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About Deviant Victoria Hartzell30/Female/United States Groups :iconkrory-miranda: Krory-Miranda
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Chapter III - Finale Curtain Call :iconkyukitsune:Kyukitsune 0 0
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Chapter I - LADY OF THE NIGHT
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"And now...farewell to kindness, humanity and gratitude. I have substituted myself for Providence in rewarding the good; may the God of vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked."
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
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The weather within the city of Gotham could be terribly fickle during this time of year, it was nothing short of dark skies and heavy rain and dark skies ahead, especially when the forecast predicted there were to be nonstop showers all through the evening.
Nothing made the mood slightly more depressing than having the day looking gloomy and dreary. Everyone in the office could see the storm clouds within the following hour before it was time to call it a day.
Alexi Brooke was one of the few that left the office late, filing the last bit of paperwork and setting them in their arranged folders a
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What to do, what to do, Alexi had been trying to find a way while sitting on the cold hard ground and staring into the abysmal darkness of the room.  She had lost track if it had been minutes or hours as there were no clocks for her to check the time and her watch removed from her person. 

 

She tried to figure out when the lackeys would show or worse that Doppio Bastardo di maiale* and his damn coin.

 

Was anyone looking for her, did Batman have any clue, no he's probably too busy taking care of criminals to consider helping find a missing person as that was a cop’s job given what they had to do for a meager salary. 

 

Also, it had been Friday, and nobody from the office would’ve taken consideration not until Monday when she didn’t show up.  She figured by then her boss or at least one of her coworkers would try to contact her, and once they realize she wasn’t responding or anything, they’ll inform the police.

 

Yeah, great way of paying our tax dollars to the boys in blue.

 

But she wasn't so worried about herself, not really, no she was thinking of her father and wondering what was happening with him, having no clue what was going on.

 

Sometimes she closed her eyes, trying to get some sleep but hearing the sound of pipes creaking or water dripping brought her back and found it challenging to lull off.

 

She had no clue how much time has passed, but then at least one of the goons would show within half an hour, gun in hand and also seeing that she use the facility to relieve herself and get some water from the facet.

 

Was this some torture experiment, to see how long it take before she cracked and finally lost it, just what was his end game?

 

She had cased the place out even with the limit lighting in the room.  She found no windows in the bathroom, a small square opening leading out and guessing she was in some basement as that explains that dank smell and feeling like there must be cobwebs and rats down here.

 

While she was left to ponder about her circumstances she at least wasn’t being starved or treated like some animal.  She was given some water along with a sandwich and a bag of chips and trying to ration it if they decide not to feed her on a regular base.

She has been allowed one hand free leaving her other cuff to an adjacent pipe and having nothing within reach to help her escape but at least let her sit on the floor and try to think of her next best move. 

 

They did allow her to use the facility, only after they place a bag on her head and taking her upstairs to a dingy john that looks like it hadn’t been given a proper scrub down in a long while.  But with her bladder having to go and wasn’t about to complain how filthy it was as soon as she sat and relieved herself.

 

Finally, after what seemed like forever, seeing it started to get dark and then guessing it was close to eight or nine, that's when he came back.

 

"So it looks like you were telling the truth, after all, congrats to you."

 

"Yeah, that's wonderful to know that you took the time to see how fortunate I was right. So you got the loot, and you don't need me anymore so why don't you let me go, and I promise not to say another word about this to anyone."

 

"You expect me to believe you won't have the cops come after me." 

 

Oh, of course, how silly of me to forget that I'm just hostage here by a crook who doesn’t trust me to keep my big mouth shut from squealing.  But keeping her temper in check, she calmly said, although not in the nicest way, "Look I don't fucking care, the only thing I want is to get home and forget this ever happen!  I won’t say anything to the police: you can blindfold me, drop me in some dingy alley or whatever.  The only thing I'm asking is for you to let me out."

 

"I'm afraid it won't be as simple as that."

 

"What are you saying?  You going to kill me then aren’t you?" She somehow had figured that was going to happen.  Why would she expect him to let her go scot-free? 

 

She didn't understand what he was trying to prove but then finding something thrown at her feet. It showed a grainy black and white image of her apartment and seeing that it look like it had been demolished by an explosive.

 

"Problem is someone else seem to have beat me to it, and that's not all turn to page 22." She did, her hands shaking as she flipped the pages until she reached the one and saw there was a column and her picture of her father's face staring back at her.

 

"N-no no no…" That can't be, this can't be happening. The doctors said he was doing fine, that the treatment was helping him so how, how could he—

 

"You-you did this!" She lifted her head and glare at him, eyes full of rage and ready to shed tears as she stared at the man responsible for his death, "You killed him!  You bastard, you lousy sick son of a bitch I told you what you wanted, you didn’t have to do that to him!"

 

"It wasn't me, I had nothing to do with it but I do know who did and you can already guess as well as his initials start with R and T."

 

She knew what he was saying, but how it shouldn't have been, Thorne would not have been able to figure out it was her.

 

"One of my guys had kept tabs on Thorne while we kept you out of sight and he was starting to piece together the person who was robbing him of his money.  Let me tell you; he wasn't all that pleased that someone had the nerve and decided to get rid of the problem that's been bugging him for a while now. 

 

He had some of his goons to set the detonator up to go off when you got home, and also send one of his boys to the hospital to finish the job, feeling a small bit of satisfaction on removing the one thorn that had been on his side. Your old man supposedly died in his sleep, but we know better don't we?"

 

She said nothing, too busy staring at the photo of her father and reading that his remains cremated while she was likely to have been killed in the explosion and both having no other family and the law dictate to have his body burn, leaving nothing of him.

 

Her dad now a pile of ash and it was her fault.  She had been careless, and it had cost her a loved one, and now she had to live with it.

 

Fat tears rolled down her cheeks, landing on the paper and smudging the image of her father and could not stop even when Two-Face bend down and sat down next to her.

 

"You and I are alike, you hate him as much as I do, he took away everything, you more than anyone. You got a lot of moxy and hard ass spunk which is quite impressive and given that I can recognize in someone of your fine caliber, your gift in the way you take on the ‘big dogs’ and like to show them that.  I could use someone like you on my team; I can give you all you need if you let me.”

 

"I-I don't know." She felt a great deal of loss, her heart torn and having nothing but seeing the man, this criminal offering her an opportunity to get back at the people responsible but then could she let herself be a pawn in this man's scheme.

 

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Those words said had sealed her fate, knowing she had made her choice and having the man who could be considered the devil in disguise and unlock her chains. 

 

He helped her to her feet and up those stairs, feeling every step under her bare feet giving way as a part of her old life die down in that dark room and stepping into a whole new surrounding as a different person.

 

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Alexi remembered that when she was little, her father told her one important thing: Never lose heart no matter how rough things might be.  Her whole life had seemed to revolve around getting back at Thorne because of how much he hurt her father and in one sudden moment lost it all. 

 

It was like playing craps and finding she didn’t get the high roller and wound up having nothing.  That was the way of the dices, but she was not one to back from a challenge.  Not when someone else had the means to help her.  That being a man who she now saw as her boss and dependable companion in this dark, dreary world.

 

That seems like a decade ago when it had been only a year, three months, six days, right to this very second.

 

That's how long it took for her to go from what she was and into this new persona that stood in front of the mirror. Time could pass like falling grains of sand in an hourglass but with such slowness given what she had to go through to get to where she was.

 

She stared at this person she saw, Alexi not seeing any of her former self with the changes she accustomed herself over the months. Her hair now fell to her waist and what was once pure black slowly fading from below her shoulder to the very tips were as white as pristine snow and acquiring a bit of a wave down there.

 

Her lips were a shade darker than usual along with the eyeshadow to give herself a more smoky appeal and went rather well with her given complexion.  Her nails black as night with white French tips at the end and each ear had a small stud, the left with a black diamond and her right a silver heart.

 

Her slender and semi petite figure accentuated with a black crop top and mini skirt held by a white belt with ankle strap heel followed by the jade necklace and silver cuff bracelet that had been on her at the time when she got kidnapped. 

 

A small blessing in itself as they were the only things left of her previous life that she could hold on for the very moment.

 

She strapped the hostler to each thigh before sliding her Beretta 92FS that had commissioned and design for her after she completed training.

 

Two-Face wanted her to be able to learn to how to aim and shoot in any case if there was for her to do.  She took to it like a fish in water finding every target she envisions Rupert's head and putting a bullet in each one.   Listening to the gunfire and seeing a gaping hole in the picture that was once a mobster but having his blood and brain splatter on the ground with that shocked look on his face.

 

Her boss and mentor stood to the side, watching her as she practiced and saw her improving with every passing day until he felt she was good enough.  He was impressed by the sheer determination and knowing she held a grudge much more profound than his but still finding him having another who shared that same burning hate for a man who brought out this anger and would relish seeing it used for a better purpose.  A person he had molded into the perfect tool to fight alongside him.

 

She barely recognized the person she had become, going from a regular Gothamites to someone who would gladly murder in cold blood.

 

Yes, Alexi was dead, she heard about the funeral service a week after she accepted this new choice for herself. There had been a small memorial with few co-workers and friend, and then her father's ash scattered to the nine winds.  She had nothing left to go back to other than her need to have revenge and see justice done her way.

 

Alexi Brooke had died in that explosion and out of the burning ashes like a blazing phoenix was Lexa Dante whose bleeding heart was still raw with fury and swearing to rip the monster that took everything from her. 

 

She was fully committed to taking part in the atrocity and even if she had to dance with the devil to do it, so be it.

 

"There's no going back, nothing to keep you from the path you so choose." Those words she heard said to her before from the former DA, but she understood why he was telling her this, given he could see why she was pursuing a life where she would be as dark and tainted as the rest.

 

In a way, he opened her eyes to everything, making her see it as clear as day why he forsake the path he once had and chose another instead. 

 

She thought of the tale of Lucifer and how despite everything he did to please his maker and finding was never enough.  Lucifer tried to bring about a rebellion and fail, so God saw fit to banish him from heaven and condemn to a hell of his making.

 

Harvey Dent was like that once upon a time, a shining beacon of hope before a cruel twist of fate took it all away. 

 

Him, a fallen angel with his wings rip and fell from grace to become the very monster thanks to those that brought and wreck sin upon the innocence who dare not do anything to stand up other than be slaughter like the lambs they were.

 

Where was the justice that should have protected them, where was the moral order in all that is to be the balance between right and wrong?

 

Nothing was truly black and white only set in shades of gray with them standing right in the midst of it.

 

Batman believed he was doing for a cause by protecting and serving Gotham, but even heroes can't save every person they like to help.

 

Her father once proud and full of life but turn into a sickly skeleton of his former self, the loss of both his wife and his work taking a toll but also having seemed to give up too soon.  He was not the man she remembered and didn’t want to think of his last moment then.   She swore to right the wrong done by Thorne’s hand, and any who stood in her way would also taste her blade and meet the same fate as him.

 

She turns her gaze down to her right hand, seeing the tattoo still freshly ink on her skin that marked her and going by the name ‘Lady Luck’ for her Moniker and with an ace of Spade as her calling card. 

 

He felt it fitting that she becomes the very charm to help him take out the wasteful space and sharing in the open carnage of it all.  He saw it symbolizing them as both comrades in arms, but she would still be following him, obeying whatever command or what the coin decreed for him.

 

“I hold a person’s fate in my hand, but you will be the one to do the deed on the coin’s decreed as I see fit.”

 

Yes, she would gladly pull the trigger given she lost so much and had nothing left to live for now other than her need for justice.  

 

Alexi was gone and in her place stood Lexa.  She was fury; she was wrath, she was vengeance!

 

She heard a knock and one of the grunts, Tim or Jim whatever, calling her to say was time to head out.

 

Lexa took one last glance before walking out the bathroom and out of the old broken building that was the current lair.   Two-Face was already waiting in the car and went to join him, sitting on his right given that was what she was, his right hand while his left held the real power and flipping it every thirty seconds nonstop. 

 

She had an inkling of an idea of what he was thinking and given that tonight would be an essential heist for them that should be worth at least a total of two thousand if everything goes to plan.

 

But like every good plan, there were always clinks and one being a flying rodent and his annoying bird sidekick to mess things up for them.

 

She did not have to look outside to know it was going to rain, even as the engine started and were heading downtown to wherever it was that Two-Face wanted them to but hear the familiar pitter-pattering against the pane glass.

 

The world was full of cruel and abhorrent people but it's only how they go about it whether they were deranged, evil or were forced to trek down a path when there was no other choice on the matter.

 

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“Hey I have a question, and I want you to be honest about it.”  Lexa was looking over at him as they lied together on the bed with not a stitch of clothing anywhere on their person. 

 

They were all over the floor lying about but from what she remembered, during that moment when he had gotten frustrated over her bra, growling over its damn contraption and took a knife to snap it off.  He would pay her back with a new one but still that and the fact her panties were also now in ruin, so he owes her two in one.

 

Her head had been on his chest while trailing her finger over his torso making small circles before the thought came to her.

 

She pulled herself up and was leaning on her side with one hand holding her head and uttering two simple words that seem to echo loudly in the room, “Why me?”

 

Two-Face had been lying on his back with his eyes half shut and a cigarette dangling from his lips.  He inhaled the enriched Cuban tobacco and tasting it on his tongue before exhaling through the corner of his exposed sneer. 

 

It was another relaxing mechanism that kept him under control, and even if he were to feel the urge to decide, his silver dollar lying on the bed stand next to him within reach. 

 

Right now, his mind was calm and clear, though coming back to the present and with his female companion that was close beside him asking him something that had him debating whether to debate with the coin over something as simple as that.

 

He said nothing though turn his head to look her way, her blue-violet orbs staring back at him as she waited for him to say something.  Two-Face was admiring the view he saw, taking in that voluptuous body as she had nothing on and seeing how her skin shimmer like alabaster under the faint lighting that was coming in through the open window. 

 

The smell of sex and the hot summer air comingling together and giving off a strong musk was intoxicating and having her so close by was already making him arouse and feeling the blood rushing to his groin.

 

“What do you mean?” Lexa resisted the urge to roll her eyes as pluck the cigarette from his mouth and took a hit herself.  She tilted her head and blew a cloud of smoke before she proceeded to snuff it in the ashtray on her side. 

 

“I mean why me, of all people, did you choose me.  You know I’m nothing like you or the others.”  She wasn’t anything like Harley Quinn or Poison Ivy or even Cat Woman.  She is or was Alexi Brooke.

 

She moved to sit up, ignoring the slight drop in temperature as she set to cross her arms over her chest and stared at her boss who was lying there with his bare torso but having the blanket covering his lower half. 

 

It was looking at an unusual collage with one-half that was tan and quite appealing to the eye while the other was distorted and ruin by the chemicals and burns that made it difficult not to be repulsed by such a ghastly sight. 

 

Lexa found it gave him an individual uniqueness that made him stand out amongst others and going with those broad, massive shoulders, the well-sculpted muscles on his abs and down his forearms and calves. 

 

The way his pecs seem to narrow down to where a thick hatch of dark hair grew to cover around his groin and then there was that manliness that appears to go well all together.

 

She remembered seeing his face during those campaign elections when it was plastered around town or on the TV screen.  He had been quite ruggedly handsome with those stunning chisel features and sure that a lot of females had voted for that reason alone but also because of that charisma he seems to give off as his speeches made the voters see how as District Attorney he put the people first above anything. 

 

He even had the nickname ‘Handsome Harvey’ that everyone could say fit the white knight of Gotham rather well.

 

A once proud Adonis but now that gorgeous face was marred and ruined, well one half as he had those third-degree burns covering half of his body and turn his flesh a ghastly blue with his eye bulging out of the socket and with a permanent sneer set across his half face.

 

He may look like he was something out of a nightmare, but he was all man that’s for sure.  Lexa had the opportunity to explore every inch of him as this had not been their first night together.  They had sex a few times in the recent weeks since she had decided to work alongside him after losing everything and her in need of some companionship to help her get over the events in her life. 

 

This help to rid the intense tension between them as nothing brought people together than wild unbridle sex and having someone who knew how to make her orgasm over half a dozen times within an hour was right in her book.

 

There were two ways of going about it between him and Harvey, and the man could be the gentlest lover or a wild insatiable animal in bed given whichever was in control and whoever’s thirst needed to be sated. 

 

Last night they had been in a meeting going over a heist that's within two weeks and once the last of his lackeys left and it was just them in the room.  She had her quarters upstairs and was about to hit the hay when Bad Harv made his move.  He had grabbed her arm and forcefully turn her around and found herself drawn toward him, his hands on her waist and his mouth against hers. 

 

She had tasted the sweet, spicy tang on his tongue, feeling his groin grinding against her clothed pelvis that was aching for him to come and take her.  She put no resistance as she put her hands in his hair and pushing him to the limit as she purred in his ear before taking his bottom lobe and nibbling it.  That certainly did the trick as he had carried her to the central office/bedroom and throwing her down onto the mattress while they tore at each other’s clothes.

 

The sex was intensely hot and swore if the passion were any more heated, they’d be burning the sheet given how driven he was in plowing into her, her hips boring the marks from where his fingernails dug into her pale skins and her elbows and knees sore from being in that one position so long.

 

He was incredible and finding that in all comparison to her previous ex’s and one night stands, hold no candle to what was Harvey-Two Face’s sexual quirk.

 

But lately, she had been questioning a few things, wanting to know out of anyone did he ask her to become his given accomplice.  Sure, she had taken self-defense and also some kickboxing seeing that for a woman in Gotham was a dangerous thing and needed to be prepared for anything.

 

But other than knowing how to punch and jab, as well as shooting a gun, thanks to him showing her the ropes, that was just it.  She had no power to control plants, couldn’t do acrobats or be skilled in picking locks or deactivating alarms like some people.  Out of anybody, she was below minority which begged the question as to why he wanted her as his partner in crime.

 

“You want to know?”  She nodded as she was dying to find out the truth one way or another.  “Because I knew you had a fire in you, this intense spark that was burning with such raw intensity but still used for a higher purpose.”

 

He reached out with his right hand, the feel of that mottled palm against her abdomen and felt heat coiling in her gut.  That fluttering sensation of those butterflies that seem to make themselves known as his hand moved downward, brushing past her groin, the soft pubic curls that covered her down there and finding him slide his finger in between her legs. 

 

She moaned when he went to push inside, moving in a slow circular motion near the outer wall of her labia and making their way near the clitoris.  Lexa found him crawling on top of her, his muscular form holding her in place and continue his ministering to her growing arousal.

 

“You pack this heat on you, a flaming torch full of raw ambitious that drives you into going after what you want.  I must admit when I saw you that day, seeing that you wouldn’t back away when you probably should’ve, but you refuse to let anyone take what you felt was yours as Thorne deserve to pay with every drop of his fat greedy flesh just the kind of thing I like in a dame.”

 

“Yes mmm…always told I was...ooh a bit…stubborn…I-ugh did…he deserves-oh a fate…ahh—worse by…oh right there…” She had been trying to listen but while he was busy inserting his digit in and finding that one spot that was making her feel alive and then when the second finger came to join the fray, making the intensity of it go double.

 

She bit the inside of her cheek as she was on the verge of losing control even given the circumstances and feeling he was doing on purpose just to distract her from her question momentarily. 

 

Well, two could play this game.  Lexa moved her hand down, creeping it close to where his groin was, feeling that throbbing velvet organ that was already getting hard as soon as she wrapped her fingers around it.

 

She felt him still but then as she was gripping him with a firm hold and jerking it in a fast up-down motion.  She saw him move his gaze towards her and she couldn’t resist smirking and letting Two-Face see she was not backing down.

 

She swore the grimace on the scarred side had taken a different form, almost a smirk but it was hard to be sure with his face like that, but the eyes were easy to read: Challenge accepted.

 

He quickened his pace, his fingers scissoring and pushing and prodding her while she was jerking him and letting her fingers brush against his scrotum and rubbing them ever so gently.  She heard the slight hitch and his eyes narrowing down at her as he growled, “Minx that you did on purpose.”

 

“All’s fair in the game at hand.”  She then tightened her grip and pulling faster and harder on him, feeling his cock swelling with growing tension and the urge to release but Two-Face was not one willing to surrender, and he had a few tricks up his sleeve.

 

He pulled his fingers out and choosing to sit up causing Lexa to look with growing confusion until she found half her body being turn, mostly her pelvis as he set one leg straight and her other bent at an angle.  Just what was he doing.  He was on his knees but sitting over one leg and taking her other with one hand and the other lying on her buttocks.

 

She was not sure what he was doing but then when she felt his erection positioning at her entrance and then having to grab hold of his knees as he penetrated her with slow friction.  She drew a sharp gasp but then that quickly turn to a moan as he went further to push her to nirvana.

 

Two-Face move to bring himself closer to her, his pace becoming faster and shaking the bed with every thrust and Lexa grabbing onto his back to hold on for the whole ride.

 

He may be a deranged and volatile man, but he certainly knew how to fuck with incredible stamina and wasn’t holding back the punches.

 

He grunts as he could feel the tightness in his balls as he was ready to explode and feeling her walls as they went to clamp down on him.  Two-Face burying himself before he threw his head back roaring as his sperm came out by the dozen, squirting every drop in before sliding out and seeing it leaking from between her legs and his flaccid penis.

 

As the two laid there, both flustered and out of breath, Lexa feeling his arm to wrap around her, his hand on her shoulder drawing her near so she could be up against him. 

 

“That’s why.  You're not one who is willing to give up what is rightfully yours and do what it takes to get what you want.  You will fight or die trying, even though the odds lay against you.  I know you play a good game and give your statistic in how you work things out so that you come up with the upper hand.  But that’s only half the reason.”

 

“Mmm, so what’s the other then?”  She saw him turn, both halves of his face staring at her and reaching to brush the hair from her eyes, “Harv and I both can agree on one thing without having to bitch on sharing someone who doesn’t mind that we have to take turns with someone who wants us as bad.”

 

This time Lexa couldn’t resist as she reached out to grab hold of his face and moving to press her lips against his.  When she pulled away she was smiling, “Well then I’m happy to say that I’m one hell of a very lucky gal who has a two for one guy like yourself.”

 

Lexa never thought she would find her Mr. Right or someone as equivalent to fit the category considering everything that happened in her life, but with Harvey and Two-Face, she hit the Jack Pot for sure with double the love going for her and she returns in full to him.

 

She had him push on his back and moving to be on top of him but then holding a coin in her hand, “So how about another go only we see which gets to do it.  Heads you, tails moi.”

 

Two Face’s grin widened as he saw his gal flip the coin and then instead of catching it, she let it land on his chest and saw it landed face up.  “So what is it you want me to do.”  

 

She smiled, “Nothing, just lay there and enjoy…” before moving downward and his eyes caught on before realizing what she meant by ‘heads.'

 

Yep, they both got lucky, well all three of them to be precise and he and Harvey both promised to do everything they can for their lady as that’s what she was to them.  Lucky Lexa, Two Face’s partner in crime and his woman!

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Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.
            - Samuel Johnson

 

Death is what happens at the end. War is everything else…

    -Horsemen

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It was almost three or as some would call the devil’s hour with two minutes to spare as Alexi arrived back at her apartment that very morning.  She was dead on her feet and ready to hit the sack right then and there.

 

“Ugh what a night…glad that’s over with.” She muttered to herself while slipping her shoes off and carried them in hand. Her feet were somewhat sore, especially around her toes and heels and sure to be sporting a blister or two around those areas. 

 

But was well worth it, she mused seeing how everything went accordingly to plan and got what she came for in the end.  She had unlocked the door and stepping inside the foyer before shutting it behind her.  She dropped the pumps precautious in the hall, not caring to pick them up but would do it later, so she didn’t trip over them when she did. 

 

Rupert's thugs had no idea what hit them when she came over and asked to join in their little card game.  She had put on that sweet demeanor and flashing a bit of cleavage to get the hook to draw them in. 

 

Their reaction was just as she expected, one rushing to pull out an empty chair and helping her sit before the other went to stack the deck but having difficulty doing so as his eyes kept going back to her chest.  Such a perverted little prick but so easy to manipulate and deceive, just the kind she preferred. 

 

She had to keep the Cheshire grin from breaking out seeing how they took the bait and didn’t realize that as they play a few rounds.  They lost a few times but won more on the off chances as they were too distracted by her feminine wiles to see their pockets were getting lighter and lighter every time they play. 

 

Alexi also found out where more of Thorne’s money was stash given the drunken stupor state they were in and trying to keep her at the table and said they could get more if he heads for the metro where the station lockers were.

 

‘No key need, it’s in number 6…6…right 69, just a sharp twist to the left then a counterclockwise and wham, open sesame, boss says no one would figure it out…’

 

The guy flop down onto the table, passed out, same with his other buddies joining him in the process.  She couldn’t help smirking as she took her winning, stashing the wad of cash in her purse before going over to Joe to pass him a few hundred as a thankful tip for what he did in her time of need. 

 

“Hey happy to oblige for my services, just don’t cause too much trouble ya hear.” Like she hadn’t heard those words before.  “Of course, and let’s keep this between us, here’s another for your silence.”  She slipped an extra fifty, and the man grinned, showing his crooked yellow teeth.  Money spoke high volumes, and she believed he would keep his trap shut as no one else needed to know besides them.  Sparing a few Franklins was a small price to pay for one’s discretion.  

 

She could be somewhat persuasive when it came to how she wanted things to go.  With her being a very generous person and ordering a round of drinks for their table but having Joe add her unique concoction to the mix and giving it to these guys who wouldn’t even notice that the alcohol had been spiked and now in their system.  The drugs took some time, depending on how much was in each glass but with the money, she gave Joe and seeing he would get more if he did as she requested before the evening was over.

 

She watched and waited, gauging them from the way they held the card, seeing the expression on their face and some noticeable tics that made it somewhat apparent to her.  She knew which had a bad hand or if they were bluffing, though rather poorly but still put all her chips into the pile. 

 

She could see the beads of sweats on their forehead, the way they seem to be wondering how they could lose to the likes of her. 

 

Poor deluded fools, you have no clue who you’re messing with…, she thought with crackling inwardly with glee.  They stood no chance against the likes of her.  She had her grandfather to thank for teaching her the matters of the game, showing her how to work the cards and using sleight of hand to get a better hand.  He wasn’t a notorious gambler, but he had his fair share of playing the chips with some of his friends before he had to get home to the missues.

 

“Remember this well Alexi: Poker is like life, most people don't learn from their mistakes, they only recognize them.  Luck never gives; it only lends…” Those words resound inside her head and were to remind her how luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity and that everything goes accordingly without any possibility of her losing.

 

She had honed and practiced these skills until it was almost as natural as breathing the air itself.  Her grandparents passed away while she was in her first year in college and wasn’t so sure if he would’ve approved of her choices in this personal vendetta of hers. 

 

Her grandma most definitely wouldn’t as she didn’t think violence solved anything only cause more hatred and rung up unresolved emotions that stir the cauldron as hate can be a boiling point and leaving it in too long can do more harm than good.  She would’ve tried to talk her out of it, maybe say to speak to someone to help her resolve the issue.     

 

Yeah like that help, a bunch good those therapists did, but then they didn’t truly understand her way of thinking, they couldn’t see the bigger picture.

 

Cause when it comes to these scums who chose to follow a man like Thorne himself, then they were no better than he was and saw she rein hell down on them as well.  So what if they might have families, they could have chosen a different path instead of working with that bastard, but then that was the pot calling the kettle, so it didn’t matter at the very least.

 

Sometimes one must walk across hot iron coals to get what they want in life; she thought as she walked barefoot to the living room and moving to where stood a small photo of her mother smiling at her and next to it a bronze urn with her name engraved on the plaque and the words:

 

‘Seraphim Leanne Brooke’

Wonderful wife and loving mother

An angel among men.

 

"Hey mom I'm back, sorry it took me so long, but it was well worth it.  Made at least six thousand, not a bad haul tonight but still…" It was like looking at a mirror seeing how the resemblance was uncanny with their olive complexion and dark hair.  Even the way they smile could be similar that is if she chose to be happy when sometimes it came out forced nowadays as there were few things to make her grin. 

 

She didn’t know much about her mom’s side except her family were originally from Sicily and moved to the states to have a better life and opportunity before they had their daughter.  However, they just got caught at the wrong time where a robbery was taking place, and both wound up fatally injured in the process.  Her grandfather’s death was swift and painless as a bullet to the head would do the trick while his wife not so fortunate as a stray bullet caught her in the jugular and left bleeding for hours before the paramedics arrived on the scene, but by then she was already dead. 

 

Her mother was only seven years old and had no other immediate family within the country; she was put into the system, growing up in foster care until she was eighteen and allowed to live her own life.

 

Instead of feeling downtrodden and disgruntle as anyone would be in her place, she always seems to be optimistic and still trying to help others when they were having were down on their luck.  Maybe that’s why people consider her an Angelo di Dio, ‘Angel of God.'  She had wanted to be a nurse and was a volunteer at the local clinic, helping people while they waited for the doctor and that’s how she met her future husband.

 

He had been helping his parents doing the delivery when he tripped and sprained his ankle.  He went to the nearest office to have a doctor look at it, but then he forgot all about the pain when he saw the beautiful young woman sitting behind the desk and was utterly smitten by her. 

 

She had taken notice of him as well and thought him interesting even while the doctor was tending to his leg and later coming up to pay for the visit.  That was when he asked her to have coffee, but she said to wait until his ankle was better first before that could happen. 

 

Given this chance to be with his ‘dream angel’ and following the doctor’s orders to the letter.  It took at least six days for it to recover fully, though doing what he can to make it heal faster as he wanted his chance to sweep her off her feet.  However, his mother saw to remind him that patience was ever a virtue and that things would fall into place at their endeavor. 

 

So on the seventh day and feeling the swelling gone down with no pain whatsoever, he took his chance to rush to the clinic to find Sera and asking her if she was still on about the coffee thing.

 

Though it was somewhat ironic cause when he did take her out that afternoon, and the two had finished a late lunch, he slipped on a patch of thawing ice and wound up breaking his leg. But this time, she was there for him while they went to the hospital and with him during the whole procedure, never once letting go of his hand along the way. 

 

She did make a joke saying it looks like their plans to go ice-skating later that week would have to be put on hold and until she was sure that he wouldn’t have to be falling all over the place which made him laugh and forget the immediate pain.  It would be three weeks later when he mustered the courage and asked her to marry him.  Though they only knew one another for a short time, she knew he was the one for her and immediately said yes.  They decided on a simple ceremony with him and his family and a few close friends and wed at a small church, the same church that had her baptized after she was born. 

 

Those stories were her all-time favorites, better than any fairy tale she ever heard before and thinking how sudden those two hit it off so quickly and all because of a chance encounter that brought two people together and was meant to be.  Love was a strange and unusual sort and given she never found that person who made her feel like what her parents had or maybe she never met the right man for it.

 

Yeah like who would want to go with a gal who is swindling a mobster and doesn’t give a damn about her life expectancy.  She turned her attention once more to her mother and thinking back to when things were so simple, and everything was right in the world.  What happened to those simple moments?  The answer was rather obvious:  It was Rupert Thorne’s fault that it came to ruin.

 

It was him and his men that had to rip it all away all because they all cared about was money and power.  Those with wealth and prestige thinking they could get away with anything, even murder for that matter.

 

She thought how very accurate that statement was, how men in power who like to push the little people around to get them to follow their way and didn’t give a damn about who they take down as long as they got the results they wanted.

 

She remembered the day rather well, how could she ever forget that as it had been six years ago during her sophomore year and although was in back helping her mom put stuff away, she heard the voices out front talking and her dad being one of them. 

 

Thorne had sent his men to drop by and have a chat with him, explaining the importance of having an ‘insurance policy’ although technically was more a protection fee in mob talk which in layman’s term was for extortion as anyone who can read between the lines.

 

Unlike others who just accept it rather than to go against the alternative, her dad wasn't a man to be pushed around by others.  People said she inherit his headstrong and stubbornness nature as she never liked to be pushed around and fought back without giving up.  The small deli-restaurant was more than just a place of business; it had been in his family’s hands since his grandparent first arrived in Gotham and passed down from father to son over the decade’s. 

 

The fact some mobster was trying to mosey in and force him to pay by having his brutes to intimidate them.

 

He had said in not a very nice way that he was not going to do business with a man like Thorne who pushes people around and wasn’t about to change his mind about it anytime soon.

 

They said nothing and just left the shop, no threats or promise of retribution for ruing the day or anything of that sort you expect from mob goons.  It seemed like the matter had dropped and everything was back to normal, but then a week later, something happened. 

 

She had been unaware of the incident until her fourth period where she and the rest of the class were jotting notes down when one of the teachers walk in to whisper to Mr. Henderson.  Everyone was curious, wondering what was up but Alexi felt a sense of trepidations given that look on his face as well as the worried glances they send her way. 

 

Somehow, she had a foreboding sense that something was wrong especially when he told her him that her presence needed at the principal’s office.  Now she had everyone’s attention, but Alexa ignored them as she took to follow the teacher out and walking down the corridor to where Principal Devon’s was and seeing he wasn’t alone.

 

Commissioner Gordon had sent one of his deputies over to the high school, also requesting a counselor be there when given the news since her parents weren’t in any condition to do so.  Her mother was being dropped off at the city morgue and seeing no need to let a teen look at the state she was and while her father had been taken to the hospital after the firefighter got him out of there.  Her dad severely injured, the impact of the building and having inhaled some smoke which had him slightly dazed and disoriented while he was being driven off in the waiting ambulance. 

 

When she got the chance to see him, he had this haunted look on his slightly charred face and couldn’t say anything with the tube down his throat, the mask pumping air in and out, but he too focused on his bandaged bloody hands and with the morphine pumping through his body. 

 

With her father having to stay for analysis at the hospital for a few nights with law enforcement officers to watch him and she allowed to stay with a friend while the police were going through what remained of the former two-story brownstone.  What was once a thriving business as well as her family home on the second floor now destroyed and nothing left apart from a few things that survived the fire?

 

She wasn’t allowed anywhere near the premise but when the news came on that night, showing people were on the scene, the pedestrians being pushed back and standing behind the yellow tape while officers and newscasters were busy scourging the sight for answers. 

 

Though no one spoke other than those, who were there when they heard the commotion and not able to figure who could have done such a thing.  The commissioner felt that this was a delicate situation and even though the evidence said otherwise, he had an officer stay near the vicinity and keep watch on Alexi and make sure no further harm came to her.

 

From what she could gather on her own, there had been a sudden explosion in the shop that caused the cinder building to burn to the ground.  When the cops and fire department arrived on the scene, the ongoing investigation after the blaze was extinguished and looking through the debris to locate the source where the fire broke out.  Something to do with faulty wiring but Alexi knew that wasn’t true as her father made sure everything was in working order and knew there hadn’t been any expose wires last, he and the electrician check. 

   

But everyone who was anyone knew it was Thorne’s doing, plain and simple. 

 

She knew because of that morning before she left for school, she saw a car parked on the opposite street and notice some shady looking guys were sitting in there and seem to be watching their shop. 

 

She thought it very suspicious and even told the officer who was there but given that she was the only one to notice and no one collaborating with her story and never saw the people who had been with her father during the interaction a week ago. 

 

Her face took on a bitter scowl.  Also from what she heard, the rumors of how they had their own set of officers that were paid to do stuff for them, dirty cops that would sweep the evidence away and show there was no sign of any fingerprints other than her father’s and the technicians working them. 

 

From what they’ve perceived, it was rats that gnaw through the wires and cause it to spark and ignite, that’s what the report dictated after the investigation and was an open and shut case.

 

Alexi bit the inside of her cheek and could almost taste her blood filling her mouth as it made the anger bubbled to a fine forth within.  It was all bullshit, she knew and so did everyone in that area, but they were too scared to do a goddamn thing about it. 

 

It had been done deliberately as a message to those who thought to question his authority and this was the result.  Alexi's father being catatonic and still recovering from the explosion, and it was her word against Thorne’s who had a seemingly airtight alibi, but she knew he was responsible.  But she was just one person and him in a position of power to denounce her case and have it drop altogether.   

 

When her dad got a clean bill of health and release from the hospital, but he was never the same since.  He was still distraught over the loss of his wife and nothing she could do or say could help fix his broken heart, nor hers.  They managed to find another place, a small one bedroom apartment that was big enough for just them but still didn’t feel the same as their old place.  The few things that survive and while everything else replaceable, items that belong to her mother, her jewelry, some clothes, a few photos of the three of them…it was all they had left of her.

 

Trying to get back on their feet wasn’t as hard as one expect with her dad finding work at a hardware store run by a colleague who heard about what happen and offered him a job.  He worked there until closing time, letting it take his mind off the edge and coming home late when she was in bed with a plate in the microwave ready to be heated for him.  

 

Time was said to heal all wounds but she just couldn’t, couldn’t let the anger diminish itself, the rage she felt bursting inside her and blaming everyone for their damn cowardice.  They were all at fault: the police who wouldn’t do a thing, the commissioner who apologized to her even though she wanted to tell him to stuff it and do his damn job, herself even.

If only she had thought to be more aware of the situation, if she had merely considered the possibilities, but she hadn’t, neither of them had, and now her mother was gone, and all her ashes were left and only a few pieces of her belongings that were mementos of hers.

 

Alexi was holding onto the frame tightly, her knuckles turning bone white and feeling her eyes watering but refuse to shed those tears.  She was staring at her mother’s beaming face and then bringing it close to her, hugging it to her chest thinking how she never deserved to die in such a horrid way.

 

Every time she thought of what happen or about that man Thorne, that small seed of hatred that made its roots inside her and growing gradually until all she could think was getting back at him and see he share in her agony the only way possible. 

 

“Mama if you are watching me and seen what I’ve done, know I’m doing this because it’s the only way justice can be served and only hope you understand that I do all this for you and dad wherever you are.” 

 

She set it back in its rightful place before heading for the bedroom to change and get ready for bed.  She was pulling her clothes off and throwing them into the hamper but caught a whiff of the smoke and alcohol and thinking she might want to take a quick shower before turning in. 

 

She made her way towards the bathroom and seeing to it that the water was heating up before stepping and letting it spray down on her.  She was taking her sweet time, lathering herself from head to toe with her favorite soap and shampoo.  She wanted to rid the bar smell that was clinging to her pores, and by the time she finished, she felt a whole lot cleaner and was smelling like French lavender and vanilla. 

 

She pulled her bathrobe on and used a small towel to dry her hair while rummaging around for some pajamas and pick a V neck chemise along with matching shorts.  When she finished getting dress and combing the tangles out of her hair before getting under the covers and turn the lights off.  She laid there with her head on the pillow and looking towards the ceiling about ready to call it a night.

 

She liked to think this was a moderate success for her but even if she felt that the battle had yet to be over until the enemy was dead and buried. 

 

She would not rest until she drew her very last breath or Thorne’s whichever came first.

 

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Alexi woke as soon she heard the alarm blasting at full volume right on the mark and getting up with slow ease as she headed to the kitchen to get the coffee started before hitting the shower.  She didn’t need as much sleep as most people would since the body is supposed to have eight hours to recuperate but with some good healthy caffeine to get her up and at them, then she’ll be fine.  It took her less than fifteen minutes to finish before to the closet to select what clothes to wear for today. 

 

She went with a charcoal pencil skirt, a white blouse over a black tank top with low-cut pumps that she prefers wearing as they didn’t dig into her heels or crush her toes in the process.  The fact her feet were still sore from the other night and didn’t want to agitate them further.  She pulled her hair into a ponytail and went to grab the satchel and her umbrella before exiting her apartment.

 

She took the elevator to the main lobby and walking outside towards the open pavement, seeing others like her about, and a few cars were roaring up and down the street or park idly by the meter.  She was making her way to the small garage and driving the civic to join the rest of the incoming traffic. 

 

She was at her second red light and waiting for it to change and glimpse at her side view mirror to see a sleek 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS Black that was two cars right behind hers and swore it look like the same model that had been parked across from her building this morning.  A feeling of déjà vu swept over her day, but it couldn’t be…could it?

 

No, it could be just a bit of a sheer coincidence that it was following hers but then saw it make a turn and shook her head, laughing inwardly at such a silly notion. 

 

C’mon Alexi you are fretting over nothing, you need to relax!  She had just been nostalgia last night and bringing those memories to surface just gave her a case of déjà vu right then which might explain why she got weirded out by seeing that car following hers.  She then took to another light and making one left before heading to the grayish building and parking it in one of the vacant lots near it.

 

She really shouldn’t let it get to her yet couldn't rid the feeling that had settled itself deep in her gut, even as she reached her floor and was walking to where the office was.  People were milling about, some coworkers sitting in the breakroom, gossiping while grabbing some coffee or something to eat before getting down to the grindstone.  A few said good morning as she passed by and she returned the gesture half-heartedly as she wasn't interested in making small chat with anyone as she approached her cubicle and proceeded with her standard task at hand.

 

She tried to shake that unpleasant sensation as she wanted to lose herself in her work from typing and to jot down notes to entering the data while talking to clients and re-directing them to whichever department that they had to talk to about the issues they were having. 

 

It was the same mindless drone obligation that she had been doing for two and a half years and use to doing until it was quitting time.  When the shift was finally over, she was the first in line to clock out and exiting out along with the rest of the herd.

 

Well, at least things should be somewhat mellow now that the day was over and the weekend can begin.  She was relieved that the week was finish and had two days to unwind and relax when she got home.  The area was desolate save a few cars as some people chose to work later than wait until Monday but she didn’t care.  Well, it was their time, but she had a couch calling her name and soaps to watch on the TV. 

 

Hopefully, there would be something good on and perhaps order some Thai food while she was at it.  There was Chang’s that serve good specials for a decent discount and could go for a ‘Kuai-Tiao phat khi mao.' 

 

That was a good plan, and then tomorrow she’ll visit her father to see how he was faring.  He also probably would like some of his favorite ice cream and made a mental note to stop by the store and get Cherry Garcia and—

 

But as she got her keys out and ready to unlock the driver’s side, someone grabbed her from behind, a gloved hand against her mouth muffling her screams.  Oh god, shit, this wasn’t good, great just what she needed.  She should have considered the odd possibilities that there were to be a mugging or worse a goddamn rapist who saw her walking by her lonesome and should have been on her guard. 

 

Well now wasn’t the time to be dawdling as she quickly tried to assert against her aggressor.  Time to put those self-defense classes to work, she took to kick her leg under and push him back throw a blow to the back of her head, hitting his nose hard.  She felt the assailant let go, crying out and could feel the warm gush of blood as it dripped onto her clothes and face. 

 

But she was taking off, running as best she could and trying to find a place to hide.  She hurried to get behind a dumpster that was at alley right beside the office building and holding her breath as she waited in the dark shadow, hearing them as they came by, searching for her.

 

Got to stay and wait until they leave…she had to get out of here before they come back.  Alexi was like a trapped hare as the bloodhounds comb for their quarry and she hated seeing herself in that possible. 

 

Quit being a fucking coward and use your head!  You think you let those stupid morons back those dingy bars get the best of you because you thought you couldn’t: no, you can figure it out, just stay calm and focus!

 

That’s right.  Lexa was not a scared rabbit, no she was a take-no-prisoner’s goddamn fighter that ate chumps like them for breakfast!  She would not give those sorry s.o.bs the satisfaction of trying to take her down.

 

She just had to outfox them.  She waited for a hairbreadth millisecond, her heart slowing down and even her breathing while reaching to pull her shoes off as she didn’t want them hindering her as she ran back to the car. 

 

If she was lucky, she could get in and speed away before they notice, but best do it now while she had the element of surprise on her side.

 

One-Two-THREE!  She took off, running as fast as her panty stocked legs could muster as she moved with everything going as she hurried for the civic like if the devil was on her heels.  She had no time to unlock it not knowing when they might come back.  So improvising, she used her heel to break the glass and pull the latch up to get it to open.  She was about to slide in and try to start the car when she felt someone grabbing her by her hair and dragging her back.

 

NO, she was this close, she was so damn close!  She struggled against her captor, her feet kicking the asphalt while she got dragged towards their vehicle where the other lackey was.  She was having a hard time trying to come up with another probable attempt at escape and doing the one thing her instructor said in case all else fail in such exemplary situations. 

 

She opened her mouth and set her teeth into his sweaty palm hard, digging deep into the meaty flesh.  She heard him yowl and let go which gave her time to fall forward and trying to get up but someone had put his arm around her waist and throwing her into the open trunk. 

 

She found herself hitting the floor and jarring her temporarily before noticing she wasn’t giving the chance to move as the person grab one arm and then the other to tie behind her back.  Now she couldn’t get anywhere in the condition she was and forced to lie there without any chance to escape.

 

"Dammit, she bit me!" But she found herself staring at the other thug with blood drying by his nose and moving in closer with a handkerchief in hand.  She tried to push her head away but found her hair pulled back and cloth covering her mouth and nose instantly.  She inhaled sharply, finding there was a strange smell.

 

A smell that was making her lose consciousness as her vision started to go black and the voices coming out fuzzy. 

 

The last thought she had was ‘I need to…I need to…daddy…’ then everything went dark and barely heard the trunk shutting or the sound of the engine as they began to move.

 

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Ping…

ping…

ping…

ping…

 

That sound, like water falling or something similar, echoing loudly in her head.  That noise alone was what made her come around as it continued to the same repetition and feeling her head was also feeling that terrible sensation.  Her eyelids flutter open, everything blurry and too dark to make out anything except a small filter of light that was coming from elsewhere.

 

Mmm, what the world, anyone got the number of that freight train?  She tried to move, but her arms were immobilized and found herself chained to a pipe that had small bits of dirty water running down her.  She also noticed that she was in a state of undress as she was wearing her camisole and underwear though found a throw blanket was put near her feet to give some innate modesty.

 

Wow, how very considerate, remind me to thank them for having the common decency to give a gal something after practically pawing over.  Even in this situation, Alexi couldn’t help having Lexa give off bitter sarcasm to whoever it was that did this and swearing retribution if she ever got out of this.

 

She felt utter revulsion at the thought of someone taking her clothes, touching places that she would never allow unless given consent.  She made a move to grab it and see how far she could move and trying to measure distance if there was anything that was within reach.  Maybe find something to help her get out of these cuffs.

 

 "The hell is going on…"  She was trying to figure out but then heard that ping sound and then a voice that spoke, one she heard not too long ago and already feeling like someone had walked over her grave as she realized who was that was.

 

"I see you're awake, well glad to know my goons didn't rough you up too much though Reggie said you did bite him hard, nearly broke the skin.  You got quite the balls or should I say teeth."

 

Alexi had turned her head to find him standing there underneath the flimsy lightbulb, watching her while flipping the silver dollar, never taking his eyes off her.

 

"What do you want?"  She was trying to figure his motive though other than that night, but it didn’t seem to make any sense for her.  Somehow as if reading her mind, he answered her question.

 

"You've been causing a bit of a stir over the last few months, really impressive for someone of your caliber though some might say otherwise, people like Thorne who's not too please to be dupe by a dame…I try to give you warning Ms. Brooke," He shifted closer to her, his hand reaching to grasp her chin and forcing her to look up into his eyes, "Or should I call you Lexa Dante."

 

Her eyes widen and feeling the color drain from her face. Ho-how did he know; it was impossible, she had been careful not to be noticed. She wore a different disguise and never made to be at the same place twice so how did he figure it out!

 

"I must admit that you were hard to find, hearing Thorne getting his money swindle by someone who wasn't one of us. I applaud you for such valid effort, but if someone like me could put two and two together, it won't be long before he does too, which is why I told you to scat, but you chose not to listen."

 

"Y-you're mistaken I'm not her." She had to swallow the lump that had lodged itself in her throat, her heart hammering as she tried to play the innocent bystander.

 

"I don't even know this Lexa person,” She was uncertain her odd if he’d believe or doubt her claim but she had to try until she figured a way out and convinced him to let her go.

 

"Oh really, funny because one of my guys gave me a good description of this 'Lexa' when he was tailing Thorne's goon and from what he said, she was lovely, similar height and built like you…thing is she had different hair color/cut and well you get the gist. 

 

Thing is she doesn’t have any account, no birth record, driver’s license, anything of the sort like she just comes and then vanishes out of thin air.  But one of my guys got a better scoop of her and here’s the interesting thing he said to me a couple of days ago…”

 

 He lean close and Alexi was finding it difficult to move as he used the gun to slide the strap near her collar.

 

“There’s a cluster of these tiny black moles, a unique birthmark that if you look closely form what could pass as a three clove or maybe even a club from a playing card.  And funny enough you got it right there in plain sight.  You have the same mark just like he said where it should be. Is that an unusual coincidence, I think not?"

 

Shit, she's so fucking screwed!  Alexi knew he was right, every time she went out, she would dress provocatively to keep her opponents from realizing it and apparently one time or another they notice her mark but thinking them too intoxicated and yet Two Face's men had noticed her and seeing a different woman but one who bore a striking resemblance.

 

"So, I did more digging around, finding that a specific Alexi Brooke works as a rep for a Pharmaceutical office, small not a major corps like Wayne or Luther’s but carries all kinds of prescription drugs that I imagine that you ‘borrow’ and use for your purpose.  I give you props on that though a bit sloppy on your end, but everyone works what they have.  Now Alexi graduated top of her class, highest in mathematical from your test scores though was leaning towards finances and business to a degree. 

 

You’re half Caucasian and half Italian from your birth records as your folks were born in the states though mom’s side was of European descent.  Mother’s name was Seraphim who died a few years back due to fire at your old man’s shop, and he’s not doing too well with his diagnosis with—“

 

“All right fine you got me; I’m Lexa Dante!  There you happy?!”  She didn’t like how he had so much dirt on her and if he wanted to, could give it to any of those that she beat, and they’d be after her or worse her father. 

 

She would lose more than just her job if the company found out but also could do jail time if possible.  The thought of her behind bars with her dad a sitting target was ten time a fate she reckons was worse than death itself.  “So, what do you want as I don’t think that this is something of a meet and greet.”

 

“Ah the big question, good we’re getting to that.  See you, and I have some pressing business to discuss. The twenty-two grand that Thorne had stashed away, I want it, so you better hand it over."

 

Alexi had to keep from rolling her eyes, typical she should have figured as much, but she was too afraid to make any comment and knowing what she heard about him and his dark side that would most likely wipe her out with a single bullet.

 

"I don't have it on me," She felt him grab her chin, his fingers digging into the skin, "Do I look like the Joker, I'm not going to ask you again, and this time you better give it to me straight: Where-Is-It."

 

He flipped the coin with each word spoken and saw that look in his darker half and knew she better give him a straight answer if she wanted to stay alive.

 

"How the fucking hell should I know, I haven't even touch it or had the time to nab the dough when I left.  You think I can multi-task everything like you do buster, well excuse me I can’t simply take a coin and just ask it to do everything for me!"

 

Shit, she knew she shouldn't have said that but given that she didn’t have twenty-two in her account.  That much money would be hard not to notice and usually saw to put a bearable amount and to use the other half to pay for her father's medical bills.  She did a count in her head, and the total was at least ten, not twenty-two grand like he wanted and didn't trust what he might do if she told him where it was.

 

"You're lying so I want the truth, or you can get a first-class ticket to heaven, or maybe I'll beat it outta you and then pop you, your call!"

 

"I don't have the twenty-two grand, weren’t you listening! I imagine it's at the Gotham subway metro as that's what that idiot told me! Number fucking 69 that's it!" She snarled, finding she was tired of the bullshit and didn't like being push into a role where she was going to be torture but thinking of her father and how if Two-Face wanted, he could go after him instead and hurt her to make her suffer.

 

She was starting to feel somewhat frazzle watching as he stood up and his finger still turning that coin over and over.

 

"All right let say I believe you and I do find it. But what to do with you?  Hmm I know, we'll let fate decide: tails I kill you here and now or heads I let you live."

 

She held her breath as he flipped the silver dollar and having it land in his palm before slapping it on the back of his hand.  Her heart was beating fast, waiting for what seemed ages when he pulled it away to see which side it came up first.

 

"Well it looks like your luck is still holding out and you get to live another day."

 

Thank god, she thought relief sweeping through her whole body but then saw him heading towards the stairs and immediately cried out, her chains rattling as she tried to stand, "Hey wait, what are you doing!  You said you'd let me go." 

 

He stopped and turned around and Alexi seeing that bulbous eye of his that seem to be peering right into her soul.  She felt a shiver go down her spine, but his words were what made her insides freeze over at the implication they struck home now as she got the bigger picture.

 

"I’m afraid you weren’t listening too closely, I never said anything about letting you walk outta here, just you get to keep living, not leaving. Better consider this your new accommodation for the meantime."

 

Why that bastard!  How dare he!  She rose to her feet and even though she knew that it was a foolish attempt as she wouldn’t be able to reach him with how far she could go with her hands cuffed to the pipe.  But it didn’t stop her from spitting out with dripping hatred on her tongue and swearing loudly, "You fucking Figlio di puttana; you let me out of here this instant or I’ll—"

 

But she never got to finish as he had already left, slamming the door and locking her in the darkness.  She was still handcuffed to the rail and cursing herself for what she got involved and wondered how she was going to get out of this one.

 

 

Chapter II - Hell's Fire Gambit
Uh oh looks like Alexi has found herself getting into a bind and now what will she do and will she manage to come out alive or not.  Stay tune for the final conculsion
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"And now...farewell to kindness, humanity and gratitude. I have substituted myself for Providence in rewarding the good; may the God of vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked."


― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
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The weather within the city of Gotham could be terribly fickle during this time of year, it was nothing short of dark skies and heavy rain and dark skies ahead, especially when the forecast predicted there were to be nonstop showers all through the evening.

Nothing made the mood slightly more depressing than having the day looking gloomy and dreary. Everyone in the office could see the storm clouds within the following hour before it was time to call it a day.

Alexi Brooke was one of the few that left the office late, filing the last bit of paperwork and setting them in their arranged folders and cabinet so anyone could find them when need be.

When she placed the Manila for Combs, J. and shutting it with a quick swoosh and a turn to lean against it for just a couple seconds, "Phew glad that was the last of those." She said before exiting the room and towards the elevator.

Today had been one long turn out given how many were needing this and that done for this month alone and she swore her face hurt from keeping a smile on her face after greeting every client that came in through the door.

However just as she made it down to the lobby, she looked outside and saw the sky was already dark with the water works already coming down slowly but ever so surely.

"Great just my ruddy luck..." She sighed while pushing the long fringes out of her eyes, ignoring the way people that were near looked at her as they noticed the thin white streak that stood out among the jet-black tresses.

She ignored them as she knew they couldn't help gawking especially she wasn't that old, only in her early twenties no less. Alexi could not help it if this was a hereditary trait gain from her mother's side and passed onto the females of her family. The Mallen streak which was an unusual pigmentation of sorts, given that it was some genetic marker that came to be and likely would be pass onto any children she might have in the far-off future.

It was no big deal to her but given the grief, she had from the teachers at school when they thought she done it on purpose before meeting her mother face to face and seeing was very identical to the one she had and let the manner drop afterward.

Shows what they knew. Her mother, God rest her soul, had always told her to ignore those who didn't understand things and wished she was still there to give her such advice, especially given what she had been doing for the last couple years. Would she have approved or been disappointed with the way she went around to make a living? 

If only things weren't so bad or when the doctors found those god awful tumors in his brain...

But now wasn't the time to be dwelling on such dreadful thoughts as she had places to be, hoping traffic wouldn't be so bad as she got there. She propped open her umbrella and headed to where her Civic was parked as she got onto the road while it continued raining cats and dogs.

It took only her about an hour or so to get to Gotham Memorial, given how people were trying to get home and there was an accident along the way; she had to take a detour when the officers blocked the lane and the ambulance on the scene.

It was tedious, but she got there in one piece and walked to where the reception was, letting the person behind the desk know that she was to see Leon Brooke after signing in. She got her photo taken and was given a visitor pass to make her way towards the seventh floor which was where her father resided as a patient.

She made her way down the long corridor to room 202 and opening the door to find him looking outside, watching the rain pitter-pattering against the pane glass and didn't even hear her come in.

"Hi Daddy I'm back," She was waiting for him to take notice of her seeing him slowly turned as if coming out of a dream, the tubes that were inserted in his nose, as well as the iv, injected in his forearm moving slightly as he turned around to stare with confusion only to smile when he realizes it was Alexi.

"Oh, I didn't hear you come in, sorry sweetheart." She reached to grab his hand and gripping it in hers gently as if afraid she would break them given that they appeared more brittle and shaking slightly when she held it.

"S'okay dad I'm sorry it took me a while to get here, traffic was a right mess especially with this weather."

She could feel the lump in her throat as she stared at him, seeing he look far more ragged than she last saw him, the chemo treatments were taking their toll on him and notice he lost so much weight...that broad figure now a thin walking skeleton, the blue of his vein standing out against his pale skin...

It was truly heartbreaking but she kept it together as she plastered a grin and went to surprise him with a gift she got especially for him.

"I brought you a little present: I know it's not much but I figure that you like something more edible than what you are being served." She reached into her bag and pulling out a small cardboard box that held a piece of tiramisu and two forks for them to share.

"Oh thank the heavens, I was starting to think I lost my taste for every time I put something in my mouth, it's like eating sandpaper."

With the door closed and seeing that it was just the two of them, they both enjoy savoring the small dessert and talking about what's been happening though it was mostly Alexi who told him how things were for the most.

Her father made one or two comments, asking if she had found time to meet someone and her reply was the same as always whenever he brought that up: "There's only one man I need and that is you."

He chuckled before spooning another piece of the delightful coffee-flavored custard, "Ah if you say so but still I think you should at least consider as I won't be around much longer."

He set the fork down and reaching with his frail hand to hold hers and looking up with those same blue-violet eyes that she got from him but seem to have faded some the last she saw him, "I only want what's best for you and hope that whoever you find can give you everything your heart's desire."

He then took to move his hand to touch her cheek and giving her a sad smile, "I swear every time I see you, you are growing to look more and more your mother. I wish she could see how well you turn out to be..." She could feel that hard lump that seem to settle in her throat yet didn't want to start crying then he would too. "I know, I miss her as well. I never really stop thinking of her or you either."

She stayed for a few more hours and when her dad had to go use the facility, she proceeds to fix his bed for him when he went to lie back down again. She removed the empty carton and plastic utensils to throw in the garbage and saw to set his knickknacks on the stand within easy reach.

She noticed a slim gray book laid open and was their family album consisting of them back when Mom was alive. She knew that he could spend hours staring at them without a care in the world and sometimes get lost in the nostalgia for hours until the nurses came round to give him his treatment. She saw it was all three of them, with her on her ninth birthday having a picnic in Gotham Park.

Her mom was smiling in the picture, and her being hugged by both her parents. She then felt a hand and turning to find her father and went to help him get in and fluffing his pillow as he laid his head on it.

"I still think of her every day you know. I wish I could have done something. If only I had..." But the medication was starting to kick in, knowing he was going to be asleep for the whole day and decide to take her leave.

She moved to press a kiss to his forehead, understanding what he was saying. "I know, Daddy, but don't worry. I promise they won't get away with it. I'll make sure of that."

She waited until he was snoring softly before she got up and exit the room, knowing that he was left in the good care of the doctors here as she headed home. But as she was waiting at a light to make a turn, she was thinking to herself.

The people that hurt her family was going to pay, pound for pound and even if she was making herself a target for the likes of Rupert Thorne for what he did to her family, then so be it.

She would show him how wrong it was to mess with the likes of Alexi Brooke or should she say Lucky Lexa who plans to bleed every cent out of his pocket one way or another.

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Alexi took her time getting ready for this big night as everything had to go off without a hitch. She had everything set as soon as she made it back to her apartment and grabbing the things out of the closet and moving to sit at her dressing table as she got down to business.

She had done this many times before after she manages to locate the whereabouts of each of her given targets and knowing that to pull it off, she needed to look and act a certain part so she wouldn't give herself away in the case they figured out who swindled and were to go searching for someone who didn't actually exist at all.

That's where Lexa Dante comes in. She had considered the name Dante from the story her mother used to read to her at night and thinking of the main character and could relate to having been justly wronged and taking a course of action by beguiling under a different person.

Alexi would change out of her old clothes and get into whatever little sexy number she had, choosing to go with the short black mini dress that was low cut but still classy yet wanted her assets to be well noticed with striking heels that enhance the illusion she portrays.

Her lips curled back as she thought of the many she fooled with this. Men were easy suckers when it came to a pretty face as well as a perfect figure with a well-endowed bust that no hot-blooded male can resist. It was a woman's best secret weapon to use against the weaker-minds, she mused considering how many had fallen prey and never consider that she was using it to read her opponents and find out what she needs to know before she dealt her hand.

She pulled and twisted her hair back in a tight bun before sliding the shoulder length bleach blond wig over while making sure that no dark strands stuck out as she did. She was nowhere vain but given her fair complexion with no unsightly blemishes, contrasts well with her now dark brown eyes thanks to the color contacts she put in.
A little bit of makeup also did wonders as she put some eye shadow and lip gloss to give her more than attractive appeal and didn't need much else to work with as she got what she needed.

A pretty blond who was only looking for a good time and no one would think twice or even realize what she was doing until it was too late.
She smirked as she saw her reflection staring back at her, "All right Lexa, it's time to play hard ball and show no mercy to those sorry losers." She almost felt bad for what she was doing, keyword 'almost'.

She flipped her hair and made to blow a kiss before heading to the door and grabbing her purse along the way. She looked outside through peephole, seeing the coast was clear and was thankful no one she knew would notice as she took the fire escape stairs as she didn't want anyone to find out or worse leak it to someone who could hurt her family more than it already was.

She had to play it cool and calmly exit the building until she was a few blocks from her complex and made to hail a taxi. Alexi's family fell into the middle-class category given the circumstance for what they've been through and she had to work minimum wage as a secretary to help pay for her monthly rent and other essential. But thankfully her other 'occupation' help to pay for her father's treatment as it was well expensive and needed all the money she could get so he could get his chemo done and only wanted the best treating him.

Plus, it didn't hurt that she was also taking a stab at the mobster who dares to put her family through this. A yellow cab had pulled up to the curb and she made to get in the backseat before giving him the address she was heading for.

The cab driver gave her a questionable look from the rear-view mirror, "Your serious lady?" She said nothing and he saw that it was her money, start the meter and began pulling out into the somewhat lax traffic. She saw it didn't take him long to reach the given location that was right over near the harbor but seeing that it definitely didn't look like the kind of place no sane person would dare to trek.

But she wasn't afraid to cross into dangerous territory as she got out and pay her fare and made her way to the seedy joint where a lot of crooks and lowlifes like to hang out around these parts.

She heard the local stories growing up about mobsters and how they like to play for money, especially those working for them who find something remotely close to fit their standards. She checks every place that had that kind of requirement and Smokey Joe's is the most likely place where Thorne's men were to head after a long day's shift as Thorne's business revolves around the docks.

She was confident that this was the right place as she strolls in and keeping calm and well collect as she made her way right into the lion's den.
The place wasn't packed as there were mostly menfolk and a few 'ladies' milling about, some like her while others looking to have some fun as well as get paid on the side for nookie. She could smell the filthy stink of BO and smoke clinging to the atmosphere and doing her best not to show her utter repulsion as she breathes in through her mouth.

She took her time scooping her surrounding as she saunters over to the bar, feeling eyes being stared at her backside as she did. This was definitely the right place but no side of Thorne's men but she wasn't too worried. She noted a few turn their heads to keep watching her before resuming what they were doing and she took a seat in one of the vacant stools while waiting to serve a drink.

She ordered a gin tonic as she prefers something light as she didn't like indulging too much and like to keep her wit's end. She had a certain level of tolerance and could think much clearly without being too heavy under the influence.

Now it was all about the waiting game and she had it patent down to an art form. She just sits back and keeps her eyes peeled while ignoring those that try to hit on her and resisting the urge to throw her drink in their faces if they didn't get she wasn't interested.

She had been there for nearly an hour and is on her second cocktail as well as turning down the fifth guy tonight who try to pick her up when she heard the door open and someone gasping that got everyone's full attention. She turns her eyes and almost felt her heart lurch when she saw who it was. Some had freak and chose to leave while a few remain frozen in their seats as they watch him come in and Alexi also feeling that same stifling sense of gripping fear as she realized she was now in a bit of a bind.

The person strolling in wore a black-white crisp suit with matching suede shoes to match with a thug on each side of him packing heat given the rather obvious as they looked around and staying close to their boss. He was also doing the same while flipping a silver coin constantly in his very scarred hand with a sinister grimace set in a similar frightful visage.

Well, half of his face as the other was seemingly normal but still recognize him as would anyone in Gotham considering who this was.
Harvey Dent AKA 'Two Face' by the entire population and this being her first encounter close to someone of that infamous proximity. She usually avoids getting into close contact with these derange lunatics as on the off chance something were to happen and she'd likely wind up dead, no statistic necessary.

But since he wasn't Joker or Poison Ivy or even the Scarecrow, she would wager a fifty-fifty that she might come out unscathed as long as no one did anything stupid to piss him off.

Yes just play it cool and don't lose it. She tried to make herself inconspicuous even though that seems shot to hell when he came over, moving to stand right in the booth next to her and waiting for the bartender who immediately showed up asking what he'd like to drink.

She listened as Two Face grunt in that low gravel voice that made goosebumps go up to her arms as she heard him speak, "Bourbon and make it a double."

"Coming right up." He grabbed a glass and quickly pouring the amber liquid while leaving the bottle for him in case he wanted more. Two Face waited until he up and left before he made to take a swig before pouring another shot. Her heart was hammering inside her chest, wishing he get up and move but instead, he chose to remain where he was and then all of a sudden he turned to stare at her.

Shit double shit! This was not how tonight was supposed to go down. But keeping herself in control as she went to pull on the mask and turning ever so slowly and in a cool and collected manner said, "Yes is there something I can do for you?"

Normally she would be trying to get rid of a person but given that on a scale of one to ten on the danger platform he was an eleven on that meter, she would have to try and gauge on how well she can keep from getting her head blown off by the likes of him.

"What's a gal like you doing in these parts? You're not a regular here and you don't seem the type to be hanging around here?"

Right like he would know she thought though instead chose to say, "Oh well I'm just here simply looking for a little fun is all." She didn't want to blow her cover, not when she was this close and felt had to stall for time. She ordered a refill and while she took the glass, swishing the ice around and trying her best not to look at her unwanted company.

"Hmm, you don't say..." She didn't like the way he was staring but she remains aloof in her endeavor as she didn't think he was the type to pick up a gal from some garbage bar and hoping he'd leave her alone. This was not how she plans for tonight and seeing him drink the booze down and wonder if he was going to stay and take the whole bottle if he planned to just stay at the bar all night. But thankfully he wasn't as he simply had other plans but couldn't help looking at her with a slow calculating gaze with his one good eye focus on her face.

"Listen, normally I don't care what anyone does in a place like this, but you shouldn't be here." She scowled, finding it rich to come out of his own sneering face for what he assumed to think of her as.

"Be as it may, I don't see how you or anyone thinks but I—" But before she could finish her words, she found his hand gripping her forearm, his fingers digging into the meaty flesh and holding her in place as he leans in close.

"Look doll, you think just cause you can take on the big boys but this is a whole different ballpark sweetheart. I'm going to say this once more that I don't like repeating: Get out before you wind up getting over your head if you know what's good for you. These people will eat you alive and spit you out."

"Wha—" But he let go and then heading to the back corner of the room where his two goons were as they reserved a special place for him. That was the strangest and unusual encounter she ever did have. Her arm was sore and sure to be a bruise in the morning but she was thinking what he said.

Just what did he mean by all that, just why had he had been saying this to her of all people. It was utterly baffling but also left her completely frustrated as he had the audacity to tell her what she can and can't do. He didn't know the first thing about her. 'Sides what I do is my own damn business, not his and I could give a rat's ass if he thinks he can push me around. She was rather a miff but then her mood finally took a turn when she finally saw the person she was waiting for coming in along with two more of Thorne's goons, laughing boorishly and looking a bit tipsy as they might've gotten into the booze a bit sooner.

Well, that will make things much easier in the course of action once she let them have a few more rounds and play some cards by themselves. The gents will never know what hit them when she decides to come over and see if she could play a round with these fellows.

Two Face doesn't know a thing about me. Mine is more than just vengeance: it's getting back at Thorne and imagining the look on his fat pudgy face seeing he lost some grand makes it all the sweeter for me.It wouldn't bring her mother back nor stop

It wouldn't bring her mother back nor stop the cancer that was killing her father in such a horrific way but at least she would get some retribution to the people who hurt her parents, who destroy their family business and killed her mother in the process.

The old testament in the bible says to forgive thy neighbor but there was another important verse that struck a firm chord in: An Eye for an eye, and she would strike Thorne blind by taking every buck and didn't care how she did it but she had already made her choice long ago.

She heard one of the cronies laughing and she couldn't help as she took a sip of her drink, imagining it to be the sweet taste of victory that was on the tip of her tongue and soon in her very hands before this night was over.

Chapter I - LADY OF THE NIGHT
Alexi Brooke has felt that Thorne has cross her family and is going about taking a stab at him through her own means. She encounters another like her and finds herself being pulled further into the dark world that is Gotham. The Road to Hell is Paved in Good Intention
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Casey got to her apartment just around eleven and quickly turning the bolt in while seeing that everything was secured before walking through the dark hall and not turning the lights as she went to remove her clothes and get ready for bed.  She didn’t do this because she had issues with paying electricity, no lately she had been feeling as though someone had been watching her.  Something that made the hair on the back of her neck rise as she felt a familiar sense of fear that had come from almost exactly a year ago to this very day.

Stop light, lock the door
Don't look back
Undress in the dark
And hide from you, all of you

Casey had tried to live a normal life, even after the kidnapping incident which seem to kept coming back every time she look back on it especially as she saw the exact day when it was and after she had been free.  The day when everything went to hell for her and two other girls but only she came out alive.  She admit that though one good thing came out of it, getting the courage to tell the police and having her uncle put into jail had been a positive but then things had been hard to move on especially when the news kept bringing up the Horde and the missing people that seem to disappear on a daily basis. 

People were afraid of letting kids out after dark, parents forbidding teens from staying out too late even though they believe themselves to be invincible and unlikely to be target by some madman even though it was more or less the case.  The police tried looking into it, before weeks turn to months and more bodies kept piling and having to pull the FBI into it and even they were scratching their heads on it as they tried to gain a lead on this perpetrator. 

But Casey felt that this was going to be a hopeless case since she felt that even by knowing Kevin's name and face, they, the Horde and the Beast knew how to cover his tracks and nothing they could do other than find the body and try to figure out who his next unfortunate would be when they disappear.

She sigh and went to the bathroom, opening the mirror cabinet to grab the meds her therapist prescribed only seeing she had very few left in the bottle.  She had been using more and more of them as the memories of that horrific incident kept coming back over the last few days and finding her sleep disturb by the images she saw playing over and over in her head like a broken record. 

The beast’s voice, that fierce and disturbing being that even though looks, talks and walk like a man but sure wasn't in any way one and hearing those words that seem to come in the deepest darkest corner of her mind, 'We are glorious! We will no longer be afraid. Only through pain can you achieve your greatness!'

Pain yes, there had been pain, both mentally and physically given the circumstances.  She look down to her leg, seeing the large scar from where his teeth had broken the skin and tear into her.  The doctor had tried to stitch it but there was only so much that can be done to heal them.  Just like the rest that burden her, the ones that ironically saved her down there…

You are different from the rest. Your heart is pure! Rejoice! The broken are the more evolved. Rejoice….Rejoice…

“Rejoice, how can I when you made it impossible to…” She pop two tabs and swallowing them dry before walking towards the bedroom to lie there and stare aimlessly at the ceiling.

You'll never know
The way your words have haunted me
I can't believe you'd ask these things of me
You don't know me now or never…

She was nowhere near being religious, her belief in a god that had left her when she wound up in the hands of a notorious abusive uncle, then to being kidnap by a disturbed man with DID and finding that by sheer dumb luck she manage to come out alive while the others didn’t.  Why, why let them suffer, Claire and Marcia never did anything to anyone and surely didn’t deserve to be killed.

But you’re the one who survive, you’re pure which is funny because of how tainted you are, your soul blacken by the cruel hand your uncle brought upon you. 

Oh great.  She hate when her conscious seem to remind her of that, and then swore how sometimes the voice take on the others, like Patricia’s, Dennis’s or Hedwig’s, mostly the former than the latter.  She never mention it to anyone, not the doctors, not the shrink she saw every Tuesday as the last thing she wanted was them to show pity or concern when she had enough to deal with on her plate. She had guess these were figments of her own mind that had these figures speaking in her head and imagining what they were to likely say if they were ever face to face.  Although she had a few choice things to say if she ever did see them again.

Patricia was the one who seem to take into saying these out while she tried to get some shut eye, ‘You are like the character from that story, the girl with skin as white as virgin snow or bleached bones, pale as death itself with lips as red as blood, yes that is what you are, a dead thing inside but still pretending to be like everyone else even though you know it isn’t so…’

“No no no…” She grip her head and curling into a ball trying to ignore them, wondering why she was hearing this.  But Patricia refuse to be quiet as she continue speaking in that calm tone of herself, ‘Oh but you are, that’s what the beast saw: you are like us, a unfortunate soul that god has forsaken because he chose to let it, you fallen from grace just as Lucifer had, his own son…’

“Shut up shut up!”  She wanted this to stop, she wish the meds would kick in so she could sleep without these endless thoughts wandering in her head right now.  But it seem that the night had just begun and was far from letting it stop.  "I'm nothing like you, I'm not like you..." She kept muttering this to herself before finally she felt her mind becoming groggily and let sleep take over for that moment.

You belong to me
My snow white queen
There's nowhere to run
So let's just get it over

She was unaware that she was being watched from the adjacent building that was being look upon like a lonesome figure shroud by darkness, wearing nothing but black as he hid from sight and waiting until no one was around until he made his move.

 Those eyes that were cold as ice but were enough to peer inside the very soul, hers actual as he could see her internal struggle but knowing that he could never let her escape him.   He had let her go as he was still reeling in the sensation that there was an equal amongst them, it wasn't until he realize too late he let her slip away and having the police return to their lair and having to leave while going back to the train station to recuperate while the others tend to his mild injuries.  She was mention by the others, even those that had been rather reluctant to believe in his existence but her name was brought up a few times by those like Hedwig who missed her a great deal and while Dennis had tried not to let it show, he had shown keen interest in her which made the Beast both please and ticked at the same time as he was the one who had to have her even though he had to share this body with the others. 

It took a lot of time and effort to plan this and having very little patient but finally seeing the chance they had and going for it as one thing bear in mind while he made to take a running jump and crossing the leap between with barely feeling anything as he stuck to the walls and crawling towards her apartment area. 

She was their equal in every way and he had come for her at long last.

Soon my love, you'll see
You're just like me
Don't scream anymore, my love
'Cause all I want is you

Casey had barely been asleep when she woke up screaming in fear, panting loudly as sweat cling to her skin with her shirt now tight against her, her heart hammering inside her chest. 

She tried to calm herself, taking deep breath as the doctor recommended when she was like this.  In, out, in out…one, two, one, two…

The dream was like that horrific moment down in the lower level maintenance area, being chased by the Beast but finding she hadn’t escape his clutches like last time.

Sometimes it was either the beast would then go to consume her like he did with the others while she laid there wide awake and feeling her intestines being torn or the one having Patricia and Dennis holding her arms down and letting the Beast take part in this sick frenzy and them smiling over her as she was eaten.  Sometimes those were the worst and most had her waking up in a cold sweat. 

Most nights she got off lucky if she didn’t dream at all but this one had been different: this one had her running through dark halls but finding that she was being dragged back into the shadows, her body frozen by fear as he came upon her, limbs tangled by unfamiliar hands, gnarled fingers ripping and tugging at her clothes until she found they were torn to ribbons.

“You are Pure, Rejoice, Rejoice for the Broken are more evolved.”  But then something in his eyes changed, something that made her insides twist as she seen that look before from her uncle and then Dennis. 

Lust, unadulterated lust.  She was frightened by this, finding she was struggling as he approach but the rope/cable whatever refuse to budge and all she could do was watch in growing horror as he came towards her, standing nose to nose and feeling the warmth of his breath on her skin. 

The smell of copper was strong and made her gag as she thought how he went and tore chucks out of Marcia and Claire with his bare teeth and swallowing it down like it was filet.  Now, now she was enduring a fate worse as the next thing she knew he was on top of her, his strength overcoming her as she laid under him and feeling him force himself onto her.

Wake up in a dream
Frozen fear
All your hands on me
I can't scream, I can't scream

She had never had such a strong vivid nightmare like that, the way it felt so surreal with his body hovering, the smell of body sweat and blood while he moved inside her, tearing into her, pounding her body into submission and wishing it stop.  She had been helpless to do anything about it, all she could do was try to scream and finding her voice was gone as her vocal cords were unable to make a sound in that terrifying moment.  It was only until now that she saw that it was just a dream but still feeling on edge and couldn't stop the tremors she felt. 

“It’s all in your head Casey, it’s all in your head…”  But as she had closed her eyes and thought back to when she had been lying corner by the Beast, empty shotgun in hand and seeing his wild eyes and bloody grin in her mind. 

She was still lost in those dark thought but fail to hear the window in her living room sliding upward or the soft padding of someone moving about in her own home.

I can't escape
The twisted way you think of me
I feel you in my dreams
And I don't sleep, I don't sleep

"What is it about me that makes me have these nightmares..." She asked herself and not expecting anyone to answer except yeah somehow she envision Patricia speaking,Oh come now, you shouldn't fret over such thing even though you know deep down why you were set free unlike those two tainted ones.  You are special, a rare find among the raging filth that continues to populate this world and makes it so unfit for those better fit to strive in.  Don’t deny it's true, why fight against your better nature.” 

Great not this again, she heard that drivel said before and tried not to listen to her words but finding she wasn’t the only one to have something to say, ‘You are like us, you were put through hell like us, you live to survive, you lived to hunt…’ Dennis’s voice emerge and then change into a more lighter high pitch and hearing the cheeriness in it even though she didn’t see how anyone could stand to be so, ‘Yeah Casey and everyone knows the Pure deserve more than anything, the Beast saw it too etcetcera…’

“SHUT UP, JUST FUCKING SHUT UP!”  Her head was throbbing and oh god she was going to be sick.  Casey couldn’t take it anymore, without turning on the lights she jump out of bed and rushing towards the small bathroom, her feet scrapping against the linoleum tile, her stomach hurting so bad and barely making it to the toilet before she began to retch. 

She emptied what barely little she ate since this afternoon and only until she was gagging and dry heaving with nothing left to spew did she stop.  But no matter how much she wanted to rid all the bile that seem to be trap inside, there was always some that remain and nothing she did could wash it all away.

Even if you could change things, you'll still be you even if the likely chances were you coming out unscatched or being another sacrifice to the Beast.  What matters is you survive because you wanted it.  You Casey toil through the very inferno where a being far more fearsome reside but can you withstand your own demons and live to tell the tale…

“Yeah like I haven’t heard that before…” Her doctor had tried to convince her to start a new, she had, leaving school, moving to a new place with barely enough to get by, having a mediocre job that pays some of the bills.  But it still was hard to break from one's own fear to let it go and change.

She managed to get up on her feet and standing by the sink, cupping her hands to splash water on her face as well as washing the vile taste out of her mouth before finally turning her eyes towards her reflection.  She could see the lack of sleep having an affect on her, dark circles hanging heavily under her eyes, her skin being pale but seeing how she prefer not to go to a beach to sunbath. But now, she look like she could take part in a role with the Dracula brides with how ghostly white she was.  God she look fucked up.

“Why, what have I done to deserve this…” She wish that she knew the answer but was too afraid to know because she might not like it for the truth seem rather obvious. 

She was tainted, her soul full of that same bitter darkness like Kevin who was hurt by someone he should have trusted but finding that the person was as ugly and twisted and in turn left their mark on them.  Her uncle brought out the worst which the Beast saw as a mark of her ‘purity’.  The Beast that was now out there somewhere hunting and killing more innocent people every single day.

See you belong to me
My snow white queen
There's nowhere to run
So let's just get it over

It was so unfair, so unfair with how her life turn out.  First having her mother dying, then her father then leaving her in the care of his SOB brother that made her life a living hell.  Sometimes she wish she pulled that trigger and damn the consequences.  If anything she would have done the world a fucking favor by removing one less asshole to deal with. 

She was feeling the inner turmoil as well as rage bubbling even as she had gone to grab the pills, half tempted to take more but then reconsider it. 

What’s the point, it’s a never-ending cycle that will never stop, the feeling will never go away, it will continue to grow and fester until the roots have overgrown and then left buried deep into the ground where one is trapped forever until they decide to put an end to it once and for all.

“FUCK!” She had let the bottle slip from her shaking grasp and the cap hadn’t been twisted close and watching all the white round pills going down the drain and seeing there was none left.

She was still looking down in its hole but fail to notice the shadow standing close by but her focus was on herself.  He had been careful not to be heard as he moved through the room, his feet barely making a sound on the carpet surface.  He had seen her rush towards the bathroom, hearing her vomit as he came in and watched her as she stood there looking just as he recall the last time.  Her form shivering within that small tank top, her shorts leaving her legs bare and witnessing the scars that stood out on her, the marks she was pure.  He note the bite he left on her leg, his mark on her for the world to see who she belong to.

He had waited for this moment for some time, having been focus on his own task of ridding the impure, the Hordes being most helpful finding those worthy to be sacrificed but then even after his thoughts had turn back to her.

Soon my love, you'll see
You're just like me
Don't scream anymore, my love
'Cause all I want is you

Goddammit that was her last refill, this suck!  You don’t need them, they just keep you addle and make you empty-headed, pills like that only make you a mindless doll, it’s better you rid those things.  Trust us...

She tried to ignore Patricia/Dennis’s advice and wonder what to do now without her medication.  Guess it was counting sheep or something to help her sleep then.  She turn her head and her eyes widen and almost scream when she saw someone standing in the doorway.

It was him she could immediately tell even with him still looking exactly as she remember but sensing that it was the 24th Persona, The beast itself.

Oh god how did he get in here, shit!  She was scared as she immediately found herself once again with this monster of a man.  The Behemoth that must’ve return to finish the job.

She had no weapons and likely wouldn't be able to hurt him if he was anything like Dennis but ten times stronger.  It was a flight or fight and she chose the former as she tried to make a run for it but finding him grabbing her arm in a vice grip and throwing her across the room, hitting the mirror hard enough to cause it to crack and a few shards falling into the sink.  She ignore the throbbing her head gave as she made to grab one and using it to defend herself.

She quickly grasp it and ignoring the pain that seep through but even as she whirl to use it against him, he was right there in front of her, staring down at her. 

“K-Kevin Wen—” But she wasn’t able to finish pronouncing his full name as she found his hand covering her mouth and was being held up against the wall, her body crying out in pure agony and feeling blood coming from her hand as well as the back of her head.

Can't save your life
Though nothing I bleed for
Is more tormenting

Oh god this was it.  She was trembling, scared beyond anything feeling like a deer caught by a lion only certain death waited for her as she saw the person who made her nightmares seem so real and now came to life at this time.  She was going to die here for sure.  She had been certain her life ended the day her father died, her childhood innocence with it and now was on the verge of being kill by him. 

Now she was looking into its eyes, waiting for the inedible moment when he would do it.  At least there will be some consolation for it as I will be with my parents then deal with this shitty life.

Now now really giving in so easily, we thought you were different than that.

Shut up, I don’t care anymore, I fucking had it, why are you bothering me now!  Great they were back again and even with her last moments she was going to be tortured by them.  Just terrified.

Just leave me alone and let me die in peace, why must you bother me like this, you belong in Kevin’s body for crying out loud stop bugging me in mine!

Oh and how can you be so certain, we may be a part of Kevin but as you were left by the Beast, he left his mark on you, making you in essence his.

No that’s not true!  Shut up, she was having a hard time fighting between her captor and arguing with these voices that weren’t leaving her alone. 

Why can’t things go simpler instead of making it so fucking complex.  Maybe this was her going insane, maybe she finally lost it and now was just feeling the effect of it hitting her as her brain was starting to ache less and her vision losing its focus but could still see those blue orbs watching her even as everything seem to be fading out of color.  He was the only thing she could see that stood out above the rest, the creature that stood in the body of a mortal but wasn’t so as he said to her once upon a time.

I'm losing my mind
And you just stand there
And stare as my world divides

Casey had barely muster any strength left, her body too weak against him but then when his hand pull away, giving her a chance to exhale and then croaking out one word before finally losing the battle of will to stay conscious long enough to get a response as she ask, “Why…”

She watched and finding the Beast blink once before he moved, his mouth close to her ear, his breath hot against her flesh.  When he spoke she thought her heart stop but then before she could react she found herself falling, everything fading to black and she becoming weightless in his arms as he held her firmly and hearing the thumping of his heart before she gave in.

You belong to me
My snow white queen
There's nowhere to run
So let's just get it over

The Beast saw Casey go still but seeing she was alive, just unconscious.  Her breathing was soft and seeing the rise and fall of her chest to show it was normal but the smell of blood on her was strong.  He could hear the others scolding him for being so rough on her, the little Runt Hedwig being the most vocal calling him a big meanie for pushing her too hard.  He ignore him, knowing he wasn’t going to bother as he went to lift Casey up on his shoulder and carry her out of the room.  She would need to be treated and Patricia did have the skills as she had practice to be a nurse though never got around to using it on other just on them. 

Their nest would have all the medical supplies they need, plenty of food and having a space just for her as he figure she would be better protected there where they could watch her and keep safe. 

The world was a cruel place, the impure still walked among them and his Casey while strong did not have the skills to prep against them even though he saw the scars that adorn her.  She needed a partner, he needed a mate, they were perfect for one another and when the time came they would bring a new generation of strong ones to strive and fight against all those that went against them. 

He held Casey as he made to crawl down, keeping to the shadows even with not a soul in sight but never too careful as police were still on edge with all his kidnappings.

Casey was a special case altogether and the reason he came for even as the likelihood the FBI would realize and find too late she was gone.  She was his and this time she wasn’t going to be let go ever again.

Soon my love, you'll see
You're just like me
Don't scream anymore, my love
'Cause all I want is you…

All I want is you
All I want is you
All I want is you

Snow White Queen
Casey has tried to get over what has happen but can one let go of the darkness that resides with you and what about those that see to keep you for yourself.

Evanescence's Snow White Queen
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Kyukitsune
Victoria Hartzell
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I'm Victoria, most of my bio is here and so just to tell ya I love Deviantart and everything about it!

Current Residence: Plantation
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Personal Quote: I live today and forget what the Hell I woke up for the next
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Hey so anyways I'm working in my graphic design class and we were given a lecture about Illustrator, though most of the class was dozing and I was almost close to myself but stay awake to try and get the insight on this, problem is I feel unsure and when I try to play with the tools, I was like 'Ah hello' why is this so hard, everything is like so different than Photoshop and I like Photoshop because it makes more sense.  If anyone has felt that same way and if they have some helpful tips, I would be so forever grateful because I really want to do my best and try not to screw this up.
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:iconlynnechae:
lynnechae Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2017
Thank you for the llama !
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:icondahlia069:
dahlia069 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2017
Thanks 4 all faves! :)
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:iconadalack:
Adalack Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2017
Happy Early Birthday, Victoria Hartzell.
Sincerely;
Adalack.
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:iconkyukitsune:
Kyukitsune Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2017
thanks much appreciate it :D
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:iconei9:
ei9 Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2017
Early Birthday wishes to you next week Victoria my dear and may it be as sweet and beautiful as you!
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Kyukitsune Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2017
Thank you very much
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:iconjannechan:
jannechan Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the :+fav:~! ^^ :heart:
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halo20601 Featured By Owner May 9, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fave :)
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Queen-vaeGa Featured By Owner May 2, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
THanks for the Points gift:hug:
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Kyukitsune Featured By Owner May 4, 2017
anytime :D
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