became fast friends on this trip.
'Trip to Hell.' she mused inwardly. “Yeah?” she replied out loud.
Michelle stepped closer and crouched next to Spencer and Janie, the redheaded woman who now slept in Spencer's arms.
“Are you okay?” she asked quietly, laying her hand on the smaller blonde's forearm. “That... woman. She didn't do anything to you, did she?”
Spencer immediately knew Michelle was referring to the 'trip' into the woods with Wolf.
“No.” she shook her head. “She didn't touch me.”
Michelle visibly relaxed, releasing a heavy breath. She was really worried for her smaller, new friend. With all the anything but subtle innuendos, Michelle gathered the woman named Wolf obviously wasn't any better than the men in this small group of decadent humanity. She opened her mouth to say something else when they all heard the sound of the door being unbolted and pulled open.
All eyes turned that way.
There, at the door-frame, stood Sale with one bowl in each hand.
Spencer gently laid still asleep Janie's head on the blanket and got up, joining Michelle and the other five standing women.
“Dinner time.” the man announced and put the bowls on the floor next to the blankets.
After him inside came Wolf, also carrying a bowl in each of her hand, filled with buckwheat porridge and small cubes of potato. She put them down next to the other two bowls.
“Watch 'em, I'll get the rest.” she said to Sale and went outside, returning several minutes later with the remaining four bowls.
Then she slipped away once again, only to return with one loaf of bread which she threw across the room toward Spencer who caught it expertly. After inspecting the soft, spongy piece of food in her hands, Spencer looked at Wolf.
“Can we get a knife for this?” she asked, holding the bread up.
Wolf sized her up and down and grinned impishly. “You have strong, young hands. Tear it.”
She gave the blonde a wink and with a small nod hinted to Sale they were through.
“Bon appetit.” she remarked over her shoulder before closing and bolting the door.
“Oh yeah, it's going to be good, alright.” Christine, a small brunette standing to Spencer's left, muttered sardonically.
“At least we got some food.” Spencer pointed out, albeit suspiciously eying the bowls.
Michelle picked one up and brought it closer to her nose, sniffing it. Then she grabbed a spoonful and tentatively tasted the contents of the bowl. She smacked her lips, rolling the taste around her tongue.
“I think it's edible.”
* * *
Half an hour later, after they picked the empty bowls and redistributed the water bottles, Wolf and Sale stood in the middle of the shack, debating with whom they will spend the night. Or at least a couple of satisfying hours.
“Onda, which one you fuck?” the man asked with such nonchalance, observing the scared women like they were nothing more but a breeding cattle. “Me like little blondina. Think I fuck her today.” he smiled gleefully and stepped closer to Spencer, looking her up and down.
Spencer gulped and, wiping the suddenly forming sweat off her brow, backed away from him, causing the man to frown and reach out for her. His hand, however, encountered nothing but air as Wolf stepped forward and pulled frightened Spencer toward her, draping her long arm casually around the blonde's shoulder.
“No can do, pal.” she shook her dark head. “This one's mine. Pick someone else.”
“Me want her!” Sale stated harshly, pointing at Spencer who cowered against the tall brunette.
Wolf leaned closer to Sale and lowered her voice to a warning growl. “And I said she's mine! So back the fuck off!”
She stared at the man with her ice cold eyes, slowly raising her hand and almost lovingly stroking his jaw, rolling her mental eyes when she noticed he got a hard-on from this simple touch only. Then she smirked evilly and her caress turned into a vicious grip, making the man wince in pain. Her smirk grew into a full-blown, smug grin when Sale averted his fear stricken eyes and gulped audibly, his desire instantly flattened like a pierced balloon.
“Unless you want me to demonstrate on you why people call me Beast, 'cause you ain't seen nothing of it yet.”
Sale vigorously shook his head no, willing his weakening knees to hold him upright. “N-no.” he stammered. “She all your.”
Damn! He wanted to fuck the small blonde until she screamed, she really turned him on. But he wasn't suicidal. Oh, no. If Wolf had staked a claim on the blonde bitch, then there was nothing he could do, sans challenge her, and that would never do. Anyone in their right mind wouldn't want to be on the receiving end when Wolf's alter ego rears its ugly head. He had heard enough about her reputation. That was why Perko, their leader, hired her; because she was ruthless and highly effective and didn't question the cause or care what it was for, as long as it was well paid.
Up to this point, she was already two months in the camp with the militants – Perko hired her for this job specifically, wanting someone highly capable who could make sure that his carefully made up plan goes as he had imagined, and to polish it if necessary – and in the time the tall woman has spent with them, Sale had only witnessed several short surfacing of her dangerous personality. The most vivid one was the one when she had interrogated Boslavian soldiers who had survived the firefight with the militants five days back, after they had “cleansed” one of the villages which supported the government.
In the eyes of an unbiased observer, however, they did nothing more but ransacked the already enough indigent villagers and raped the helpless women.
Looking at the imposing woman with renewed reverence, Sale firmly believed they would have overthrow the establishment a long time ago if every of their seven well hidden camps had one of their own Wolf from the very beginning of their “revolution”.
Wolf cast the man an evil lopsided grin and released his chin, instead patting his cheek patronizingly. “Good boy. I'm glad we came to an understanding. And to show you there's no bad feelings between us, I'm giving you the go ahead to be the very first one who'll dip his little wiener in these fine specimens of feminine.”
Sale nodded mutely in agreement and Wolf smiled.
“Great. I'll watch 'em until you get back.”
The man nodded again and quickly grabbed the closest unfortunate woman's wrist, which was, of all, Christine's, and practically started dragging the poor woman out of the shack.
“NO!” Spencer screamed after them, trying to grab the crying brunette's hand in a vain attempt to stop her from being taken away, knowing well what fate awaited her. “No, please. Let her go. Here, take me instead. You wanted me in the first place, right?”
Wolf growled in displeasure and wound her arms around Spencer's waist, pulling her roughly backwards and into her body, preventing the blonde from doing something stupid, like, getting herself killed.
Tightening her hold, she snarled into the girl's ear, “Shut the fuck up or I'll let every fucking bastard in this shithole of a country to rape you till your corpse starts to cool off!”
She made a small pause to let the words sink.
“Are we clear?”
Spencer immediately froze in Wolf's arms, letting silent tears to continue their flow down her cheeks. Oh, how she misread this woman.
“Crystal.” she answered tersely through gritted teeth, letting the small amount of her building anger to color her tone.
'Ooh, someone has some balls.' Wolf grinned inwardly in both amusement and more than a little respect for the young woman's bravery.
She really resented spineless people.
Outward, however, her face remained the perfect mask of irritation and arrogance.
“Good. Now, why don't we sit down while waiting for our turn, hm?” she sneered and sat Spencer in her lap, playing with her blonde locks and leering at the rest of the women who looked at her with utter disgust and resentment.
~ Chapter II ~
It had passed half the night before Sale brought the brunette back to the shack, roughly pushing her toward the blankets. Christine went with the push, collapsing on the rough, shabby material.
The remaining three women, who in the meantime weren't picked by other militants craving for sex, quickly gathered around her, giving the woman the best possible comfort. Nicole, mother of Jacob, the eleven year old boy now sleeping in the shack next to, also gently wiped the blood off of Christine's split lower lip, checked several ugly looking bite marks along her neckline and what they all knew soon will be a black eye.
Wolf got up and stretched her muscles, shooting a disapproving glare toward Sale after sparing a short glance at the crying brunette.
Spencer felt sorry for the unfortunate woman and felt extreme guilt and shame for praying for Sale to take his time, but one look into Wolf's eyes that were lacking any warmth made her inwardly shrink into a tiny ball. She could only hope she wouldn't get the chance to meet the Beast up close and personal and end up worse than the battered woman lying in a sobbing heap on the floor.
“Let's go.” Wolf said, unknowingly breaking Spencer's unkind train of thoughts, and offered her larger hand for the blonde to take.
Spencer mutely stared at the appendage until Wolf stepped closer and roughly grabbed her wrist.
“I said, let's go!” Wolf growled and pulled the smaller woman toward the door.
They stepped outside and the tall woman turned toward Sale, who bolted the door behind them.
“You watch 'em.” she instructed and the man nodded. “And tell the guys not to damage the goods when they come to sample them.”
Sale nodded once again, sat on the chair placed against the shack and began cleaning his M16 under the light of the lantern hanging on the wooden wall, all the while spying with the corner of his eye as Wolf dragged the blonde toward the first shack, where the tall woman slept and held her sparse belongings.
“Get in.” Wolf commanded when she unlocked the door and held them open for the blonde.
Spencer stepped into the dark room with trepidation and yelped when the door suddenly closed behind her with a slam and she was left standing in the pitch black. Her heart hammered inside her chest and she took a deep, slow breath in attempt to calm her nerves, begging her eyes to adjust and pick something, anything in the darkness. She released a high-pitched scream when the warm body pressed into her from behind and two large hands grasped her waist, gently pushing her forward.
“Shh, relax. It's only me.” a low, sultry voice whispered in her left ear.
When her legs bumped into what she suspected was a cot, Spencer felt the hands retreat from her waist. Then she heard the rustling noise of fabric as hands searched the pockets and soon, her sensitive eyes were blinded by the small fire coming from the lighter.
Squeezing her eyes shut, Spencer was surprised when seconds later even stronger light assaulted her eyes through closed eyelids. Standing still, breath ragged, she kept her eyes closed, fearing what would greet her sight if she was to open them. On the other hand, she was unnerved with the fact she couldn't see the tall woman and what she was doing.
“Open your eyes.”
That softly uttered command solved Spencer's indecision, coaxing her eyes to flutter open. She blinked once and found herself staring into Wolf's smiling face mere inches away from her own.
“Sit down. Get yourself comfortable.”
Spencer glanced down at the cot and once again obeyed without a word.
“So, what's your name?” Wolf asked and settled on the cot right next to the nervous blonde. “I haven't had the opportunity to rummage through your things yet and I didn't get your name, so I'm not sure how to address you. I can't just call you 'hey, you'.” she joked in an attempt to relieve some tensions.
Spencer, however, remained stone-faced and silent, refusing to reveal her identity, although she knew it was futile. Sooner or later, the tall woman would find it out anyway, one way or another. Dejected, she sighed heavily, her shoulders slumping as she stared unseeingly at her own clasped hands resting in her lap.
“Spencer.” she answered at last, eying the tall brunette warily. “What are you going to do with me?”
Wolf chuckled at the question. “Why, it is my believe we're supposed to have sex.”
The blonde snorted bitterly. “You mean, you're supposed to rape me.”
The brunette shrugged with one shoulder. “I guess you could say it that way, too. I was trying to be a little more... polite.”
“Riiight. Well? What are you waiting for, then? Get on with it so I can crawl in the corner next to Christine and beg God to put me out of my misery.”
Wolf laughed, looking sideways at the young woman. “You're really something, you know that?”
Growing serious, she bent her knee and rested her leg on the cot, twisting her upper body a little to have a better look at the blonde. She raised one hand to caress Spencer's cheek, marveling the soft skin her fingertips encountered there.
Looking straight into the green eyes, Wolf slowly shook her dark head. “No, Spencer, I won't rape you.”
Spencer's heart began racing again, but this time it beat fast for hope, hope she wouldn't live the worst nightmare a woman could suffer.
Wolf again shook her head no. “No, I won't. Despite everything, I'm not that much of an animal other people perceive me to be. And raping's the one thing I swore I'll never do. I may be a heartless, coldblooded killer, but I'm no rapist.”
She paused for a long moment before continuing. “They weren't many, but every woman I ever slept with was more than consensual.”
“Weren't many?” Spencer questioned dubiously as she looked the beautiful woman up and down.
“Yeah, you heard me right.” Wolf chuckled and then leaned down, sounding more conspiratorial. “I'm gonna tell you my biggest secret; I mostly talk with women I 'rape'. That is, if we understand each other. I mean, my work does take me all across the world and I don't know all the languages.”
“Oh.” Spencer squeezed out, rather surprised. “And if not?”
Wolf shrugged her shoulders. “Then I feed them and let them rest in my bed for the night.”
“But why do you let people think that you are a rapist, then?” Spencer asked again, her curiosity peeking out and quickly melting away her initial fear. “It's not a flattering title.”
Wolf burst into a laugh, giving Spencer an incredulous look. “Why?!? Look around you, Spencer!” she gestured with her arms spread wide. “People I'm working with have to believe I'm just like them; brutal, sadistic motherfucker who doesn't gives a shit. If they happen to see even the slightest hint of weakness, in no time I could end up in the same shack you're in right now. Ooooh, trust me, I can hold my own in a fight, but even I can't bring down the entire camp singlehandedly.”
“Why are you with them, then?”
“They pay me a lot.”
'Ah.' “So, you're a mercenary, then.”
“Yes. And one of the best there is, I might add.”
“No false modesty, eh?”
“As I said, modesty...”
“...is overrated.” Spencer finished with a chuckle, her fear completely gone. “Yeah, so I've heard.”
She paused for a moment, then asked, “So, why are they calling you Beast?”
The immediate hardening of the brunette's facial expression and coldness which turned her eyes into the ice chips stunned the blonde. Mere seconds ago, Wolf's eyes were a nice shade of a cloudless sky, inclining more to azure, and her face sported a genuine smile. Now Spencer stared into a heartless mercenary, just as Wolf described herself, and it scared the life out of her. Seeing that, Wolf quickly looked away.
“Because I am Beast.” the brunette answered, her contralto sounding just as cold as her eyes were looking. “I torture and kill people for a living. I don't give a flying fuck who or what they are. And if someone gets in my way, they die in a very unpleasant and painful way.”
She consciously softened her gaze and voice before she turned back to look into the once again frightened green eyes.
“But you, Spencer... you don't have to be afraid of me. Just don't try to double cross me and I'll even do my best to protect you while you're here.”
“You will?” Spencer asked in disbelief. “Why would you do that? I mean, you just... I-I...”
“As I said earlier, I'm not that much of an animal. And to be honest, I like you. You have that spunk inside of you which reminds me of a very dear friend of mine. Actually, she was a lot like you.”
Wolf smiled wistfully as she drifted down the memory lane.
“Small, but fierce. In truth, she wasn't a violent person, mostly resolving her conflicts with words rather than violence. She never enjoyed the bloodshed, either, like some people do, and she always worked her targets quick and as painless as possible. But if you wronged her or betrayed her trust... whoooho, man, she was more dangerous than a whole swarm of angry hornets and there was no god who could save you from her wrath.”
Sensing this won't be a happy ending story, Spencer asked very softly, “What happened to her?”
Wolf closed her eyes and sighed sadly. “She was killed several years back. Little Skunk, I called her, 'cause she looked like one, with her hair dyed black and one white stripe running through the middle. It was her trademark. She saved my ass, ate the bullet meant for me.”
“I'm sorry.” Spencer said sincerely.
Wolf's eyes snapped open. “Why? It wasn't your fault. It wasn't you who pulled the trigger. Why people always say they're sorry? If they didn't do it, what they have to be sorry about?”
Spencer thought about it for a moment. “I honestly don't know. I guess it's more polite to say 'I'm sorry' than 'I didn't really know him or her and in truth I couldn't care less, but it's courteous to say something'.”
Wolf stared at the blonde for a moment before bursting into a laugh. She laughed wholeheartedly, for the first time in many years. It lasted for almost a full minute, then she took a deep breath, letting the laugh naturally die away.
“Hm, very straightforward. I like that, too. And I guess that could be true.” She then leaned closer to Spencer, regarding her up close. “But you were frank.”
Spencer gulped, but her gaze never wavered as Wolf's intense eyes held hers. “Yes. Yes, I was.” she admitted in a whisper.
They stared into each other's eyes until Wolf abruptly hopped up on her feet, breaking the mounting tensions suddenly filling the small room. Looking down at her wristwatch she learned it had already passed over three hours since they entered the shack.
'Hm, feels like five minutes.' “Well, I guess that's it for tonight. I know you must be tired, so why don't you go and catch some z's? I'll wake you up in the morning and escort you back to the women.”
“You... you're really telling the truth, aren't you?” Spencer asked when Wolf settled in the only chair in the room, leaving the cot for the blonde to sleep in.
Wolf smiled. “Yes. Have I also told you I'm no liar?”
Spencer chuckled as she laid down. Tilting her head up, she looked at Wolf who was sitting beside the headboard.
'I've truly misread you.' “Thank you, Wolf.” she whispered, tentatively touching the woman's forearm.
Wolf glanced down where the small hand rested on her arm, then looked sideways to meet the grateful green eyes.
“What for?” she asked.
“For treating me like a human being.”
Wolf chuckled and patted Spencer's hand before pulling away from the touch. “You're welcome.”
* * *
Frowning at the annoying thing disturbing her sleep, Spencer swatted it away and rolled on her other side, when it returned and for the umpteenth time poked her in the shoulder.
“Go 'way.” she grumbled, which caused it to laugh out loud.
Her fair brows furrowed. 'Things don't laugh.' her foggy mind reminded her, which led her to the conclusion it must be a person.
Then it all came back to her and she remembered where she was, which prompted her to jump off the cot instantly awake. And to bump face first into a human obstacle.
“Whoa! Where's the fire?” Wolf joked, hugging the blonde to steady them both as she staggered backwards from the impact.
“I-I...” Spencer stammered, disentangling from the taller body. “Sorry.”
“Hey, hey. It's okay. Just take it easy.”
Spencer cleared her throat, trying to get rid of the sleep huskiness from her voice. “What time is it?” she asked.
“Six am. I know you didn't get much sleep, but I thought it's time I get you back. Your friends might be wondering if you're still alive. And we've been in here long enough for them to think I fucked your brains out.”
“Modest and polite, indeed.” Spencer snorted after releasing a small laugh. “My, what other qualities do you hide deep under this hard exterior?”
Wolf gave her a self-pleasing grin and a wink. “What can I say, I'm flawless.”
Snorting again and shaking her head, Spencer got up, absently smoothing her wrinkled clothes. She combed her hair with her fingers before walking to the mercenary and touching her arm.
“Thank you again, for everything.”
Wolf winked and waved it off like it wasn't a big deal. “But remember, I can't be that way with you in front of the others. We'd both end up dead.” she warned.
Spencer nodded solemnly. “I know.”
“Good. Now, c'mere.” Wolf commanded and, just like in the woods, pulled Spencer closer by the belt loops.
“Uh, what are you doing?” the blonde asked a little unnerved, standing still and watching Wolf as she yanked the shirt out of her cargo pants.
“Well, if you want them to believe you had a wild romp between the sheets with me for the better part of the night, at least you have to look like you had a wild romp between the sheets with me.”
Wolf then took a handful of the shirt and crumpled it even worse than it was before.
“I don't hit women I 'rape', so the guys won't wonder why you don't sport any bruises, but...” she then ruffled Spencer's shoulder-length hair, ignoring the outrageous look Spencer gave her, “...you better put up a sad and/or angry face when you get back to the other women. A few tears won't hurt, either.”
For a final touch, she misbuttoned several buttons on Spencer's, at this point, very much wrinkled shirt.
“Okay, now we're ready to go.”
She opened the door and ushered the younger woman out.
“And once again, I'd strongly advise you not to tell your friends about your night with me, no matter what. Let them believe I raped you. Trust me, I've witnessed more than once where “friends” betrayed each other in exchange for freedom or at least a better treatment.”
Spencer nodded mutely and walked in front of Wolf as instructed.
“Stop.” Wolf said sternly when they reached the women's shack.
Sensing the eyes spying on them from the seclusion of the huts and nearby trees, the mercenary, not wanting to disappoint her audience, roughly pulled Spencer into her body.
“C'mere.” she commanded.
Then she walked the blonde backwards into the relative shadow between the two shacks, stopping only when Spencer's back slammed into the wooden wall. She pinned the smaller body there with her own weight and leaned closer, bringing her lips to the blonde's ear.
“They're watching us, Spence, so why the two of us don't give 'em a little show to be more credible, hm?” she whispered, her voice huskier than usual.
Giving the young woman a feral grin, Wolf's warm eyes turned into the blue ice and Spencer gulped over the lump in her throat, quickly lowering her own eyes, aware she just caught a glimpse of the Beast.
Detaching herself from any emotion, Wolf captured the soft lips into a wild, brutal kiss, forcing her tongue into Spencer's mouth and savagely gripping and squeezing her butt cheeks, knowing she will definitely leave some bruises there, but suppressing down the rising guilt over the fact. She wanted nothing more than confirm her portrayed image in the eyes of their voyeurs and give them the wanted material for jerking off.
What caught her off guard, though, and left her surprised so much she almost pulled away and ended up on her ass was Spencer who, after the initial shock and not so short-lived struggle, surrendered and actually returned the kiss with the almost matching intensity. Without any conscious thought, Wolf gentled her assault, melting into the smaller woman in front of her, her touch a soft caress instead of a hard quash.
Trailing her hands up, raking blunt fingernails over Spencer's spine up to her neck, Wolf tangled her digits into the downy hair on Spencer's nape, running them sensually through the long tresses, bringing forth a soft moan when she scratched the blonde's scalp. Loving Spencer's lips with her own like only a long time lover would, Wolf lost herself in the kiss, breaking it only shortly to catch her breath, then continuing the onslaught. She felt the passion and desire lying dormant inside her for so long stirring into life with a vengeance, threatening to consume her if she didn't do something to quench it.
Her subconscious whispered to her she held the cure for the ache in her arms, ready and willing, she just needed to take it. Nodding inwardly, the mercenary planted her thigh between Spencer's legs, spreading them slightly, and rubbed herself against one firm thigh. She ground her pelvis into the blonde's groin, eliciting a groan which she swallowed as the kiss continued. Driven by that sensual sound, Wolf grabbed Spencer's left thigh, lifted her leg and draped it over her own hip, thrusting her pelvis more forcefully, seeking, needing more firm contact.
Spencer, after she got over the shock of Wolf's unexpected, forcible advances, decided that what the mercenary was doing to her body wasn't all that bad. And, although initially taken aback and confused by her own rapidly high strung state, she let herself to be swept over by the sensation Wolf was evoking inside her, making her feel like a drunk intoxicated by arouse.
Giving Wolf yet another moan to swallow, she clutched the back pocket of the mercenary's black BDUs with her left hand, pushing against the woman's butt cheek to grind more firmly, while her right hand stroked the brunette's chest, her fingers slowly pulling the zip down and straying under the collar of the black T-shirt worn underneath the sweater, toward the valley between two mounds of flesh. Rubbing herself against Wolf's hip bone, Spencer enjoyed the warmness of the brunette's strong body enveloping her, reciprocating wholeheartedly everything the mercenary offered.
Wolf felt like she was tiptoeing on the edge of a cloud, ready to jump off it as her climax was nearing. Suddenly, blue eyes snapped open and she felt like a ton of bricks landed on her head as it finally hit her that things went way out of hand. Breathing hard, she reluctantly pulled away and released Spencer's leg from a firm hold.
'Whoa! Fuck me!' she gasped out inwardly.
Leaning her forehead on the wooden wall next to Spencer's head, she relaxed into the body in front of her, absently stroking the blonde's cheek with her thumb, still trying to catch her breath. She licked her lips before clearing her throat.
“Sorry 'bout that. I, uh... I got, um, carried away there for a moment.” she whispered hoarsely between gasps, hoping Spencer failed to notice her slight trembling.
Spencer closed her eyes and slowly retreated her hands away from the mercenary's body, letting her arms dangle at her sides, trying to bring her own ragged breathing under control and calm her body, which was still on fire.
'Holy shit!' she cursed inwardly. “S'okay, it's understandable.” she panted out loud, letting Wolf to pull them both away from the wall once they were absolutely sure their legs would hold their weights.
“Open the door.” Wolf ordered in a raspy voice when they stepped into the light of the slowly rising sun.
Sale quickly jumped out of the chair, hurriedly nodding his head while fighting down his own highly disturbed hormones.
'A u kurac, al' te lezbe znaju napalit' covjeka.' he panted inwardly, rewinding in his head what he had witnessed merely moments ago.
Opening the door and then stepping aside, he tilted his head and his eyes strayed on their own accord to the shapely behind and swaying hips as Spencer walked inside the shack. Raising a shaky hand, Sale wiped the sweat off his brow, fighting the urge to whip out his bulging manhood straining almost painfully against his pants and give it so much needed release.
He was so engrossed with the sight before him he hadn't noticed Wolf leaning closer until her stone-cold face blocked his view and her icy eyes bore into his hazel ones.
“Keep your hands away from her or I'll cut 'em off!” she growled out a warning before striding away toward her own shack, thinking about the small blonde who dared to play with the Beast and left unharmed.
Remember the first dance we shared?
Recall the night you melted my ugliness away?
The night you left with a kiss so kind
Only a scent of beauty left behind
Ah, dear friend I remember the night
The moon and the dreams we shared
Your trembling paw in my hand
Dreaming of that northern land
Touching me with a kiss of a beast
“Good morning, sunshines!” Perko, the leader, chirped as he entered the women's shack. “How are my ladies on this bright day? Well? Ill? Hungry? Thirsty? Well, here is some water...”
He carelessly dropped eight 0.5 L bottles on the floor next to sleeping Janie.
“...and Wolf and Sale are getting you some food as we speak. I'm sorry I didn't come to see you sooner, but I'm a very busy man, as you can presume, what with my trying to bring our government down and all. Anyway, I just wanted to see for myself if my boys have inflicted any permanent damage to any of you. You must excuse them, but they're very passionate and tend to express that physically.”
He smirked at Christine, whose bruises were still visible after Sale had beat her into submission four days ago.
“Not that I'd care for whatever your fate would be, but I'd like to get some money for your asses, and that won't happen if I return your corpses.”
He inhaled deeply and slapped his thighs, ready to go on with his day.
“Okay, that was enough of chit-chatting. I hope you've settled well in this past few days in our six stars hotel. But in case you have any complaints regarding our fine establishment, you can kiss my lovely ass.”
He laughed at his own cruel joke and just then caught the sight of the duo he mentioned earlier.
“I hope Kata doesn't feed them with any delicacies.” he commented casually as he brushed by the tall mercenary on his way out.
Wolf spared him a glance before shrugging her shoulders and stepping inside the shack to distribute the food. As the women reached for their meals, the mercenary crouched next to the door and pulled out of the left cargo pocket her own snack; a juicy yellow apple.
“Well...” Wolf began before biting off a chunk of the fruit. She chewed on it and talked at the same time. “...we've sent our guy to notify your embassy that we took you as hostages and will be expecting payment for your asses. You better pray they agree on Perko's terms.”
“What if they don't?” Michelle asked softly, dreading the answer.
Wolf swallowed a mouthful of the succulent fruit and wiped the trail of juice, which escaped down her chin, with her finger then licked the digit clean.
“When all 75 guys in this camp align to have fun with you, by the end of the day you'll be begging for someone to slit your throat 'cause it'd be a merciful thing to do. Trust me, this little daily and nightly visits you've experienced so far are nothing in contrast what this guys will do to you if they find you're all worthless. They go rather easy on you at this point.”
Alison snorted in incredulity over that statement. “You're calling constant raping easy?!? Jesus, lady, don't you have any sense and compassion left within you? My groin hurts. Hell, even my insides hurt. I haven't been so humiliated in my life like I am now, and you're telling me they go easy on us?!?”
She scoffed as a silent tear found its way down her pale face.
“Did you even see what that son of a bitch whose name I can't even pronounce did to Anne?? Look at her, for God's sake, and tell me the sick bastard has gone easy on her, I dare you!”
The mercenary glanced toward the bloodied small woman doubled up in the corner. Yes, she knew exactly what the perverse bastard did, but, although she detested the way the women were treated, she could do only so much to prevent it from happening too often. Mostly because Perko allowed the men to do as they pleased, and Perko was the boss around here, after all. Her own influence reached only so far.
And she was busy enough by putting all of her effort into keeping an eye on Spencer. Luckily, for now, most of the men in the camp knew to keep their hands away from the small blonde. From the very first day she was marked as Wolf's and they knew Wolf didn't like to share. Until she got enough of the woman, that is, which in this case, they understood, didn't happen yet.
Keeping her emotionless mask firmly in place, Wolf shrugged indifferently, bit off the last chunk of the apple and got up, stretching her muscles. Peering outside through the open door, she flung the pith away, watching it as it bounced off the rooftop of one hut and landed in the dirt. She sucked on her tooth to remove a small bit that got stuck between her teeth then dusted off her slightly sticky hands before turning back to the women.
“Well, I gave you the update... See you later, ladies. Enjoy your day.” she remarked with a playful wink before stepping out of the shack, leaving the women stunned by her cold reaction.
“Heartless bitch!” Janie spat when the door closed after the mercenary.
Not a half of minute had passed as the words left Janie's mouth, when the women heard the door being unbolted again. Janie quickly backed away, hiding behind the rest of the female captives, afraid Wolf somehow overheard her and was coming back to punish her. When the door opened, however, inside stepped a burly man with a short cropped, curly brown hair and gray eyes, whom Spencer remembered the leader referred as Popeye.
'With all the muscles, the name surely fits.' she commented inwardly after one good look at the man.
Coming closer to the women, the militant observed them all with a critical eye until his gaze settled on Alison, a black haired woman with gentle brown eyes. Popeye grinned lasciviously and crooked his index finger, beckoning the terrified woman to come closer.
Knowing well why the man was there, the rest of the women saw off unfortunate Alison with compassionate gazes all the way to the door. All they could do was console the broken woman after “the encounter”, for there was no way they could prevent it.
Just as Popeye led the trembling woman out of the shack, Sale entered with a short, plump, middle-aged woman in tow who immediately walked to the corner where the waste bucket was placed. While he waited for the woman to come back with the emptied bucket, the militant took his time in observing the seven women more closely. He couldn't help it, but his eyes always seemed to stray toward Spencer somehow.
“Maybe I go lucky today, hmm? Maybe I fuck you.” he grinned lewdly, winking at the disgusted blonde. “Ak' nagovorim onu visoku kucku da izabere neku drugu žensku za sebe.”
Then, in a more hushed voice, he muttered something else on his Native tongue.
“Are you talking about me?” an unexpected, low voice purred into his right ear, making him jump in surprise.
Twirling around, Sale gulped when he found himself face to face with Wolf. She was smiling at him, but her smile was colder than the Arctic ice.
Wolf didn't speak the language that well, but knew enough of the words to understand that whatever Sale had said was something about her. And, by the tone of his voice, it wasn't complimentary.
She pinned him with a cold stare. “Get outta my sight while I'm still in a good mood and maybe I'll let you have some fun tonight. But,” she raised her index finger and leaned closer to whisper into his ear, “if I see you hit another woman or come near that blonde,” she pointed toward Spencer, “I'll cut your balls off with the most blunt knife, pack 'em and send 'em home to your mama.”
Sale gulped again, but not wanting to look like a total wimp in front of the women, he steeled himself, puffing out his chest.
“What with that bitch?” he asked, pointing with his chin toward Spencer. “Me want fuck her, too.”
“I don't like the second hand merchandise. When I'm all through with her, then you guys can have her. And I'll give you the dibs.”
His eyes lit up on the prospect of having a chance to enjoy the attractive blonde. “Da?”
“Yeah. Now move.” Wolf commanded and let the older woman inside to place now empty bucket into the designated corner. Then, after learning which woman was taken and by whom, she left the shack.
When they were finally left alone, the women all sat down on the blankets, comforting each other while waiting for Alison to return.
After it passed which seemed the entire day and there was still no sign of the small brunette, Michelle started to worry something had happened to her. Pacing to and fro, she stopped every minute or so by the small crack in the wooden wall and peeked inside in hope to catch at least a glimpse of the familiar figure.
“Come on, Chelle, sit down. You're making me nervous.” Nicole said when the blonde passed in front of her for the umpteenth time. “Your pacing isn't going to help her.”
“I know.” Michelle sighed in resignation and plopped down between Christine and Brooke, a tall, dyed blonde.
~ Chapter III ~
It was well in the afternoon of the next day when Popeye finally returned with crying Alison. He nudged her toward the women herded in the corner and without a word exited the shack. Michelle, Spencer and Janie were instantly on their feet, rushing toward the tottering woman and assisting her to lie down on the blankets next to Anne.
“Hey, sweetie.” Janie cooed, stroking the whimpering woman's hair. “Shh, it's over.” 'For now, anyway.' “Shh. Don't you worry, Ally. In no time, our guys will pay for us and then they'll send the cavalry to wipe the floor with all these dirtbags. Shh. You'll see, this nightmare'll be over soon.”
“Yeah.” Brooke chimed in, in an attempt to contribute to the comforting. “Jus--” she stopped talking when a shout caught her attention.
She looked at the women with wide eyes. “Girls, did you hear that?”
Michelle quickly scrambled up on her feet and scurried to the wall, peeking out through the small crack they discovered two days ago. All the uninjured women heaped behind her, trying to peep over her shoulder through the miniature hole.
“What's going on? Do you see anything?” Christine asked.
“Shh.” Michelle waved her hand in a gesture to keep the women quiet and listened to the shouting voices, trying to discern whom they belonged to. “Sounds like it's coming from the men's shack.”
Nicole covered her quivering mouth with her right hand. “Oh, my God. You don't think--”
A gunshot rang, causing all the women to jerk at the unexpected, ominous sound, followed by more shouting, banging and thumping. Then the voices became more intelligible and louder, which indicated the participants were out in the open.
“Didn't I demonstrate five days ago what will happen to any of you if you fuck with me?!? Huh? Why don't you people listen?!?” the women heard the leader bellowing. “Everyone of you I kill, less money I get!”
There was a short pause, then his voice sounded again, this time barely audible. “Ah, well... Wolf, if you please.”
Upon hearing the mercenary's name, Spencer rather forcefully pushed Michelle aside and glued her face to the wall.
“Hey!” Michelle protested at the rude treatment, but her curiosity quickly overrode her annoyance with the smaller blonde. “What do you see?” she asked expectantly.
“Be quiet!” Spencer shushed her and focused on Wolf who was standing some thirty feet away from the women's shack.
Then she looked at the man who was forced on his knees in front of the mercenary, before switching her eyes back to the tall brunette just as the woman crouched in front of the man Spencer knew was Alison's husband, William.
Wolf leaned her forearms on her thighs, letting her hands dangle lazily between her legs as she observed the beat up man.
“Don't take it personally, buddy, it's only business.” she told him and shrugged her broad shoulders in a gesture 'there's nothing I can do'.
The man looked at her with hatred plainly written in his blue-green eyes. He drew in a deep breath, accumulated the spittle mixed with blood in his mouth and spat it in Wolf's face.
The mercenary closed her eyes, taking a deep breath to calm the rage she felt bubbling inside her at the crude act. Wiping the pinkish fluid off her face with her sleeve, Wolf locked her eyes with the man's.
“I said, don't take it personally!”
Standing up briskly, the mercenary motioned for the two men Spencer hadn't seen before to pick up the kneeling man and hold him upright under his arms. Then, without any warning, Wolf backhanded Will and with satisfaction watched his dark head snapping backwards.
When the natural force of gravity made his head return afore and hang down, Spencer was given the sight of the blood and saliva trickling from the man's battered mouth down his chin to pool in the dirt in front of his feet. When the second blow struck his nose, Spencer flinched at the definite sound of a bone crunching.
“Spencer?” Michelle called, wanting to know what was happening outside, but Spencer was too focused on who she unquestionably knew was the Beast, to register the anxious blonde kneeling next to her.
With her green eyes firmly fixed on the dark haired mercenary, Spencer continued to watch the woman as she punched Will in his ribs several times before she laid out a devastating right hook which broke his jaw.
Growling, Wolf stepped away from the man, shaking and clenching her hand, then slowly turned for 360°, stepped forward and kneed him hard in the groin.
The man whimpered weakly before throwing up and Spencer was certain, if it weren't for the two men holding him up, Will would've crumpled on the ground and never got up again.
“That was for spitting on me, you piece of shit.” Wolf snarled.
Then she strode to Sale who stood not sixteen feet away and with fascination watched as the mercenary beat the man, and retreated a 7'' Bowie knife Sale produced for her. Walking back to the man, the mercenary stopped behind him and put an arm over his forehead, making the man lean into her and tilt his head up, exposing his throat.
Unaware of a pair of wide green eyes spying on her, Wolf put the knife against the left side of the man's neck, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. In sync with her expelling breath, Wolf slowly opened her eyes and drew the blade to the right side, effectively slitting Will's throat. Releasing her hold on the man, he fell on the ground, gurgling and convulsing a moment longer before succumbing to the deathly wound.
Almost like she could sense she was being watched, Wolf raised her head from the grisly scene on the ground and looked toward the women's shack, unknowingly staring directly into the small hole Spencer was peeking through, the bloody knife dangling loosely in her hand, small drops of the red fluid dripping off her fingers and the blade almost like in a slow motion.
Staring straight into the blank ice chips that were Wolf's eyes, Spencer gasped at the emptiness she could find there, even from this distance. Unable to stand it any longer, she strongly pushed away from the wall, ending up on her rear. Leaning on her forearms, the blonde stared blankly in front of her, panting, seeing nothing.
“Spencer? Spencer!” Michelle called nervously. “Spencer, are you alright? What happened? What did you see? Spencer?!?” she shook the blonde's shoulder violently, but Spencer didn't even blink.
“Here, let me.” Nicole offered and knelt beside Spencer, cupping her face and forcing her to look into the kind, chocolate brown eyes.
“Spencer, honey, can you hear me? C'mon, sweetie, tell me something.” she coaxed softly, stroking Spencer's pale cheek with one hand.
Spencer gulped, blinked a couple of times and locked her eyes with Nicole's, unable to hold back the hot tears from streaming down her face.
“A-A...” she tried to speak, but her throat constricted.
Swallowing down a large, hard lump, she cleared her throat and tried again. “Al-Alison's hus... husband.” she croaked just barely above a whisper. “H-he's dead. They killed him.” 'She killed him.'
Nicole squeezed her eyes shut, taking a deep breath, then spared a glance toward the broken woman lying in a fetal position in Janie's arms.
“What?!?” Michelle squeaked.
On her hands and knees she scampered to the wall, gluing her face to the boards and squinting out through their little peep hole. What she saw there made her blood drain from her face; Sale and another man each grabbed one of Will's leg and were dragging his lifeless body through the camp toward the forest, leaving behind a thick trail of blood.
Turning away from the eerie sight, Michelle sagged against the wall, breathing heavily. She willed her stomach to calm down, but with every new intake of air her breathing increased until she was panting, and with every new breath, her stomach rebelled some more.
Gulping, she smacked her lips repeatedly until her gut finally couldn't stand it any longer and she rushed to the bucket in the opposite corner, emptying her stomach till there was left nothing but dry heaves, all the while Christine was kneeling beside her, rubbing her lower back and whispering comforting words which fell on deaf ears.
Staring in the direction of the women's shack, Wolf had a nagging feeling Spencer somehow witnessed what she had just done, even though there were no windows or any other opening, sans the door which were closed, and thus, there was no chance the blonde could've seen the kill.
But, somehow, she did, Wolf's instinct screamed. And her instinct never failed her. And, as incredulous as it sounded, she felt a disappointment over the possibility that Spencer could now be so afraid of her she wouldn't want to spend their nights together talking, as they did thus far. Or she could decline Wolf's protection for the remaining time she will spend in the camp as a captive.
Strangely enough, the very thought saddened the mercenary. But that could be contributed to the fact that in her line of work, you seldom came across someone with whom you could just sit and talk without the person suspiciously watching your every move, unable to relax for the worry would you or wouldn't you suddenly snap at them and kill them without missing a blink.
“Wolf.” she heard a voice calling her from the distance, but she ignored it, still staring into the tiny, to her invisible, hole.
“Wolf!” Perko called again, this time a little louder, reaching for Wolf's arm to get her attention.
Registering a movement with the corner of her eye, Wolf instinctively grabbed the hand reaching for her, not even looking in the person's direction. She twisted it, squeezing hard in an intention to inflict severe pain to her attacker.
“HEY!!! Easy there, Wolf, I'm not attacking! It's me, Perko!” the leader panted, flinching when those icy eyes shot right through his own.
Coming to the here and now, Wolf released the man who promptly backed away from her, clutching his throbbing hand close to his heaving chest.
“Do you have a fucking deathwish?” she hissed incredulously. “You should know better than to just reach out and touch me!”
“Yeah, well, I didn't think you would try and crush my hand.” he countered.
Wolf snorted, trying not to roll her eyes at his stupidity. “What'd you think would happen, huh? I'd grab your hand and waltz away with you?! Christ!”
The men who watched the interaction between Wolf and their leader, and who understood English, laughed at the mercenary's last comment, but the deadly glares they got from Perko quickly silenced them and made them continue about their businesses.
Composing himself, the leader straightened up with dignity and cleared his throat before talking to Wolf. “I just wanted to say, good job.”
Wolf nodded absently, handing the knife over to one of the men. Then she headed toward the one of the three larger tents, which served as a makeshift bathroom, to wash all the blood and gore off of her.
“Jebemu!” Perko puffed out with a heavy breath, slowly wiggling his fingers, making sure none were broken. “Sale!” he called, still focused on his digits.
He pointed with his chin at the dead man on the ground. “Daj ga odšlepaj u šumu.”
Sale nodded and whistled loudly to get the attention of a young, blond haired man. “Zujo.” he called. “Idemo.”
The young man quickly jogged over and grabbed Will's left leg while Sale grabbed the right and together they started dragging the dead man out of the camp.
* * *
Freshly showered, Wolf slumped down on the cot, reveling on the feeling of clean clothes which didn't smell of blood and other bodily fluids. She made a mental note to thank Kata, one of the four women in the camp who cooked and washed the clothes for the militants, and who regularly washed her clothes, too.
Taking a deep breath and suppressing a yawn, she draped her left arm over her eyes, wanting nothing more but to rest her eyes for a couple of minutes, feeling rather exhausted. She had only taken short cat naps during the last several nights instead of a full, restful sleep, and it was taking its toll on her, both physically and emotionally.
An unexpected, hard knock on the door rudely broke her snooze. Rubbing the sleep out of her eyes with closed fists, Wolf yawned and squinted at her wristwatch, which, to her surprise, showed it was already eight pm.
'Shit.' she cursed herself for sleeping the entire afternoon. 'So much for killing only a minute or two.' “What?” she asked out loud, pulling the door open.
Sale stood there, nervously shifting his weight from foot to foot. “Um, we go feed?” he asked more than stated.
'Oops, forgot 'bout that.' the mercenary slapped her forehead mentally. “Right. I'll be right out.” she said and disappeared inside the shack.
A minute later, she stepped out, heading straight toward the cooking tent to pick the dinner for the women, Sale trotting right behind her, fighting to match her far longer strides.
Both of them now balancing two bowls in each hand, they slowly advanced toward the women's shack where Zujo, the militant who earlier helped Sale, unbolted and opened the door for them.
“Dinner time, my ladies.” Wolf announced cheerily, stepping inside first.
Seeing all the women were huddled together in one corner and were more sombre than usually, the mercenary then confirmed her suspicions. They had found out about what happened that noon.
Sensing the tensions had completely filled the small room, Wolf put the bowls down and gestured for Sale to do the same, then pushed him out, closing and bolting the door behind her.
“Tell the guys the fun house's closed for the time being.” she informed the man sitting down in the chair placed against the shack. “And you're free, by the way. I'll be on the watch tonight.”
Sale was about to protest for denying the men their fun, knowing some of them would get a little rough with him for that. But, positive Wolf will do to him something much worse if he doesn't comply, he nodded his head and went after his business, returning only half an hour later to pick up the bowls, which were all intact, then again leaving the brooding mercenary alone.
* * *
Squinting against the setting sun, Wolf stretched where she was sitting in the chair placed against the women's shack. Crossing her legs at the ankle, she put down some porn magazine she had found in the main tent and decided to shorten the rest of her time by thoroughly cleaning her SIG P250 and then sharpening her KA-BAR.
Just as she finished with putting the whet stone away, Wolf spied two men walking purposely in her direction. Smirking, she leaned back in the chair, looking to everyone like she had no worry in the world, and waited for the men to approach her.
Truthfully, company was something Wolf expected much sooner. Three days ago she had killed Will and, knowing the women found out about it, she denied the men the access to the female captives, allowing them a break from sexual abuse and the time to grieve over Alison's husband's death. However, she wasn't such a fool to believe the peace and quiet would last forever, knowing the men will eventually get irritated and voice their protest.
And she was so right.
“Yo, Wolf.” the younger and for an inch taller of the two men greeted her, his accent almost undetectable. “Hey, what's with you closing off the meat shop? Look, the chicks will go away soon enough, don't deny us the pleasure of sampling some of the foreign meat.”
Wolf stood up and straightened to all of her six feet two inches, putting the knife back in its sheath clipped to her belt. Coming closer to the man, who was the same height as she, the mercenary looked him in the eye.
“I'm giving 'em the night off. If you want some pussy, talk to Goran. I've heard he brought some hookers with him today back from Zabrovnica.”
“Aww, c'mon, Wolf. This is their third night off!” the young militant protested. “Look, the other guys are becoming itchy, too.”
“No, you look!” Wolf growled into his face. “I don't give a flying fuck if you guys all get blue balls. Your dicks could be falling off and I couldn't care less. For tonight, the women are still off limits. If you can't wait till tomorrow, talk to Goran or go and jack off.”
Not understanding a word of English, the older man looked from Wolf to his companion, then shrugged his shoulders, mumbling something under his breath and focusing on unbolting the door.
Seeing the other man was getting inside the shack, Wolf frowned and got around the younger man, angrily calling after the older one. “Hey, Zdenko! Where the hell do you think you're going?”
She stepped inside with one foot, frowning upon seeing the older man roughly grabbing Spencer and pulling her up to her feet. She opened her mouth to command him to let Spencer go, when she sensed a hostile movement behind her back.
Before the young militant had the chance to even touch her, Wolf knocked the knife out of his hand with her left fist, simultaneously unsheathing her own KA-BAR. Twirling around faster than the man could blink, she plunged the knife into his left side.
“Now, Marko, listen to me and listen carefully, 'cause I'm gonna say this just once.” she growled, driving the knife deeper in the man's flesh as she slowly pushed him backwards.
“This wound isn't mortal and I still haven't punctured any vital organ, but if you come near me or this shack while I'm still here, I swear to God, next time you'll be lying in a pool of your own blood, cursing a blue streak why I didn't just finish you off right now. You got me, hotshot ?”
“Y-yes.” Marko stammered and then gasped, stumbling backwards when Wolf unceremoniously pulled the knife out, ignoring the sickening sound of metal sliding out of the flesh.
Clutching his bloody side, the young man turned away and staggered back to the hut he shared with four of his friends.
Watching him leave, Wolf wiped the blood off the blade with a small cloth she used to clean her gun earlier and sheathed the knife back in its protective leather hood. Then she turned around to look for the other man.
“Zdenko.” she called after the man who fought against very uncooperative Spencer, half-dragging, half-carrying her deeper into the dark forest.
The man stopped and turned around. “Kaj?”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Wolf wagged her finger at him then pointed to visibly shaking Spencer. “She. A big no-no.” she drawled, all the while shaking her head and slowly advancing toward the duo.
When she was close enough she extended her hand, which Spencer gladly accepted, and pulled the small blonde into her side, holding her close with one arm draped over Spencer's shoulders.
Zdenko frowned when the beautiful young woman was snatched out of his grasp. “Hej! Za--”
“Ah ah ah!” Wolf cut him off. “Plava. Moja!”
She twisted her tongue, but manged to say the two words loud and clear for the older man to understand her. But, just in case, she unholstered her gun. If that thing wasn't a universal translator...
As was the case here, Zdenko was smart enough to understand perfectly what the drawn out gun meant, and he still wanted to live, so he simply grunted his displeasure for staying without the woman and walked away, cursing under his breath.
Sensing all the eyes were focused on the two of them, Wolf quickly steered Spencer toward her own shack. Standing in the doorway, she looked around, capturing the gazes of the men present.
“And now because of Marko, I'm gonna get some while you get nothing. And if I hear any of you tried to snatch a woman against my order NOT to touch 'em, I'll skin you alive and use your hides as a rug, Perko or no Perko.”
After commanding Sale to watch the women and come to her immediately if some idiot girdles his balls and decides to ignore her order, she gently nudged Spencer to enter the dimly lit shack.
“Hey!” Sale suddenly called just as Wolf followed the blonde inside.
The mercenary's head reappeared at the door-jam. “Yes?”
“No fair! You fuck and not let us.”
“Life ain't fair, boy. Suck it up and live with it.” she remarked before closing the door and seceding the outside world away.
Then she walked over to the cot where Spencer was sitting quietly, staring at the lantern sitting on a small table.
“Hey.” she addressed the blonde in a consciously gentled tone and crouched in front of her. “You okay?”
Spencer closed her eyes and sighed heavily.
“Not really, no.” she answered after some time.
Wolf released a sigh of her own, gently pinching the bridge of her nose. “Look, Spence, I'm sorry I didn't stop that old guy from snatching you earlier, but I was a little busy at the moment. Nevertheless, I believe I kept my promise I gave you the very first day.”
She paused for a moment, frowning. “He didn't hurt you, did he?”
Spencer managed a small shake of her head before sighing again. “No. And I have you to thank for that.”
Wolf visibly relaxed and patted Spencer's knee. “Don't worry. Nobody's going to touch you as long as I'm around.” she pledged and grabbed a hold of the side of the cot with one hand to gain a better balance. Then she looked up into the blonde's sad face. “So, care to tell me why all you women were so in the dumps this past several days?”
After the inner debate, which lasted more than a few minutes, Spencer decided she would tell Wolf what she had witnessed that awful afternoon.
“I saw you killing Will.” she croaked.
Taking a deep intake of air, Wolf closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead with her free hand. She was afraid Spencer would say just that.
“How?” was all she asked.
“There's a tiny hole in one of the boards. We all heard the commotion and when your name was mentioned, I looked out through it. I saw everything.” Spencer admitted in a hush whisper.
“Shit!” Wolf cursed under her breath and got up to sit next to the blonde on the cot. “I, uh, I...”
“The Beast did that, didn't it? Killed him, I mean.”
A little taken aback by the unexpected question, Wolf took a few seconds before answering. “Uh... Um, yes. But I'm hoping you're not afraid of me now more than before. Nothing's changed between us, Spence. I'll continue to protect you. I think I have proved that to you some half an hour ago.”
Spencer nodded and Wolf rewarded her with a smile, contented with the blonde's mute answer.
“So, are you afraid of me?” the mercenary asked softly after another long period of silence.
Spencer looked sideways into the unguarded face and shook her head. “Oddly, no. I thought I'd be more rattled after seeing a man's death by your hand and witnessing what you're capable of. But I'm not. I believe you when you say you'll always keep your promise and not hurt me.”
Wolf smiled at that and raised her hand to cup the blonde's cheek, marveling the soft skin just like she did the first time.
“You're right, I always keep my promises.” she whispered and pulled willing Spencer into a hug. “And I'll keep a better eye on you from now on. No one will come near you ever again!”
“Can you do something to protect the other women from being raped day in and day out?” Spencer asked from where her head was resting on Wolf's shoulder.
“Sorry, Spence, but I can't. I hope you're aware nobody took you only because they know I don't share the woman I fuck at the moment. And for now, they're convinced that woman is you. Zdenko, however, is one of the few who don't understand English, and the other guys apparently haven't told him you're off limits.”
“Well, why don't you take Anne next time with you, then? She's suffered the most, she could really use some quiet time to get back on her feet.”
Wolf shook her head vehemently. “No! If I show an interest in any other woman, it'll mean you're free to take. I won't have that!”
Spencer tilted her head upwards so she could look into the blue eyes. “Then mark them all as your women.”
Wolf raised an eyebrow at her then burst into a laugh. “Oh, Spence. That's very flattering, girl, but I can't do that. Damn, I wouldn't be able to walk for a month.”
Spencer chuckled along with the mercenary at the mental image. “But you could brag around you did eight women all at once.”
Wolf chuckled once more, then inhaled deeply, sobering up. “Look, if that could work, I'd do it. But the only thing coming out of it'd be a fight which I can't afford.”
Spencer released a frustrated sigh. “Then take one woman for an entire day and the next day pick someone else. They'll all be grateful for even one day without abuse.”
Her brows suddenly furrowed as something occurred to her. “By the way, how come we've had some peace this past three days?”
“'Cause I ordered the guys to give you some time off. Unfortunately, as you've seen for yourself, three days is their limit. And to reply to your suggestion, that would never work, either.”
Wolf lowered her gaze, absently tracing one fair brow with the tip of her finger. “'Cause then I couldn't keep you safe.” she said softly.
“But what's so special about me?” Spencer asked confused, pulling slightly away so she could have an unobstructed view of Wolf's face. “I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm more than grateful you're protecting me from being raped repeatedly, but, please tell me why me and not somebody else?”
“You want the truth?”
Spencer nodded. “I want the truth.”
“Okay. The truth.” Wolf nodded with a sigh, her voice becoming more huskier.
She reached out her hand again, this time tracing the outlines of Spencer's pink lips with her thumb.
“The truth is, I'm really, really attracted to you, Spencer Lightman. I won't deny I'd very much like to have sex with you, but I won't force myself on you and I certainly won't let any of those pigs out there to force themselves on you, either.”
Spencer blushed, suddenly finding the buttons on her shirt very interesting. “Oh.”
“Yeah, oh. And now when I spilled the beans, having nothing to lose, I'll give my best to seduce you. So, just for the record, if you stay in my company any longer, I'm not sure will you be able to resist my charms and decline my advances. And if you do, I must warn you. I'm not a quitter. I'll keep tryin' 'n tryin' till you say yes.”
Spencer snorted through a nervous laugh. She felt a little overwhelmed by Wolf's admission, but couldn't deny the attraction was mutual.
“Modest, polite and subtle. My, the list's getting bigger.” she retorted with a humor.
“Uh huh. Just wait till you get to really know me.” Wolf purred, leaning closer. “You'll wonder where I'd been all your life and couldn't wait enough to proudly introduce me to your mama.”
Spencer laughed, feeling herself getting relaxed, and decided to play along. “Is that so? You're a daughter-in-law any parent would ever wish for their little girl, huh? No matter straight or gay.”
“Yup, that's me. I mean, look at me. I'll never stay out of job, there'll always be people who'd want someone dead. Pay's more than good. I don't drink, I don't do drugs. I do smoke but I brush my teeth regularly and chew gums to freshen up my breath. I have a great body...”
“Every girl's dream.”
“Every girl's dream.” Wolf repeated in a husk whisper, bringing her lips an inch away from Spencer's. “And now I'll risk an attempt to kiss you. If you want to bail out, this is the final point to say so and I'll back off and drop you back to your girl friends.”
“And if I want to stay here with you?” Spencer whispered back, her heart speeding up.
Wolf smiled from ear to ear before she closed the remaining distance between the two of them and captured the blonde's lips in a passionate kiss.
“Are you absolutely sure?” she asked when they broke apart.
“Positive.” Spencer murmured before initiating another kiss.
Bringing the long-lasting kiss to an end, the mercenary wasted no time in nudging Spencer to stand up so she could undress them both. Laying the now naked young woman down on the cot, Wolf crawled on top of her, holding most of her weight on her forearms. Grinning almost predatory, she allowed a small glimpse of her unrestrained side to be seen lurking behind her expressive eyes before she leaned down, biting the soft skin on Spencer's neck, marking her. Smirking, she licked away several small drops of blood she drew.
Spencer yelped when sharp teeth pierced her skin and she slapped Wolf's behind sharply, indicating she didn't like the act in the least. Misunderstanding the blonde's reaction, the mercenary started to laugh silently, nibbling her way up to Spencer's ear. She panted and blew her hot breath in the sensitive organ before trailing her way down to the blonde's throat, once again biting the side of her neck.
“Hey!” Spencer admonished, this time using her fist to punch Wolf in the backside. “Don't do that.”
“What? This?” Wolf chuckled, nipping around the purple mark she just made, making the blonde squirm underneath her, and not in a good way. Frowning, she pulled away. “Did I bite you too hard?” she asked.
“Yes.” Spencer gasped out, turning her head away shyly.
Wolf grabbed Spencer's chin gently, urging the blonde to look her way. Stroking the soft cheek, she gazed down into the green eyes.
“Then I'll be more gentle, I promise.” she stated with all seriousness.
“Good. I don't like it rough.” Spencer admitted then smiled softly, circling one of Wolf's cheekbone with her thumb before she entangled her fingers in the tousled hair and pulled the mercenary's head down for another kiss.
Then, suddenly breaking the kiss by pushing Wolf away by her shoulders, the blonde blushed and had to clear her throat before speaking.
Wolf frowned in confusion. “What? Did I hurt you again? Do you want to slow down? Did you change your mind? Look, Spence, if you don't want this, I won't hol--”
She was halfway off Spencer when the blonde pulled her back on top of herself and cut her words by putting two fingers on the mercenary's lips.
“Shh.” Spencer said softly. “It's nothing like that. I want this as much as you do, believe me. It's just... I just, ah... Um, well, I wanted to ask you something before we go any further.”
Wolf sighed in obvious relief, tilting her head heavenwards. “Thank you.” she mouthed before smiling down at the shy blonde, trailing the tip of her forefinger up the blonde's nose, over her fair eyebrow and down her jaw. “So, what would you like to know?
“Yeah, um... Ahem, well, we're about to, er, you know...”
Wolf nodded encouragingly. “Do some blanket drill?” she offered with a soft chuckle. “Do the nasty? Get laid? Mingle some limbs? Shack up?”
With every new expression, she laughed harder as Spencer got redder.
“Okay, joking aside, we're going to sleep together. Although...” she wagged her eyebrows, “...I plan to wear you out before the actual sleep.”
“Yeah, um, sleep... together, and I'd...”
“Yeees?” Wolf encouraged, cupping Spencer's cheek and giving her a tender kiss to the corner of her mouth.
“Well, I, um, I don't even know your name.” Spencer rasped, closing her eyes and offering more of her skin to the exploring lips which nuzzled her throat. “I-I mean, they all c-call you Wolfff...”
The mercenary detached her lips soundly and looked down at the blonde. “My name. That's all you wanna know?”
Spencer nodded and Wolf leaned closer, relaxing almost her full weight on the smaller woman underneath her, whispering the answer in her ear.
“It's Wolfraime. Wolfraime Rafter.”
Then she sucked the earlobe in her mouth and all further questions Spencer had were forgotten for the time being, all the thoughts vanished, sans those of pleasure, when two pairs of deft hands went loose to roam through the unknown, soon discovering and cupping and stroking the globes of flesh, hungry mouths blindly following their trail, testing and teasing, taunting and soothing, probing, exploring yet uncharted expanses of newly conquered territory.
Their breathing increasing, becoming more labored as their bodies danced in the rhythm of pleasure, the two women failed to notice a dark figure peeking in through the ajar door. They also missed a truly evil sneer forming on the person's face. However, a small noise the door made when the figure closed it before disappearing out of sight drew Wolf's attention away from the woman she was making love to.
The mercenary frowned, ready to get up and investigate the sound her gut was screaming alarm about, but Spencer's next move distracted her completely, returning her thoughts back to their lovemaking.
Unaware of the retreating intruder, Spencer released a moan and a shuddering breath when Wolf's fingers brushed against the treasure hidden under the soft petals of her throbbing flesh, and she urged the mercenary to explore further inside by invitingly raising her hips, coaxing the digits into her depth by coating them with the slick evidence of her passion.
Wolf smiled down at the young woman lying beneath her and rewarded her with yet another long, passionate kiss as she slowly entered her with two fingers, eliciting a sensual groan which she greedily swallowed and which flared up her lust for Spencer even more.
But that was just the thing. This time, with Spencer, it wasn't just lust. It wasn't love, either, not yet, but it was rapidly climbing up close to it. Searching deep inside her being, Wolf had to admit she genuinely liked the small blonde. She was attracted to her from day one.
'Well, who wouldn't be?' she thought.
The woman was gorgeous.
But there was something else apart from jealousy that urged Wolf not to let anyone else touch her, something that drove her to act like the woman's guardian of sort. And now, gazing down into the blonde's desire filled eyes as she writhed under the onslaught of her passion, Wolf felt a tug on her heart's strings. She smiled as she recognized and accepted the emotion.
Leaning down to capture a nipple standing proud in a perky attention, the mercenary sucked and licked, nipped, savoring the taste of Spencer's flesh and the feeling of being inside this lovely creature, all at the same time, delighted she was making her moan in pleasure as her fingers made their way in and out, in and out, in...
And right here and right now, Wolf had something some would call an epiphany.
This very moment, as her ears were picking all the groans, breathless pleas for more and sounds of her fingers slicing through the ever-increasing wetness, as her nostrils were flaring at the smell of their combined passion, as her hands were itching to touch the soft skin everywhere at the same time, it was at this moment that occurred to her how much more she liked to hear this sounds, sounds of pleasure.
She was in the business for so long, so alone, she almost forgot how to touch another person attentively. For too long her hands served only for spilling another's blood. Now, those same hands served to fill up another's satisfaction.
Wolf smiled at the green eyes beneath her.
It was unutterably greater sensation when you made someone moan and beg for you to bring them to a pinnacle when inflicting immense pleasure than when someone moaned in pain and begged you to spare their life or end the torture with merciful death. But, Wolf then reminded herself with rebuke, that was the path she had chose to walk upon and she was the one who had to live and deal with the consequences and her conscience.
Quickly putting her morose thoughts aside, Wolf once again concentrated on currently the most brightest spot in her life and readily returned the smile Spencer graced her with.
Not able to take it anymore, the mercenary shifted her lower body and straddled the blonde's thigh, rocking steadily. She attacked Spencer's throat with fervid, open mouthed kisses, sucking, nipping and licking, marking Spencer yet again, only this time more gently, leading them both higher and higher, riding on then off the waves of passion as she simultaneously led Spencer to her own climax.
After regaining her breath and placing one final kiss on Spencer's swollen lips, Wolf rolled off the young woman, laying on her side and pulling Spencer into her front, draping an arm over her waist.
Spencer sighed contently, wiggling a little to mold her body better with the one behind her, and covered the hand which rested on her abdomen with her own.
“Sleep now.” Wolf whispered, nuzzling the fine hairs on Spencer's nape before leaving a small kiss there.
Spencer answered with a small humming sound and a gentle squeeze of her hand. She closed her eyes, liking the feeling of Wolf's strong, warm body wrapped around her like a human blanket.
Tightening her hold on half-asleep Spencer, Wolf looked back at the events of the past week. Nothing she could imagine would make her think this would be how her day today would end. And she was far from complaining. She only wondered what was it with the blonde who slept in her arms that was so... alluring, yet was able to put her at ease.
Yet again, Spencer played with the Beast and remained unhurt. But this time, not only had she had the courage to touch the Beast without any fear, she had lain with it.
I know my dreams are made of you
Of you and only for you
Your ocean pulls me under
Your voice tears me asunder
Love me before the last petal falls
A hard knock pulled slumbering Wolf out of her pleasant state of mind. Looking around the dark shack, she learned the oil from the lantern was long gone. Fortunately, the sun's rays which pushed their way through the small cracks between the boards provided just enough light so she could see her way around and make out the outlines of Spencer's face.
Unable to resist, she leaned down with a smile, brushing her lips against the blonde's. Backing away, she then just stared at the sleeping woman for some time before reality intruded, poking at her senses just like a sun ray poked into her eye.
“Ow. Shit!” Wolf cursed and jerked her head away from the blinding light, then cursed again, knowing she slept longer than she was supposed to and therefore was looked for.
She tried to free her arm under Spencer's head without jostling the sleeping woman awake. However, despite her best efforts, the blonde stirred.
Sensing the movements of the body behind her, Spencer resurfaced from the sleep, yawned and rolled on her right side to face the mercenary.
“Hey.” she croaked, her voice rough from sleep.
“Hi.” Wolf replied with a smile, reaching out her hand to caress Spencer's sleepy face with the backs of her fingers. Then she exhaled heavily. “Listen, I have to...”
Another knock interrupted her, this time followed by a muffled voice she recognized as Sale's.
“Wolf, go up. Kid come back.”
Wolf groaned, dropping her forehead on Spencer's bicep.
“...go.” she finished, giving her best not to succumb to the siren's call of sleep, and what Spencer made almost impossible by softly scratching her scalp with skilled fingertips. “Mmmmm. If you don't stop that, I'm gonna fall asleep again.”
Spencer giggled and rolled on her back, urging Wolf to lay halfway on top of her. She gently scraped her blunt fingernails up and down the mercenary's spine, earning a groan and a satisfying sigh for her effort.
“And that would be bad, how exactly?” she asked.
“Hmm?” Wolf responded absently, lost in her enjoyment.
Proud of herself, Spencer grinned like a Cheshire cat before she repeated, “If you fall asleep, it would be bad, how?”
“Well, Spencer, I do enjoy your skillful hands. Very much so.” Wolf grinned against the blonde's shoulder and nipped her collarbone.
She also tightened her hold on the young woman to show her that she was more than reluctant to abandon her very comfortable position.
“But, as you ca--”
“See, I'm wanted.” Wolf exhaled heavily, now placing a soft kiss on the shoulder under her lips.
Her mouth slowly trailing up, she then nuzzled the blonde's neck and placed several small kisses on the available skin there, too. Raising her head, she gazed into Spencer's green eyes for a long moment before leaning down to offer a lingering good morning kiss.
Spencer's hands immediately began wandering all over Wolf's body, igniting the fire in both of them once again. Wolf was tempted to tell Sale to just go to hell, along with the other militants, and made sweet love to Spencer, but knew better when a fist thumped on the door and now angry voice shouted her name, demanding her attention.
Wolf frowned, ended their kiss soundly and growled in obvious displeasure at being interrupted.
“Alright, I'm up!!!” she yelled at the door. “Gimme a sec, I'll be right out!”
Turning back toward Spencer, she ran her fingers through the woman's blonde hair and asked, “What will you tell in the shack when the women ask you where have you spend the night?”
Spencer's green eyes sparkled as she fingered the bite mark on the left side of her neck. “Why, I'll tell them the truth, of course.”
Wolf chuckled indulgently, tracing the same mark with her eyes. “Of course. And that would be?” she asked before kissing the blonde soundly.
Spencer stole a kiss of her own before answering. “You've rescued me from that evil man's clutches and then had your way with me.”
“I did, huh?” Wolf cocked an eyebrow then grinned mischievously. “And you put such a fight, did ya?”
Spencer shrugged one shoulder and gave the mercenary another quick kiss on the lips.
“You were very persuasive. And anyway,” she batted her eyelids innocently and Wolf fought hard not to laugh, “they know you're big bad Wolf and I, a mere slip of a girl, couldn't prevent you from taking my body and doing with it as you pleased.”
“Ooh, you're good. Very good.” Wolf grinned before kissing her deeply.
“Deserving an Oscar.” she added after ending the kiss.
Suddenly turning her head away, she released a heavy sigh before looking back at the blonde with sorrowful eyes. “I'm sorry they'd think I've forced you. I mean, I know they're assured I raped you every night we came here to talk, but...”
“I know. It's different this time.” Spencer said quietly, locking their eyes and caressing Wolf's cheek.
She smiled affectionately when the tall woman leaned into her touch.
“Yeah.” Wolf breathed out.
Then, clearing her throat, she looked away, breaking their connection, and murmured about needing to get on with the day. Getting up, she put her clothes on, waiting for Spencer to do the same. Clutching the knob in one hand, she half-turned to Spencer, who stood right behind her, and cupped the blonde's cheek with her free hand.
Mustering up her courage, she admitted, “I really like you, Spencer. I hope you don't regret what happened between us last night.”
Spencer smiled, took a hold of Wolf's right hand and pulled her other hand away from the knob, encouraging the tall woman to face her fully. Now holding both of the larger hands in her own, Spencer squeezed them and clutched them close to her chest.
“If you haven't noticed yet, Wolfraime...”
She grinned when Wolf grinned lopsidedly at the pronunciation of her full name. Wolf thought it sounded really good coming from Spencer. Usually she didn't like it because, when she was a kid, people tended to tease her about her rather unusual name.
Spencer snorted and smacked Wolf's upper arm. “Don't smile at me like that, you're distracting me.”
Wolf's grin grew wider. “And how do I smile that is so distracting?” she asked, trying to sound all innocent, although she knew well what her certain smile did to people.
Add to that her charm and natural beauty... It was a fatal combination which made even the hardest of people to hopelessly fall for her, or at least leave them muddleheaded long enough for her to use their momentary confusion to her advantage.
“Like that!” Spencer pointed a finger at her. “That sexy as hell, mind-stopping... Aaaanyway, what I was trying to say before you distracted me is, I like you, too.”
She hung her head, staring at the floor.
“A lot, in fact.” she added in a lower tone.
Wolf stepped closer, cupped the blonde's face and looked pointedly into her green eyes. Lowering her voice to a husky whisper, she requested, “Say my name again.”
Spencer gripped Wolf's BDUs at her waist and whispered back, “Wolfraime.”
She was rewarded with a deep, breathtaking kiss which left them both panting and hungry for more. When they parted, the mercenary closed her eyes and buried her face in the crook of Spencer's neck, tightening the hold she had on the blonde.
“You'll think of me as crazy,” she husked, “but from that first time I kissed you I couldn't get you out of my mind. The only thing I wanted back then was to put a show for these sick bastards outside, as I always do to confirm my image. But the way you kissed me back... It stirred something in me I didn't feel for a very long time. I-I...”
Her words failed her at last.
Spencer chuckled, trying to mask with it her own nervousness. “Be still my heart!” she joked half-heartedly, tangling her fingers in the dark hair, sighing when Wolf gave a small nip to her neck. “With all those virtues, you're even a closeted romantic.”
Growing serious, she closed her eyes, taking a deep breath before speaking again. “I know what you're trying to say, Wolfraime. Or at least I hope I do.” she chuckled lightly. “The matter of the fact is, I feel the same way.”
Wolf grinned like a child who got her Christmas wish come true. She lifted her head in search for Spencer's lips.
“What a cliché.” she snorted in mild amusement and disbelief when their kiss ended. “Two people getting hot for each other in the middle of a hostage crisis.”
“Well, why not?” Spencer replied with a chuckle.
Wolf responded with a raised eyebrow.
“Oh, c'mon now. I thought you were a romantic.”
Wolf looked at the blonde in mock incredulity, chuckling. “You think of two people doing nasty in a small shack surrounded by horny killers as romantic? Damn, you're kinky.”
“Stop it!” Spencer laughed softly, slapping Wolf on her shoulder. “You know what I meant.”
Taking a deep breath, Wolf tilted Spencer's head upwards and bestowed a tender kiss on her forehead. “Yeah.”
Then, growing serious, she leaned down so they were on the same eye level. Cupping the blonde's face, Wolf touched their foreheads together.
“Spencer, the kid's back and today we'll hear the verdict.”
She paused for a moment.
“If they refuse to pay, I'll help you escape.”
“No, Spence, listen to me.”
Wolf pulled away, rubbing her eyes and growling in frustration. She started pacing around and running her fingers through her unruly hair. Abruptly, she stopped and faced the younger woman.
“Fuck it, woman!” she huffed and snatched Spencer in a tight embrace. “I like you! I care about you, alright?” she whispered harshly into Spencer's ear. “I don't know how or why here and now, but it happened...” She lowered her voice even more. “...with you.”
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes.
“Look, after Skunk died on me, I never thought I'd find another person I'd care about. But here you are. And I want you to promise me. If they refuse, you'll escape! Promise me!”
She emphasized her request with a squeeze.
“Okay, I promise.” Spencer replied from where her face was buried under Wolf's chin. “But you'll come with me, right? Right, Wolf?”
When the silence was her only answer, she looked up into the blue eyes. “Wolf, you'll come with me. Right?”
Wolf chuckled at the harshness in Spencer's voice. She didn't ask, it was a demand. And Wolf was ready to obey whatever Spencer asked of her.
“Right.” she said and watched as the blonde sighed in obvious relief.
“And you'll help others escape, too.” Spencer added.
“What?!? Whoa, Spence.” Wolf stepped away from their embrace, putting her hands up in the air. “I ain't no magician. The two of us wi--”
“WOLF!!! Where the fuck are you?!?” Perko called impatiently from the outside.
“Son of a bitch!” Wolf cursed then yelled back, “Hold your horses, goddamn it, I'll be right out!!!”
“Look, you can fuck that blonde cunt all you want later, but right now you have a job to do I'm paying you for!”
Wolf growled deep in her throat and clenched her fists, feeling the anger boiling inside her. No one is going to address Spencer like that.
“You fuckin' piece of shit!” she snarled and grabbed the makeshift knob, ready to yank the door off its hinges, stomp outside and bludgeon Perko to death with it.
Feeling a gentle hand squeezing her forearm, the mercenary looked down at it, then up, to its owner's compassionate green eyes. Seeing Spencer's beautiful smile, Wolf willed her anger to melt down.
“Don't, Wolf.” Spencer pleaded, shaking her head.
In a further attempt to calm the enraged woman, Spencer ran a soothing hand up and down Wolf's arm.
“Don't give him the ammunition against you. Remember what you said about weakness?”
The mercenary sighed, pulled Spencer in her arms and kissed her temple.
“Tomorrow night, Spence.” she whispered in her ear. “If your guys refuse to pay, tomorrow night you and I are outta here! I'll release the women, too, but that's all. I won't have time to waste. After I open that door, they're on their own. You... are my only concern. Got that?”
Spencer smiled and raised her head from where it rested on Wolf's chest. She kissed the tall woman.
* * *
Later that day, Wolf stepped into the women's shack to let them know about what the US government had decided. Trying not to look conspicuously toward Spencer, the mercenary addressed all the women.
She paused a moment before continuing.
“They agreed to pay under our terms. They also informed us it'll take several more days for everything to settle, but when the money sits on the designated accounts, you'll be free to walk away.”
When the words hit home, all the women whooped and hugged each other, hardly waiting for this nightmare to come to an end.
Glancing over the hung heads of female captives whispering among themselves, Spencer offered Wolf a small smile. Wolf returned it, making the blonde know she saw it.
~ Chapter IV ~
When four days passed and no money was deposited on the militants' accounts, Wolf became worried everything was just a ruse on the US government's part and that they had no intention whatsoever to pay for the kidnapped tourists. What worried her even more was that she had a gut feeling they were just buying the time needed to assemble and send in an extraction unit. If that was the case, the soldiers, or whoever they would send, were in for a big surprise.
To someone unacquainted, these group of men might look like nothing more than a bunch of drunken brutes who could easily be overpowered. Wolf, however, knew better and was aware, if the US government really happen to send a unit, it will be nothing short of a bloodbath. And the men will more than likely execute the tourists to show the US they are serious and not someone you could fuck with. And if, by any chance, the US team manage to survive the fight and actually free the tourists, the retaliation will be rather swift and harsh.
* * *
Restless and more than a little jumpy, Wolf finally sat on the floor of the watch tower after almost two hours of constant pacing. She placed her M16 down next to her right foot and leaned her back against the chest-high wooden wall. Pulling a pack of smokes and a lighter from the breast pocket on her olive hunting vest, she lit one cigarette and dragged a lungful of white smoke, leaning her forearms on her drawn up knees. Propping her forehead against her left hand, she took another long drag, held the smoke in her lungs for a few seconds then exhaled it through her nose. She hated to be on the watch of perimeter, more so this last few days, when everyone was edgy, anticipating the money.
She couldn't keep an eye on Spencer this far from the camp.
And although most of the men were wary of her, seeing first hand what she was capable of, there were a few who were too cocky for their own good. Those few could, and probably would, do something to rattle her, to show they had balls, and most likely, Spencer would be their main subject given that Wolf seemed very preoccupied by the blonde.
Wolf growled, stubbed the burned out cigarette and lit a new one. She didn't trust any of them as far as she could throw them. But they were short on men because half of them went to “borrow” some supplies from the small village on the other side of the mountain, and today it was she who drew out the short straw and was rewarded with the sentry duty in the watch tower No. 3.
Wolf closed her eyes, inhaled deeply and laughed lightly as her thoughts returned to the small blonde.
Who would've thought they would end up together? Who would've thought big bad Wolf, as Spencer called her once, could fall for a small, innocent sheep?
Wolf smiled, for she knew there would be only one person who would've said something like that was possible. Taking another drag from the cigarette, she closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall.
“Oh, Skunk, you little devil. I miss you, girl.” she whispered and rubbed her eyes with her free hand. “Guess you were right, huh?”
Chuckling, the mercenary took another long drag and absently puffed away the ashes which dropped on her pants.
“It bit me in the ass when I expected it the least. But y'know what? You'd like her, a lot. She's like you in so many ways.”
She exhaled slowly and closed her eyes, tilting her head heavenwards.
“She balances me, just like you did. Maybe that's one of the reasons I came to care for her this much in such a short time. I mean, you and I became friends, what, the second I released your throat? And instead of blowing my brains out while you had your chance, you smiled at me, offering me a partnership. Beast and Skunk, best friends and best killers.”
She smiled at the memory.
“Man, that was something... Anyway, believe it or not, I'm thinking of retiring.”
Taking another long drag and then exhaling slowly, Wolf nodded her head, continuing her monologue.
“I know, I know. By now, you'd be laughing your gut out, saying I'm totally pussy whipped. I'd say, maybe. But the way she makes me feel, that can't be bad, right? I mean, you were the only one who got me seriously thinking of changing my profession. And I would've after our last job.”
Here her voice faltered.
“And then you left me.”
Blinking away the tears, Wolf managed a sad smile while sighing deeply.
“Y'know, I think I could even fall in love with her. In fact, I think it's only a matter of time. Although, I can say with certainty she's head over heels for me. How and why, I have no idea.” she chuckled lightly. “But it happened, I can see it in her eyes. Anyway, t'was nice talking to ya, Skunk. RIP, girl.”
With those words, the mercenary finished her second cigarette and smashed the butt with the heel of her boot. Then she got up to stretch her tall frame and froze in mid-motion when muffled screams reached her sensitive ears. Reacting quickly, she picked up her rifle, strapped it across her back and slid down the wooden ladder, soundlessly dropping down on the leaves-carpeted forest ground.
Crouching low, she squinted against the setting sun into the darkening forest, leaning on her keen hearing to pinpoint her target. Rifle at the ready, she crept around the bulky trunks of trees, wary of small twigs covering the ground, and which might reveal her presence if she was to step on any.
As she was advancing toward her target, Wolf distinguished two different voices. Actually, one was a voice, a male voice, very angry, judging by the tone. The other sound were muffled whimpers and attempted screams, more high-pitched than the man's voice, suggesting the other person was a woman.
Understanding it was one of the men taking one of the female captives for his fun and not someone trying to sneak into the camp, Wolf almost let it go and returned to her post when she heard the distinct cry of her own name.
Her hackles rose as rage boiled inside her at the voice desperately calling for her. She'd recognize that voice anywhere, it was already embedded deep in her mind for she heard it frequent enough crying her name in the throes of passion. And hearing it now meant only one thing; someone took Spencer against her specific order not to touch the small blonde and that someone just signed his death sentence.
Not carrying anymore for being soundless, Wolf ran fast, deftly avoiding to be knocked off by some of the thicker branches blocking her path. Coming to a short stop to listen for the voices, she steered left and continued running until she spotted movements in the short distance.
Seeing two silhouettes struggling on the ground, the mercenary growled from in the deep of her throat, sprung forward and tackled the larger form just as the sound of fist connecting with flesh filled her ears.
Rolling them several yards away from the unconscious woman lying on the ground, Wolf gasped when the air was knocked out of her lungs, wincing in pain as their rolling was abruptly stopped by her back hitting a huge tree trunk, with the man ending up straddling her waist. Shaking her head to dispel the cobwebs, she came to her senses and just in time dodged a fist aimed at her jaw.
Countering with a right hook, Wolf caught the man partially in his temple, dazzling him momentarily, which gave her just enough crack in his defense to jab him in the chest and dislodge him off of her. However, it didn't take long for both of them to be back on their feet.
Noticing the man was a little unsteady, Wolf didn't waste any time, but used the given opportunity and rammed into him with her shoulder, pining him to a tree behind his back. Laying several well placed punches to his right kidney, Wolf was prepared to punch him in the solar plexus when the man butt-headed her in the chin, sending her staggering backwards. Stumbling over her own feet, Wolf ended up sprawled on her back, hitting the hard ground with the back of her head.
“Son of a bitch.” she muttered, shaking her rattled head and trying to get up, only to be swayed back to the ground when a wave of dizziness hit her.
“What's the matter, Wolf? Head hurts?” the man taunted.
Laughing as he slowly walked toward her, the man's face quickly scrunched when his laugh turned into a cough which shot a wave of pain through his abused abdomen. Taking a calming breath, the man rubbed his side and stopped in front the mercenary. Looking down, he kicked Wolf's legs apart and, grinning evilly, laid a vicious kick in her groin.
Wolf cried out and took a sharp intake of air, blinking away the tears. Suppressing the sudden urge to throw up, she doubled over and somehow rolled to rest on her knees and forearms, leaning her forehead on the ground. Gasping for air, she swallowed down the bile, coughing softly when she inhaled a small amount of dust.
“How do you like it, huh?” the man snarled.
“You play dirty, Marky.” Wolf croaked, recognizing the man she stabbed almost a week ago.
“Well, women always seem to aim that particular area. Even you dykes.” he spat, glancing toward moaning Spencer who was slowly regaining her consciousness. Returning his gaze back to Wolf, he said, “I just wanted to give you the pleasure of going through this unique experience.”
“Oh, yeah. It's peachy. How did you figure I'm into that SM shit?” Wolf quipped hoarsely, earning an evil chuckle from the man.
“Well, there's more where that came from.” Marko said with a grin as he crouched next to the mercenary.
Sparing another quick glance to the moaning blonde, the man patted Wolf's head before standing up. Slightly backing away, he pushed Wolf onto her side with his foot then took a swing, aiming at her head. But, before his boot had the chance to connect with the mercenary's body, he found himself tackled down by Spencer.
“Feisty beasty, are we?” he mocked as he fought the young woman.
Seeing the blonde was none the worse for wear, Wolf smiled lightly, but it was short-lived as the next sound she heard was of Spencer screaming in pain. The urge to protect her lover gave the mercenary the necessary boost to put her own pain aside and with a growl born of rage she launched herself at the militant who just kicked Spencer and sent her rolling several feet away.
Struggling on the ground, receiving and avoiding punches, the two combatants stopped their trundle by Marko gaining the upper hand, once again straddling Wolf's waist, this time trying to strangle her.
Fighting for her breath, Wolf fumbled with the clasp on the sheath, trying to pull her KA-BAR out. Finally succeeding, she gurgled out a growl and jabbed her hand up, plunging the knife all the way to the hilt into the unsuspecting man's chest.
Marko gasped, immediately releasing his hold on Wolf's throat, and looked down at the knife protruding out of his heaving chest.
“You play dirty, too.” he complained and collapsed backwards.
He laid there on the ground, staring unblinkingly at the treetops above him, admiring the color the setting sun was washing them with, making them look like they were afire.
Wolf coughed and rubbed her sore throat then quickly reached for her aching crotch, once again becoming aware of the pulsating pain now that the adrenaline rush had worn off.
“You motherfucker!” she rasped, wincing and moaning as she unsuccessfully tried to get up, feeling like someone tied 10lb weight to her clitoris and pubic bone and was pulling down hard.
“Wolf!” not far away, Spencer cried, scrambling toward the mercenary.
Giving up at the moment on the idea of standing up and meeting Spencer halfway, Wolf released a shuddering breath and rolled on her side, gently cupping her groin with both hands, listening as the man's wheezed breathing nearby was becoming more erratic.
“You're still alive?” she wondered then snarled. “Ha! I hope you'll die in slow agony.”
“Wolf?” Spencer called huskily when she reached the mercenary, laying a hand on the tall woman's cheek. “Are you alright?” she asked with a frown, taking notice of Wolf's position.
“I'm fine, baby. Just gimme a sec to catch my breath.”
“The man?” Spencer asked, giving Marko a brief glance.
“He's down.” Wolf answered, closing her eyes when soft lips touched her forehead. “How are you?”
Spencer moved behind the mercenary and sat down, spreading her legs so she could fit the taller woman in between. Leaning her back against a tree, she then placed Wolf's head in her lap, brushing through the woman's dark bangs.
“My jaw and head hurt a little, and my ribs scream at me, but I'll live. Now tell me how are you really?”
Wolf sighed then rasped, “That son of a bitch over there kicked me in the shell.”
Spencer blinked in confusion. “What?”
When the information was fully absorbed, Spencer's head snapped in the still man's direction. “What?!” she squeaked. “Is he crazy? Why would he...”
Wolf smirked sardonically. “Just 'cause I don't have nuts, doesn't mean it can't hurt. If someone strikes you in the clit or grabs you by it, trust me, it hurts like a fuckin' bitch 'cause of the nerve endings. Used it myself couple of times in hand-to-hand against female opponents, and was on receiving end more than once.”
Spencer visibly flinched, imagining the pain Wolf must be in. She never even thought such a thing could be done to a woman. Breathing in deeply through her nose, she slowly exhaled with her eyes closed, and leaned down to kiss Wolf's temple.
“I'm sorry he hurt you.” she whispered.
“Hey. Don't you go all mushy on me. I'll be alright, honest.” Wolf assured her and, despite Spencer's protest, after ten minutes of rest slowly got up.
Bending over, she leaned her hands on her knees, taking slow, measured breaths for several long minutes.
Concerned, Spencer stepped beside her, resting her hand on the small of Wolf's back. “You sure you're okay?” she asked.
“I'm fine.” Wolf answered.
Puffing out a slow breath, she then straightened up, moaning softly. “Whooo, boy.”
Sweeping the ground with her eyes for her discarded weapon, she asked Spencer to help her in her search. Finding it, Spencer handed the rifle to Wolf who strapped it across her back and, albeit strangely, walked to the still figure lying on the ground several feet away.
Kneeling beside the man, the mercenary checked for his pulse. Finding none, she cursed him under her breath and unceremoniously pulled the knife out of the man's chest, wiping the blood off the blade against his clothes. Standing up, she sheathed the knife and walked to Spencer, snatching the blonde in a fierce hug.
“Are you ready to walk away from this nightmare?” she asked with her face buried in the blonde tresses.
“Hell yeah.” Spencer replied, searching and finding the lips she wanted, needed to claim. After the kiss ended, she looked up into Wolf's eyes. “But you have one more promise to keep.”
“What?” Wolf looked at her puzzled. “I'm here and I'm coming with you, as promised. Wha...” She shook her head when she remembered what the blonde was talking about. “Oh, hell no, Spence.”
“Wolf, please. We can't just leave them there. Without you around, they'll kill them for sure.”
The blonde cupped Wolf's face and stared imploringly at her. “Wolf, please.”
Wolf sighed heavily, rubbing her forehead.
“Alright.” she said at last. “But,” she raised a finger, “I'm releasing only women. After that, they're on their own. Okay?”
“What about the kids and the men?”
“Spencer,” Wolf leaned down and looked straight into the green pools, “call me a big, fucking, selfish, insensitive bitch, but I don't give a flying fuck about the kids or anyone else. If the women want them all free, they'll have to do it themselves. I'm not risking your neck or mine any longer than necessary. You got me?”
Spencer closed her eyes to blink away the tears. “Crystal.” she replied in a hoarse whisper, standing on her tiptoes and kissing the taller woman deeply.
“Good.” Wolf said after they broke apart.
She grabbed Spencer's hand and tugged at it. “C'mon.”
* * *
“Watch your step.” Wolf warned in a hushed tone when Spencer stumbled and almost pulled them both to the ground.
Walking in the dark through the forest wasn't the easiest task, but they couldn't risk turning on the flashlight lest whoever was patrolling around the watch towers wouldn't see the light. Fortunately, Wolf explored and memorized enough of the forest surrounding the camp to find her way around and to find her way back to the camp without much problem.
Recognizing the familiar contour of the rock formation she was looking for, Wolf thanked her sense of direction hasn't failed her now when she needed it the most. Reaching the formation, she got down on her knees and stuck her head in the cave-like room, quickly inspecting it with the flashlight to make sure it wasn't lodged with any wildlife. Finding it clear, Wolf got up and motioned for Spencer to get in.
Spencer was hesitant, the idea of being left alone in the cramped, dark space in the middle of the forest wasn't much appealing, but she kept any protest she had for herself.
“You wait right here, I'll be back as soon as possible.” Wolf said while pulling out her gun.
Clicking the safety off, she put the bullet in the chamber and handed the weapon to stunned Spencer.
“Here.” she said and offered the flashlight, too. “Now, listen. If you feel I've gone for far too long, run north as fast as you can. There's a settlement about 30 miles away, they have the military stationed there. Just say you were kidnapped along with a group of Americans and they'll take you to the embassy. There's also a small village along the way, but there's only some elders and several women and children left.”
“Whoa, wait!” Spencer protested, getting out of the small space, but Wolf pushed her back inside. “What are you talking about? I'm not going anywhere without you.”
“I'm just saying this in case if something goes wrong.” Wolf assured her.
Not liking this one bit, Spencer took a deep breath, hating herself for being selfish and changing her mind, but she couldn't let Wolf getting hurt.
“Then forget about the women and let's go.” she said resolutely, not allowing the guilt to settle in.
Wolf smiled at the blonde, raising a hand to stroke her cheek. “I can't back away now, Spence. I promised you I'll release them, and I'd never break my promise to you.”
Spencer sniffled, allowing the mercenary to wipe away the tears, and cursed herself inwardly for compelling Wolf to make that promise.
Standing up, Wolf looked at the blonde for one last time. “If you see someone running after you, shoot first and ask questions later.” she said before she disappeared into the night, leaving now sobbing Spencer alone.
* * *
Several yards away from the camp, hidden in the bush, Wolf observed the man who sat in the chair placed against the women's shack. He was half-asleep, while three other men circled around the camp with their minds obviously on something other than watching for possible intruders, accidental or intentional.
Deeming revealing herself was the best approach, Wolf stepped out of her hiding place and confidently strode toward the women's shack. Acting nonchalantly, she walked to the snoozing militant and kicked the chair, causing the man to snap open his eyes and jump up on his feet.
“Wolf.” the man breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of the tall mercenary.
“Danijel.” Wolf acknowledged. “Go get some sleep, I'll take over from here.”
Not the one to pass the chance for a decent sleep, the man retreated to his hut without any comment or question, unaware of Wolf's ulterior motive behind her generosity.
As the man walked away, Wolf looked around to be sure no one was watching her. Satisfied with the lack of audience, she opened the door and stepped inside the shack, leaving the door slightly ajar.
Walking to the sleeping women huddled together in the corner, Wolf removed her rifle and placed it beside her as she knelt down next to Alison's curled form. Reaching for the woman's shoulder, she sensed someone's eyes upon her. Looking to her left, she saw Nicole was fully awake and was observing her warily. They locked eyes and Wolf put her index finger across her lips, gesturing to be quiet.
“Wake the others. Quietly.” she whispered and then shook Alison's shoulder.
Emerging from the sleep, Alison flinched away when she saw who woke her up.
“Don't worry, I'm not here to hurt you.” Wolf assured the women when they were all up and about. “I'm letting you go.”
The women stood there stunned, staring at the mercenary in disbelief.
“You're letting us go?” Anne repeated skeptically. “Just like that? Why?”
“'Cause I promised Spencer.”
“What?” Michelle asked, eying the mercenary with the same skepticism like the other women.
“Look, I don't owe you any explanation.” Wolf said impatiently. “Do you want to get out of here or not?”
“Of course we do!” Brooke jumped at the unexpected gift, afraid Wolf will change her mind.
“Good. Then follow me and do exactly what I say, when I say it.”
“Will you let the others go, too?” Janie asked hopefully.
Wolf sighed, knowing the women won't like her answer. “Sorry, I don't have time for wasting. Returning back for you was risky enough. Now, Spencer's waiting for us a mile west from the camp, so we better get moving before someone comes along.”
“But...” Janie protested, unwilling to leave her children behind.
Wolf straightened up to her full height to look down at her. “Look, lady, I've risked not only mine but Spencer's neck, too, by coming back for you. I'm releasing you. Take it or leave it. If you want to risk to be captured again or killed, that's your problem. I've kept my promise and I'm leaving. Now .” she stressed the word then paused for a moment before asking, “So, you coming or not?”
Nicole and Janie exchanged understanding glances before looking at the remaining women.
Janie took a deep breath before speaking, “You guys go ahead. I can't leave without my kids.”
“I'm with her.” Nicole confirmed her own decision, thinking of her son Jacob.
The other women looked at each other and stepped closer to Wolf. The urge for self-preservation was stronger than any form of camaraderie.
“Very well, then.” Wolf said and turned to the women standing beside her. “Let's go.”
Peeking outside, she spied one militant nearby and quickly gestured for the women to stay put.
“Wait here until I give you the all clear.” she said and slipped out.
Leaning one shoulder against the wall she pulled out her knife, pretending to clean her fingernails as the man passed by giving her only a flitting glance. Making sure the coast was now clear, Wolf put the knife away and beckoned the women to step out.
“This way.” she pointed at the space between the two shacks and motioned the women should go first. “Go.”
“What the hell is going on here?” a man's voice froze them all in spot after only ten feet crossed.
Wolf squeezed her eyes shut and cursed inwardly before turning around and facing the man. “Alen.” she said, nodding her head in greeting.
“Wolf, what are you doing with the women?” he asked suspiciously.
Knowing there was no point in lying now, Wolf told him the truth. “I'm releasing them.”
The man looked at her like she had gone crazy, but then his face hardened and he inhaled deeply. “UZBUNA!!!” he cried out before Wolf was able to react and snap his neck sooner.
The mercenary then quickly turned to women, pushing them into a run. “Go, go, go!!! Run!!! That way!” she pointed out the right direction.
Hazarding a backward glance in her mad dash, she rather heard than saw the rising commotion behind them.
Then the shot rang. Then another, and another, and before too long, the forest was showered with bullets.
As they run, Wolf glanced over her shoulder and suddenly found herself falling to the ground. She cursed under her breath realizing she stumbled over Brooke who again stumbled over a thick, fallen branch obscuring their path. Scampering back to her feet, the mercenary helped the other woman get up, too, and quickly ducked her head when several bullets missed them both by a hair's breadth.
Urging the woman in front of her to run faster, Wolf hazarded another backward glance, letting a small sigh of relief leave her lips as the voices were becoming more and more distant, meaning their pursuers lost them and were now firing blindly.
It was then, when a small glimmer of hope reared its head, that Wolf felt a searing pain in her right thigh, followed by the same sensation in her left side. Staggering behind the group, she stumbled and rolled down the small slope. Falling to a lower-leveled steep clearing, she cringed as the air was knocked out of her lungs.
Lying there for several long moments, staring into the clouded night sky, Wolf finally took a deep breath and called for the women, careful not to be too loud. She needn't have to worry, however, because the women noticed when she fell and were on their way to her.
“Here.” Wolf whispered loudly, giving away her accurate position.
Christine crept to her following the mercenary's voice and knelt beside the still form, feeling around her body.
“Oh, my God, you've been shot!” she gasped when her hand came back sticky with blood where she laid it on Wolf's thigh.
“No shit, Sherlock. What gave you that idea?” Wolf panted out sarcastically. “Listen, we've lost them for now, but I know the bastards won't give up that easy. You keep that way,” she pointed into the dark forest, “and you'll run into Spencer not much further from here. And you better announce yourselves 'cause I told her to shoot without questions.”
“What about you?” Michelle asked, suddenly seeing the mercenary in a completely new light.
“Don't worry about me. Just make sure you and Spencer get to the safety. I told her where to go. And... and... tell her I...” Wolf squeezed her eyes shut, taking a deep breath. “Tell her... tell her I cared for Skunk, but never in the way I cared for her.”
“Why don't you tell me yourself?”
The women all jumped at the unexpected voice and twirled around to see Spencer's silhouette standing behind them.
“Dammit, Wolfraime! You scared ten years of my life outta me.” Spencer grumbled as she pushed her way to the mercenary.
She handed her flashlight over to Michelle, instructing her to kneel next to the mercenary and switch the flashlight on, but dim the beam. Then she, too, knelt beside Wolf, quickly finding and dressing the wounds as best as she could in her haste, despite the mercenary's protest and hearty endeavor to make Spencer go and leave her behind.
The other women could do nothing but watch and listen their interaction as they helped Spencer to carry Wolf in a small cave the blonde discovered while waiting for the mercenary's return.
Just as she was laid down on the rocky ground, Wolf finally had had enough. She propped herself on her elbows, glaring at Spencer.
“Are you fucking suicidal or plain stupid?!?” she snapped. “I told you to stay put, if I recall correctly! What if those bastards had caught you? Huh?”
“But they didn't!” Spencer countered. “Unlike you.” she added softly, referring to the gunshot wounds.
Fortunately, the wound in Wolf's side wasn't life threatening, but the one in her thigh was rather serious. Again, a bit of luck was that the bullet went right through instead staying inside her flesh.
Wolf growled through the sigh she released, lying back on the ground, eyes closed. “Just leave me here and be on your way.”
Spencer looked at her in disbelief. “What?!?”
“I'll be only slowing you down. If you remain here, there's a chance the men will find this cave and you'll be recaptured.”
“Uh huh. And, what? I'll haul my ass to somewhere safe, wondering the whole time if those bastards had found you or not?”
The blonde clicked her tongue while shaking her head negative, her unsteady hands still battling with the bandage she just made out of her own T-shirt.
“No can do.”
“I said NO!!!” Spencer snapped.
She quickly pushed away from the mercenary and sat back on her heels, taking a deep breath to calm her nerves. Rubbing away the sudden headache out of her temples, she turned to the women.
“If you guys don't want to be here, you're free to go. I'll understand. But I can't leave this stubborn idiot alone.”
The women smiled knowingly. They figured what must've been going on between the duo back when Wolf came to release them, saying she was keeping her promise to Spencer. If the mercenary cherished only a superficial fondness for the small blonde, she could have never been influenced to release the captives, even if only the females, and they were grateful for Spencer's obvious hold of “power” over the mercenary.
Yes, there were several who harbored jealousy and not just a small amount of animosity, suspecting the small blonde didn't live through half the hell as the rest of them. Yet, if it weren't for Spencer's and Wolf's relation, right now they'd be back in that camp, one or more of them getting violated for the umpteenth time.
As that saying was going; don't look gift horse in the mouth.
In that very moment, Wolf reacted so swiftly no one could've seen it coming. In a heartbeat, Spencer was pressed against the wall, the cold blade of KA-BAR nipping the skin of her throat.
“Now you listen to me.” Wolf snarled, glancing from woman to woman before fixing her icy stare on the woman she was holding pinned to the wall. Leaning closer, she growled into Spencer's ear. “I do like you, Spencer, but if you and you girl friends don't get the hell out of this cave right about now, I swear to God I'll gut you where you stand.”
Spencer looked deeply into the cold eyes and instantly knew it wasn't Wolf who was in front of her. It was the Beast, and the blonde had no doubt it would stick to its word.
“What about your promise?” she asked in a hush voice, referring to the mercenary's promise never to hurt her.
Wolf nuzzled the fair hair before exhaling into Spencer's ear. “I lied.” she whispered.
Spencer nodded slowly, not even bothering to conceal her tears. “Fine.” she croaked as she was released. She walked away from Wolf, making sure the other women got out first. “Have it your way.” she spat.
Reaching the mouth of the cave she stopped and turned around to face the mercenary one last time. “I'm only sorry for Skunk, you know? She didn't realize back then she gave her life for a fucking coward!”
There was a small pause before she added in a chocked whisper, “And to think I could've loved you...”
With that, Spencer disappeared into the dark forest.
Wolf closed her eyes as tears welled inside them, feeling like a blade just cut through her insides. Letting the knife slip from her grasp, she listened as it cluttered to the ground before she slid down against the cave wall, clutching her head.
“I'm sorry, Spencer. But this is what you get for falling for a beast.” 'Nothing but a heartache.'
As a world without a glance
Of the ocean's fair expanse
Such the world would be
If no love did flow in thee
But as my heart is occupied
Your love for me now has to die
Forgive me, I need more than you can offer me
Didn't you read the tale
Where happily ever after was to kiss a frog?
Don't you know this tale
In which all I ever wanted
I'll never have
For who could ever learn to love a beast?
“So, um... you and Wolf, eh?” Michelle asked, falling into step beside Spencer who intentionally lagged behind the group.
“Not anymore.” Spencer answered dryly.
“So, how lon--”
“Long enough.” Spencer cut in without letting Michelle finish her question.
“So, are you having this Stockholm syndrome where the victim, like, falls in love with her kidnapper or is this the real thing?” Michelle asked again with a light teasing note.
Spencer saw no humor in the situation and shot her a cold stare. “Can you, please, just drop it?” she snapped.
Michelle instantly backed away, putting her hands up. “Sorry, Spencer, I didn't mean to pry or sound insensitive.”
Spencer stopped walking and closed her eyes for a second with a deep sigh, causing all the women to stop short, too.
“No, Michelle. I'm sorry for snapping at you. This has nothing to do with you. Wolf...”
Michelle nodded and smiled knowingly, her blue eyes glinting in the torch's light. She stepped closer and hugged her friend.
“Love's a bitch, ain't it?” she chuckled.
Spencer snorted at the understatement then sniffled a little, battling the tears away. “You can say that again. Damn him who invented it.”
Michelle scoffed. “I hear ya.”
Then she pulled away and grew serious.
“Don't worry, Spencer, she'll be alright. What I've seen of her, she's more than capable of taking care of herself. And, she'll come to her senses before too long.”
Spencer smiled sadly. “I hope you're right.” she whispered.
They started to walk again, failing to notice a group of men who slowly worked on closing in around them. It wasn't until the beams of numerous flashlights blinded them that they realized they were surrounded.
“Well, well, well. Guys, if aren't these our strayed little sheep...” Perko chuckled at the squeaks of the surprised women as he and ten other militants stepped closer, forming a tight circle around the frightened females. “I've missed you all so much, girls. As did my men. Even more so than I, I believe.”
He smirked menacingly as he walked right in front of mortified Anne and trailed his finger down her jaw, making the woman gulp audibly. Perko chuckled at her reaction, but it wasn't long before his face hardened again. Looking the small brunette straight in the eye, his voice turned into an angry growl.
“I don't know how you bitches managed to pull this off, but this is the last time you did it.”
Taking one step back, his voice sounded falsely cheery and he gave the women an obvious plastered smile.
“Fortunately for you, I need the money. Otherwise I'd spray you with bullets right here.”
Walking back to one of his men, he stopped beside him and turned around, shaking his head, taking in every woman individually. Grinning lopsidedly, he wagged his index finger in a scolding manner.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk. I never knew women could cause such a trouble. See, and that is the problem with the West. Your government gave you too much freedom. Our women know where their place is. But, putting that aside, I think we better get you all back before you get lost in this woods. You know, it is quite dangerous walking in the dark out here, all by yourselves, and so defenseless, no less. Oooh!” he mock shivered. “Bears, wolves, rabid foxes... some very angry men...”
He gave the women a feral grin. “Anything could kill you in a heartbeat. And it would be such a shame...”
* * *
“Fuck!” Wolf cursed and grabbed her aching thigh as she pulled herself up in a sitting position before slowly getting up on her feet.
Fumbling with a makeshift bandage, she put it back in place as it loosened and slipped from her wound due to her moving. Then, straightening her back, she slowly padded in the dark, leaning on her sense of touch to find the mouth of the cave.
Once outside, she was grateful the clouds dispersed some, allowing albeit skimp moon's rays to illuminate the otherwise dark forest. Limping away from the cave, she walked for about ten minutes before she felt so lightheaded she didn't have any other choice but to sit down and give her body a chance to come round.
“Damn. Guess I've lost more blood than I thought.” Wolf cursed when a wave of dizziness hit her, but knowing she wasn't out of the woods yet, both literally and figuratively, she suppressed down the pain and willed her body to move.
Unfortunately, with her senses slightly hindered, when she spotted a group of men coming toward her it was already too late. They spotted her, too, their flashlights zeroing on her standing form. Hiding the panic, which suddenly washed over her, behind her stony expression, Wolf straightened up, not showing any previous signs of weakness. In fact, if it weren't for the bloody cloth wrapped around her leg and her limping, one would've never guessed she was injured.
“Wolf!” Aleks, a tall man with graying hair and beard exclaimed, surprised to see the mercenary so far out here, knowing she was supposed to be in one of the watch towers. “What are you doing here?”
His gaze fell to the wound, making him frown. “What happened to you?”
Quickly thinking on her feet, Wolf didn't even bat an eye as she weaved her story. “Marko.” she exhaled gruffly. “I caught him taking away the women. I don't know what was he planning to do with 'em, but... Anyway, I killed him, but not before the bastard got me.” she pointed with her chin down to her leg. “Unfortunately, our ladies grabbed the opportunity and split.”
“Marko?” Aleks didn't hide his surprise. “Why would he take the women? Perko didn't say they were to be relocated or anything.”
Wolf shrugged her shoulders. “I don't know. Maybe he thought he would earn some extra money by selling 'em to our pimp friends in Zabrovnica. You know he had lots of connections in those circles.”
Seeing she successfully planted a seed of doubt in Aleks, the mercenary had a hard time concealing her smirk, which she felt tugging the corner of her mouth upwards.
The militant pondered over the thought for a few seconds before he accepted Wolf's story as true. He quickly shouldered his rifle and stepped closer to the mercenary.
“Here, let me help you.” he said and instructed Wolf to lean against him to put some weight off her injured limb. “You know, to tell you the truth, I never really liked that kid. He was worse than a peacock, strutting about the camp.”
This time Wolf couldn't hide the smirk. It bloomed fully on her lips, and she was thankful it was too dark for anybody to notice as she limped away with the men.
The trip to the camp lasted longer than it would have if everyone in the group were in their top shape. However, with limping Wolf, who grudgingly admitted she required often breaks or she would pass out, the group reached their hideout in almost two hours.
Noticing the strains on Wolf's usually expressionless face, Aleks deducted the strong woman was in desperate need of rest, so he helped her straight to her shack, promising he'd straighten everything up with Perko. Not having the level of strength necessary for arguing, Wolf simply nodded and staggered inside, the small cot her ultimate goal.
“God! I didn't feel this lousy in a very long time.” she grumbled as she lay there, trying to will a little bit of vigor back into her worn-out body.
When she was confident her muscles will hold her upright on their own, she got up and rummaged through her things until she found all the essentials. Sitting back on the cot, she ripped her pants off and applied the antiseptic after cleaning the wound. She bandaged it, with a proper bandage this time, then removed the rest of her clothing before turning her attention to the wound on her side. She clucked her tongue disapprovingly when she realized she would need stitches.
Finally, with wounds properly tended and running on her last reserves, Wolf put on some fresh clothes and crawled in the cot. Her last thoughts before her world went black were of Spencer and the hope the small blonde made it to safety.
Unfortunately, soon it would prove the reality went far different from Wolf's wishful thinking.
* * *
“So, you thought you could lie to me and get away with it, huh?” Perko sneered.
It was several hours after the mercenary's return that he learned the true story behind the women's escape. From the start he was suspicious over Janie's and Nicole's staying behind. If Marko had taken the women with the goal to sell them to the prostitution chain he was linked to, as Wolf had claimed, he would have left no woman behind.
So Perko prodded farther, questioning every single man in the camp until he got enough clues to conclude the truth on his own. But just to get the confirmation from the participants themselves, he decided to play the cards from his sleeve.
With a snort, Perko looked down at his feet where “a queen and a jack” were lying dead, the woman still cradling her child. Then he looked up at the remaining, shell-shocked women, absorbing their fear. He let it fuel his ego further.
“Well, I've got news for you, ladies. I don't give a fuck about money anymore! I'll find another way to obtain it, as I did before. But you... making a fool out of me... and winning that traitorous bitch to your side... That can't go unpunished!” he snarled then turned to the militant standing next to him. “Idi van i dovedi cetiri covjeka sa sobom. Idemo u šetnju.”
The other man nodded and hurried outside, returning shortly with four men in tow, as instructed. After he bound the women, again as per Perko's orders, the gray haired man led them outside, where they waited until the other men gathered the rest of the captives, including the two remaining children and unconscious Wolf.
Leading them all deep into the woods, after an hour Perko finally signaled they were to stop.
“We're here.” he informed coldly, pointing the beam of his flashlight down the ten feet deep and sixteen feet wide hole.
He then turned to the captives. “All of you, get in.”
Frightened out of their wits, but knowing what will come next and understanding they had no ways to impede it, the captives obeyed, already made their peace with their allotment.
Watching the men hopping in and then assisting the women and two children to get in, too, Perko then switched his attention to the two men who were holding unconscious Wolf between them. He watched with satisfaction as the unaware woman shivered, her body covered with a thick film of sweat, the result of a high fever she was running. He smiled cruelly, never taking his eyes off of the mercenary as he barked an order to his men.
~ Chapter V ~
The cool, gentle touch on Wolf's burning forehead was like a balm. She was so hot her entire body was covered in sweat, yet she was so cold she was shivering like a naked man in a blizzard. She exhaled softly when someone wiped the sweat off her face and for a fleeting moment she imagined a beautiful blonde woman with brilliant green eyes.
Then her brows furrowed as images of her distant past buzzed by. She was remembering Skunk tending her gunshot wound after one of their first jobs together had gone wrong, when her friend's face suddenly started to morph into the blonde-haired and green-eyed woman's and back for a dozen of times before it settled for the blonde woman. Wolf frowned in further puzzlement before a name came to her to place it with the woman's smiling face.
“Spencer.” Wolf whispered wistfully in her fevered state as she remembered telling Spencer to go away.
“No, please, don't leave me.” she pleaded when Spencer glanced over her shoulder and slowly walked away, fading out with every step.
Wolf reached out her hand, desperately calling the blonde to come back. Then she jerked, feeling the phantom bullets penetrating her flesh as she remembered of being shot. Twice. Becoming aware of her wounds, the mercenary also became aware of the pain coursing through her body.
In a brief state of complete lucidness, she guessed she had a high fever, a result of infected wounds, most probably. She was aware she was floating in that place where reality clashed with hallucinations, but couldn't care less.
Then the moment of awareness was gone and she slipped back into a blissful dreamland, but her senses were still kicking their fullest; her nose picking several different smells, her ears hearing several different voices, her skin receiving several different touches, differing from professional and efficient to soft, comforting and almost... loving.
She then discerned two female voices from the clamor, but she hung onto one specific, rather concerned voice, whispering somewhere to her left. Then the touch on her forehead shifted, checking her pulse before the soft hand traveled down her arm and finally came to rest in her own hand.
Wolf smiled inadvertently, imagining it was Spencer's hand holding hers. Her smile, however, quickly vanished when her mind replayed the scene of her holding the knife against the blonde's throat.
“How could she stay now? How could she love me now?” she cried out loud, although her words came out all distorted and unintelligible. “How could anyone love someone like me?”
Spencer turned her concerned eyes to the woman standing above them both when Wolf started murmuring and jerking, making the water slosh out of the plastic tub she was submerged into.
“Isn't it time to get her out of there?” she asked and waited for the young man who was sitting on a nearby chair to translate it to the older woman.
The blonde listened the two exchange words on their Native tongue before the man answered her.
“Jasna said we should keep her under water for some ten more minutes.”
Spencer nodded absently and turned her gaze back to Wolf, grimacing when she noticed the mercenary's teeth were chattering from cold.
“Hang in there, Wolfraime.” she whispered, caressing one cool cheek with the back of her hand. “You'll be fine. You have to be fine.”
Not even noticing how quickly ten minutes had passed, Spencer flinched when a hand was placed on her shoulder. Looking up from where she was sitting on the floor, she smiled at the middle-aged, dark haired woman who gestured they would now get Wolf out of the freezing water.
Spencer nodded her thanks and quickly took a position to the mercenary's left, grabbing the woman under her armpit, while Jasna took the right, leaving the man to grab Wolf's legs. Between the three of them, they managed to maneuver back to the small bedroom where they laid the mercenary on the bed.
“Ivan.” Spencer called just as the two were about to leave the room.
“Tell Jasna how much I appreciate all that she's done for me and my friend here. And tell her I will pay her back for all of her trouble.” she said, glancing briefly toward the bed and its unconscious occupant.
The young man smiled. “I will. But she'll answer you like always.”
Spencer returned the smile. “I know. But tell her anyway.”
“Sure. And if you need anything, just call. Jasna and I will be in the kitchen.”
“Thanks, but I think we'll be fine for now. I'll let her rest and be by her side in case she wakes up.”
* * *
Emerging like from a deep sleep, Wolf smacked her lips several times, wondering why her throat felt dry like a desert. Slowly turning her head to the left, she willed her heavy eyelids to open, only to find Spencer looking back at her.
“Hey.” the blonde whispered, smiling.
“Hi.” Wolf croaked, offering a half-smile in return. “Wha--” she tried to ask, but her voice broke.
“Shh, easy. Let me get you some water.” Spencer offered.
She rose from the oversized, shabby wicker chair placed beside the bed and hurried into the kitchen to fetch a bottle of water. Walking back, she unscrewed it and knelt next to the bed, holding Wolf's head up with one hand, while with the other she offered the bottle.
Feeling rather uncomfortable with all the fuss Spencer was doing on her behalf, Wolf decided to save some dignity and reached for the bottle. And found she didn't have the strength to hold it calm enough to take a gulp without spilling the water all over.
“Son of a bitch!” she cursed softly and closed her eyes, letting Spencer take the bottle from her shaking hands.
“Hey.” Spencer cooed, sensing the frustration building inside the mercenary. “Take it easy, Wolf. Don't be so irked, you're still recovering. Just give your body a couple more days to recuperate and you'll be back in your element in no time.”
Finally Wolf nodded and accepted the offer from the bottle the blonde still held in front of her lips, taking her time drinking the clear liquid as to not to disturb her stomach with sudden fullness.
“Thank you.” she murmured when her thirst was sated.
Spencer smiled and wiped with her thumb a few drops that escaped down Wolf's chin. “You're welcome.”
“Can you tell me what the hell happened? And where are we? And what are you doing here, wherever here is. If I recall correctly, you're supposed to be somewhere safe and away by now.”
Spencer sighed, rose up from her kneeling position and put away the bottle of water, which was now almost half-empty. Returning back to the bed, the blonde settled into the chair and rubbed her bloodshot eyes.
“You want a PG-13 version or the one with all the gory details?”
Wolf frowned, dreading what she'd might find out. “Can you first tell me how long have I been out?” she asked.
Spencer hung her head and inhaled deeply. “Almost two weeks.” she answered, not raising her eyes off her hands which rested clasped in her lap.
“Two weeks?!” Wolf's eyebrows skyrocketed in surprise. “I don't remember much...”
“You were mostly out. There was even a period where your temperature jumped to 105°F. You were so... I-I thought...” Spencer's voice broke and she started to sob.
“Hey.” Wolf called softly, hoping to coax the other woman to look at her. “Hey, Spence.”
When her plea was answered with a sigh, Wolf released one of her own and tried again.
“Please, Spencer, look at me.”
Reluctantly, the blonde raised her head and met the blue eyes that watched her intently.
“That's better.” Wolf smiled. Her smile grew bigger when Spencer offered one in return. “Now, can you tell me what happened? And I want the adult version.”
“The adult version.” Spencer repeated quietly, then inhaled deeply.
She held her breath so long until her lungs reminded her she needed to breathe if she didn't want to pass out. Finally taking in a new breath, she slowly nodded her head, more to herself.
“I can do that.” she murmured.
Tucking one leg under her and hugging her other, upraised leg, the blonde began, “Well, after we... separated...” she paused, watching Wolf flinching at the memory, “We didn't get far when Perko and his goons surrounded us and we were escorted back to their camp. When he got us all in the shack, Perko started chewing us a new one, yammering we were lucky he really needed the money.
In the middle of it, that older guy, Alex, I believe, barged in, saying he found you injured and brought you back. He told Perko what you told him about how we escaped, but Perko didn't quite believe your side of the story, and was especially suspicious as to why Janie and Nicole were left behind. He...”
Here Spencer's voice broke fully as tears welled in her eyes.
“C'mere.” Wolf called and slowly wiggled her fingers in come hither gesture. “Lie down beside me and take your time filling me in.”
Spencer accepted the invitation with a small smile and laid next to the mercenary, placing her head on a broad shoulder, one arm snaking around Wolf's waist.
“Is this okay?” she asked, referring to the resting place of her head. “I'm not hurting you, am I?”
Wolf chuckled, turning her head to the right. She placed a soft kiss on the blonde crown before she leaned her cheek on it.
“No.” she shook her head slowly. “This is just fine.” she released a contented sigh and closed her eyes. “You think you could continue with...”
“Yeah.” Spencer responded with a nod. “Just gimme a minute to regroup. It's...” she closed her eyes and gulped down the lump she felt forming in her throat. “What happened later... it will stay with me for the rest of my life.” she croaked, her voice overwhelmed with emotions. “I-I never...”
“Shh.” Wolf cooed, loosely wrapping her arms around Spencer.
She wanted to engulf the blonde in a tight hug, but found she didn't have enough strength for that act, and for the first time in her life cursed her current physical inability to offer better comfort.
“I know this is hard for you, Spence. But I need to know. Just take your time.”
Spencer nodded and raised her head to place a soft, quick kiss on Wolf's lips before taking a deep breath and placing her head back on its resting place.
“As I said, Perko was suspicious of what Alex told him. He eyed us all suspiciously before leaving abruptly. He returned several hours later, confronting Nicole and Janie. When they insisted you were telling the truth, Perko stormed out, only to return a minute later with little Tommy being dragged behind him. He then threatened he'll snap his neck if we don't tell the truth.”
Staring unseeingly in front of her, the blonde quieted, absently clutching the gray T-shirt Wolf was wearing. The mercenary looked down at the restless hand and covered it with her own, stroking it with her long fingers.
“Huh? I'm sorry, did you say something?” Spencer asked when she felt the gentle touch and sensed she was being stared at.
Wolf smiled softly and moved her hand up to stroke the blonde's cheek. “You zoned out on me for a moment. Where'd you go?”
Spencer cleared her throat and forced out a small smile. “Sorry 'bout that, I... Never mind.”
She took a deep breath and steeled her nerves for what she was about to say next.
“Anyway, when that... animal... came back with little Tommy and threatened to kill him, Janie told him everything. I mean, who could blame her? I'd do the same if Tommy was my child. However, when Nicole confirmed Janie's story, the bastard just smiled, pushed the boy toward Janie and then shot them both, point blank, while they were holding each other.”
Her tears were now trailing freely down her face.
“I mean, how heartless do you have to be to kill an innocent child in cold-blood?” she choked out, clutching the body lying next to her.
Wolf squeezed her eyes shut, burying her face in the blonde hair. “I honestly don't know, Spence.” she said quietly, “I'm no saint, I'll admit that openly, but I swear to you, no child died by my hand.”
The blonde sniffled and raised her head, looking into the blue eyes filled with regret. “You don't have to explain yourself to me, Wolf, it--.”
“Yes, I do!” Wolf cut her off vehemently, then continued more calmly, “Yes, I do. And I owe you a big apologize.”
“First of all, for treating you the way I did back in that cave. And second, for threatening you. You didn't deserve it, any of it, but me being the usual bitch...”
“You're not a bitch.”
“Aren't I?” Wolf chuckled bitterly and pulled away from the blonde, rolling on her side to face the wall. “If it weren't for me, you probably wouldn't be here, but on your way back home, with a happy memory on a beautiful vacation. If it weren't for me, that boy would still be alive.”
Spencer turned on her side and spooned behind the mercenary, hugging the taller woman for all she was worth.
“You can't know that, Wolf. If you didn't take this... “job”, someone else would. And it's a great probability I'd be raped and long dead by now, because you wouldn't be there to save me.”
Wolf slowly turned around to face the blonde. She cupped one pale cheek with her palm.
“What do you see in me?” she whispered the question that was on her mind for some time. “Why would anyone decent want to do anything with the likes of me? I can't figure it out.”
Spencer laughed softly through her tears, reaching out her hand to run her fingers through the tangled, dark tresses.
“As you said yourself at one point, you're not that much of an animal. If there weren't a little bit of humanity within you, you wouldn't care what would happen to me. And remember, I've seen what you're capable of, and I don't have that misplaced picture of you as some kind of a saint. You said it, you're far from it. But...” she continued combing through Wolf's hair, happy it had the desired calming effect on the woman, “...there's this tiny sparkle, and I don't think I'm the only one who have ever seen it.”
“Yeah? Who else?”
“Skunk.” Spencer whispered before giving the half-asleep mercenary a kiss.
“Maybe.” Wolf murmured, accepting the offer to scoot closer and lay her head on Spencer's chest, not giving it a second thought.
A month earlier, she would've shot herself first rather than being caught in such a vulnerable state.
“Or maybe we just got along 'cause we were alike. You... You are... a sheep among the wolves. And I know you're in love with me.”
The blonde chuckled, unable to hide the blush coloring her face. “What gave you that idea?”
“Oh, I don't know. Maybe your still sticking around me and taking care of me, despite everything. I've heard love makes people do crazy things.”
“I'm falling in love with you, too, just for the record. I've never felt this way for anyone. Not even Skunk. She was more like a sister I never had.”
Spencer laughed out loud at Wolf's rather unromantic profession of love and affectionately squeezed the tall woman she held in her arms. “That's good to know. That you love me back, I mean.”
She gave the mercenary another soft kiss.
“Now go to sleep, you can barely keep your eyes open.”
Wolf nodded and yawned widely, then snuggled closer. “Okay. But you still didn't tell me how we ended up here.”
“I'll tell you when you wake up.”
“Okay.” Wolf paused for a moment then whispered, “Thank you.”
“You're most welcome.”
* * *
It was late afternoon the next day when Spencer finally relented and told Wolf the whole story of how they ended up at Jasna's, the woman who practically saved the mercenary's life.
Wolf slumped into the chair across from the bed, where Spencer was sitting, when a strange sense of sadness washed over her.
'It's a little late for you to develop a conscience, don't you think?' she mocked herself inwardly. “All of them?” she asked out loud, running the fingers of one hand through her tangled hair.
“Yeah.” Spencer exhaled slowly. “You and I are the only survivors. If it weren't for Jasna, you'd be dead, too, considering how far your infection progressed. That's why Perko didn't bother with shooting you and just throw you in the hole with the rest of us. He was counting on your fever to finish you off.”
Wolf exhaled slowly and pointedly looked Spencer up and down. She frowned in slight confusion.
“How did you come out of it unscathed?”
Spencer quickly looked away, clenching her jaw and trying to hold her tears at bay. After taking a deep breath and a moment to put her thoughts in order, she started.
“Giving the hole itself wasn't much wide, we were rather constricted in there. Being Michelle was taller than I, she pushed me behind her and basically hid me from the view.”
She gulped, clinching her shaking hands into fists where they rested in her lap. A minute later, she continued in a small voice.
“When they started shooting, she covered me with her own body and took loads of bullets, including the ones meant for me.”
One lone tear fell from her green eye.
“She did for me what Skunk did for you.”
Glancing up in Wolf's direction, she could almost read the mercenary's thoughts and she went to answer her yet unvoiced question.
“No, Perko didn't bother with checking if anyone was left alive. I guess he's too arrogant to even consider someone could live through the burst of fire from several M16s simultaneously.”
In a heartbeat, Wolf was on her feet and leaning over Spencer who flinched in fright at the sudden move.
“Stop it right there!” Wolf commanded then crouched in front of the blonde and in a more softer voice added, “I know what you are doing, Spencer. Don't.”
“What are you talking about?” Spencer asked even as she looked away from the knowing eyes filled with compassion.
The mercenary grabbed her chin gently, compelling Spencer to look back at her. “I know what's going through your mind right now. I see “guilt” plainly written in your eyes.”
She smiled and took one of Spencer's hand, entwining their fingers.
“I've been there myself, remember? What Michelle did for you, Skunk did the same for me. But have in mind it was their choice. They decided to save our lives by giving away theirs. Accept and respect that. It's what Michelle would've wanted.”
“How do you know what would she wanted?” Spencer choked out in a whisper.
Wolf looked straight into the green eyes as she reached out with her right hand, cupping Spencer's cheek and wiping the tears away with her thumb. “Because it's what I would've wanted.”
That did it for Spencer. Unable to hold it any longer, she broke down and cried, slumping into Wolf's waiting arms, knowing the mercenary will be there for her to pick up the pieces once she fell apart.
However cold the wind and rain
I'll be there to ease up your pain
However cruel the mirrors of sin
Remember, beauty is found within
It had passed another week before Wolf returned her full strength, and in that time she weaved her plan of revenge. She knew what she had planned could be potentially hazardous for her well being if caught, but she couldn't leave this blasted country without a “proper” goodbye to her ex-employer. She also heard the US team had struck the camp three days after Perko executed everyone and decimated the men's number, but that still didn't make her happy. She had to leave in her own style.
Though it was hard, but she had Ivan procure the weapons she'd need to exact her intent, and all that remained was to set things in motion.
Without Spencer knowing about it.
Not that the younger woman could do anything to make Wolf to change her mind, that she would get in the way or anything. Rather, the mercenary knew Spencer wouldn't let her to go alone. And she swore she'd never again subject Spencer to witnessing the cruelty she was capable of.
And this time, she'd give her everything.
* * *
Sitting up on the bed, the mercenary looked over her shoulder at sleeping Spencer and couldn't help but smile. The blonde looked so peaceful in her sleep, her relaxed posture belying all the horror she had lived through recently.
Releasing a sigh, Wolf got up and donned her standard black garb then knelt beside the bed, pulling a small duffel bag under it that she hid there a couple of days before. After making sure everything was in there, she shouldered it and glanced toward Spencer one more time. Unable to resist, she came closer and leaned down, brushing her lips against Spencer's forehead. She smiled fondly when the blonde murmured something unintelligible and burrowed her face into the pillow.
“Sleep well, baby. I'll be back before you know it.” Wolf whispered and crept out of the room.
Stepping out of the small house, the mercenary closed the door quietly behind her and directed her view toward the stars-filled sky. She released a deep breath before a feral grin adorned her face as she suppressed all the emotions that made her human, sans anger. That she let to fill her entire being until she felt the bloodlust coursing through her veins, growing stronger with every beat of her heart, demanding control to fulfill its want.
“Aaah. It's a good night for dying.” she purred in a low voice before ducking into a nearby brush and melting with the nightlife of the woods.
Hour and a half of sneaking later, Wolf reached one of the watch towers, which meant she was ten minutes away from the camp. Crouching low in the high grass, the mercenary scanned the perimeter and stiffened when she noticed a man coming her way. Careful not to make any noise, she crept behind the closest tree, listening to the tell-tale sounds of his footsteps. She grinned when he stopped maybe a foot away, unaware of her presence.
The man pulled the rifle strap off his shoulder and put the weapon on the ground, next to his right foot. Then he began whistling as he unbuttoned his pants and started relieving himself.
Wolf almost chuckled out loud at the man's ignorance about his imminent death. Creeping closer, she rose up right behind him, grabbed his head and snapped his neck.
The man fell to the ground dead before his body even realized what happened.
“Tsk tsk tsk.” Wolf scolded the dead man as she dragged his lifeless body into the brush. “Didn't your mother teach you it's not polite, or in your case healthy, to whip it out, out in the open?”
Dumping the body, the mercenary straightened and popped her vertebrae into place before returning into a crouching position. Making sure there were no more men patrolling this part of the perimeter on foot, she sneaked to the watch tower and headed up the ladder, knowing there was at least one man placed in there. Peeking up over the edge of the wooden floor, she once again grinned evilly when she spied a snoring man curled in one corner.
“Slacking on the job, are we?” she scoffed quietly as she crept closer. “This is way too easy.” she chuckled out loud, kneeling beside the man.
The young militant stirred at the sound of someone's soft laughter, but before he could do anything else beside rolling on his back, one hand covered his mouth and the other tightened around the hilt of the blade pressed against his throat. The young man's eyes went wide and seconds later, he was deprived of his life.
“Nighty night.” Wolf whispered and closed his eyes before climbing down from the watch tower.
On guard for any other patrolling men, she continued her way toward the camp. When she was within 20 yards, she hid behind a fallen tree to assess the situation. Her keen eyes scanned the area, spying yet another man slumbering in a chair placed against the shack the mercenary used to be stationed in. She spotted two more men walking around the camp, but that was it. The others were in their huts, visiting the dreamland.
With the grace of a nocturnal predator, Wolf sneaked to the main tent and unnoticed slipped inside. Standing up to her full height, the mercenary barred her teeth through her grin as she slowly walked closer to the sleeping man. Stopping next to the bed, she leaned over Perko's sleeping form and chuckled in a voice which betrayed she was up to no good.
Taking a step away from the bed, Wolf released a quiet whistle and called Perko's name, to which the man instantly reacted by scrambling out of the bed and reaching for his gun placed on a small stool next to the bed. However, even before his hand came hovering over the weapon, a fist connected with his temple, rendering him unconscious.
“Now, we can't have that.” Wolf commented about his attempt to take the gun while she hoisted his body over her shoulders and carried him away, fireman style.
“Damn, but you're heavier than you look.” she huffed as she resettled the man and peeked outside the tent to see if the air was clear.
With no one in sight sans the peacefully sleeping young man in the chair, Wolf slipped away with her prey, without anyone noticing a thing, retracing the path she came into the camp.
Half way to Jasna's house, Wolf steered to the left, following an almost forgotten path leading toward an old, abandoned smokehouse Ivan told her about. That was the place where she chose to exact her revenge.
Stopping for a moment to orientate herself, Wolf pointed her flashlight in several different directions until she spotted a small, wooden building. Smiling, she walked toward it, then snorted when she heard Perko groan as he climbed toward consciousness.
“Luckily, we're here.” she muttered as she stepped inside and quickly started working on tying the man to the beams before he was fully conscious.
She hurried with the knots, but still made sure they were properly secured, unwilling to hit the man again, not knowing what damage he already could be sustaining, for she was forced to knock him out several times during their travel from the camp.
Now, she couldn't have him half-witted. She wanted him completely lucid and brain-functioning for the rest of his miserable life.
Settling comfortably in a wooden chair in front of aptly tied Perko, Wolf waited for the man to open his eyes, her face partially hidden in semi-darkness.
When after five minutes nothing happened, the mercenary sighed, re-crossed her legs and pointed an exasperated look skyward.
“You can just as well open 'em. I know you're awake.” she stated calmly.
With a chuckle, Perko let go of the pretension and looked directly at the tall woman.
“Well, well, well. If it isn't our little puppy. You know, you should've been named after some cat instead of a dog. You seem to have nine lives.”
Wolf replied with a chuckle of her own. “Naw. It's just that the world would be a boring place without me in it to raise some havoc in other people's lives.”
Perko smirked smugly at her reply, knowing why she came back for him. “Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't share your thoughts of the world. And I'm not afraid of dying, so if we could just skip the small talk and get on to it?”
This time Wolf laughed out loud. “If you insist. But,” she leaned forward in the chair and shook her head, “I have no intention of killing you. In fact...”
She stood up and moved the chair into a corner, out of her way, before stepping in front of confused Perko.
“I'll be keeping you...”
She leaned closer until they shared the same breath.
A hand came up to caress his bearded cheek.
The other hand reached up to cup his face.
“...alive.” she finished softly, squeezing his face until he gasped from pain.
Wolf smiled, patted one of Perko's flushed cheeks harshly and walked away to rummage through her bag.
“Now...” she continued to talk while still searching the bag, “...you'll have the honor to see for free the side of me people usually pay a lot of money for me to-- A-ha!” she exclaimed victoriously, holding the object in her hand.
Showing her prize to the man whose eyes went wide at the implication, Wolf grinned from ear to ear. “It's not as finely made as the one I've left back home, but it'll have to do.”
She observed it more closely and added offhandedly, “I didn't think I'd need it in this bumfuck you call a country.”
Then she put the half a hand big, metal letter W on the chair and stepped in front of Perko, ripping his shirt off. Regarding his muscular body, Wolf crossed her arms and held her chin pensively. After a minute, she loosened her arms and reached out to poke Perko on the left side of his chest.
“Hmm. Nice muscles you got there.” she nodded appreciatively before reaching for the metal and holding it above the open flame of a lantern.
When it was hot enough, she turned back to Perko with a wicked grin. “Be still. This is going to hurt like hell.”
And by God, did it hurt. Perko screamed until his voice gave out.
Wolf took a step back, scrunching her face at the stench of burned flesh and hair.
“What's the matter, Perky?” she taunted when she noticed a tear sliding down the man's face. “You ain't so tough now when the tables are turned on ya, eh?”
“Fuck you.” he rasped through his labored breathing.
Wolf laughed at his curse words. “You wish. Now, are you ready for your next present?” she asked, not bothering to wait for an answer.
Instead she reached to retrieve another item from the bag, revealing it was a police baton. She twirled it in her hand experimentally.
Perko peeked at her, watching her every move with wary eyes. “What are you going to do with that? Beat me to death?”
“Noooo. I've already told you I have no intention of killing you. I'm just going to break your spine.”
Wolf said this so calmly Perko experienced a real fear for the very first time since his teenage years and when his father beat him to the brink of death after he found out Perko forced himself on his cousin and had left the poor girl pregnant.
“Why are you doing this?” he asked, displaying a false bravado. “Because I killed those idiot Americans? Please don't tell me you're here to avenge them.”
Wolf walked to him slowly, tsking and shaking her head. Standing nose to nose with the man, she snarled.
“I don't give a fuck about them! You tried to kill me, and I tend to take an attempt on my life very personally.”
Perko chuckled. “You, Wolf, said to your many victims that this was all just business. How is that different where this is concerning you?”
“'Cause I'm the alpha and you are my prey, not the other way around. It's like a rabbit trying to kill off a lion.”
The man looked at her confused. “What?”
Wolf rolled her eyes. “Never mind. Shall we continue? I'd like to make you a paraplegic as soon as possible and get back to bed. I have a woman waiting for me there.”
This time Perko laughed. “Oh, how this absolutely isn't hypocritical of you!” he retorted sarcastically. “All that time in the camp you were preaching about my men thinking with their dicks and doing nothing beside raping women, yet you're doing the same; thinking with your cunt.”
Wolf growled and got into his face. “I am nothing like those assholes!!!” she yelled, her spittle flying out of her mouth and into his face. “I've never raped anyone!”
Taking a step back, she gave the man the once over. “But then again, you Boslavian men are so damn ugly no sane woman would willingly go into bed with you.”
Still snarling at the man, the mercenary walked behind him and without any warning hit him with the baton strategically in the middle part of his spine, smirking with sadistic satisfaction when it was obvious his legs would never serve him again.
“So, Perko... Perko?”
Frowning at the lack of any sound from the man, Wolf quickly checked his vital signs, sighing when she found him unconscious again.
“Damn it!” she grumbled.
She put the baton away and pulled the chair closer, sitting down with a huff. She didn't expect him to black out from this. The branding was worse, yet he took it better.
“Fuck.” Wolf cursed as she observed Perko with irritation.
She wanted him to be fully aware, to feel the pain she inflicted on him full-blown. After all, what was the point of torturing someone if they couldn't get the feel of the experience thoroughly?
Half an hour later, Perko opened his eyes to find Wolf sitting in front of him, waiting patiently for him to return to the land of the living.
“Oh, you're back. Good.” Wolf commented as she rose up and for the third time reached for the bag.
Finding the item she was looking for, she turned back to the man, her blue eyes glinting with an evil intent as she showed him the scalpel she held in her hand.
“Ready for my final goodbye-present?” she asked with a wiggle of her brows.
Then she stepped closer and grabbed Perko's chin, forcing him to open his mouth. “Say “A” for me.”
Perko winced when the sharp razor nicked his lip and he tasted his own blood on his tongue. And then, for the first time in his adult life, he cried.
“Hwease.” he begged, “On o his.”
Wolf stilled for a moment as if considering his plea. “Umm...” she hummed, staring off in the distance pensively.
A minute later, she looked back at him, her serious expression changing into a lopsided grin as she shook her head negatively. “No. Now, be a good boy and try not to pierce my eardrums with your screaming, okay?”
Perko shut his eyes and gulped audibly, his heart hammering inside his chest in anticipation of the inevitable; he was about to have his tongue cut out.
The blade descended down on his muscle and he flinched when it cut into his flesh, but before it could do more serious damage, someone barged into the smokehouse.
Wolf growled at being interrupted and was about to hurl the scalpel at the intruder without turning around to see who it was, when the voice calling her name made her body stiffen. She squeezed her eyes shut and exhaled slowly as all her emotions were switched back on, without her permission, and the anger nourishing her bloodlust begun melting away.
“Wolf?” Spencer called again when the mercenary remained rooted still. She stepped closer and carefully reached out to place her hand on a tense forearm. “Wolf?”
There was an audible sigh before Wolf spoke softly, “You shouldn't be here.” She sighed again. “You weren't supposed to find out about this. I... I didn't want you to see me like this again.”
“I know.” Spencer replied with equal softness in her own voice. “But I woke up alone and you were nowhere in sight. I asked Ivan where you might be and he reluctantly told me about your plan.”
She spared a glance at Perko, wincing in sympathy at his glazed look and the burned in brand on his chest. But the very next second her empathy vanished as she remembered he was the man responsible for Michelle's death and the death of everyone else in her group. Looking back at her lover, Spencer slowly reached for the scalpel and pried it away from Wolf's fingers.
“C'mon, let's go.” she said as she took the larger hand in her own. “He'd had enough to remember you by.”
Wolf allowed to be led out and was surprised when she saw the dawn had replaced the night sky. She breathed in deeply and smiled before following the smaller woman.
There was a long period of silence between the two women as they walked back to Jasna's, then Wolf suddenly whispered, “I love you.”
Nevertheless, Spencer heard it and smiled fondly.
“I love you, too.” she stated and then yelped in surprise when she found herself lifted off the ground and wrapped in strong arms. “Whoa!” she chuckled just before she was kissed like never before.
“Wow!” she breathed out. “Not that I mind, but what did I do to deserve such a display of affection?”
“No particular reason. Just for you being you.”
Wolf chuckled as she nuzzled Spencer's neck. “You know, you just saved Perko from having his tongue cut out.”
Spencer's brows skyrocketed in disbelief. “What? You were about to cut his...?!?”
“Yeah.” Wolf answered with a sigh. “And if there was anyone else interrupting me, they'd be dead by now. But you... I don't know. For some reason unbeknownst to me, you have the power to make me appease.”
“Oh.” Spencer didn't know what else to say to that.
She felt both flattered and a little afraid. Knowing you held such a grip over another person... She allowed a small smile to appear on her lips.
“But that's a good thing, right?” she asked unsure.
Wolf shrugged her shoulders. “I guess so.” she said precariously, not knowing the real answer to that question, but recognizing she liked Spencer having such an effect on her. “Spence?”
“Will you be there for me in the future to make me calm?”
“Would you like me to be?”
“Then my answer is yes.” Spencer answered and was instantly rewarded with a breathtaking kiss. “Wolf?”
“Hmm?” Wolf murmured as she trailed small kisses down Spencer's throat.
“Will you be there for me?”
Wolf backed away a little to be able to look straight into the green eyes.
“I will, I promise.” she whispered as she closed her eyes and tightened her hold on Spencer. “Forever.”
...Forever shall the wolf in me desire the sheep in you...
© Sam Pagan, 2013
*** Translation and pronunciation ***
hej – hey
stoj – stop
picka ti materina – the best equivalent is motherfucker
dodi sa mnom – come with me
onda – so, well
blondina – blonde
a u kurac, al' the lezbe znaju napalit' covjeka – the best way to interpret this is: ah, the cock, but those lesbos really know how to make a man horny
ak' nagovorim onu visoku kucku da izabere neku drugu žensku za sebe – if I manage to persuade that tall bitch to pick some other broad for herself
da – yes, yeah
jebemu – fuck
daj ga odšlepaj u šumu – drag him in the woods
idemo – let's go
kaj – wha(t)?
plava – blonde (also the color blue)
moja – mine
uzbuna – alarm
idi van i dovedi cetiri covjeka sa sobom – go outside and bring four men back with you
idemo u šetnju – we're going for a walk
Sale – Sah-leh
Jovo – Yo-vo
Zujo – Zu-yo
Jasna – Yas-na
Ivan - Ee-van
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