THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Epilogue - 11/6/16

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kismet
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 49 - 3/13/16

Post by kismet » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:41 pm

Hi :D it's been a long time - I think the biggest and longest reader's block :roll: I've ever had but what helped me out of it was re-reading "Double Trouble" (I'm still hoping for the sequel :wink: ). I'm glad to see that you're still doing what you do so amazingly good and I can enjoy your writing :mrgreen:
So now I'm off to read The Assassin :D

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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 49 - 3/13/16

Post by Eva » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:50 am

OMG! This isn't good, is it? And the worst part is that we have to wait untill Sunday for the next part! :wink:
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Part 50

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:03 am

Roswelllostcause Let’s hope so!

begonia9508: Thanks! Lol, well, it looks like that sandwich came in handy.

We’ll find out more today.

keepsmiling7: We’ll be catching up with them next Sunday!

sarammlover: Lol, exactly! Alex doesn’t feel like her ability to do what she does and be who she is threatens his masculinity. He’s a rare find and she might just wanna consider keeping him around when this’s all over.

kismet: It has been a long time. Welcome back! We’re glad to hear DT helped with that reader’s block. Thank you for the compliment! One day DT may be revisited.

Eva: Nope, it’s very bad. However... Sunday’s here!





Part 50

“Where you think you’re goin’?” The creep stepped in front of Valkyrie with a slimy grin.

Alex rolled his eyes at the choice of words. “In a minute you’re gonna wish you’d just continued to hug the wall,” he muttered under his breath.

“What was that?” One of the others had approached him from behind and they were soon circled by all of them, making it impossible to move forward. “What’ve you got there, pussy?” He tugged at the backpack on his back that contained his laptop as well as some other equipment that they couldn’t afford to lose.

“If I was you, I’d back the fuck off while I had the chance,” Val said coolly, but Alex could tell her senses were on high alert.

The punk in front of her chuckled. “Feisty one, eh? I like that.” He made a grab for her, not counting on the woman grabbing his arm and twisting it in an awkward, painful way that made him yelp.

Val leaned down to growl in his ear. “You wanna think about that again? Call your dogs off and I won’t hurt any of you.”

“You like it rough, huh?” He smirked at her over his shoulder. “I can get with that.”

Her gaze scanned the neighborhood. People looked the other way, consciously avoiding the scene playing out because they didn’t want to get involved. The sounds of sirens were too close for comfort and it wouldn’t be long before there were cops crawling all over the place. They couldn’t wait around for roadblocks to be set up, for their way out to be compromised more than it already was. They had to be out of the area before the cops had the opportunity to get that far.

Local cops were more of a nuisance than anything else; she could get around them in her sleep. The problem was there would be agents belonging to the Circle mixed in with the others and they were better equipped to have spotters locate them and take them out. They didn’t have time to wait around for someone to spot the targets on their backs and draw a bead on them.

“Rougher than you can imagine, but since you’re so eager to get your shot…” She slammed him up against the brick wall and turned to slam a booted foot right between the closest thug’s legs. She brought her elbow up and slammed it into his nose when he doubled over and whirled around to land a roundhouse kick into the next guy’s chest.

The other punks watched her and their jaws dropped. When she stood there, agitated, some of them took a step back.

Alex felt his stomach roll sickeningly when the one she’d slammed into the wall turned around to slide down to the filthy ground. He’d heard the sound of flesh and bone when he’d collided with the brick but now he could see the damage. The busted nose was no big deal but the broken, loose teeth combined with blood spilling from his nose and mouth was another matter. He forced the feeling down and turned to look at the guys who were moving back, their hands up or at their sides in an effort to avoid provoking her any further. “Guess we should make tracks if there’re no more takers.”

“Yeah,” Val dusted off her hands and then went on along the small alley between the buildings.

He stayed behind her, his eyes darting around to make sure they weren’t being followed or watched.

“Put your backpack to your front.”

“Okay,” he said slowly as he did as ordered, “but why?”

“We can’t risk it being damaged or a lost.”

“Right.” The thought of a bullet cutting through his back rather than hitting the laptop and saving him that particular agony did little to comfort him.

“Now follow me and stay close.”

“Any closer and we’re gonna be sharin’ the same skin,” he muttered under his breath.

“Shut up, Whitman,” she snorted.

Shut up, he thought with some annoyance. Shut up and run, Whitman. Shut up and keep your head down, Whitman. Shut up and break that code, Whitman. Shut up and fuck me, Whitman. Okay, so he didn’t mind that last one so much. But did he really talk that much? He didn’t, right? He rolled his eyes at his internal monologue. Wasn’t that a sign of impending insanity? Great, that’d just be the cherry on top of the damn cake, wouldn’t it?

“There’re a few cars I’m not sure of,” she told him while they walked. “Be prepared for a sprint in case it’s necessary.”

“I’m ready.” He was pretty sure the worst he could do was tear out the stitches in the leg wound. He couldn’t really do more harm to the injury, could he?

Val moved casually, keeping an eye on things and making sure none of the cops filling the space took notice of them. She was secretly relieved when they reached the subway station without any other encounters, yet she didn’t dare hope they’d make it out of the city that easy.

It took everything he had to try and look as unobtrusive as possible and he wasn’t sure he was pulling it off. Luckily the cops were busy and they didn’t seem to be paying any attention to them but he knew how easily that could turn on them.

“Go get us some tickets, I’ll check the area.”

He nodded and hurried off in the direction of the ticket counter, picking out a random destination and purchasing the tickets. As soon as he had them he moved back to a secluded corner and pulled out the laptop, hacking the transit’s system and selecting tickets for multiple locations as she’d planned out as they were making their escape. He used one of the credit cards she’d given him to cover purchases and put the tickets under multiple names to keep the Circle guessing.

Val came back and was satisfied to see that he was already working on what she had told him. “Any problems?” She leaned against the wall, a little more at ease now.

“None so far.” He shot a sideways glance at her. “How’s our cover?”

“We’re good, but hurry up.”

“I’m done. We’ve got tickets purchased under various names all going in different directions and by every method of travel possible.”

“Good. C’mon then, we’ll take the next one heading north.”

“So, do you have a plane stashed up there or something?”

Val just winked at him.

So she was a pilot too. Damn, was there anything she did that wasn’t hot? Probably not. “Our ride leaves in fifteen minutes and it’s about a four-hour trip to Boston. From there we have to transfer to another train and then it’s about another hour and a half from there. You just said New Hampshire so I booked the tickets for Dover. It’s big enough for us to get lost in if we have to or to pick up transportation to our destination if need be.”

She nodded, trying to suppress the grin tugging at her lips. He had learned quickly and for a civilian he was doing pretty good. “Let’s get outta the city first, that’s still our main concern.”

“Yeah,” he got up, “we can go ahead and board.” He motioned to the train that was boarding. “I nosed around their security while I was in the system. If we can get on the train near the rear we can avoid the platform cams.”

“Let’s do that then,” she agreed. “Good job.”

He shrugged into his pack and they made their way along the platform, staying close to the wall and boarding the train where he’d indicated there were no forms of surveillance. Once their tickets were checked they made their way to their seats. “Dining car’s just a car away.”

“You were looking forward to those sandwiches, huh?”

“It was barely after five when we stopped at that drive-thru for a crappy breakfast sandwich. So yeah, you just about killed me when you tossed those sandwiches to the animals.”

“They looked tasty,” she agreed. “I could eat something too.”

“Soon as we’re moving we should head over there.”

“What seat numbers?”

He nodded at the rear of the car. “There weren’t very many seats taken in this car and I knew you’d want your back to the wall.”

Val followed his gesture and found herself once more surprised by how well his brain worked in a situation like this.

“You think we’re gonna have any trouble between here and New Hampshire?”

“We have to be careful.”

“No problem.” He settled into the seat next to her, pack clutched in his arms as he kept an eye on the people around them.

“How many cars in front of us?”

“It’s a small train so we only have twelve cars ahead of us.”

She nodded, locking the information away in case it was needed later. Her eyes roamed over their own car while she tried to find several ways to escape in case anyone behaved suspiciously.

“I think our only way out would be the doors at the front or the rear of the car,” Alex said when he noticed what she was doing.

“No, there’s also a small hatch in the floor,” she nodded her chin in the direction.

His eyes nearly bugged out of his head as they landed on the hatch. “Are you serious?”

“If someone blocked the doors, that’d be our only means of escape.”

“And do what?” Passenger trains traveled at over 100 miles per hour. “Somehow I don’t see it workin’ out as well as it did for the actors in Speed.” Not to mention, in the movie it was a bus and it had not being going as fast as the train they were on.

“There are rails to hold onto under the car.” She winked at him. “Not a comfortable night, but better than dead. 50/50 chance I guess.”

“Frozen to the bottom of a train.” He nodded and tried to control the sarcasm but he just couldn’t do it. “Yeah, it might be a tad uncomfortable.”

“Well, let’s hope we won’t have to do anything like that.”

“I sincerely hope we don’t,” he assured her and shifted around to get more comfortable as the train started to move.

He probably wouldn’t be able to make it anyway, she thought.

They’d have to chip him off the bottom of the train because there wasn’t a doubt in his mind they’d literally freeze to the damn bars. He frowned as a thought occurred to him and he turned to look at her. “How do you even know about that?”

She turned her head slightly to look at him and gave him a one-sided shrug. “Done it.”

“In the dead of winter?”

“Well, no.”

“How long?”

“How long?” She frowned at him.

“Yes, how long did you do these acrobatics the last time you did it?”

“I was too busy to count the minutes.”

“Too busy hangin’ on for dear life?”

“Too busy shakin’ off the people after me.”

“Um-hmm.” He leaned back and closed his eyes. He wasn’t buying it. Okay, maybe she’d hung onto those rails briefly but it sure as hell hadn’t been several hours.

“Better pray we don’t have to do it,” she squeezed his leg and got up to check the doors.

“Should I get down on my knees?”

“You could.”

His eyebrows shot up and he smirked as he completely and intentionally misunderstood. “In front of all these people?”

Val rolled her eyes. “Don’t be so cocky, Whitman”

He just chuckled. “Wanna take a break and grab a bite?”

“Soon,” she told him and opened the door at the far end to have a better look around. She narrowed her eyes for a moment when a sound on the roof caught her attention, but a moment later she realized it had just been a branch. She returned to her seat and checked the burner phone. A few more minutes and she would have to contact Bane to tell him the news.

“The doors open automatically. The glass isn’t that thick but it could withstand at least a shot or two. Would you be able to lock them if I told you to?”

Alex frowned for a moment and then opened his laptop to type in a few commands. He lifted his head to look around the car. “I’d need to hack the train’s system, which means I need a direct connection to it.”

She nodded. “That can be arranged easily enough.”

He didn’t bother asking how. If she said it could be done, it could be done. His thoughts switched to Max and Liz. “How do we find them?”

Val rubbed her temple. “There’ll be communication within the network. We’ll probably need to access the information through someone fairly high up in the ranks. We’ll talk to Bane, see what he thinks, and then we can decide who we need to target.”

He was silent for a few minutes. “What’re they gonna do to them?”

“Let’s just say if we don’t get to them in 48 hours, 72 at most, there won’t be any reason to call it a rescue mission.”

He swallowed with difficulty. “The Circle sanctions torture?”

“The Circle operates under its own rules and they believe the two of them have information about us. They’ll do whatever they deem necessary to extract that information.”

Alex swallowed. He didn’t want to imagine what those people could do to Max and Liz. “Maria’s gonna be sick.”

“She’ll still be better off than the other two,” Valkyrie said while dialing Bane’s number.

“Can’t find any sympathy for them, can you?” Alex grunted while running through some files on his computer.

“I don’t do sympathy. I’m just being honest.”

She had feelings, Alex thought as he rolled his eyes. She was just too damn stubborn to admit it. “What if we turn the tables?”

Val frowned and looked at him while she waited for Bane to pick up. She made a rolling motion with her hand when he didn’t continue and she had no clue what he was up to.

“Well, we have some information about the other assassins, right? About their pasts. So technically we have something they want... why not make an offer? They get the key to their past if they deliver information about the whereabouts of our friends.”

“It’s a long shot at best.” She held the phone away from her ear to glance at the screen with a frown. “Went to voicemail,” she said when he looked at her. She hung up and hit the redial button before bringing it back to her ear.

“Sometimes the long shot’s the best shot you’ve got. I think it’s worth a try at least.”

“What makes you think any of them care about their pasts?”

He chewed on his thumbnail for a few seconds. He knew she refused to budge on her belief that learning about her past was a waste of time, that she couldn’t care less. He also knew she was full of shit. He’d seen the brief spark of hope when he’d located her file but she was stubborn as a damn mule and she had dug her heels in, incorrectly assuming that admitting she wanted to know was somehow a weakness. But when he opened his mouth to speak she held a hand up to silence him.

“What the hell took you so long to answer?” she snapped in response to Bane’s less than cordial ‘What?’

“I don’t sit on this damn burner all day,” he told her, his tone distracted.

“What’re you doin’?” Val heard the sound of fabric rustling and wondered if he had gotten horizontal with the girl.

“That’s none of your business,” Bane said, more focused on her now. “What’ve you got?”

“Bad news,” she told him straight out. “The civilians weren’t at their location. What we found there was Casper and his partner.”

“You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me!”

“Janus has them.”

Maria’s eyes followed him when he swore creatively and scrubbed one hand through his hair as he got up and padded across the room to snatch up a pair of jeans and pull them on. He wasn’t the least bit shy about walking around naked as the day he was born and it hadn’t taken any time at all to realize that she enjoyed just how uninhibited he was. Personally she wasn’t anywhere close to being that comfortable with her own nudity. Yet, his taunting voice whispered in her head and she couldn’t help the small smile in response.

“Do we know where?”

“Not yet. Alex has an idea how to potentially gather intel. He’s sending you an email with the details now.” She nodded when her companion started typing madly in compliance with her wishes.

“Any idea how long it’s been since their location was compromised?”

Maria swallowed hard when she heard the question. Was he talking about Max and Liz? Had the Circle found them?

“It can’t be more than a few hours, 10 at most I’d say.”

“We’ve got a limited window to get to them. Janus has them for more than 72 hours it’d be more humane to put a bullet in their heads than pull them out alive.”

Maria’s eyes widened and she started to pace. She knew she had to wait until the call was finished before she started to ask questions, but it was very hard.

“You don’t need to tell me that. You got the mail from Alex?” Val asked.

He shot a quick glance at Maria, noting her agitation before he focused on the laptop again. “Yeah, it just came through.”

“What do you think?”

He scanned over the information there and shook his head. “It’s risky. If the Circle has compromised the email accounts they could use it to draw you into a trap.”

“It is a risk,” she agreed.

“It’d be your neck on the line.”

“We’re already past that point.”

He sighed and shook his head. “It’d be suicide to take them on alone. I know you’ve got your sidekick there and he’s held his own so far, but he’s not equipped to go in under those conditions.”

Val glanced at Alex briefly. “Yeah, I know.”

“Wherever they have them it’ll be heavily guarded. He’d be useful as far as security systems are concerned but you wouldn’t want him too close to the action.” The fingers of his free hand drummed out a staccato rhythm against the countertop. What she needed, was him. But he couldn’t leave Maria unguarded.

“We need some good men.”

“And that’s a risk too because they could turn on you in a second.”

“I know,” she said, frustrated, “but what should we do? Go against them alone?”

“No, that’d be a fool’s mission too.” He could feel his frustration with the situation notching up. Who could they trust? He trusted Kyle and Tess implicitly but he wouldn’t ask them to get involved to that degree. They would do it and they’d do it without question, but he wouldn’t put them at risk like that. “The first thing we need to do is locate them. Once we know where they are we can formulate a plan for extracting them.”

“And how do we do that?”

He rubbed the back of his neck as he went over their very limited options. “We go with the plan in the email. We don’t have much time and we have to assume that we’ve already lost close to twelve hours.”

“So I tell Alex to send out the emails?”

“He’s completed the prelim on the emails? Cleared them as being authentic?”

Val checked with her companion. “Yeah.”

“Any he couldn’t clear?”

“There are a few that we’re not sure about. We could leave them out.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’d recommend. There are very few people in our business that maintain any kind of regular contact so chances are good if we leave them out of the loop they’ll stay that way.”

“Good, we’ll send it out immediately.”

“You headin’ to the next safe house?”

“Yeah.”

“Call me when you get there. I’ll see if I can come up with anything on my end.”

“We’ll do that. Stay low. If Alex and I don’t make it outta there, then it’s up to you, Bane. Alex will send you a copy of our files.”

“Has he been able to break the encryption on everything you’ve uncovered so far?”

“Not all, but a lot.”

He wasn’t much of a hacker, but it was a good idea to have the files backed up with him. “Have you had time to look through everything he’s been able to get into?”

“Not a lot. I don’t have anything new yet.”

“Okay. I’ll spend some time on the files, see if I find anything new. If this plan works it won’t be long before we get a response.” And if they had any chance of pulling Evans and Parker out of the Circle’s clutches they didn’t have a minute to waste.

“We’ll contact you when we’ve reached the safe house.”

“Watch your back.” He disconnected the call and tossed the phone on the counter. “Damn it!” This was a complication they didn’t need.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

Roswelllostcause
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 50 - 3/20/16

Post by Roswelllostcause » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:56 am

Things arenot looking very good right now for any of them.
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 50 - 3/20/16

Post by Eva » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:20 am

It really isn't going good at the moment. Val & Alex aren't save yet, Liz & Max are more than just a bit in danger and Maria is going to freak out and make Michael nuts! What a mess!
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 50 - 3/20/16

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:14 pm

Will Max and Liz be pulled from the Circle's clutches.........I'm waiting to see??
thanks, great part,
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 50 - 3/20/16

Post by sarammlover » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:09 am

Val is so bad ass!!!! I loved it! I hope Max and Liz are ok!!! AHHHH!

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Part 51

Post by Double Trouble » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:47 am

Roswelllostcause: No, and things are likely to get worse before they get better.

Eva: No, it’s not. They still have an uphill battle to fight. Lol, let’s hope Maria doesn’t drive Michael nuts.

keepsmiling7: Keep your fingers crossed. We’ll be checking in on them today.

sarammlover: Lol, she is! We’ll see how they’re holding up today.



Part 51

Maria winced at his outburst. “Tell me how bad it is,” she whispered, leaning against the wall on the opposite side of the room.

“It’s about as bad as it can get,” he said after taking a moment to get himself under control. It wouldn’t help the situation if he went off on her.

She just stared at him, waiting for him to continue.

“The New York location was compromised and the Circle’s taken your friends into custody.”

“Custody?” The bitter snort was mixed with falling tears.

His back teeth ground together as he nodded. “I’m not gonna lie to you or sugarcoat it, Maria. They’re in a very dangerous place and the man who has custody of them is vicious. We have a small window of time to get to them and extract them before the damage he’s capable of doing is completely irreversible. He’s twisted and having a couple of people like them in his hands,” he shook his head, “he’ll get off on tryin’ to break them. He’s like an animal playing with its prey. He’ll keep them off balance for the first few days, screw with their heads. He’s known for giving his lab rats 72 hours before he gets serious. Not that those hours will be a walk in the park. It’ll fuck ‘em up, but if we can get to them before we pass that deadline they have a chance of surviving.”

With every word a little bit more of her seemed to die and by the time he was finished she felt numb. “What do we need to do?”

“We go through the files one at a time and hope like hell we can find somethin’ that’ll help.”

“You need to find them, Michael. You should go with that Valkyrie woman and find them!”

“And leave you here, unprotected?”

“No one knows I’m here.”

He shook his head. “It’s too big a risk.”

“But sending her in alone isn’t?” she asked as she approached him and gave him a little shove.

“Maria,” he growled in warning. “We’re talkin’ about penetrating a fortress. She can’t go in alone.”

“Isn’t that what I’m saying?”

“What you’re sayin’ is you want me to leave you here alone and head for her location. The plan is to draw out someone who knows where they’ve been taken and to put a team together to extract them.”

“A team?” She frowned.

“We’re gonna have to draw out other assassins in the network.” He didn’t like it. There was a lot at risk and if it all went to hell Val would have someone at her back she didn’t know if she could trust or not.

“And how?”

“Whitman’s gonna send out a blanket email, test the waters, see if we get a bite.”

“And what can we do?” She felt so helpless, it sucked.

“Go through all the evidence we’ve collected.”

“And you think that’ll do some good?”

She wasn’t gonna like his answer. “For the bigger picture, it might.”

Maria rolled her eyes and then let her head hang. “If only I had moved on with my life without being so damn curious.”

“Look, you can spend the rest of your life with that regret or you can put it away and focus on somethin’ that might help find a way outta this mess. Regrets don’t help any situation.”

“I’m human, I feel stuff,” she grumbled.

Yeah, she felt too damn much, that was the problem. “Put the emotions away. They’re only gonna make you weak.”

“Put the emotions away,” she mocked.

He straightened up and moved so that he was standing right in front of her. “You listen to me. You wanna sit here and worry about what could happen to them then you go find a corner to hide in because that’s not gonna help. Val hasn’t had time to go through all the files. There’s a slim chance somethin’ in there might be helpful. All the emotions in the world aren’t gonna help them right now, you got me?”

Oh she wanted to punch him right now, but instead she took in a long calming breath to settle the storm raging inside of her and then nodded. “Let’s start immediately.”

That was more like it. “Know anything about breaking encryption?”

“No.”

“Alright, we’ll focus on what’s already been decoded.” His right hand wrapped around the back of her neck and their eyes locked. “Val knows what she’s doin’ and right now pullin’ your friends out of wherever they’ve been stashed is her mission.” He paused to let his words sink in. “She’ll kill anyone who gets in the way of her mission and she’ll die before she fails.”

Maria swallowed. “I don’t like her but I don’t want her to die.”

“Then let’s get to work.”

“I don’t even know how to start, but okay.” She felt her head spinning from all the news and a hopeless feeling surrounded her.

“We’ll set up in the livin’ room, put everything up on the big screen and go through the evidence piece by piece. Maybe one of us will spot somethin’.”

It sounded tiring and useless but she agreed. “I’ll make coffee.”

“Make it strong.” He picked up the laptop and headed out of the kitchen. He paused in the doorway, trying to figure out what to say to her, but after a moment he drew a blank and continued on his way.

Strong seemed to be right, she thought. Although, she wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway.

He settled on the couch and made the necessary connections before pulling up the first folder. There was nothing to indicate which of them might be the most important so he decided to just start with the first one. Multiple subfolders opened and his gaze moved over them before he sighed deeply and clicked on the first one. “Okay, we’ve got a list of assassins and missions they’ve been assigned.”

“And how will that help the situation?” she called from the kitchen. She really couldn’t think of anything helpful here.

He shrugged even though she couldn’t see it. “I dunno, probably won’t.” He scrolled down the list, chewing on his thumbnail for a second when he saw a couple of names he recognized. He checked the date of the last entry and calculated the time. “Casper,” he muttered to himself and clicked on the name.

“What’d you say?” she asked when she came in with two mugs.

He nodded at the screen. “That’s one of the guys that were waitin’ for Val when she got to the room your friends had rented.”

“So it’s possible he knows something about my friends’ whereabouts?”

“Anything he knew he took to the grave. He didn’t give anything up and Val can be very persuasive.”

“Then this won’t be helpful, will it?”

“If we can backtrack his movements we might be able to figure out where his orders originated.”

She thought about it and took a seat next to him. “Yeah, okay.”

He picked up one of the mugs and took a sip. “It’s just a place to start.”

“Well, we have to start somewhere, right?”

“Yeah.” He moved through the folder and zeroed in on an encrypted communication. “Based on the time stamp this could be related to his assignment to wait at their location for one of us to show.”

“Maybe we’ll find more assassins who have been set on us. Maybe we can find out if someone’s on the right track to find us here.”

“It’s possible,” he grunted. He pulled up a blank document to make notations on. “I’ll tell Val to put a rush on decoding this one.”

“This is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

“It’ll take time, this kinda shit always does.” It was one of the reasons why he preferred to settle problems with a weapon rather than sitting on his hands.

“Time that we don’t have,” she sighed.

“Then we’d better make every minute count.” He moved to the next folder, opening it up. “Okay, Cyclops received a notification at the same time.” He made another notation. “Maybe Whitman can cross-reference the information and pull up a point of contact.”

“I’m sure if there’s anything he’ll be able to find it.” If she trusted anyone to get information on the net, then it was Alex for damn sure.

Her faith in her friends was admirable. “Yeah, he’s done a decent job so far.”

“He’s the best in the world, I’m sure of it.”

“Val said he’s on the list for CIA recruitment. Or he was anyway.”

“Yeah, he’s like a genius without being a total fallout nerd.”

He snorted. He’d never have guessed that Valkyrie would be attracted to someone so smart. “Well, he’s impressed her.”

“I still wonder about how that’s possible.” Maria made a face.

“That he impressed her?”

“Yeah, she doesn’t seem like a person who lets anyone impress her.”

“It’s rare. Very rare,” he said with a laugh.

“Like never happened before rare?”

“Pretty much, yeah.” He scratched the side of his head. “She responds to him though.”

“We all heard that.”

He smirked. “Yeah, I kinda meant somethin’ a little different than the physical.”

“Oh yeah?” She snorted. “That’s new.”

“It is new. Sex isn’t new for her, trust me.”

Maria sipped on her coffee. “You think she has feelings for him?”

Yes. “Fuck if I know.” He moved to the next folder. “She’s let him stick around.”

*****

Consciousness returned by degrees, bringing with it a pounding head and a dry mouth. He forced his dry, gritty eyes open and he looked around without moving at first. It was pitch black. “Liz?” His throat felt raw when he called her name, the sound of it rough, and it hurt to speak. His limbs felt so heavy and his body was sluggish in obeying his orders to function. His right arm finally cooperated and as it was dragged in close to his body the room he was in was suddenly flooded with bright light.

His eyes slammed shut as pain shot through them at the introduction of light and it took everything he had just to roll over to try and escape the intrusion. It was impossible though. The light pierced his eyelids and he wondered how long they had been kept in the dark that the light was so painfully bright. After some time of lying there motionless the lights shut off again and he remained unmoving as he tried to piece recent events together.

They had been captured in New York. The Circle had somehow located them and they’d come through their door and taken them into custody. They hadn’t been read their rights, they hadn’t been allowed a phone call, and they’d been treated like criminals… And worse. He didn’t know where they had been taken. He’d tried to memorize directions, estimate speed and distance, but they’d been given some sort of nerve agent that had left them essentially paralyzed for the duration of the first leg of the trip.

They had been taken to an airfield and loaded onto a plane, bound and thrown into a cargo container. Their captors hadn’t bothered to secure them and with the nerve agent immobilizing them, there had been nothing to keep them from being tossed around and thrown up against the sides of the container. After landing they had been carried to a waiting vehicle and transported to a secure facility. Incapable of even standing on their own they had been supported by their captors while they were stripped and hosed down before being toweled off and dressed in hospital scrubs.

The humiliation factor was off the charts, but he could’ve dealt with that better if he hadn’t been forced to watch the woman he loved endure the same treatment while being helpless to stop it. Whatever they had been given was powerful enough to even paralyze their vocal cords and being unable to protest the treatment they had been subjected to had only made it worse. He drew in a ragged breath and pushed himself over, his eyes burning when they were assaulted by the blinding white light again. They had to be connected to motion sensors, he thought as he stubbornly refused to give in to the desire to curl back up in a ball and squeeze his eyes shut.

His arms shook as they took his weight but in spite of his best efforts he just couldn’t get up on his feet. He shoved down the feeling of panic that threatened to pull him under, reminding himself over and over that it would take time for the drugs they had been given to wear off. He pushed himself around, blinking against the light burning his eyes, and he froze when he saw Liz lying nearby.

“Liz?” He dragged his body across the floor, mindless of the surface beneath him, all of his focus on getting to her. He didn’t realize he couldn’t reach her until he stretched his hand out and a jolt of electricity shot through him. He jerked his hand back and studied it for a few moments, his thought processes slowed by the drugs still flowing through his veins. He reached out tentatively, his fingertips ghosting against the current that created the barrier between them. It was like a living thing. How much electricity could the human body withstand? He didn’t know. His hand curled into a fist and without giving it more thought he attempted to cross that barrier.

He wasn’t expecting to come into contact with a wall. The glass separating him from Liz had to be thick because it didn’t shatter on impact. The combined shock of the impact and the accompanying electrical charge was enough to leave him lying on the floor, weaker than before. He couldn’t even lift his head when he registered movement in the next cell, but his eyes followed her as she began to make small moves, testing her body and taking inventory of the situation.

“Max?”

“Here,” he mumbled, wondering how they could hear each other. The glass wall between them had to be several inches thick at least.

“Where are we?”

She sounded groggy and disoriented. “I dunno. Don’t,” he warned when she tried to move toward him. “Glass wall and there’s a current runnin’ through it.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah. You?”

He didn’t sound okay. Her head was pounding and the intense white light was making it worse. She wanted to wake from this nightmare but knew that wasn’t going to happen. Her body felt heavy and awkward as she tried to move and after a few moments she gave up and sighed, nodding weakly when her boyfriend advised her to stay still. She had a bad feeling they weren’t even close to seeing what the Circle was really capable of yet.

She wanted so badly to wash off the feeling of stranger’s hands on her body, rough and unfamiliar, but she knew nothing was likely to ever rid her of that memory. She could only hope that in time the sensation would fade into the background. If they had time. If she had the strength she would’ve flinched when a door was thrown open and footsteps crossed the area in front of the glass cells they were being held in.

“I see you’re finally awake.”

Their eyes locked on Janus where he paced patiently in front of them.

A smile crept over his face as he watched them slowly, painfully, push themselves upright, knowing it was taking everything they had to make an effort to stay in that position. They were weak and barely aware of what was going on around them but in spite of that he could feel the defiance radiating off of them. He would enjoy breaking them and he would take pleasure in watching them suffer as he took them apart piece by piece. He knew every method for stripping the human spirit down; cutting away the humanity that was such a weakness, severing the ability to rely on a misguided conscience to determine right from wrong, and replacing it with an animal instinct primed to fight, programmed to kill on command.

“We’ll begin after breakfast.” He turned on his heel and left them without another word.

*****

“Well, if that’s true then she sure as hell doesn’t like it.” The female assassin didn’t seem like she’d even be able to admit to herself that she cared about anyone else.

Bane just snorted. Valkyrie would rather swallow her tongue than say anything emotional about Whitman. “Anyway, you want your friends back alive? Then she’s the best bet.” It still wasn’t a good one though. “Val along with the help of your hacker friend.” There! He could admit the civilian was helpful!

Maria dropped her head back against the couch and stared at the ceiling while turning the coffee mug in her hands again and again. “I hope some miracle happens and we find them. Do you think it’s possible that they can escape on their own?”

“No, I don’t.” He ran a hand over his face and drew in a deep breath before looking at her. ”They have training, but trust me, they’re not prepared or equipped to break out of one of the Circle’s facilities.”

“They took them because they want to know where I am.”

“Don’t even think it,” he growled.

She sat up straight. ”Why not? They don’t want Max and Liz. They want me! I’m the one that started this and I don’t want them to die in my place.”

He shook his head and turned back to the computer. She was out of her mind if she thought he’d consider a trade.

“It’s not right.” Her voice was low, her tone resigned. ”My life isn’t worth more than theirs.”

“Listen!” He got up and pulled her from the couch, holding both of her shoulders in a tight grip so that she had no choice but to look at him. “They don’t only want you anymore, DeLuca. That changed the moment I went against their plan and let you live. They want me as much as they want you or Val or Whitman. They all decided to get involved in this without you asking them.”

“I still started it.”

“You went lookin’ for somethin’ without knowin’ what the consequences were.” He sighed tiredly. “We’re all in this now because none of us was willing to let it go. Now we either call it a war or just give up already. Getting you in their hands doesn’t mean they’ll leave the rest of us alone. There won’t be a trade. Not a long as I’m alive!”

She nodded, knowing there would be no changing his mind. It wasn’t that she wanted to be in the Circle’s grasp. She just didn’t want the others to die in her place. She didn’t want anyone else to die for her cause. It was enough that she’d have to live the rest of her life remembering the way that deputy had died, knowing that his death was her responsibility. Uncle Reggie was dead for the same reason.

“No one can change the past,” he muttered quietly. ”Nothing you did was done with malicious intent.”

“People are still dead because of my choices.”

“And you still can’t change it.”

She sighed tiredly. ”No, I can’t.” And their deaths shouldn’t be for nothing. She looked up at him with renewed determination. ”How do we take the fight to them?”

“We’re working on it and if our plan works in our favor they’ll at least run out of assassins soon enough.”

“You really think they’ll turn their backs on the Circle just because their pasts could be revealed? They don’t even know me or the cause, so why would they help?”

He thought about it for a moment. “Because assassins don’t have another life. Not all of them will just switch sides but if we’re lucky there’ll be enough who are willin’ to dedicate their lives to our cause instead of following the rules of the people who made us what we are now.”

She watched him for a few long moments, studying every nuance in his features. ”You don’t like the plan.”

“No. Most of them I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw ‘em.”

“And the others?”

He shook his head. ”I wouldn’t even trust them that far.” He shrugged. ”But our back’s to the wall and our options are limited.”

“Some of them will help though, right?”

“There’s no loyalty to the Circle. It’s all about the payout.” Or so they had been led to believe. After learning what Whitman had uncovered it had become apparent they hadn’t even had control over that.

“What is it?” Maria asked when his expression suddenly turned dark. ”Michael?” She reached up to touch his cheek when she realized he hadn’t heard her and she repeated the question when his eyes locked on her.

“Some of them will have an interest in their past but for most of them it’ll be the fact that the Circle’s been controlling them, that they’ve been implanted with a kill switch that’ll turn them to our cause. Again, no loyalty; it’ll be revenge, nothin’ more.”

Maria shrugged. “Revenge or loyalty, does it matter? They don’t need to fight for us. Even if they fight for their own reasons, as long as they fight against the Circle it still works in our favor.”

A smirk tugged at his lips. “Damn straight, Blondie. Now keep that in mind while we look through these files.”

“Okay,” she gave him an encouraging smile and went back to the couch.

His eyes followed the sway of her ass for a second. He had never been loyal to anyone but himself in his life – or at least the part of his life he remembered – but then this woman had crossed his path and suddenly he found the need to protect her. Suddenly he didn’t look at Kyle, Tess or Val as supporters of the same cause, no it seemed like they were more like friends. Well, maybe he had been loyal to those few without even thinking about it.

“You’re not focusing,” she said in a singsong voice.

He shook himself. ”Plenty of focus to go around,” he growled as he returned to his seat next to her. She was becoming more confident and comfortable with herself and it showed in a million different ways.

“Um-hmm. Do you really think one of the assassins might know where Max and Liz are being held?”

“Someone knows and we’ll find that person.”

“What’re they gonna do to them?” She swallowed hard. ”I heard you tell Val that if they weren’t found in 72 hours -”

“Just focus,” he snapped.

She narrowed her eyes at him. “I wanna know what you told her. I have a right to know!”

“You don’t wanna know,” he informed her and forced her eyes to the screen. “Let’s take a look at the most recent assignments. Maybe something suspicious will come up. There’re a few assassins Baxter likes to work with. I bet they were involved.” The head of the Circle would have chosen trustworthy assassins with longtime experience – no greenhorns.

“And what’re their names?”

“I don’t know all of them. We should focus on those with the highest number of assignments.”

“Highest number or highest priority targets?” She shook her head as her gaze wandered over the assignments list. “Some of the people they’ve killed… I mean, they’re powerful figures. They’re high visibility targets.”

He smirked at her choice of words. He was rubbing off on her.

“Some of them are political but some of them…” she pointed at one of the names on the screen, recognizing the popular rock musician. “I remember reading about his death. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the circumstances but in the end it was ruled a suicide.”

He shrugged carelessly. “He fucked with the wrong person’s daughter. Guy had a bad habit of rufing girls and money and fame has a tendency of allowing people like that to walk all over the law. There’re just some lines you don’t cross, I don’t care who you are.”

“You killed him.” She stared at him, waiting for him to confirm or deny her statement.

His silence was answer enough. She studied him for a second and then decided it wasn’t worth getting into a fight. By now she knew what he was. Or had been. Whatever.

“So no comment?” Michael asked, a little shocked when she didn’t comment.

“Nope. It was just one job of many.”

“Right,” he lifted an eyebrow and went back to studying the files on the screen. “Brody,” he suddenly muttered when something caught his interest. He opened up the assassin’s file and went through it, stopping when he found his last location.

“What?”

“Look at his kill list.” He’d heard of Brody of course. Hell, there probably wasn’t an assassin out there who hadn’t heard of him. He was a legend in their field.

Maria frowned. He sounded almost… well, she didn’t want to say awestruck because that just sounded too ridiculous. Impressed, she decided. He sounded impressed and that thought sickened her. “You admire him?”

“The guy’s like a fuckin’ ghost, Maria. His kill list has only been speculated because there’s never anything to identify him as the assassin, no signature, nothing.”

“Signature?”

“It’s like a calling card; it could be the way you take a target out, the method of assassination, the type of bullet you use. Rumor has it he works with a spotter and that’s rare in our field. Very few assassins in the network trust anyone enough to partner up.”

“So a spotter’s a partner?”

“Yeah, that’s basically it. A two-man team would explain the number of kills he has to his credit.” He shook his head. “Anyway, his kills include some pretty heavy political figures and I’ll bet if we do a deep background on the people who have stepped into those positions we’ll find out they’re somehow linked to the Circle. I don’t know what Baxter’s up to but he’s workin’ filling key positions with people he owns.”

“You think that Brody guy could be brought to our side?”

“I dunno, but if we could turn him I’d feel a lot more confident about turnin’ more of ‘em.”

“How do we find him?” It sounded impossible from Michael’s description.
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Fics: A Xmas Story - A Merry Mt. R. Xmas - Cupid's Revenge - Double Trouble - Double Date - Double Dare - Double Empire - Double Xmas Wish - In The Course Of A Lifetime - Mountains So High - Not A Question At All - Surrender - TIC TAC - Two Double Dates at Xmas

Roswelllostcause
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 51 - 3/27/16

Post by Roswelllostcause » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:18 am

Max and Liz really are in trouble right now. Hopefully they will be rescued before it is too late.
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keepsmiling7
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Re: THE ASSASSIN - AU/CC/Adult - Part 51 - 3/27/16

Post by keepsmiling7 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:56 am

These are mean and nasty people they are dealing with.
And Max and Liz captured in NY.........even worse tossed around in the containers.
Max couldn't get to Liz because of the glass wall and electricity.........what other torture could they arrange??
Is there any light at the end of nightmare?
Thanks,
Carolyn

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