Disclaimers: There is sex between women in this one. Also, there is one scene with BDSM overtones.
At the Morgue
Upon entering the Morgue, the Justice was welcomed by the predictable odor of Formaldehyde. The place was sterile, cold and drably illuminated by a pale and lifeless light.
Doctor Mort had already finished performing the autopsy. He was standing in his white robe and discarded his scalpel onto a metal platter with a clatter.
On a porcelain dissection table laid Penurius' carcass. His upper back rested on a wooden 'head block' which caused his arms and neck to fall backwards whilst it stretched and pushed his chest upward to make it easier to cut open. A large and deep Y-shaped incision had been made from behind each ear and ran down the sides of his neck, meeting at the breastbone. A T-shaped incision had also been made from the tips of both shoulders, in a horizontal line across the region of the collarbones to meet at the sternum.
The Justice approached the table and stood opposite Doctor Mort.
"We have a dorsal wound beginning in the upper right quadrant. One upward thrust." He demonstrated the motion by stabbing the air. "The blade entered the abdominal cavity just under the ribcage where it chipped a bone, proceeded up through the kidney and transected the renal vein. Two heartbeats and he was gone. The bleeding was completely internal - no pain no stain."
"Quite a suggestive earmark, I venture to say," the Justice leaned down for a closer look at the deteriorated punctured entrails. "Have dagger, will travel?"
"Indeed, a professional, M'lord. This is a hallmark assassination. Whoever did this was very committed". The coroner concluded.
'She should be' The Justice gloomily entertained herself, but she couldn't stop herself from extending Emma's handiwork her sincerest admiration; as one Warrior who's a professional killer to quite another sort of a professional killer. It was a common courtesy between colleagues. "What about the dagger?"
"Consistent with a designated hitter's Modus Operandi. No fingerprints were found…Like your regular angel of death. Also, due to the time that has passed since the murder and given the conditions in which the body was preserved, no blood residues were found, either. We're very lucky to have found the dagger lodged in the body," he proclaimed glibly.
She thanked the seasoned coroner and asked to be kept apprised before vacating the Morgue.
In the Judge's bedchambers
"I am not to be disturbed. Is that clear?" Was the Justice's single order to her maids after she had entered her private chambers in her castle. She heard the heavy doors being closed behind her personal servants. At last came blessed solitude. The liquor cabinet was her first station. She poured a fine brand of intoxicant into a crystal chalice, but couldn't bring herself to wash her gullet with it. The Justice paced back and forth in her bedchambers, fidgeting. The exotic Persian carpets swallowed her footfalls.
'Emma'…Blast! You cocky little…Blonde she hissed almost voicelessly between gritting teeth. 'Executing a contract in MY dominion...' She nearly mangled the chalice in her hand, and inwardly she was becoming further wrought in bile.
She picked up her pipe and stuffed it with some burly blend of Turkish tobacco as a distraction. When brimful, she placed the pipe between her lips and lit it.
She opened the glass doors to her vast stony balcony, rested her elbows atop the cold rail and pensively gazed at her Realm spread beneath her. The smoke rings were dispersed by the light breeze. She did nothing to dam her nomadic thoughts about her Ladylove.
She vividly recalled that wretched tempestuous night that had brought her soaking wet to the Lodge's gates, seeking cover from the rainstorm outside, only to find a firestorm inside.
Of all the women in the Lodge, her eyes had first captured the breathtaking audacity and sophistication that was Lady Emma, a fatally prepossessing belle. She'd been an aria sung by a larger than life Diva. Respectively, the Justice hadn't had to toil too arduously to engross the Lady's attention, either. The very first moment their lustrous eyes had met all those years ago had been the inauspicious preface to their connubiality. Never ones to mince words, it hadn't taken the inherently bilious litigious Lord and the non-amenable incisive Lady long before launching into mostly nuncupative tussle, both a little lax in matters of etiquette.
Words like 'Monster', 'Heathen', 'Red' and 'Criminally Insane', to name a few had been tossed by the acuminate Lady, to which the incensed Judge had dished out several exquisitely mean and unreserved superlatives of her own to counter Emma's extravagant wit.
She could even remember Emma leisurely sitting on her then lover's lap asking the latter 'Can we keep her?' In reference to the Judge as if she'd been a rabid stray. The other lodgers had observed what had seemed like a dainty vaudeville featuring mutual insults and disparagement lush with boast, bane and intransigence. However, what the others hadn't been privy to, had been the tryst that had taken place later on that night in the kitchen.
A hunger that was gnawing at her sent the Judge downstairs to the immaculately kept kitchen. Rummaging through the bountiful pantry, she decided to settle for some cold cuts of roasted beef .
"I want to thank you for eventually responding to my welcom e... let's see, I was one of the first to welcome you and the last to be acknowledged...That doesn't work for me, I don't think. With that attitude, don't expect to spend much time interacting with Emma... though here there are others that will occupy that tiny mind of yours." The Justice heard the disapproving voice behind her.
With a kitchen knife in one hand, a slice of beef in the other, and her mouth gluttonously masticating meat, the Judge turned to find Lady Emma standing at the entrance with a displeased expression on her face, which the Judge would grow only too accustomed to seeing in future years.
The robed One took her time grinding the nightly snack in her mouth before presenting Lady Emma with her answer. "Calm yourself, sweetie, and mark me. I don't respond well to threats, so behave yourself and don' t be selling me that cheap attitude."
"Me?! You behave yourself. And there is nothing cheap about me. Which may be why you're positively clueless as to how to talk to me half the time…Clueless, as if someone has moved your food dish."
Lewdly, the Justice pinned her eyes into the Lady's breasts, which were constraining against the bustle, as though she was studying the twins in order to make sketches; but upon hearing the Lady's gross insinuation comparing her yet again to a dog, she furrowed her brows. "Well, this Canine found its dish," she retorted. Then a thought crossed her mind. This woman would turn any Lord into an animal. "And I'm not into ass licking, my dear, least o f all yours. It is you who should be taught proper deportment. Obviously, it is you who have no idea how to address me. If you truly don't like the way I talk to you, I can always stop," the Judge said and put away the dirty plate and knife.
The Lady folded her arms over her mounds, denying the fresh Curmudgeon of their pleasure. "I hate that you play that card... it's unfair"
"There is a spot of truth to the cliche 'All fair in love and war”...or love that is war..." The Justice, who appeared too smug for the Lady's taste, was amazingly oblivious as to just how much her latest statement would become the motif throughout their relationship, ridiculously so.
"Oh please…Besides, It's only fair if I have a trump card too."
The Judge smiled, "Alas, you don't." she said and sauntered towards the Lady.
"Finally some words of wisdom. Losing control, are we?"
"Growling is never a sign of losing control. It is more a sign of losing my temper, so bite me!"
"It should be: 'Please bite me, my Lord' not 'Bite me'. I don't take orders from you." At that point the Judge stood in front of the Lady. Then she added nonchalantly, "I knew you'd beg me to bite you, I just didn't expect it so soon."
"I would swallow my tongue before I would call anyone 'my Lord' and mean it."
"Since you've brought up swallowing, how good are you at swallowing?"
It appeared that the tall Stranger being crass failed to shock or surprise the Lady. "That would depend on the swallowee," she teased and went to pour herself a glass of water. "WarriorJudge, I like your name. I t must be nice to have a name much prettier than you deserve."
"I bet there are several names you'd like to call me."
"Several…" It was the complacent Lady's turn to exhibit a smug smile, "is being kind".
The Judge observed Emma's elegant body movements as the latter brought the glass to her luscious lips. From above its rim the Lady targeted the Judge's uncivil scouting of her form.
"Well, I can think of a few names I'd like to call you…" said the Judge, "I can even put 'Lady' in front of them too, if you wish."
The Judge's laughter roared, "If you want a taste of me, all you have to do is keep on doing what you seem to do best - be insolent, and get on my nerves," The Judge articulated knowingly.
"Being insolent is not what I do best dearie ...just something I am exceedingly good at," she elucidated to the Judge's displeasure.
"Don't flatter yourself, it is so vulgar," the Justice scolded as she invaded Emma's space until she stood too close for the Lady's comfort. The air around them seemed to be charged with explosive currents that pranced on their skin.
Posing toe to toe gave them an opportunity to assiduously examine the other's features, an opportunity they've been watching for since the moment they've met.
"I knew there was a reason behind sailors' superstition regarding redheads aboard ship being bad luck. Call it intuition but in your case I sense that superstition applies to dry land as well," noted the Lady, looking upward straight in the Judge's face.
"Now, now, they also have one about boarding ladies," replied the Judge, looking downwards, with resolve akin to Emma's.
"I think my tongue is about to fall off, you know, from all that sweetness,"
"I would worry not only about your tongue, dear Lady, but about your capacity for my sweetness."
"Well how big is your sweetness , if you don't mind me asking?"
"Res ipsa loquitur," answered the Judge and elicited a puzzled look from the Lady, "It's a legal term from the Latin meaning 'the thing speaks for itself'" she went on to construe.
There was a wily sparkle in the Lady's eyes. "Well, I'd love to stay and chat with the thing, since I suspect between the two of you, it does most of the talking anyway, but I'm going to bed now. Pity, because if what I know about Lords' brains in relation to their things is correct, its conversation skills will surely surpass yours."
The Judge's face remained sealed, but she savored Emma's piquant words. Without breaking eye contact with the Lady, she grasped the doorknob and opened the kitchen door, "After you," she offered.
The sudden unexpected ostensible display of the chivalry along with a semblance of adequate behavior gave the Lady pause, "Ladies first?!" she asked almost in disbelief.
"Fantastic ass," the Justice was only too eager to explain.
She smiled one last time before Emma turned to leave the kitchen, watching the hypnotizing sway of her plump tormenting backside.
Oh and how well she remembered the fervid sparring that ensued since their acquaintance. Never before had she encountered anything quite like Emma's fresh breath of venomous air.
Ever since their early days, whenever in each other's presence they opted for an unabated row over a rational discussion. The conceited irascible Justice and the adamant Lady were unwilling to concede or recede.
What jeopardized the Justice's reticence most was the Lady's seemingly listless manner in which she delivered her gird and sardonic denigration, pushing the Justice to the brink of losing control. In favor the imperious Justice always did her very best to serve hers with commensurate perfunctory.
The feisty, mouthy, insolent Lady drove the Justice crazy. But the Justice knew the opposite was equally true. She spoke to Emma in a way no other had, and that daring maliciousness was the most plausible explanation as to why Emma became charmed or at the very least intrigued by her.
And between the welters of scintillating razzes, abusing sarcasm, and spry acerbic sophistries, the Justice realized that they'd been in fact mating vicariously.
One might think that such scuffles would cause disaffection, however, only a struggle twists and garbles sentimentality and lust together into love. Those flurries of emotions ravaged and unnerved her. Nature abhors a vacuum and like that…Emma had permeated into her cloistered, desolated and empty heart.
As the sun plummeted into the horizon leaving chilling flecked duskiness behind, the Justice's thoughts veered back to the present time. The momentary mirthfulness that had accompanied the remembrance of their passionate mythology spiraled down precipitously into somberness. She conjectured that Penurius's assassination had to be one of Emma's earlier contracts if not the very first. It had probably redefined the rules of engagement for the Lady, and had caused her arrogance to capitulate before her instinct of self-preservation.
Murder for hire was an offence punishable by death in the Realm. That was a law of her own making, and there was no statute of limitation for murder. If she didn't devise a plan soon, Emma would swing for it and make a hempen widow out of her.
The chill outside impelled the Lord to retreat back into her warmed chambers. She was sitting in her favorite fauteuil. Her forearms were comfortably rested upon the manchettes and her back was facing the entrance when the doors to her chambers were opened.
"I thought I made myself clear!" She bellowed, but upon hearing the heavy footsteps, she immediately recognized the unmistakable gait of standard issue military boots.
"Your forgiveness, my Lord, but we have a warrant for your arrest."
Brusquely, she rose to her feet and confronted five of her soldiers who apparently came to place her in custody. It had been her most fundamental instincts that operated her arm to expose her sword and wire her body for battle. Her unsheathing of the sword had been so swift that by the time hers was pointed at her soldiers theirs were barely halfway drawn.
"I don't think you brought enough men, lieutenant." She snarled at him.
But though she relished the concept, this situation couldn't be resolved by violence and mayhem. She aborted the idea and surrendered her sword. She knew she could easily take all five of them. She could even take ten, but she couldn't wage war on her entire army single-handedly. Besides, it wouldn't stop them from keep coming after Lady Emma. Pardoning Emma, giving her special treatment as if she was above the law or invoking any notions of impropriety, grievances or other moral indignation amongst her subjects would cause them to revolt and that would be the end of her reign.
The lieutenant handed her a piece of parchment, the warrant for her arrest.
She perused the concise parchment and learned that her arrest had been warranted so that she would not sabotage Emma's pursuant apprehension and for this purpose alone. It also taught her that their rapport was apparently known. There would be no point in denying it. At the bottom of the document, she noticed the name of the duty magistrate who had issued the writ. Judge Leonidas Midonas , it read in small black letters beneath his stilted signature.
Judge Midonas was a surly, wary and ornery old man, whom she had appointed several years ago for those attributes precisely. From the corner of her eye she saw that one of her soldiers was sidling towards her with a pair of dangling shackles in his hands. She waited.
"Put those away immediately, private." Her lieutenant flayed the green enlistee. "Please pardon him Sire. He's young and stupid."
The Justice nodded her acceptance and proceeded to the door, "Lead the way, lieutenant."
End of Part 2
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