Genesis: Batman: Let Him take flight once more

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Mir
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Genesis: Batman: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:36 pm

OOC: Reposting the thread from the Infinity site. Rated R/M, pretty much, don't read unless you have a surgeon's stomach, and you're okay with serious adult situations.


Shade Comics Presents....Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

IC:

“What a friggin’ dump.” A sixteen year old Isaiah Muir said. He received a sharp smack to the back of the head. He turned in his seat to regard the girl behind him. “What the hell was that for?” He deftly dodged the attack this time.

“You should watch your mouth in the presence of a lady,” she replied, smirking. “You know what your mother would say if I told her what you just said.” He shrugged and turned back in his seat. His father next to him wore a smile on his face. Isaiah knew that his mother would be pissed at him for his word choice, but she herself had choice words to say about the girl in the back seat of the car. The black haired girl had that sort of budding beauty that came at the teenage years, one that promised to blossom and become even more enchanting to the opposite gender. Her skin was soft and a medium hued brown. Her lips formed a pout which quickly changed into a smirk at the boy in front of her though he could not see it.

Muir’s words hung in the air though. They’d just passed through the gates to the Wayne Manor. Only ten years ago, it had been a symbol of the opulence and wealth of its owner, Bruce Wayne. Shortly after his mysterious death, it fell into disarray. It did look like a dump, Cassandra noted as the car they were in continued its approach towards the huge mansion.

Influenced by old gothic architecture, the manor was intimidating to say the least. Cassandra had heard rumors of how the manor extended under the ground, but they were of course, rumors. The car slid to a stop in front of the manor. Isaiah’s father, Hugh stepped out first. Isaiah got out next and opened the door for Cassandra. She gave him a smile as she stepped out. His eyes weren’t on her, but rather on the house behind her.

“Dad, why are we here again?”

“The Wayne trust has been taken over by our own trust. So we’re here to oversee the renovations of the Manor and the other properties of the trust. Remember when I asked if you wanted to do some heavy labor this summer?” His son’s eyes widened.

“Yeah, but I didn’t think you meant this junk yard.” There was a twinkle in his father’s eyes as he smiled.

“Well you thought wrong, didn’t you?” Cassandra laughed. Isaiah came in low, with a punch to her stomach. She reacted and before either of them knew it, they were already in a good match up. Cassandra wasn’t his sparring partner for nothing. Her parents were servants at the Muir house, and Hugh helped them in addition to their salary for paying for Cassandra’s education. She and Isaiah had been learning various martial arts since they’d been five.

Despite the ferocity behind each blow, the smiles on their faces showed the innocence of the fight. Hugh stopped and watched the two of them, his smile growing. He turned and looked as another car came down the lane. The two teenagers for their part stopped their fight, Isaiah eyeing Cassandra. The door to the limo opened and a man dressed in a showy business suit stepped out. He wore a big grin as he walked over to the much more simply dressed Hugh.

“Muir, this is a great move for the trust.”

“Jason, indeed it is.” Isaiah knew this man. Jason Nevins, one of the overseers of the trust. What exactly the trust did, Isaiah wasn’t sure. From what he knew, it oversaw various estates and sub trusts, and yearly donated money to charities, museums, and other organizations that helped the community. Muir subtly stepped in front of Cassandra, as if to protect her, though he didn’t realize it. Nevins had, during a party at his parents house, gotten drunk and had begun a quiet, but angry and harsh tirade about immigrants and those that he considered foreign to the United States. She was half Filipino, half African American, and Nevins’ tirade had been heard by not only her but her mother and father that night.

Isaiah knew that he should have told his father, but Cassandra’s parents had told him that they weren’t bothered by the racist remarks, and had assured him that there would be no trouble. Still Isaiah felt bad that he hadn’t told his father. Through no actions of his own, his father had come to know about it, and had taken Nevins aside. He’d made it look as though he was more concerned with the drunkenness of the man, not the character revealing comments that he’d made. While he’d been rather ashamed of himself later, Jason had never apologized or taken back his comments.

Unconsciously, Isaiah took Cassandra’s hand and pulled her away, telling his father that they were going to explore a little bit into the woods to the right of the Manor. Cassie for her part smiled at Isaiah’s sense of “chivalry” and allowed herself to be taken to the woods.

After they were gone, Nevins turned to Hugh. “You know we’re getting Wayne Enterprises in this deal right?”

“Not all of it.” Hugh said as he unlocked the main door and the two of them entered the old Manor. “A large stake of it yes, but not all of it.”

“True. Sixty percent of a multi-billion dollar company is still a hefty chunk. Combined with the other shares that we own of Wayne Enterprises through other trusts and estates, we’ll have eighty five percent of the company.” Hugh smiled as he pulled his cellphone out. He placed a call to the contractor to tell him that he could bring his workers and equipment over.

After ten years, Wayne Manors, was going to get a much needed facelift and renovation.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Rhyana?”

“Why not?”

“Isaiah, no offense, but you’re never going to screw up the courage to ask her to the dance. Rhyana Carlson is one of the prettiest girls in school. You are a wimp who gets bullied all day, and who I have to stick up for.” Isaiah frowned at the girl’s back as she walked in front of him, matter of fact-ly stating how life was. He carried a stick that he was lightly thwacking against some of the trees. She turned. “So you’re going to take her to the dance and all that fun stuff?” She didn’t want to be mean but she said it because she knew she had to. “What about when you have to kiss her?” The words had the desired effect.

“B-but I’ve never kissed a girl before.” She nodded slowly.

“We both know that Rhyana Carlson’s been around the block a few times. You think she’s gonna be impressed by a guy whose never kissed a girl before?” The two of them were close and talked about everything, and it hurt Cassandra to use this against him. He sighed and she watched as his spirits visibly sagged.

“I just…nevermind.” He turned and started to walk away. She started after him.

“Look, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.”

“No, you’re right and I’d rather have a friend who told me the truth than a friend who didn’t.” She smiled at this. Suddenly he had an idea and he turned to her. “You’ve been kissed before, tell me what to do, or show me.” She rolled her eyes.

“No.”

“Why not? You want to help me, don’t you?”

“What would Daniel say about this? Its not something that I can show you, let alone talk to you about.”

“Oh, do we need to have a sleepover and all that garbage.” He let her fist hit him in the shoulder. He deserved it. “C’mon, please?” She shook her head. “I’m begging you here.” She eyed him. Finally she just nodded, and took a step towards him, their eyes locked.

Isaiah swore that he’d never forget the taste of her mouth. It was like nothing he’d ever tasted before. Just the feeling of her lips against his had been more than anything he’d ever experienced before. He barely felt the ground, and didn’t notice how her arms slid around his neck. He just pulled her closer. It was weird. He’d fought her, sparred against her countless times, but right now he didn’t know where to put his hands, as though her body was a booby trap.

Cassie decided to throw him a curve. She guided his hands onto her hips and then took a step forward. She shocked him at how well their bodies fit into each other, and to the young man’s mind, it was as though they had been made to. Just for the hell of it, she opened her mouth and pulled his tongue into her mouth. Suddenly she pulled back and ran a hand through her hair. She wasn’t going to lie and say that she hadn’t enjoyed that, just as much as it’d been something new for him.

“Happy?” She said, trying to shoot as much venom and sarcasm into her voice as she could. He noted that her right hand shook slightly.

“Yep.” He’d kissed a girl. He started walking and once his back was to her, Cassandra took a deep breath and then let it out. She’d barely started on her second breath when there was a whoosh. She watched as Isaiah fell into the ground. Running forward she crouched in front of the hole in the ground.

“You’re an idiot.” She was relieved to be able to return to their normal banter. She didn’t want to admit how much she’d liked that kiss. And had wanted it. Sure she was sort of going out with his older brother, but that was just because he was there and had made a move whereas retarded Isaiah here was falling into holes. At least now she could go back to making fun of him. “Just walking into a hole…Do you try to make a fool of yourself or does it just come naturally?”

“I have my moments, but it was covered by leaves and crap.”

“You should be grateful I can’t reach down there to smack you.” He looked up at her and grinned before launching into a slew of cursewords. She started to laugh and the laugh turned into a little yell as she slid into the hole. She puffed some of her hair that had fallen into her face away and glared at her “savior”. He’d managed to catch her.

“Do you try to make a fool of yourself or does it just come naturally?”

“Its rare, and only after a big fool has made a huge fool of himself so my actions pale in comparison to him.”

“Makes sense.”

“And here I almost thought you’d ask me to explain it.” He set her down and picked a leaf out of her hair. She didn’t notice, as her eyes were beginning to adjust to the growing darkness and she saw that this wasn’t a hole, but the start of a tunnel. “Look,” she said, pointing. His eyes followed hers and he saw a looming cave in the distance.

“Should we check it out?”

“Who’s the tough guy now?”

“Well, we all know you’re more of a guy than I am, Cassie, so I guess its still you.” She smirked and started walking.

“I’m going and I need my protector guy to come on with me. That’s you, remember?”

“Yeah, um, we haven’t played that game since we were like six.”

“You’re point being?”

“I don’t have one.” He said and chased after her. They explored only for a few more steps. They’d barely started when Isaiah’s cell started to ring. Stopping, he pulled it out and answered.

“Where are you two?”

“We were in the woods, right and then, hold on a second.” Isaiah said. He was about to talk about the hole when he saw Cassandra’s gestures. He covered the mouthpiece with his hand. “What?”

“Don’t tell him about the hole.”

“Why?”

“Our secret.” He just shrugged.

“Yeah, we were in the woods, and nothing really happened.”

“Okay, just get back here. We’re leaving.” His father hung up and then Isaiah turned to Cassandra.

“Cassie, why did you stop me from telling my dad about this place?”

“You know you’re moving in to this house. It’s a place that the adults know nothing about. Therefore it’s the perfect hiding place for certain illicit materials…?”

“True.” She breezed past him and started to climb up out of the hole.



=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“I can’t believe that girl said yes.”

“Me too.”

“We finally agree on something.” Cassie smiled over at Hugh’s wife and Isaiah and Daniel’s mother, Eleanor. “I almost wish he was going with you.” Her smile turned into a frown.

“Why is that?”

“At least I know you.” Cassandra’s smile returned. “I don’t like that Rhyana girl, and I certainly don’t want my boy out with her. But I held the same sentiments about you years ago, and look where we are now.”

“Tolerance?”

“Mild dislike I suppose.” The two women sat in large Victorian era chairs. Cassie was done up, in a dress that while still meeting with the standards of their highschool, was still enough to make anyone with something between their legs stare. They were in the main parlor of the Muir house, Mrs. Muir sipping from a glass of wine, Cassie a glass of water. Daniel was the first to come down. His mother rose at the sight of him, smoothing what few wrinkles there were in her own dress.

Cassie hadn’t really been asked by Daniel if she wanted to go to the dance with him, he’d just assumed she was going with him. She was, after all, his girlfriend. Still, some semblance of an attempt to be nice would have gone over well, but alas, young Muir didn’t realize what he currently claimed as his. He gave her a light peck on the cheek and remarked about how his younger brother was almost done and was taking forever.

“I am not. You’ve been in the damn bathroom for an hour and a half doing God knows what, while I’m sitting there waiting for your sorry ass.” Isaiah was rewarded with a smack from his mother.

“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.”

“I didn’t take in vain. I took to curse your elder son with.” He replied. He turned to Cassie and stopped for a moment. She grinned inwardly. Clearly Isaiah was proving that he had something between his legs. “H-Has the limo arrived?”

“Not yet.” She said, the corner of her mouth lifting. He somehow managed to tear his eyes away and she let her gaze wander, pretending not to notice the glances he took in her direction.

The dance was great. They had been there for an hour already and no one had made fun of him yet. Isaiah was commonly the sport of many jokes. While he could easily just take the guys down and loosen up a few permanent teeth, he would always be restrained by Cassie, giving her yet another chance to use that sharp tongue of hers. His “assailants” would try to change up when and where they picked their attacks, to try to dodge the cat’s bite as Cassandra’s words were often called.

Rhyana was beautiful and they’d already danced to more songs than Isaiah could remember. He’d kissed her also, and had been introduced to her stratosphere of friends. He was headed to the bathroom now and he saw Cassandra, with her back turned to him. He reached out and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Hey Cassie. Great night huh?” She turned and his smile died. There were tears in her eyes. “What happened?” He said. His hands were on the sides of her arms before he knew it, pulling her closer.

“Nothing.” She tried, unsuccessfully to smile and swiped at tears.

“Bullshit.” She didn’t bother to smack him this time.

“No really. I-its nothing. You’re brother he just-“

“He said something mean, didn’t he? I swear he’s got no brains.”

“Oh he’s got brains. Its how he got me to be away from him when he was kissing Judy Adams.” She said with a bittersweet grin.

“I’m sorry, Cassie.” She shrugged.

“Its okay. I knew it was going to come eventually.” He nodded and stood there as she started to walk away. He turned, wanting to say something. He found himself at a loss for words. She was already gone when he finally spoke, with only himself hearing the words.

“I…I love you.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Time passed and changed things, as it always does. Daniel graduated and headed off to university at the end of the year. Isaiah and Cassie were no longer sophomores but were now juniors. Isaiah also noticed how his father changed. Whereas once, Hugh Muir was a warm loving family man, he slowly began to become a recluse, spending less and less time with his son and his wife. He stayed away from them, concentrating on business. They’d moved into the Wayne Manor some time ago. It hadn’t been renamed after them, of course, but they felt like it was theirs.

Isaiah and Cassandra had explored almost every corner of it. The one place they had never really been to was that hole in the ground that became a tunnel. Over time another year passed, and Isaiah had a university that he was accepted to with a scholarship line dup. He didn’t want to leave, and not really because he was going to be homesick.

How could one be homesick when one hated one’s home? His parents, symbols of love and tenderness were on the outs. His father had let himself be absorbed by his work completely. Isaiah had done a little hack into his father’s computer. What he’d found hadn’t thrilled him. The damn trust. Nevins, that bastard. Some of the people weren’t just in it for the nobility of the idea. He knew his father had never taken a penny from the trust, just his stipend. But there was money missing from it. Lots of money. And his father had been on a chase, trying to figure out where the money had gone.

Through it all something else had woven through his life, tying it together, binding it. Rumors, on the internet, and from family and friends that there was more to Wayne Manor than what was placed before the eye. Rumors that Wayne himself was more than the billionaire playboy who ran a huge mega-corporation.

Rumors that he was the Batman. The Dark Knight. The masked avenger of the night, undisputed champion of justice. He’d pushed them out of his head se best as he could, but still the nagging feeling had been in his brain.

It was a cold January evening, raining, but not snowing. Gotham was its usual quiet self in the upper class area. The Christmas decorations were just being taken down. It was a night that Isaiah would never forget. His father was downstairs, sitting in front of the fireplace and thinking to himself over a bottle of beer. His mother was on the phone with an old friend of hers, and Isaiah was playing a video game against a friend of his.

The door had been busted open, and screams could be heard. He’d dashed down the door to see Nevins enter his house with soldiers. His father had stood up, confusion on his face. Confusion replaced by pain as bullets struck and entered his body. His mother had screamed. Screams replaced by silence as her body fell to the floor.

He’d ran.

Ran for his life, like a coward. He hadn’t fought to save his parents. He’d ran for the only place he’d known they wouldn’t find him. The woods. He was running, unsure of where to go and what to do. Suddenly he felt himself falling. Into the hole that he and Cassandra had found two years ago. He saw the tunnel and adrenaldine pumped through him as he continued to run. He could hear voices.

The voices slowly died as darkness encompassed him. And then the screeching started. Bats. Hundreds. Thousands. Hundreds of thousands! They were everywhere and he fell to the ground. They flew past him, thundering onwards and upwards out of the hole. Would they give him away? Time would tell. He continued onwards, on hands and knees, just incase there was a cliff or something.

He waited for his eyes to finish adjusting to the light. Finally, almost an eternity later, they had. He peered around and his jaw dropped. There was equipment everywhere. He saw racks of stuff, rows of materials. He moved along the wall, fingers moving furiously over everything, and then he found a switch. The master switch. He flicked it and then his jaw dropped further.

He was in the frickin Batcave.
Last edited by Mir on Tue May 13, 2008 10:14 am, edited 4 times in total.

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In the Darkest of Knights: Ar'kai

Post by Mir » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:38 pm

In the Darkest of Knights: Ar’kai


Coward.

Pathetic.

Weakling.

His eyes blink, trying to stop the tears. But they fight past his defenses, and they streak outwards. His hand comes up to wipe at them. He sees the shake of his hand and further curses himself for his weakness. Black. It surrounds him. The clothing they wear, the sky in the heavens above, the caskets being lowered into the ground, the priest’s vestments. He rises. Hands come at him. His eyes close, trying to steel himself against the anguish, and the words, barely voiced, but felt beyond any degree. He moves past them, into the black car. Only a temporary reprieve. They’re coming to the house.

The house.

The house that the Wayne’s built.

The house where his parents were killed.

His house.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Isaiah Muir’s eyes lifted out the window to watch the trees as the past by him. “Master Isaiah.” He turned at the sound of his name and the familiar voice. Winston. Winston had been his family’s butler since before Isaiah could remember. “Master Isaiah, the chefs have notified me that the food is ready and prepared. We can serve immediately.”

“Sure. Works for me.” He turned back and looked out the window again, ignoring Winston’s pointed look and slight sigh. The rest of the trip passed in silence. He exited the car as soon as they slid to a stop in the driveway of the Manor. He headed up the steps and into the house, moving through the hallways and rooms quickly. Muir was very singular in his path, making sure that it took the stairs, headed to his room, and allowed him to turn to lock the door after he shut it.

He flopped down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. There was a knock on his door a few seconds later. He glared at the door, but remained silent and didn’t move. The knocking came again, slightly louder this time.

“Master Isaiah, open this door.”

“No, Winston.”

“And why not, if I may I ask?”

“You may, and the reason why I’m not going to open the door, is that you’re then going to ask me to come downstairs and talk to everyone there and I don’t want to do that.”

“You’re right, I’m going to ask you to come downstairs. And why don’t you want to do that, if I may ask?” Isaiah was getting tired of the formalities, he’d already stomached enough of them.

“Look Winston, I hate half the people who are going to be downstairs! You know what they turned my dad into, and you know as well as I do that plenty of them down there helped kill my parents. Now, are you seriously going to ask me to be in the same fucking room as them?!” There was silence. He knew that Winston hated the fact that he’d taken a vacation only a few weeks ago and during that time the attack had taken place. Winston had never taken a vacation in his life, and Hugh had insisted that the butler take that time off. Winston had put up a “bloody good fight”, but in the end he’d gone on the vacation. Isaiah opened his mouth to apologize, but before he could speak, Winston was already talking.

“You are the owner of Muir Corporation, and own a good chunk of Gothan city through the trusts. You are worth over ten billion dollars. You need to maintain an image. More importantly, your parents raised you to be a certain kind of man, and right now you are not acting like that man. I leave you to your thoughts.” Isaiah was reminded why his parents often left the scolding to Winston. He sighed and rose from the bed and opened the door. Winston stood there, looking at the ground.

“Lets get this the over with already.”

“Better words have rarely come out of that mouth.”

“I’m sorry, Winston, I didn’t mean what I said.”

“You don’t need to apologize to me, Master Isaiah, and you certainly don’t need to apologize to the people downstairs.” Winston smiled then, and turned heading down the stairs himself. Isaiah took a few deep breathes and headed down a minute later.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Black silk rustled. Cassie averted the gazes as best she could. It wasn’t her fault that the blouse looked this good on her, it was the only black and “funeral” looking thing she owned. She smoothed the black skirt and moved to a corner. She sipped at the glass of water she’d gotten for herself and took a bite from the vegetable thingy she’d taken as well. A hand slid across her shoulder and she turned quickly. A smile came across her face as Isaiah came up next to her.

“Hey.” She said. Her voice was soothing, the first good thing of the day, in Isaiah’s mind. He just nodded and accepted her hug. She leaned back and her eyes quickly searched his face. She’d never seen him more upset or unhappy, but then again, she should have expected nothing less than that. A part of her wanted to comfort him, but he knew that it was exactly what he didn’t want, and even then, she didn’t know how to. She just smiled again. “Where’s that brother of yours? I didn’t see him at the funeral service.”

“He didn’t come. He stayed at his university.” Isaiah said, quickly and lightly. He flashed a quick smile as Cassie’s jaw dropped slightly. “He never really liked our parents. Hell, he probably hated them. They did favor me a lot.”

“Yeah, but still…” She trailed off. “I’m surprised at him.”

“Me too.” His eyes narrowed.

“What?” She followed his gaze and saw Nevins enter the room. “Its okay, I can be around that son of a bitch now.” He shook his head and turned to her quickly, as Nevins saw Isaiah.

“I need to show you something later. You’ll stay?” She nodded.

“Of course.” Before she could stop herself, she brought a hand up and brushed his cheek lightly. Her hand came down quickly and her embarrassed look was missed by Isaiah as he turned. He’d been tapped on his shoulder.

Jason Nevins. That motherfucker.

“Isaiah, I’d like to offer you my condolences on the death of your parents. I heard you were in the house when it happened.” So he wanted to play the snake? Fine.

“Yes, I was in the house, when they were shot and killed.” He said. Nevins noted that the kid didn’t accept his condolences.

“It’s a horrible thing. The murders are still unsolved. I heard that you managed to get away, were you able to see the assailants?”

“What I told the police is everything that happened.” Nevins nodded.

“A truly amazing story. How ever did you escape?” Isaiah took note of the people in the room and thought through what he did next. He grabbed Jason by the jacket and swung him into a wall. The man hit the floor and slumped to the ground, before scrambling to his feet. Before he could think to raise his guard, Isaiah was already on top of him, swinging his fists into the man’s stomach, chest, head, everywhere. Isaiah knew that everyone would see this show, but he whispered so that his words would only be heard by the man taking the beating.

“Don’t think I don’t know who came into the house with those damn soldiers. I’m going to get you, you bastard.” He grabbed the man and lifted him up and was about to deck him again, but Cassandra, recovering from the shock of seeing Isaac beating the life out of Nevins, laid a hand on his arm.

“Stop this.” She said, firmly. He looked at her, and she’d never seen such rage and fury in his eyes. It cut her to the core, and she almost pulled her hand back. Isaac calmed down, and straightened Nevin’s suit, smoothing it out. He noticed all the hushed murmurs and whispers amongst all the people in the house. They were staring.

“Get the hell out of my house.” He said to Nevins. He stared at Nevins who proudly stood and gave Muir a look of contempt. There was no way he was going to be shamed by this eighteen year old. Isaiah just nodded and grabbed Nevins again. He dragged him and though the older man fought him best as he could, Isaiah easily overpowered him and lifting, threw him through a window. “I said, out of my house!” Cassie’s eyes went wide. Clamping a hand on his arm, she pulled him out of the room. “I’ll send you the bill for the window, you piece of shit.” Isaiah called out before Cassie had gotten him out of the room.

Winston hid his smile well.

OOC: I love foreshadowing.
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In the Darkest of Knights: Paths Diverge

Post by Mir » Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:32 pm

In the Darkest of Knights: Paths Diverge


His anger spent, he let her drag him out of the room. That didn’t mean he looked at her face, knowing the anger and annoyance that would be there would take away the satisfaction of throwing a man through a window. Cassie turned him and held him up against the wall. He found himself staring above her head at a painting on the opposite wall.

“Look at me.” She had this weird tendency to act like his mother around him, and right now, that’s not what he wanted. So he did what he always did and disobeyed. So Cassandra did what she always did when Isaiah disobeyed her.

“What the hell was that for?” He said, lifting a hand to his cheek where she’d just smacked him.

“That was for not listening to me.” She smacked him again, as soon as his hand dropped from his cheek. “That was for throwing Nevins out of the window. What were you thinking?” He looked away, as her grip on his arms intensified. “Look, I’m not saying I didn’t like what you did, but you need to get more control over yourself.” It was weird. Isaiah was usually a very reserved person. That little show in the room and what he did now surprised her.

“Nevins killed my parents!” He said, quickly, biting each word off. He hadn’t meant to tell her, didn’t want to tell anyone except Winston. Her eyes widened, and he was deadly sure that he was going to have to stop her from going back in there, pulling Nevins back into the house to throw him out another window.

“I didn’t know. Isaiah, I’m sorry. But that doesn’t mean you can still go around throwing him out of windows or even making visible your anger. You know how things are in Gotham, in the upper class of any city.” The soothing maternal part of her personality came back and she gently brushed some of his hair out of his eyes. Suddenly her cell went off. She grabbed the phone and flipped it. It rose to her ear. “Hey. Yeah, yeah I know. I’ll be there.” She closed her phone and noted that Isaiah’s hands had slid onto her hips. Part of her was hurt by it, and she knew she had to push it out of her mind. “Listen, I gotta go. You said you wanted to show me something?” She said, smiling.

“Wait.” He’d developed temporary amnesia and had latched onto the last words she’d said. “You said you were going to stay.”

“Yeah, because you wanted to show me something.” His grip on her hips tightened slightly.

“Where are you going?” His voice showed a bit of panic completely uncustomary for him. Ever since they’d been children, they’d always gone nearly everywhere together. Inseparable friends.

She sighed. She hadn’t wanted it to be like this, but fate was giving her a punch to the stomach. She was the one who averted his eyes now. “I’m heading to New York later today. I mean, you know about the signing and all that.” He nodded. She’d been signed to Wayne Entertainment, as an R&B singer and model. “I know what you’re going to say. Rhyana was as well, and she’s not leaving, but…I don’t know, I just…I need to go.”

“Fine.” His hands dropped from her hips and he started to walk away. She recoiled. She hadn’t expected him to be this…he wasn’t angry. His voice had carried the weight of disinterest and mild annoyance. She turned to him.

“You don’t care?”

“You have to do what you have to do.” He said, turning. His face was blank. She nodded and looked down at her hands. This was what she wanted right? Simple words between the two of them, a parting of friends. Friends, that’s all they were. She wanted him to yell, to get angry. Why?

“What, um, what did you want to show me?” She said, trying to keep her voice normal.

“It doesn’t matter anymore, now that I think about it. You go catch your flight.”

“You’re not…not even going to hug me good-bye, protector guy?” His hand curled into a fist. If he touched her now, by God, he’d just drag her into a room and lock the door, to stop her from leaving. No, he couldn’t touch her. He couldn’t be near her. She took a step towards him and he involuntarily stepped back. The shock registered, more than the surprise she’d felt earlier. He saw it and cursed himself for it. Of course he could put a lid on his feelings.

“Sure.” He said, smiling. He took a few steps forward and slid his arms around her. They stood there for a few moments, holding onto each other tightly. Their paths were diverging. He inhaled and as usual found himself drunk on her scent. She laid her head on his shoulder and smiled. Her cell rang again, killing the moment. She grabbed it and hissed into it.

“Yes, I know, I’ll be there.” She flipped the cell phone and slid it back into her purse. “Well.”

“Yeah.” He caught her chin in his hand and angled her face so their eyes stared straight into each other. “See ya, Cass.”

“I’ll call Isaiah.”

“Winston would be upset otherwise.” She grinned and leaned forward, giving him a peck on the cheek before heading out of the room. He waited a few minutes and then collapsed into a chair in the hallway. She was really leaving. He ran a hand over her face, leaning back into the chair. He closed his eyes and pushed past the hurt. He was alone now. Completely alone except for Winston. His parents were gone, Cassie was gone. He rose and looked around, for a moment at a loss to where he was.

His eyes floated downwards. He knew what was under the ground. But could he? He looked up as Winston came around into the hallway. “What’s up Winston?” He said, trying to inject cheerfulness into his voice. He guessed he failed horribly what with Winston’s facial expression.

“The last of the guests have left. Apparently your little show cut the gathering rather short.”

“Then I’m doubly glad that I did it.” He said. Winston smiled.

“If I may ask, Master Isaiah, what is your plan now? Are you going to head to college? The results to your applications to the universities came in today.” Isaiah lifted an eyebrow. “I, uh, took the liberty of opening them.”

“And?”

“Columbia accepted you as did Harvard. St. John’s University did as well. I don’t know why you applied there however.”

“Dad would have wanted me to. He went there. Yale?”

“Yale accepted you. All four of them did.” Winston replied. He noted Isaiah’s expressionless face and sighed. “You’re not going to go to college are you?”

“No.”

“Then what is your plan?”

“She left, by the way.” Isaiah said, stalling a little for time.

“Who, Master Isaiah.”

“Cassandra. She was signed to WE, as you know, but she felt that New York would be a better place to work out of.”

“Ah.” Winston knew better than to pry into Isaiah’s relationship with Cassie and Isaiah knew that Winston was there to talk to for anything. So the silence that pervaded the air surprised neither of them. “Well then, you must have an idea of what you want to do.”

“I was thinking…”

“Yes?”

“I was thinking of taking a little trip.”


OOC: Cassie's wiki is up: Cassandra Simmons
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In the Darkest of Knights: Wants and Needs

Post by Mir » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:22 pm

In the Darkest of Knights: Wants and Needs

Years passed. Isaiah Muir grew into the mantle that his father had prematurely passed down to him. His father’s will had stated clearly that a certain amount was to go to his brother and the rest to Isaiah. Isaiah had given his brother more than his father had specified. The Muir share of the huge trust was solely his. He’d placed the direction of his money and power into the hands of Winston for the time being.

Muir had greater plans to work on. With his money as funding, he was able to go around the world, and study different teachings and messages. He’d traveled the four corners of the globe, mastering skills and learning new ones. Techniques were honed, methods created, and teachings preserved in his mind. A weapon was being forged. A tool to strike fear into the hearts of the corrupt.

Yes, Isaiah Muir had, the day his parents had died, stumbled across the Batcave. He’d found out that the urban legends were true. Bruce Wayne had been Batman. Isaac had realized that a tremendous opportunity had been given to him, an amazing gift. He had the ability to continue the work of Bruce Wayne in his fight against crime. He’d decided that he had to follow in Wayne’s steps, as it honored the memory of his parents.

He had been called home now, but only temporarily. Muir was going to return to his studies soon, but it was Muir’s turn to host the Christmas party of Gotham. Winston had complained heavily about how long it had taken him to get in contact with Muir. Isaiah had merely given his old friend a pat on the back and a grin.

Now he stood in his house, dressed in simple black slacks and white shirt, watching the people move around, meet and greet. It was mainly the families of the trust, who already knew each other extremely well. Children ran throughout the halls of his house and he walked around a corner. His jaw dropped.

Red silk blouse and a dark green skirt. A child on her hip. The black eyes twinkled as she talked to the child. Black hair shifted as she looked up at him. “Hey, Isaiah.”

“Cassie, hey. Did you…get…knocked up or something?” She rolled her eyes.

“No, I didn’t. This is Jared. Jared Roth. You remember my parents were talking about adopting?” Isaiah nodded and inspected the child she carried. “So I have a little brother now.” He smirked. The dark haired kid eyed him distrustfully and leaned in closer to Cassie. His dark eyes blinked as he looked at the man from his protected area.

“I don’t think he likes me.”

“Well, at least he acted on his feelings. I didn’t and look where it got me.” She said, ruffling Jared’s hair. She looked up and noted Isaiah’s face. “Just kidding.” Cassandra turned as her name was called. Her mother came up and smiled at Isaiah, before hefting her adopted child into her arms. Jared showed obvious delight and clung to his foster mother.

“I finally have a son.” She said with a warm smile to Isaiah.

“Not that your daughter ever acted like a girl or anything.” He took the punch to his arm as satisfaction with making his point. Mrs. Simmons just smiled her usual smile.

“I have you to blame for that. All those punches and kicks and whatnot.”

“Well, if I had been in charge, Cassie would have gone to all those proper schools for girls. The whole nine yards, everything.” Mrs. Simmons chuckled, harder when her daughter made gagging noises.

“No matter, I’m very proud of my daughter.” Cassie accepted the little kiss on her forehead. “And of you, Isaiah. Winston was telling me about the work you’re doing around the world. Good deeds that would have made your father proud.” Isaiah nodded and watched her walk away. He turned back to Cassie.

“So how’s your career going? I’ve heard some good things about it.”

“Brought Wayne Entertainment a lot of money. The first album went double platinum, and the second went four times platinum.”

“You can actually sing?” She rolled her eyes at him. They continued to speak, going in depth into her career and also the rest of her life. She noticed that he wasn’t talking much about what he was doing and what was going on with his life. Still she answered his questions truthfully. She had nothing to hide. No, she wasn’t seeing anyone. Yes, several people had been interested in her love life other than him.

They kept discussing things, moving throughout the house as people pushed them along. The place wasn’t filling up, that would be nearly impossible to do, but neither wanted any eavesdroppers. Cassie smiled at him and she felt that the conversation was ending. She had a plane to catch the day after tomorrow and undoubtedly he was going to go back out into the world again. Is this all they were to see of each other now? Talking and only getting snippets of each others lives?

She honestly didn’t feel the same level of trust with Isaiah as she had only a few years ago. They weren’t around each other and the level of communication that she required to give trust…well their communication was non existent. She smoothed her dark green skirt and began to excuse himself as Isaiah began to talk about what he’d learned of cats and their role in ancient Egyptian mythology. But then she found him quiet as an aunt of his came up to the two of them.

“Well isn’t this interesting?” She said smiling.

“Excuse me?” Cassie said quickly. Isaiah’s aunt pointed upwards. They followed her finger and found themselves staring at mistletoe. She blanched. She turned and looked at Isaiah. “We’re not actually going to…no, no way in hell.” She said. He grinned hugely.

“Come on, you have to take one for the team.” His aunt just smiled her smile and walked away, clearly out of her mind. Isaiah had seen her earlier and had figured that she was plastered. Still it had been to funny to tell his uncle about and now he was glad that he hadn’t. Cassie shrunk away as he opened his arms. “It’s the rules, Cass.”

“Hang the rules.” That only made his grin bigger.

“Come on.” He said, adopting a southern accent to the best of his ability.

“No.”

“Come on.”

“No.”

“Come on.”

“I swear if you say ‘Come on,’ one more time, I’m going to castrate you.” Resigned she just nodded. “Fine.” She stepped into the embrace. She’d taught him how to kiss yes, but somewhere in the past few years, he’d taken the time out to refine his technique. His mouth was gentle on hers coaxing. She knew better than to give him fire, but still she tried. She held back, and made her arms around his neck as heavy as possible. Her mind fought.

Her body surrendered. She went all soft over, and Isaiah swore that he was sinking into her. Her arms around his neck went lax and his fingers seemed to melt into her. Her mouth opened and a light moan escaped as his tongue slid in. Cassie still wasn’t able to fully deal with how Isaiah made her feel. Before they had been closer than brother and sister and that kiss in the forest, it had awakened feelings that she’d never known existed. They’d grown and become unbearable.

It was one of the main reasons she’d gone to New York City. Now that their relationship had deteriorated, his action was awakening in her a hunger she didn’t know how to assuage. A burning need. Her stomach was literally churning.

Jesus Christ. Isaiah pulled her closer as the familiar tastes and aroma hit him harder than a punch from a boxer. He’d nearly forgotten just what she’d tasted like, and as purr of contentment reached his ears, he couldn’t believe that he’d nearly forgotten. How could one forget the taste of something so sweet, so perfect, yet so far out of reach? His hand gently slid under the red silk of her blouse to the flesh beneath. So soft. He’d never noticed, despite hours of training and sparring with her. His hand inched upwards, and he felt the buttons of her blouse pressing into his shirt.

She was yielding to him the way a man dreamed a beautiful woman would. Had hours passed or only seconds? Lifetimes, Isaiah decided as they slowly broke apart. Embarrassment tinged Cassie’s cheeks. She opened her mouth to speak and then shut it. She opened it again. “I have to go. I just remembered, I have something to do, calls to make, and…” She trailed off and began to hurry for the door. She left a speechless Isaiah watching her back as she walked away.

She wasn’t going to get away from him that easily. No way was he going to let her stir him up like that and run away. He headed after her. He found her near the door and before she could stop him or make any noise, he’d grabbed her arm and dragged her into the closest bedroom, shutting the door.

“What’s wrong with you?” She asked him.

“Nothing. Nothing. Everything.” He said. “You…its not fair.”

“What’s not fair?”

“What you do to me. I get all weird and I can’t control myself. And it’s like I just want to…” She swallowed, unsure if this was territory that they should be getting into. But her stubborn streak took over.

“You do things to me too. I can’t stop myself either, okay.” Exasperated, she threw her arms up in the air. “What do you want from me?”

“I don’t know.” She nodded.

“Well, when you figure it out, you know where to find me. If you’re not to busy trying to save the world.” She said, angrily brushing past him. He didn’t stop her and when she slammed the door to the room he was in, he slumped into a chair.
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In the Darkest of Knights: Penultimate Part 1

Post by Mir » Wed Apr 11, 2007 6:41 pm

In Darkest of Knights: Penultimate Part 1


Her arm came into view as he opened his eyes. Isaiah Muir lifted an hand and pushed the arm out of his view gently. He blinked a few times and lifted his head. The two asian models in the bed with him slumbered peacefully. He ran a hand over his face and slid out of bed. He gingerly stepped over the strewn articles of clothing rampant throughout the hotel suite. His programming told him that a shower was in order. He glanced at the clock as he headed for the bathroom. Ten AM. The bathroom door opened and he moved inside.

Steam began to rise, wafting upwards as the hot water spewed out of the shower head. The man who stood under it closed his eyes. His body brought color to his face. Blood rushing to the surface of the skin. Something like that. He opened his eyes and began to wash himself, following a systematic approach.

He stepped out of the shower ten minutes later, towel wrapped around his body. He dressed quickly, as he had a meeting to attend to. The elevator ride down was short and when he reached the lobby, he smiled lightly to the woman behind the counter. “There are two women in my suite. The room is to be left available to them until they leave. Just add the charges to the information that I left earlier.” The woman nodded and smiled.

Isaiah then turned and headed out the door into downtown Tokyo, Japan. There was a limo waiting for him to get into. He slid inside and the door shut. He looked at the two people already in the limo. “So?” He asked lightly. The woman nodded and launched into a report about the recent events at Wayne Enterprises. Isaiah had taken his time and had bought out most of the remaining owners of the Wayne trust, and the super trust that his father and Nevins had helped to create. He still had to give Nevins his payback.

Many were proud of what Isaiah Muir had become. A powerful businessman, and a great philanthropist, like his father before him. Indeed right now he was in Tokyo, headed for a section opening in the Nezu Art museum. He prepared, along with various collectors in the United States and the United Kingdom, a special gallery of antiques and artifacts of the samurai. He was donating his collection to the museum after the gallery was closed, though he hadn’t asked that of his collaborators.

He listened to the woman, letting her words seep in. He didn’t need to make any executive decisions at this point, she was merely letting him know the status quo. The bonds that had been recently issued had been snapped up quickly. He knew this as various organizations that he controlled had done the major buying. Wayne Enterprises was funding “indirectly” some of his philanthropic foundations.

When the five minute mark was reached he held up a hand quickly. “I’ll read the rest.” He said. The black haired woman nodded and handed him the report. He closed the folder and set it to his side. The black eyes shifted, focusing now on her companion, a male. “Yes?”

This one spoke not of the companies dealings, but of other companies that could threaten Wayne Enterprises position throughout the globe. The idea was laughable, what with the contracts that WE held with so many countries and countless other companies. Still, it never hurt to be aware of what others were doing. Wayne Enterprises was actually beginning to encroach upon Stark Enterprises’ hold on armored suits.

They’d yet to receive anything back from a Stark representative or Ethan Drake himself, but one would probably come soon. As it was, responses had come from other corporations as Muir had begun to increase even further its hold on various markets.

The limo slid to a halt while the man was still speaking. Muir held up a hand and silenced him. The man just handed him the report and Muir took both reports into his hands before getting out of the limo, a smile on his face. Cameras flashed. He looked up at the museum and started up the path, greeting people along the way. The whole deal was not too newsworthy, if anything it would get a mention and a soundbyte in the evening Tokyo news.

Muir had kept it as low key as possible. He didn’t want his name getting dragged to the forefront when he wanted the emphasis to be on the cultural importance of the act. Isaiah continued upwards to where the rest of the organizers were. He went through the customary handshakes with everyone. Introductions were made to those that didn’t know each other. There were a few keynote speakers, and Isaiah was one of them. He sat at his designated seat and prepared himself for the small luncheon.

Half an hour later, there was a slight tap on his shoulder. He turned to see a beautiful Japanese woman dressed in a simple business suit. “Mr. Muir, I see you’ve barely eaten anything.”

“Not hungry.” He replied with a simple smile. She nodded and turned back to the speaker.

“An interesting contribution you’ve made. From what I was told you gave a hefty amount of your personal belongings.”

“I felt that it was time they were returned to their owners.” He said, with a slight gesture of his hands. He turned now to face her. “I’m sorry if I seem a little rude, but I don’t know your name.”

“Miho Kaoin.” She replied smoothly.

“I’m sorry if I seem to be even ruder, but why are you here?” Her lips curved into a grin.

“I’m a translator.”

“Really?” She nodded. Muir leaned over and whispered something into her ear. The grin widened. She leaned back and whispered something back. “I didn’t know that was possible.” He said aloud.

“I’m very talented.”

“I’ll have to find out.” Isaiah replied, before he heard his name. “If you’ll excuse me.” She nodded and smiled as he rose to deliver his speech. Folding her legs, she let her hands sit in her lap and watched as he came up behind the podium and began his speech after a bit of applause.

Miho listened to his words and let herself think about what exactly was going to go down in his bedroom that night. Lazily she looked to the left a distant look in her eyes. She was imagining how much fun she was going to have getting him out of that suit. Her eyes widened and she unconcsciously rose. Lifting her finger and she pointed.

The missile hit.
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Post by Mir » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:00 pm

Isaiah stood in a dark cavern waiting. What he was waiting for, he was unsure. Suddenly, he heard a thin whistling in the iar. He threw himself down and rolled as darts flew through the air and others slammed into the ground where he had been. He started to dance around, as more and more darts came at him. He was bare-chested and wore only black cotton pants. There was white cloth wrapped thick around his hands. Then one of the darts hit him in the thigh. He muffled his yell and yanked the dart out. The tip had been dipped in some substance that slowed a body’s response time and muscles. He felt the first wave of the effects hit him. An odd tingling feeling was spreading from his leg to the rest of his body.

More darts came and he moved as quickly as his right leg would let him. Then the darts stopped. Men dressed like shadow descended to the ground. They came at him, fists punching into his body. He turned and started blocking. It was four on one and he was holding his own, even with the injury. Then he began to fight back. His leg swept low, knocking one man down. Isaiah flipped over him and landed on his feet. The others jumped over their fallen comrade and the fight continued.

Suddenly a newcomer from behind grabbed his arms in a strong lock. Two of the three advanced with punches to Isaiah’s stomach. Using his captor as leverage, he lifted up, his knees connected with the two men’s jaws. They fell backwards. Isaiah landed on his feet as the last of the three came at him. Swinging from side to side, Isaiah threw the one holding him into the one who was coming at him. He looked around. Silence filled the area once more. He retreated to the shadows, back against the wall, crouched low to the ground. He rubbed his leg where the dart had entered. He was beginning to feel the second pulsating wave of numbness.

He had been lucky to survive that first wave. Incredibly lucky.

Suddenly the darkness was canceled by light. He shielded his eyes and refrained from crying out. His eyes quickly adjusted and he looked around as another rope descended from the ceiling of the cavern. There were walkways there, and a woman descended from the newly dropped rope. She landed on the ground and stepped towards him. “Very good, Isaiah Muir. Very good indeed.” He rose slowly. “You’re learning well. You know how to fight these five men, but I can teach you to fight five hundred and still be ready to fight another five hundred. You must be prepared to do whatever it takes. That missile incident you had arranged a few weeks ago was very handy, yes?”

“Gave me a chance to test out the new Wayne Human Replica Robots anyway.” She smirked.

“As long as the bottom line doesn’t suffer then.” She turned and headed back to her rope. “We’re done for today. You may wash up and rest.”

He watched her climb up to the walkway and waited until she was done before attempting to do the same. As he walked the path towards where he slept, he thought back to what he’d learned over the past few weeks. He already knew many martial arts styles, but here he was learning more and perfecting what he already knew. So many disciplines. He’d been here for over two months now. He had various teachers, but all answered to the woman who had spoken to him earlier. He didn’t know her name. He’d asked her once and she’d simply said that she had no name. Muir had figured that it was a touchy subject and had dropped it. He wasn’t here to learn more about her, but to learn to fight like her.

The man stepped into his quarters. Carved into stone, they were sparse and spartan, but he didn’t mind too much. Built character, as his grandfather used to say. He headed to the side room and stripped. He turned a single knob and water poured out into a basin. The water was ice cold, but he already knew this. There were two temperature settings here. Cold and colder. He let the water level rise and then slid in. He shuddered, the water chilling him down to the bones. The only benefit to the temperature of the water, at least in his eyes, was that it numbed the pain he was getting from the blows he’d received.

He closed his eyes and leaned back, determined to enjoy the soak. The bed he had was simple, carved into the wall, with a thin mat atop the stone. He had a jute pillow that lost its prickliness after the first hour or so of sleep. Eyes still closed, he thought of the different choices that had brought him here. The chill of the night seeped into him, not the chill of the water. He felt the cold enter his very heart. Their smiles were frozen, just like his heart was. But their smiles could never change. The eyes, how they haunted him. He shook his head, trying to clear the images.

His parents looked at him. Suddenly their faces changed. Shifted. His mother screamed, a wordless cry of a woman who was dying. He saw the flesh ripped from her, the blood spraying through the air. Pieces of cloth from her clothes tore free to sail through the air. Meanwhile his father was running towards his falling wife as the shots tore through him. The sounds were loud, so loud. His hands came up and placed themselves over his ears. Tears formed on the edges of his eyes and crawled down to meet the ice cold liquid he was in. One bullet shot through his father’s knee, he could hear the bone breaking. More through his sides. The hand that reached for his mother’s face, it was shot off.

Isaiah didn’t catch himself, as he slid under the cold water, just was grateful for its chilly kiss. His head hit the bottom of the tub with a soundless thud. He was too wrapped up in reliving the murder of his parents. He’d tried to shut away the hurt and the pain over the years, but every so often it caught up with him. This was one of those times.

He gasped, watching his parents die yet again. The water rushed down his throat. He gasped over and over and over. He couldn’t stop it, though he reached a hand out.

Run. Run, Isaiah Muir. Live to fight another day.

Run. Run, Isaiah Muir. Run like the coward you are, when your parents need you the most!

No, sweet child. There is nothing you can do. But there is a chance, a choice. You can become Justice. You can avenge their deaths and honor their memory.

Or you can avenge them now! You can stand and fight like a man, like a Muir would. Your grandfather fought in a war. He never ran when there was fighting that had to be done. How can you dishonor your name?!

Go now. No. Do not turn back, do not start forward. The woods, Isaiah….The woods, Isaiah….THE WOODS, ISAIAH!

He launched his head out of the water full force, sputtering water. His chest heaved, trying to expel the dangerous liquid from his lungs. He coughed, entire body wracking movements. So powerful it seemed they would break his bones. He laid his head on the edge of the tub and stared at the wall, water sliding down his face.

The training area would be open. Better to push these thoughts from his mind. He climbed from the tub’s cold embrace and pulled the plug. He dressed, the words still echoing in his mind.

Run like the coward you are, when your parents need you the most!

You can become Justice. You can avenge their deaths and honor their memory.

He started down the hallway, a single thought dominating his entire existence.

I am justice. And there will be a reckoning.
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Post by Mir » Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:25 pm

He lay there, cold and unmoving. His breath lifted upwards, steam sliding out of his mouth. Isaiah’s eyes were open and unblinking. He was dead. He was alive. He was both at the same time. He lay on a slab of stone, raised above the ground. There were six small holes in the slab, three on each side. A tasteless, odorless gas was being released through all six. It swirled in the air, unseen to his eyes. It drifted downwards and into his mouth, tasted not by his tongue. It sifted into his lungs, awakening powerful visions within.

“Tell me how you feel, Muir.” His eyes shifted. The Girl with No Name was standing near the slab, wrapped in a single red sheet of some soft material. She held it in place with one hand, and she was aided by a thin gold belt that went around her waist. Attached to the belt was her ever present katana.

“I feel…cold.” She smiled, and began to walk around the slab. His eyes drifted back to the center of the sockets and he stared up at the ceiling.

“This is good. This is the last of the toxins that exist on this planet and even off this planet. You’ve been exposed to every one, and your body will develop anti bodies for them. Some will obviously not be that effective, but most will.” He blinked, the only visible way of telling that he was even alive. Stripped to his waist, his upper body was bathed in sweat, an interesting thing, considering his claim of feeling cold.

“You have not told me what you see. What do you see, Isaiah?” He swallowed, his body’s first movement in over an hour.

“I see…death. I see blue. I see green. I see black.” She nodded.

“This too is good.” She continued her lazy walk around the slab, one finger trailing the edge of the stone slab. “I have trained you well, have I not?”

“Yes, yes you have.”

“You are probably the second greatest student to pass through these halls. You have the potential to be the greatest fighter on the face of the planet.” He rose then, to a sitting position, legs folded under him.

“And who then, is the best?”

“A man by the name of Kors. But he is not important now.” She flipped her hair over one shoulder and kept walking. She pushed him back down flat. “Sleep now, Muir. Let the toxin take the rest of its effect.”

He could do nothing but nod.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“And what about Muir?”

“Muir is not a threat. He has no interest in the group, only to learn the teachings. Why he was allowed in and treated as one of us, I will never know. Perhaps I shall be able to ask him, before I slice his throat open.”

“You mean, when I slice his throat open.” The Girl with No Name turned and smiled at the speaker. They were in her quarters, and she was dressed as before, but without the sword. The man before her was dressed in the normal black outfit of the students, but he carried himself differently from the others. It was clear that he was someone who thought highly of himself, and had the power and will to share that perspective with others.

“Of course, Kors. My apologies. We have a deal then.” It was more statement than question. The man nodded. He rose from the chair that he sat in. She still sat behind her desk.

“When will we go see him?”

“Soon, Kors, soon.”

“I want some kind of sign.”

“Of my trust?” She smiled sweetly. “But of course.” She rose and came around the desk. Lightly, she pushed him back so he sat down in the chair and then proceeded to straddle him. He smiled and leaned back, content as she let her grip on her clothing go. The red satin slid away, revealing her naked form. “You knew that there had to be more than one reason for me to suggest this union to you.” He nodded as she tossed her hair over her one shoulder. Her hands came around the back of his head and she pulled forward, cradling his head between her breasts. Then one of her hands fell down and began to loosen his belt

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

It was time. Isaiah knelt before the master, eyes closed. They were in one of the sparring and meditation rooms. The master sat, on a cushion, drinking tea and smoking from a long stem pipe. Half of his face was shrouded in darkness, the half visible being only his mouth and nose. Isaiah had never seen his face in normal light. Silence reigned over the room as it had for the past half an hour, the entire time that Isaiah had been in there.

“You see what is before you?”

“Yes, master.” Isaiah said. There was a daisho before him. Both katana and wakizashi had black handles and scabbards. There was no ornamentation on them.

“This then, is my final gift to you. I have prepared you, like I promised, and you have delivered, like you promised. Everything is well.” Isaiah nodded and leaning forward, took the two swords into his hands.

“Thank you, for everything.” The man opposite him nodded. Behind Isaiah, the doors opened and The Girl with No Name and Kors entered.

“I informed all that I did not wish to be disturbed until after Isaiah had left our grounds.”

“I am sorry, master, but this was something that could not wait.” Isaiah rose and headed for the door.

“Excuse me, then.” He had his hand on the door when he heard it. He whirled around. The faint whistle had been all the sound created when Kors and The Girl with No Name pulled out their katanas. The master calmly set aside the cup of tea that he was sitting and set the pipe in its rest stand.

“So.” He said with a simple smile. “This I had been expecting. I thought someone would challenge, once He left. But not you Kors. Not you either.” Kors smiled then.

“But it should have entered your mind at some point.”

“It did, and don’t expect me to not have a plan in place.”

“If you didn’t, I would feel insulted.” Kors leapt forward, bringing his saber down. But the Master was quicker, and had already moved to one corner of the room. Kors turned, to the corner, but found himself staring down Isaiah’s blade. The wakizashi was impractical to use along with the Katana, at least for Isaiah who had mainly been training with Katana and Shoto, so he’d left it in its scabbard. Kors smirked. “Move aside, Muir. I would not wish to cut down the King of Gotham before he reached his prime.”

“I can assure you that that is something you will not have the pleasure of doing.” Muir’s blade danced forward, and the two began to fight. The Girl with No Name backed up and then joined in. As they moved through the room, the pieces of furniture and items in the room quickly fell to their warmaking. Plants were diced, chairs demolished, everything destroyed as the three blades moved in disharmony. The Master watched with a smile. He wasn’t concerned for his life, not that much, and he was able to find the good in the bad situation presented before him.

While it was possible that he could die, and that if he lived he would have to kill two of his greatest students, it was good to see that Muir had learned his lessons well. And learn them well he had. Isaiah was holding the two at bay with one and then two swords, having picked up the wakizashi during the trio’s fighting. He was parrying most of the time, on the defensive due to the number and skill of his foe. Still he attacked when he could and forced them to give ground, though it seemed as though it was he who gave ground at every turn.

Back and forth the three of them went dancing through the room. Kors couldn’t believe at how skilled Muir had become. When he’d first seen him, Isaiah hadn’t been able to best him in hand to hand combat, and now he was matching him blow for blow with a sword. The Girl with No Name was cursing how well they’d trained him. Kors went for a sudden downward stroke that caught Isaiah off guard. The Girl with No Name lashed out with a kick that sent Isaiah flying backwards. He landed near the Master. He rose, ready to fight more, but the Master stopped him. The room was large, and with all the debris, the two assailants were taking time making their way over.

“You must go.”

“What?” Isaiah said, in disbelief.

“This is not your fight. I have done what none before me have truly done. I have peered into the future. This is not your fight.”

“But-“ Anything Isaiah would have said next was cut off by an intricate gesture of the Master’s hands. Then he struck, palm flat against Isaiah’s forehead.

And he was gone.
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Post by Mir » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:41 pm

Isaiah stood on the deck of a luxury yacht, surveying the crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. He smiled and then turned, looking at the annoyed face of his butler, still in his spotless black tuxedo. “What?”

“I still don’t see why I had to come out here.”

“I thought the weather would agree with your sunny disposition. Plus, you need a vacation.”

“I needed to be weeding the flower patch by the east wing.”

“Tell you what, if you can smile for me, I’ll help weed the flowers when we get back.” The corners of his mouth lifted a smidgen. “There ya go, looking better already.” He said with a grin.

“What are we here for, if I may ask, Master Muir?”

“I wanted to ask something of you.”

“We hardly needed to fly out to the middle of the Mediterranean on a multi million dollar jet and sail on a multi million dollar yacht for you to ask something of me.”

“Well, this is serious” He turned and sat down on the chair next to Winston. “You’ve been with my family for a long time, right?”

“I started working for the Muir when you grandfather got married.” Isaiah nodded.

“You’ve always stood by us through thick and thin.”

“It has been a pleasure and an honor, Master. Muir.” Isaiah nodded again.

“I’m considering doing something. Something potentially dangerous. And I don’t feel right forcing you into this situation without you able to voice your opinion or if you so desire, leaving my service.”

“And what would this situation be?”

“I don’t know how long you’ve known, if at all, that Wayne manor is on top of the Batcave and that Bruce Wayne used to be Batman.”

“I had suspected this yes.” He considered for a moment. “I take it then that you wish to become the new Batman?”

“Yes.” Winston rose and crossed the deck, looking out onto the water. He was silent of r awhile, his back to Isaiah. Isaiah turned and watched him.

“Master Isaiah,” He said, turning around. “I would be honored to help you.”

“Thank you, old friend.”

“I am assuming that we’re keeping this secret from family and friends?”

“Yes we are.” Winston sighed. “What’s wrong.”

“Well, I would think that the job of Batman, in addition to your job as owner and CEO of Wayne Enterprises would put a significant hampering on your love life. I had always hoped I’d have a hand in raising your children.” Isaiah grinned.

“You never know.” Isaiah said as he headed for the controls of the yacht.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

As they reached their port in Greece, Isaiah’s eyes narrowed. He turned to Winston. The two were on the bridge of the yacht. “Winston, why the hell is Cassie standing on the dock?”

“I, uh, took the liberty of inviting her. It was, of course, before you asked me that question. And I was hoping I’d get to raise her children one day.” Isaiah rolled his eyes and then frowned. Winston, understanding the meaning behind the face, placed a hand on Isaiah’s shoulder. “Master Muir, don’t think me for a fool. I’ve seen the way you look at her when she’s not watching. I’ve seen the way she looks at you when you’re not watching. It’s been rather obvious for many years now, especially after the untimely deaths of your parents.”

Muir just nodded and headed out. He jumped onto the dock. If he was the marrying sort, and he wasn’t, but if he was, Cassie would probably be the only woman he’d marry. Sure he’d had that amazing night with Jessica and would probably be more than happy to do that again, but she was probably going to marry that Cash Warren guy. She was pregnant with his kid after all.

Cassie wore a sun dress, the soft material clinging close. A rose print filled the white canvas. Her Filipino/Black skin shone with a developing tan and she slid a hand through her long beautiful black hair. Her black eyes danced with happiness at the sight of him. She took a couple steps forward.

God, the sun was doing wonders for his skin. He wore a simple cotton shirt, rolled up to the elbows. Dark blue jeans and black boat shoes. You’d never be able to tell that he was worth over thirty something billion. Well maybe the yacht and iced out watch would give it away. Dark brown, almost black hair. Black eyes that were watching her. She took a few more steps forward and then ran into his arms.

His hand slid around that perfect eighteen inch waistline and settled at the small of her back. His other hand came around and the fingers interlaced. Her hands came around his neck, solid and strong. Her perfume knifed his system and he moved his thumbs up and down on either side of her belly button. He was wearing cologne and the smell of the sea mixed with it. Cas looked up into his eyes and then frowned.

“What the hell kind of fool idea was it to do that? Scared the life out of me. My mother swore she was going to actually kill you. I think it was skinning you alive or something. Jesus, Isaiah…” His eyebrow lifted.

“Not the greeting I was expecting, but-“

“What kind of greeting were you expecting, huh?”

“Definitely, not that.” Angry gorgeous eyes threw fire at him

“You’re just lucky I think of you like a lovable but retarded idiot brother.” He grinned and kissed her on the cheek.

“Shouldn’t you be on tour? I gave you a nice advance to go and do that, if I remember right.” She fluttered her lashes at him and gave him a smile that made his knees weak, though he’d never admit it.

“Tour got over last week in Milan. I’m all yours, dear heart.”

“That’s what I’ve always wanted you to tell me.” He said and the two walked towards the boat. Winston stepped into view and returned Cas’ wave with a somber head nod.

“Hey, Winston.” She said giving him a hug and a peck on the cheek.

“Good afternoon, Mademoiselle Simmons.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Fifteen minutes later, a bottle of champagne had been opened and was now residing in a bucket of ice. The two of them had a glass. Bubbles of Dom Perignon rose to escape into the air. She sat across from him on a sofa. They were surreptitiously watching each other. The old nervousness was back. How could he land supermodels and singers and actresses and still be so nervous around a woman who was two of three? So what she was the first girl he’d kissed? Or the first girl he’d ever honestly had thoughts about? She was raising her glass to those full lips of hers when he found a good question. “How’s that brother of yours?” She smiled as she took a sip.”

“He’s good. Jared’s in the fifth grade now.”

“Damn How long has it been?”

“About five years.” He shook his head in disbelief. While many if not all of the superheroes had died a short while ago during the Chrell Invasion, Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight had died some time ago, killed in an act of desperation by the Joker. Bruce had been trying to protect his love, Selina Kyle, the Catwoman. Selina had gotten Bruce’s body out of there, so no suspicion would be raised. “Yeah, its been that long.” He nodded. “So how long you staying here?”

“A few more days. What about you?”

“I leave tomorrow. But that gives me enough time to get sun tan lotion put on my back by one of the world’s richest men. You passed Carter, right?” He laughed.

“I passed Ethan Drake years ago. Come to think of it, I started out past him. Stark is child’s play, my dear.”

“Boys and their toys.”

“What makes you think I’m going to put sun tan lotion on your back anyway?” She set the glass down on a coaster. Then she looked at him with her puppy face. He closed his eyes and peeked out. Her jaw quivered. “Dammit.” She grinned and grabbing her glass came over to him.

“You’re going to give me a massage as well or do I need to get out the big guns?” He groaned. She walked past him and headed for the stairs. She took the first couple steps and then turned. “Oh yeah, and tonight we’re going shopping and I found this nice restaurant.”

Kill me now.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Later, they were in a local bazaar. She wore a Wu Tang shirt, with a picture of Meth on the back. The black shirt was complemented by jeans that matched his own in color. They walked shoulder to shoulder through the crowd in the bazaar. Products of all kinds filled the stalls. As they squeezed past two people haggling over some figurines, Cassie grabbed his hand. When they got past, she held on. As they walked, they took turns squeezing each other’s hands as hard as they could. They finally stopped at a metalworker’s place.

Isaiah looked on with a frown. Cassie was examining carefully a Spartan helmet and sword. “Uh…Cas?”

“I persuaded my mom to let Jared watch 300. Worse mistake of my life. Besides the questions like why was that girl getting high and dancing while naked when he’d been told that drugs were bad and exposing oneself even worse, or the question of what the king and his wife were doing after the king met the drug taking dancing lady, and the question if we could find a cool Spartan school for him to go to instead of his boring school, he made me promise I’d get him a helmet and a sword when I finished my tour.” She stopped and took a breath. “He was holding onto me and wouldn’t let me get out of the house until I agreed.”

“Interesting. I met Lena Headey once.”

“Cool.” She said absentmindedly as she tested the heaviness of one of the swords. “I really shouldn’t be buying him this. He’ll probably poke his eye out.” He placed hands on both of her shoulders and leaned in to whisper into her ear.

“You and I got Katanas when we were, what, eight, remember? Destroyed a couple statues.”

“Yeah.” She said with a smile. “Those were the days.” She didn’t realize that she was leaning against him. She looked at the man behind the counter with a new look on her face. “I’ll take them.” Isaiah rested his chin on her shoulder.

“Good choice.”

“You shut up. I just bought a deadly weapon for a minor. And now you’re going to buy me dinner.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

It was like Miami Subs on steroids. They sat on little cushions and made their own wraps. A nice red wine complemented the deal. She sat in between his legs, leaning against his chest. They’d been best friends since birth, inseperable. The past few years had been a strain on that friendship and Isaiah knew his plans would do nothing but hurt it. He was only half watching the entertainment for the night.

He’d spent a great deal of time, sleepless nights, considering, planning. Could he really give up a great deal of the life he had now for the life that he was considering? Why was it necessarily on him? Couldn’t someone else do the job? His grip around her waist tightened. He thought of her as more than a friend. Yes, he’d enjoyed the company of women and he’d slept with quite a few. But he loved Cassandra. She meant more to him than a couple nights in a six star hotel of crazy sex. He could build a life with her.

He closed his eyes. Yes, he could see it. They’d have a children, a boy, a girl, maybe more. Laughter would fill Wayne Manor. They’d work together and at night, he’d slide into bed next to her and hold her, just hold her. The image was replaced suddenly by the bodies of his parents, bleeding on one of the priceless Persian rugs.

Death too had filled Wayne Manor.

It had filled the streets of Gotham for years. Bruce had stemmed the flood well and after his death, the dam had been broken. The city needed him. He swallowed, knowing that he had to do it, he had no real choice. He was the only person capable of taking up the mantle of the Dark Knight.

The voice from that night back in the mountains of Japan came back to him

You can become Justice. You can avenge their deaths and honor their memory.

I am Justice, he thought. And there will be a reckoning.
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Post by Mir » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:07 pm

Isaiah woke, his eyes flicking open. His heart was still racing. He'd been dreaming about his parent's death in Wayne Manor. He felt the gentle rocking of the boat as it moved through the ocean along its course. He slid out from under the covers. He wore drawstring cotton pants and no shirt. His bare feet sunk into the thick soft carpeting. His steps made no sound until he reached the circle winding down stairs. And even then, he knew which ones to avoid and reached the bottom while maintaining his silence. Winston was asleep in his room, and Cassie was too. They were on autopilot, but the alarm would go off if there was anything wrong. It helped to have billions of dollars. You didn't need someone manning the controls all the time.

He'd poured himself a nice glass of cranberry apple juice and was headed back up when he happened to look out beyond the dining area to one of the sitting rooms.. He saw Cassie sitting against the wall on a small couch, knees up, looking out a porthole at the night sky. She wore a silver negligee that clung to her, molding to her form perfectly. His mouth went dry and he had a thought about going back to his room. People couldn't get sleep some times it was only natural. He didn't have to walk into the armed and dangerous minefield. He took a few steps toward her anyway, sipping as he went. "Hey, Cas." She turned slowly and smiled up at him from her position on the couch.

"Hey." Luck was an interesting friend, Cassie thought. It was funny wasn't it, that she had been thinking of Gotham's King and he showed up. Her eyes moved over his figure, taking in the musculature, the facial features that she could draw with her eyes closed, the tall glass of juice.

"Having trouble sleeping?" He said. She shrugged in response.

"Sort of. Nothing I can't handle though." He sank down onto the padding next to her and looked out the window with her for a while.

"You know, you never told me what's going on in your life." She turned and looked at him, confused. "Well, you told me how your mom is doing and Jared, but you haven't told me anything about you. We haven't seen each other in years, there's got to be something that you haven't told me. What's going on with the music? You have a new boyfriend?" She shook her head and then turned and looked out the porthole again. He looked away for a moment. He didn't remember her ever having a boyfriend come to think of it, besides his brother. She'd been his best friend then, and he'd just began to fall in love with her. Nothing like what it was now, that he was dying from sitting so close to her but not being able to do anything, but the first pinpricks, the first painful jabs that told him that those deep dark eyes, and that slow sexy smile were going to haunt him. What was the matter with her? She was quiet. Too quiet. She shook her head then, and gave him her full attention.

"You know, you never told me what's going on in your life." He laughed and shrugged.

"Nothing much, really. It's the honest truth." If you left out pretending to assassinate myself, training with ninjas and becoming a ninja, and hashing out the details that would bring Batman back from the dead. Nothing major, casual friday kind of stuff truth be told.

"Still, you find time to be with those models and actresses, right?" He wasn't sure he liked where this one was going.

"Yeah, I guess."

"We never did establish whether or not you figured out what I do to you, did we?" His mind flashed back to the Christmas party some time ago. He swallowed, definitely not liking where this conversation was going.

"What do you mean?"

"I'm just wondering, what was that 'something' that I did to you then and I wonder, do I still do it to you?"

"Cassie-" He said in a warning tone, but she'd seized the idea and was running with it. Before he could stop her, she'd taken the glass of juice from him and slid into his lap. She set the glass on a table with one hand, the other curving around his neck. His hands came up around her waist to push her off, but she was already kissing the life out of him. Her other hand came up around the other side of his neck. Isaiah couldn't resist as she increased the heat, adjusting so her legs wrapped around his waist. She pressed against him, he could feel her flat tummy, marred only by the belly ring. Her small perfect breasts, ones he'd dreamed about since he was eighteen, pressed into his chest. The pinpricks of his young adult life had turned into the heat the temperature of hell and spikes the size of tanks. His hands came around her and he moved one of his hands underneath the silk to stroke the small of her back. So soft, so smooth. Everything he wanted.

"Tell me, what do I do to you?"

"You know exactly what you do to me, damnit." She smiled, and slid her hand over his chest.

"Your heart's racing." She took his hand and slid it inside the negligee. "Mine is too."

"God. Cas, we can't do this."

"But we are." She replied, kissing him and reaching down for the hem of the negligee. He grabbed her hands and yanked them upwards.

"No, we can't."

"Why the hell not?" He could see the fury in her eyes. "Am I too fat for you, Isaiah? Too thin? Is it because I have black hair, not blonde? Cause I don't see you behaving with much discretion when it comes to your models and singers....damnit, I'm a model, I'm a singer, do I not make the fucking cut or something?" She rose and walked across the room, arms folded, her back to him. He got up and took a couple steps towards her. "Stay away from me." He ignored her and closed the distance. Isaiah slid his hands up her bare arms, pressing his lips to her hair.

"There is no cut, you just...you matter to me, okay? You're more than just a woman to me, you're special." She turned on him then.

"You don't treat me like I'm special. You're never around. You barely talk to me. You have a better relationship with my mom than you do with me. What's your problem Isaiah?" He wanted to tell her. He wanted to so badly. But he knew she wouldn't believe him. And if she did, she'd be so concerned with his safety. If he wasn't around her it was because he didn't want to lose control and grab her and make love to her thirty five thousand times a day. If he didn't talk to her it was because he didn't want to yell that he was desperately in love with her, that she was going to marry him, and oh yeah, I'm going to become Batman. The path he had chosen was a lonely road, walked by few. Bruce Wayne had possessed the fortitude and courage, and even he had stumbled from time to time. Isaiah wasn't the man that Bruce Wayne had been. But he would remain firm on this. He enjoyed a steady diet of women because...he was a man and he was rich. They kind of went together. But he'd never really had a lasting relationship with any of them. In his mind, there was only one woman that could happen with and she was in front of him spewing bullets at him. He sighed.

"It's complicated." She folded her arms across her chest and took up an offensive position that gave him the impression she was going to draw blood soon.

"That's not going to work. Explain yourself, Muir."

"No." It hurt him to say this next part. She'd never know how much it hurt him. "I can only be your friend, Cassie, nothing more." The tears sprang into her eyes and he cursed himself. He felt like finding a rock and crawling under it and not coming out for a couple hundred years. She lifted a hand to cover her mouth and shook her head slowly. "I'm sorry, I..." He trailed off as she left the room. It was for the best. Better for her to think that he didn't care for her that way than for her to know the truth. He was protecting her. That's what he was doing. He'd take whatever anger she had towards him. She would be safe.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Winston decided that he'd better install cameras onboard all the yachts, the manor, the summer homes, the winter homes, every damn place. His carefully laid plan had gone awry and he had a feeling he could place the blame on Isaiah. Mademoiselle Simmons wasn't speaking to Isaiah and barely speaking to him. She was upset about something, this he could tell. He had a suspicion that Isaiah had decided that if he was going to be Batman, then he could endanger a wife and children. People would be targeting him. Also, he'd be more of an open figure. Winston sighed and looked up at the perfect clear blue sky that none of the three occupants of the yacht were enjoying. He walked over to Cassandra.

"Ms. Simmons, is something the matter?"

"No, Winston, everything's alright." She turned and flashed him one of her smiles, but he'd helped the Simmons' raise her. He knew when she was really smiling and when she wasn't. Isaiah could see her smile and he knew as well. The smile was there alright, but it wasn't in her eyes. Her eyes would light up when she was happy. Her eyes now were bland and they shifted, focusing on him. Isaiah turned and pretended to be interested by a few birds that flew overhead.

"Nothing I can do?"

"Afraid not, Winston." She said, shaking her head. He nodded and walked over to Isaiah.

"We talk when she leaves." Isaiah knew better than to risk arguing with Winston when he was like this. He just nodded.

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Post by Mir » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:14 pm

Police Sergeant Steven Santieri, age 28 of the Gotham City Police Department, slid out of the driver seat of his Wayne Motors Stallion. Te police lights on the cruiser were off, as was the siren. His hand rested easily on the Colt .45 that was the standard issue for the police force of the city. He was down in one of the run down districts of Gotham. The call had to do with a domestic disturbance that sounded like it could have turned into a homicide, as reported by a neighbor.

He was the closest officer and so he'd been sent. he was in his plainsclothes outfit, blue jeans, red button down collared shirt over a white t-shirt, and black leather jacket along with black shoes. He moved up the steps of the apartment building. The super opened the door for him and the two walked through the hallway to the elevator. The super didn't know exactly what had happened, but he expressed what he did know quickly and efficiently. Steven needed that.

It was the end of a long day for him and he wanted nothing more than to grab a couple beers and head home. He ended up in front of 5H by himself, the super heading back down by himself. Briskly, he knocked on the door, three quick raps. Silence. He knocked again. More silence.

"This is the Gotham City Police, open up." He yelled, unholstering his pistol and taking off the safety. Nothing. "I'm coming in." He called out and knockedthe door down with a swift kick. The lights flickered and he cursed under his breath. Perfect. The police training kicked in and he surveyed the hallway with what light he had. Nothing looked out of place, but then again that didn't mean much. "Hello, is anyone here?"

"Yes, now get out." Even better. He moved into the apartment, gun at the ready. It had been a woman's voice, the beauty of which he would have noticed at any other point in time. The hallway extended to his right, he was at a corner. There was a door here and light shone from underneath. He opened it slowly, noting that one of the hinges was loose, and another was broken completely. The vision that appeared before him almost made him throw up.

A man lay on the ground, his face bashed in. A large pool of blood lay around his head, and Steven could see that his hair was soaked in the liquid. Bones were crushed, some visible, his nose broken crooked, a few teeth on the floor. Steven stepped into the room, having stepped back when he saw the face. His eyes were wide, staring unabashedly at the dead man. He looked up and realized he wasn’t alone. A beautiful woman stood in the room.

Dark blue jeans rode low on her hips and a black snug top bared her midriff and belly piercing. Even though he was working, he appreciated her beauty and, he quickly calculated, the considerable assets she possessed. His eyes traveled upwards. Beautiful black eyes and hair. Her skin was dark, he guessed Hispanic. A mouth that begged to be kissed. It was set in a grim line and he saw the fire in her eyes. His mind caught up with his hormones and he finally saw the shovel she carried and the blood that dripped down it. He took a step back again and was ready to lift his weapon if she moved.

“Gotham City Police, ma’am. I’m going to have to ask you to put down the weapon.”

”He was going to…to rape me…like before. I told him never again.”

”Okay. It’s alright, just put the shovel down and let’s talk.”

“Michael had come home drunk. He’s been doing that more lately and he was yelling about problems with work. I tried to help, to get him to bed to sleep it off, but he started hitting me. He’s been doing that more lately too.” Steven noticed then the bruises on her neck and arms. There was the beginning of one peeking out from underneath her top. He hated people who abused women. His uncle had been one and he’d watched his aunt suffer in silence. A fierce wave of protectiveness came over him.

“What happened then?”

”I ran here, to the bedroom, locked the door. He was banging on it, screaming. He broke it down and grabbed me. He was yanking my pants down; I knew what he was going to do. He and his cousins had been doing some landscaping at his mother’s last week and he’d left the shovel in here. I got him off me and then I grabbed it and hit him with it. A couple times.”

“Looks like more than a couple times.”

“They…they’re not going to charge me with murder, are they? He tried to rape me and he hit me.”

”Probably self defense. That’s what I’ll say.” She dropped the shovel then, and he slowly holstered his pistol.

“I need protection.”

”Why?”

”Don’t you know who he is?”

”Kinda hard, with all the work you put into his face.” He held out a hand and she took it, stepping over the corpse and into the hallway.

“He’s Michael Vitale.” Steven stopped his movements down the next part of the hallway, towards the kitchen.

”Don Vitale’s son?” She nodded and walked to a closet. She opened the door, flicked on the light and rummaged around. She came out holding a brick of coke in each hand.

“There’s money, drugs, and guns stashed all over the place.” She reached into the closet and held out a twelve gauge shotgun.

”I’m going to assume he’d didn’t have a license for that.” For the first time she smiled. “I’m going to call backup and take you in for questioning.”

”When his family finds out what happened, they’re going to kill me.”

”Not if we get you into protective custody. You never gave me your name.”

”Eva.” She said. “Eva Isabel Rodriguez.” He nodded. Beautiful name. Beautiful woman.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Jesus Christ.”

”Yeah.” Steven said. Police Commissioner Jason Roberts shook his head from behind his desk.

”She’s a godsend.”

”Oh yeah. Feds snapping yet?”

“Of course they are. They’ve got some people en route already”

“Whose questioning her?”

”Thiam.” Steven nodded. She was good. She’d get as much out of Eva as possible while still keeping her relaxed. He leaned against the wall and took a swig from the bottle of Coke he had. The door to the mundane and ordinary looking office opened and Aundrea Thiam stepped in grinning.

“So?”

”She saw everything. She knows everything, kept the books for Michael and Don Vitale in fact.” Thiam placed a notebook on the Commissioner’s desk. “Call the DA and the Attorney General. We’ve got the Vitale family.” The biggest and most powerful of the Italian families that headquartered itself inside of Gotham City. Steven hadn’t been on the case per se, but he’d been working with the people who were to bring them down for a good bit of time. He’d only been associated it with it for five years. It had been over ten years for some of the people. Ever since Batman had disappeared, they’d taken over, strong arming the place. Extortions, racketeering, everything. Steven had been ten when Batman had disappeared and despite what everyone had said about him, he wished that Batman was here. Gotham needed a savior, needed someone to help it rise up out of the poverty and problems that it was sinking into.

“Good news.” A voice said from behind Thiam. Thiam turned to see a petite, gorgeous blonde. She wore a business suit that was tailored perfectly Steven saw. Thiam was an eight, he knew this fact intimately, and now he’d had the pleasure of seeing two dimes in one day. “Agent Melanie Horne, FBI.” Roberts rose and made the necessary introductions. Then they got down to business. “Sergeant Santieri, you were the first on the scene. What happened?”

“Self defense, really. She says he was beating her which he’d done in the past and attempted to rape her, which he’d been successful at in the past. She’s got the bruises to prove it.” He said, taking a swig from the Coke bottle again. What Eva had seen in him to date and move in with that guy, he’d never know. Horne nodded.

“She’s been questioned?” Thiam nodded and indicated the notebook. Horne smiled. Her green eyes focused on Steven. “I’m going to need to speak with her as well,buti think we’ve got a great deal of information. Commissioner Roberts, I need to speak with whoever has been in charge of the Vitale case. I need to coordinate with that person so our people don’t get in each other’s way. This is history making people. They might just make a movie out of this down the road.”

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Post by Mir » Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:34 pm

2008

A cream colored manilla folder landed on his desk, thick and fat. Santieri looked up at a smiling Horne. "Someone looks happy." He said, tossing his pen on the desk. He'd been working on a couple things, but the whole day in the back of his mind, the Vitale case had been present, eating at his concentration here and there. He was willing to admit his thoughts had also strayed to the girl more than once or twice. "I heard you guys were making headway."

"Headway? She's a goldmine. We just finished putting together everything she told us." Horne indicated the folder. Steven opened the folder and looked at the first couple pages.

"Wow."

"Wow is right." She looked at her watch and then back at him, contemplating something. He was engrossed in reading the papers and didn't notice. "Listen, I'm free for a couple hours, you want to get something to eat?" Santieri looked up and shook his head.

"Sorry, I'm swamped here." She smiled.

"I'll give you one excuse, Steven. We're going tobe working on this together and its going to be for a long time. Don't be a stranger." She said, wagging a finger at him. Santieri nodded.

"I won't." He said under his breath as he watched those hips saunter away. He went back to his work, determined to buckle down and get somethings done before he ate lunch. He contemplated home cooked food while he filled out the forms he was working on, and had just decided to go for it fifteen minutes later when he was disturbed again.

"They want me to stay here. Are you kidding me?" Eva said as she collapsed in a chair in front of his desk. He worked hard at concealing his annoyance.

"Well, you are a witness under protection you know."

"Yeah, but do I have to stay here? I can't even be in an apartment nearby? I can put you guys on speed dial, as if 9-1-1 isn't easy enough."

"Safest place." Eva watched as he picked up his pen and went back to work.

"I think that Horne lady just wants to pick my brain more."

"You don't like Mel-I mean-Agent Horne?" He said, noting the tone of Eva's voice. He wasn't surprised when she picked up on his slip up.

"What's not to like about her?" Eva said. "I mean, she's always so polished and perfect. Like she's from a glossy magazine or something." Steven laughed.

"I like her."

"Well of course you do. Men are like dogs in heat twenty four, seven." He grinned.

"You got us pegged down alright."

"You've got two strikes against you. Being two kinds of pigs." He looked up with a smirk.

"Thanks. At least I won't be confused as to whether or not you're interested." She rolled her eyes.

"Of course I'm not interested. Say, you want to spring for lunch?"

"Now why would I do that?"

"I'm hungry and like you said, I'm a witness under protection. I need someone to protect me while I get food."

"You're kidding me right?"

"I'll report you to Roberts."

"Alright, alright, Christ."

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Ten minutes later they were at a cafe near the Gotham City Police Headquarters. Eva's hands were warmed by a cup of coffee. "Your police joe tastes like crap. Just thought I'd tell you." Never one to mince words, he thoughts.

"How you've tasted crap, I don't want to know, butyou're right about it being bad," he said, pouring creamed into his mug of coffee. A few minutes later, her salad arrived and then his burger. They began to eat. They were silent for a while, each content with their meal before Steven broke the silence. He'd had this question in the back of his mind for a while now, but couldn't come up with or find an answer. He wanted to better understand Michael Vitale and the family he came from. "Eva," she looked up at him, "I've been wondering something. Why did you stay with Michael after all that he put you through? You could have gone to a shelter or to a precinct building. You didn't have any relatives you could have stayed with?" She shook her head.

"I never left him because he threatened he'd hurt me if I did. He was Michael Vitale, he's pretty powerful. You may not want to hear it, but I know he had members of the police in his pocket."

"Wouldn't surprise me."

"He was a charming person, really. He promised he he'd take care of me, something few people had done before, and he did for a while. To answer part of your question, most of my family is dead. There are a few living back in the old country, I guess you could call it. My parents died when I was young. I lived in foster homes for a while. One family decided to make an effort and it worked for as long as it could. I ran the streets in a few of the gangs. Eventually I got into Gotham University and majored in Computer Science. I met Michael after I graduated." She left out that she'd given away her graduation tickets, as no one had been there to come, and how she'd slogged to pay for the schooling. He didn't need to know all that. "So how can I not stay in the police building?"

"You don't have many options." He said, munching on some french fries. His mind filed away what she'd just said for later review and analysis.

"Lay it out for me."

"Well, you could get house protection, assuming the FBI is okay wiht that. It'd be both GCPD and FBI people. It's a stretch though. Why do you want that? The headquarters is your best bet really."

"I just said that the Vitale's had cops in their pockets. They could try something when no one's looking."

"Well, you did testify that they had cops. I think we could pull it off. Keep it on a need toknow basis." She nodded. He was about to speak again when Horn appeared. Steven could tell by the look on Eva's face and he'd reached for his gun, thinking it to be a former acquiantance, bent on harming the woman. He'd turned around and saw Horne and relaxed. What was Eva's problem with Melanie? It didn't make sense.

"I see you found time for lunch." Horne said. Steven nodded. Horn sat down next to him and ignroed Eva's pointed look. As a waitress came by, Melanie ordered a cup of coffee. The FBI agent looked around and then back at Steven. "So, I'm looking forward to the trial."

"When do we head to court?"

"They want tokeep it under wraps, but we're planning on indicting them after Michael's funeral next week." Steven nodded and Eva averted her eyes. A part of her wanted to go the funeral. She'd been dependent on Michael for a long time, it was hard to break that. She was responsible for his death after all. Horne and Santieri didn't notice her silence, falling into a talk about police work or something. Eva was confronted by the image of a woman who would suit Steven perfectly. She laughed to herself. Maybe he needed to broaden his horizons. She shrugged. It wasn't her problem. Her attention was brought back to Steven and Melani when Horne asked her a question.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"I asked if everything was comfortable with where you're staying." Eva saw Steven's face and smiled sweetly.

"Not so great."

"Oh?" Horne said as Santieri grimaced.

"I don't see why I have to stay in the headquarters. It's very easy to get an apartment and I have no problems with being under house arrest or whatever during the trial." Steven could hear the scorn behind the "whatever". She smiled at Steven. "I brought it up to Sergeant Santieri here, but he wasn't too helpful." Horne gave her a mollifying smile though it was obvious she didn't care where Eva stayed.

"I'm sure I can speak to Commissioner Roberts for you."

"I'd appreciate that a lot."

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Santieri walked into the Office level of the headquarters at 250 Gotham Way five hours later. He'd been on patrol and had worked out a fender bender, an attempted grand theft auto complete with absolutely fun car chase, and a few drug traffickers that had resisted arrest. He collapsed into the chair behind his desk. Hs head hit the desk in front of him. In the past twenty four hours, he'd been on patrol a total of fourteen hours, and had been in the office for another four. He'd barely slept the night before, since he'd been doing pretty much the same thing for the past week, since he'd found Eva.

God, he was tired. It was after hours, most of the people in the offices had left for the day. He was about to reach beautiful sleep when long, soft, fingers settled on his shoulders and dug in, kneading flesh like dough. His muscles screamed in pain and sighed in relief at the same time. He allowed it to continue for awhile, but he knew it had to stop. He didn't even know who was doing it. He lifted his head and turned.

Eva smiled down at him. "Relax, Sheriff, it's just me." She skimmed her hands out and got his leather jacket off. Her fingers went back to work.

"You don't need to do this." He managed, praying she never stopped. She chuckled.

"And I bet you're hoping I don't stop."

"Yes, ma'am." She slid her fingers downward and lightly tickled him. "You kno, I think its a crime to tickle a tired, overworked person."

"You gonna arrest me?" She said witih an unseen smile.

"First thing in the morning. Sentence can be up to a hundred years and I'll find an unsympathetic judge."

"Oh my." She said.

"You should be scared." He said. She slowly wound the massage down and then sat across from him. He looked really tired, she thought, and wanted to help.

"You want to talk about it?" She said, referring to his day.

"I already have to do that with a shrink and I hate doing it."

"You go to a psychiatrist?" She said in disbelief.

"Cops have to."

"Oh." She said. She'd thought he went outside of work. Rising, Steven went out of the room and returned with two cups of coffee. he set one down in front of her. "So, tell me about yourself then. About your family."

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:54 pm

2007

Cassie's BMW slid past the main gate to Wayne Manor. She still had two miles to go before reaching the actual house. Her fingers tapped intime to the drum beat of "Cake". She'd met Lloyd Banks once. That had been a crazy party at the Big House in Connecticut. After 50's verse ended, she'd reached the huge mansion. She decided that Wayne Manor put the Big House to shame, as she exited the car. Walking up the steps, she rang the doorbell and waited.

Winston was the butler, but there were other servants at the house. All knew her, because of her parents, so when Mr. Bradbury opened the door, there was a smile on his face. "Cassandra, great to see you! You barely come around anymore." He cuahgt her up in a tight hug. He was close to twenty years her senior. She smiled at him.

"Hey, Rich. Where can I find Isaiah?"

"Garden on the west wing. Can I get you anything?" She shook her head.

"I ate before coming." He nodded.

When she found Isaiah at the west wing garden, she had to work hard at holding a laugh back. Isaiah Muir, playboy, billionaire, childhood friend, was on his hands and knees, weeding and planting. Winston was right next to him and they were hard at work on a patch of flowers. Isaiah was complaining loudly.

"How the hell did you manage to rope me into this?"

"I appealed to your small but generous higher nature. And because you couldn't beat me at poker."

"You cheated."

"That is an insult, Master Isaiah, one that I will let slide because of how well you're weeding." Isaiah grumbled and then rocked back on his haunches, turning, as Cassie launched into a quick rendition of "Can't you feel the love tonight."

"No, I can't feel the love tonight." Isaiah said as he rose and walked towards her. Memories of their last meeting flashed in both of their minds, but they said nothing, both unconsciously deciding not to bring it up under any circumstances.

"Stay away from me." She said.

"Why?" He said, wary.

"Uh, your hands are covered in dirt, germs, earthworm poopie. Stay away from me Isaiah Muir." She said. This of course, only encouraged him and he darted forward as she moved backwards. The dirt covered hands captured her waist and she let out a shriek. "This is a brand new white shirt. Don't you have courtesy and common sense?!"

"None whatsoever." She rolled her eyes and stepped out of the embrace, brushing at dirt. "Why are you here?"

"Fourth album and then the greatest hits, remember?"

"So, you're really quitting?"

"I'm made my money, I've enjoyed my run. It's time for something new."

"When do you hit the studio?"

"Tommorow. Swizzie is coming by."

"Yeah. Did I see Timbo on that list?>" She nodded.

"And Stargate. I'm psyched. I've never worked with Stargate before. Just wanted to drop in cause life is going to get hectic after this." He nodded. She'd finished brushing at the dirt and looked up. "And I need some of Winston's peanut butter chocolate chip cookies."

"They're all mine." Both were defensive of Winston's cookies, something that had happened since the first time they'd tasted them years ago.

"There is enough to go around." Winston said.

"Nonsense. Besides, its my money that went into the cookies. Who's side are you on anyway?" Isaiah asked.

"Hand them over, and no one gets hurt." She said, dropping into a kung fu stance. He rolled his eyes. She'd been his sparring partner for a long time, years. But the seven years that he'd been away from her, he'd learned much more and could easily take her. If this was a real sparring fight. He doubted she'd actually do anything.

"Please. I could take you easil-" He never finished the sentence as she was already jumping at him. Winston hid a smile. All he knew was that their children, and he'd bet money that they would have children down the road, those children would be trained killers and drive him crazy. He was already looking forward to it. He watched as Isaiah caught one of Cassie's kicks and lifted her up in the air. She twisted and wrapped her legs around his waist, fists connecting with his head. She dropped to the ground and grinned up at him.

"You're still decent."

"I just don't want to hit a girl."

"Pffft." She said, rising. "Now give me my cookies."

Ten minutes later, Cassie was dunkiing a cookie in a tall glass of milk. She gave Isaiah her evil eye and smiled victoriously as Winston apckaged easily half of the cookies into a big white box. He grimaced at the sight. "I always win, dear heart."

"So you think."

"Oh?"

"I can always have Winston make more. Like tommorow."

"That's not the point."

"And what is?"

"If you don't already know then I can't tell you." He laughed and she rose, depositing her glass and plate in the sink She turned and gave Winston a peck on the cheek as she grabbed her box. Then she lightly punched Isaiah. "Alright guys, it's been fun, but I have to head out." Isaiah rose and followed her.

"I'll see you out." he watched her slide behind the wheel of her midnight blue BMW. She rolled down the window and pulled out a pair of Cartier sunglasses. She fixed the glasses on her face and smiled up at him.

"See you later, Isaiah."

"Take care, Cassie." She headed around the curve and went down the driveway. That hadn't been so bad. The tension had been there, thick, but neither had tried to breach it. Thank God for that. She given up on him actually acting on the feelings she knew she had. She shook her head as she past the gate again.

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:16 pm

2008

With a twist of the key, the door opened and Eva stepped over the threshold, into the apartment. She looked the room over and smiled. "I like it." She said. "It's nice, roomy." She added and walked through the remaining rooms before coming back to the doorway with a smile for the man standing there with an impatient look on his face. "I like it." She repeated. “This works.”

"I'm so glad you're pleased." Steven said. He was carrying her belongings in a few suitcases. He stepped in and headed to the master bedroom. He deposited the suitcases and stepped back into the living room area. He looked over at the officer with him in the apartment. "Set up shop outside, Jake." The officer nodded quickly and left, grabbing the walkie talkie from his belt and issuing orders into it. There would be three plainsclothes outside and the FBI would handle the rest inside. That was the set up that they were going to use.

Roughly five minutes later, agents stepped inside, lead by Horne. The woman had a warm smile for Steven. She had tickets to a Gotham House opera tonight and she'd invited him, strictly as a coworker. The agents entered the other rooms and began to set up their equipment. They'd be watching all the communications of the building and had tapped into the building's security cameras, which was basically a view of the lobby and the other entry/exit points. "You all look like you have everything under control here," Horne said. The blonde nodded at a Junior agent. "You're in charge here Craners. I expect you to keep in touch. I'll see you tonight, Steven." He nodded as she left.

House later, Eva lay on her bed in the master bedroom, tossing a baseball up into the air and catching it in a glove. Steven walked around the bedroom, making sure everything was good. There were no windows large enough for an assailant to enter through, that was good. He checked his watch. It was almost time for him to leave. He didn't want to leave without making sure that Eva was fully situated. The group had eaten dinner a little while ago and after the pizza, which had been pretty good, Eva had promised that if they got groceries, she'd cook for them. All the men knew the value of a good home cooked meal and plans had been made to head to a grocery store in the morning.

Steven wasn't one of the people assigned as a plainsclothes but he was going to drop in from time to time when he could. Finished in the bedroom, he headed towards the door to the living room. Eva had been silent while he worked, and the only noise had been the rhythm of the baseball hitting the tough leather of the glove. "So, you're staying, right?" He turned and saw Eva toss the ball up in the air once more. He shook his head, knowing that she was going to be upset with this development. He didn’t see any obvious advantage to staying here instead of going to the opera. Maybe Eva was better company than Horne, but with Horne he knew the woman was interested in him and was possibly willing to get naked.

That always tipped scales. Hell, it had started wars. So with a shrug and a deep breath he answered Eva’s question.

"Um, no."

"What do you mean, 'Um, no,'?" She asked, obviously surprised at this revelation. She didn’t stop tossing the ball though and he figured she’d get over it quickly. They were barely friends, really.

"I wasn't assigned to house protection. I'm still on the streets. I need to help with the arrest of the Vitale family members." He said. He was, in all honesty, one of the better shots of the police force, and the arrest was going to get violent at some point, he knew that already. Roberts was showing forethought in making sure that Steven was assigned to arrest.

"I want you here. I don't know any of these people." He could hear the distress and unhappiness in her voice, even if he could see her face.

"All the police here are trustworthy. I picked them myself, Eva. You don’t have anything to worry about, I promise."

"I still want you here. Can't you just stay tonight at least?"

"Sorry, I've got plans."

"What plans?" He knew she was going to say something. It was obvious that she'd pretended not to hear that exchange between himself and Horne, clearly because she had some sympathy for him and hadn’t wanted to embarrass him with laughing out loud in front of his fellow officers. But now they were alone. Which meant she could be vicious and mean and cruel. He faced the firing squad stoically.

"I'm going to the opera with Agent Horne." Eva caught the ball and then started laughing. "Strictly as a coworker." He added, raising his voice over the laughter." Eva clutched her sides and lifted her knees to her stomach, trying, unsuccessfully to hold back the laughter. The white baseball fell out of her glove and rolled towards Steven who picked it up. "What's so damned funny about it?" He said, inspecting the ball for a moment before looking back at her.

"Nothing. Nothing at all. I just..." She trailed off, laughing again. "It’s just that, well, I dunno it's just weird." He lifted an eyebrow quizzically that got her laughing harder.

"Weird?” He said, beginning to get confused.

"Yeah. I guess when you two marry and have kids, I'll be so happy that I was able to bring you two together. I will expect to be invited to the wedding. And to have your first born named after me. Though if it’s a boy, you don’t have to do to bother. I wouldn’t want him to be traumatized with having a girl’s name. “ He rolled his eyes.

"I’m sure we’ll be sure to thank you at our fiftieth wedding anniversary. One strictly coworker opera doesn't mean I'm getting married to her." Eva nodded.

"But you’re beginning to journey down the road that leads away from bachelorship and towards the holy bonds of matrimony, Sheriff. " He laughed. He’d forgotten when she’d started using the “Sherriff” nickname, but it was rather funny and he honestly didn’t care, so he’d let it slide.

"You should become a stand up comic. I could see you now on Comedy Central. You’d be perfect, I swear. I’m already a fan, I can tell you that." He said, tossing the baseball from hand to hand.

"Nah. The people don't deserve my funniness." She replied with an air of haughtiness that made him smile.

"Alright, I've got to go." He said and tossed her the ball. She caught it in the glove and fixed him with a look.

"Really? Can't you stay? It’s just a stupid opera."

"It’s called appreciation of culture." He replied with a grin. That got her to roll her eyes at him.

"No, its called 'I want to get in her pants'. Thought I can’t blame you. She does look like a model from a magazine.” Of course, she’d been told by a someone that she looked like a goddess that people sacrificed virgins to, but he’d been drunk and intelligent enough to come up with a comment like that. It had been during her bartending days. But Officer Santieri didn’t need to know that. Let him go after his blonde bombshell if he wanted. She wasn’t interested in him, more interested in the protection he could give her.

"It’s called that too." He said and got his hand on the door knob. "Sleep tight. I'll drop by tomorrow if I can." She nodded.

"Remember, if it gets too painful, you can always bail and come back here. Jake was saying something about a poker game." He smirked and left. She just smiled and resumed throwing the baseball. They had yet to install cable or internet, so for the first couple of days she would have nothing to do. She wasn’t allowed to use the FBI wireless, but she honestly didn’t care. She did care about what was going on between Horne and Steven. She didn’t trust that FBI agent. For some reason she just didn’t like her. She supposed that the dislike had more to do with her designs on Steven. She knew that Santieri could do better. Eva smiled, figuring that he’d come to his senses after that horrible opera. Once he’d told her what the name of it was, she’d known. She’d seen it before, with Michael and she’d hated it.

She did know though, that a man would crawl over shards of glass if he thought a naked and willing woman was waiting for him at the end of it. And a beer. So she figured that Santieri would suffer in silence.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

"I've been dying to see this opera for a long time." Horne said as they sat in his car during the drive. He’d gotten home and showered and all before heading out to her hotel. She’d given him the address of the Hilton where the FBI had set her up and he’d been there promptly at eight. She’d come down a good half an hour later, but he’d been wise enough not to say anything. He knew how women could be with getting ready for something, especially something where they had to dress up.

"It’s supposed to have gotten great reviews and all." Steven replied, thankful that he’d been able to look up the synopsis and what not online. Santieri was sure that this was going to be pretty boring. Also, he knew next to nothing about opera in general and felt that he should do a little bit of reading before he’d gone to pick up Melanie. He knew he would probably fall asleep during this thing, but didn’t care too much right now. He sat behind the wheel of his car, one of the new model Kia’s. Horne sat next to him and he was doing his best to keep his mind on the conversation and off her dress.

The champagne colored dress was beautiful and he knew what he’d rather be doing instead of going to the opera. She had a thin wrap around her shoulders, and her blonde hair usually up in a ponytail was loose over her shoulders. The silk evening dress was ten or twelve shades darker than her hair, a good contrast, at least to him. Melanie wore a thin gold necklace with a single gold teardrop at her neck. Caught in the teardrop was a single, maybe three, four karat diamond. She was looking straight ahead as they drove through the streets of Gotham.

His fingers drummed the wheel of the car, in tune with the light R&B he had on. Mary J. Blige crooned to them through the speakers about love and heartbreak as he navigated through evening Gotham traffic. He and Horne had been talking all the while, and were now discussing the current state of affairs in Gotham. “I don’t know how you all manage to keep bringing the crime rate down. The money problems have only started to turn around. I know Isaiah Muir assuming control of Wayne Enterprises and the rest of that super trust had to help a great deal.”

”Yeah. When he took over some time back, he single handedly halted Gotham’s spiral downwards and initiated the climb back up. You got to remember that Wayne Enterprises was responsible for a huge amount of business and expenditure in the city, in addition to being one of the, if not the, major employer in the city. I have to hand it to him. He’s a genius. Muir’s also helped us out as well. He personally donated a huge sum of money to the GCPD. I think it was over five million. All that money helped update a lot of the training areas which was really needed.” Her arm stretched out and pointed across his field of vision. His eyes rested on the perfectly manicured nails for a second before looking at where she was pointing.

”Make a left here.”

“Sure thing.” He replied easily.

”So, have you ever considered stepping up?” She asked. He looked at her for a moment, confused about what she’d said.

”What do you mean?”

”I’m talking about joining the FBI or the CIA. You’ve got the skills, Steven, I’ve seen your file.” He looked at her, wondering why she had been looking at his file. Then he realized that she would have had to, considering he was working the Vitale case. They had to be sure there was no leak.

“I’ve considered it. The pay upgrade would be good, yeah, but I don’t know. I’ve got my mother to think of.” Horne nodded.

“She’s here, in Gotham, right?” He nodded. He didn’t live that far from his mother and he visited her at least once every two days, just to make sure that everything was okay. She was starting to get old and he knew that things were starting to leave her mind. He remembered how Eva had listened to him talk about his mother that night in the office with rapt attention. He’d continued onwards about the rest of his family and she’d listened with all ears. She’d been interested in his life story as un amazing as he’d always thought it was, and that in itself had been rather flattering. He made the turn as he spoke.

“Yeah. My family’s Gotham born and bred. That’s probably another reason why I don’t want to join.” He said, with a shrug. To him there was no greater city that Gotham. New York wasn’t anything special and neither was Metropolis. After all, Gotham had been the home of the greatest super hero of all time, hands down, no questions asked, I will shoot you if you disagree. Batman could have beaten the life out of anyone that Metropolis or New York or any other city could have spewed forth. Superman was nothing compared to the Dark Knight. Anyone who didn’t believe that needed to have their head examined.

”We do have a Gotham office, you know.” She said with a grin.

”The possibility still remains that I could be transferred.” He replied.

”That’s true.” The lights of the opera house could be seen now. He brought the car to the parking garage and entered after paying for a parking spot. After they reached their spot, Steven reversed and got them between the white lines without incident. He stepped out of the car, and came around the corner, but Horne was already out of the car. In her high heels, she was his height. She checked her cell phone before depositing it in the gold evening purse she had with her. Then she looked up and him and she smiled. “You ready?” She asked.

”Of course.” He offered his arm with a grin. She took it with a smirk and they walked towards the opera house together.

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Fri May 02, 2008 9:58 am

2008

“You slept with her, didn’t you?” Steven rolled his eyes at Eva’s accusation. She stood in the kitchen of the apartment, cooking. Steven wasn’t sure what exactly she was making, but he did know it smelled heavenly. He’d never vocalize it, but her Spanish food smelled better than his mother’s cooking. Obviously, he’d been reared on Italian food, so it would stay with him, but he was willing to let it be tied for the best food out there. He was leaning against the doorframe to the kitchen, though it was just an entrance made in the wall, there was no actual door. He went over to one of the pots and sniffed. She smacked his hand away as he grabbed a spoon and reached for a taste.

“What makes you say that?”

“You’re a man, and I know men.” He rolled his eyes again.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, Steven Santieri. You do want lunch, don’t you?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“So you slept with her.” Eva said again. He groaned. He was getting tired of her saying that. It was the fifth time since he’d come to the apartment nearly half an hour ago. He did her the courtesy of dropping in almost every day for at least an hour or two and she repaid him with baseless accusations. Though the food was worth it.

“Alright, I slept with her, Christ, are you happy?” He nearly reflexively ducked. His mother would have hit him if she heard him taking the Lord’s name in vain, and if Eva hadn’t been shocked by his words, she probably would have herself. She looked at him, her hands hovering over a pot of shredded beef. She’d ceased all movements and he paused. “What?”

“Y-You actually slept with her? I thought you were joking. I mean…I was just kidding when I said that. I was just trying to annoy you. I didn’t think you actually….”

“Oh.”

“You weren’t, I take it. Joking, I mean.”

“No. It just sort of happened after the opera. I didn’t mean for it really, the opera just got us in a mood I guess.”

“I’m sure it did. You don’t have to explain anything to me.” S he said, as she began heaping yellow rice onto large platters for herself and the FBI and the police officers. She’d prepared a few different entrees and was going to let the boys take their pick. Considering her past, she found it weird to be cooking for a bunch of police officers. Santieri was silent as she passed him in the tight space of the doorway.

He turned to watch her as she set out cutlery for lunch. She wore blue jeans with a white t-shirt, a purple dress shirt over that, unbuttoned. Her hair was down and his fingertips itched to touch, a feeling that surprised him and scared him. He had a feeling though that her hair would silkily smooth and soft. The jeans hugged her like spray paint, shaping her curves in excruciatingly painful detail. Always after sex, Steven found himself even more aware of female qualities and attributes.

But he knew who and when he could touch. Eva was not on that list, not ever. She was a witness under his protection. It was his job to keep her safe, not to fantasize about how amazing her rear end looked, or how good it would feel to have those long legs of hers wrapped around his waist. He looked away for a moment but was helpless, turning back towards her. God damnit, did she have to be so beautiful? He hated clichés, and he was in one right now. The seductive witness that the police detective needs to protect and not take to bed.

Unlike film noir, this was real life and he wanted to grab her, haul her over his shoulder and walk to her bedroom. He had a feeling half the guys on the team felt the same way every day. And she cooked for them without complaining about it at all. Downright sexy, probably amazing in bed, and willing to cater to your needs? Steven needed to go to Jared’s. Or he had find out how every kiss begins with Kay.

Eva brushed some hair out of her eyes and turned, not knowing what the action had done to Steven’s system. She stopped when she saw the look in his eyes. There was something there; she couldn’t put her finger on it. Well, she recognized the obvious signs of lust. There was nothing wrong with that. Lust was healthy, and she’d felt that Steven was a prime specimen of the male gender. Of course, she wasn’t interested in him though. He was a police officer, a symbol of everything she’d fought against for a very long chunk of her life, the system. But if she took that away from him, she would have jumped him a while back. Though it was impossible to separate Steven from being a police officer, something that she’d learned early on.

Still, there was something else there, besides the lust. She brushed past him and her stomach flipped at the brief, but electric touch. There were a few voices that could be heard, as the officers entered the dining area. It jolted her back into her role as a feeder of the police force. Moving swiftly, she handed him a plate of steamed vegetables.

“Eva, look I-“

“You can’t take a plate of vegetables out there, is that it?” She asked a challenging look in her eyes. He knew better than to voice what he was thinking. She was definitely steamed about him and Horne. He just nodded in response and stepped outside, setting the dish on the large, round, wooden table. He nodded to the people he knew and turned as Melanie stepped into the room. She wore a business suit like she always did to work, this one a dark green that matched her eyes. The two shared an awkward smile. The morning after hadn’t been weird, but the tension had later set in, after he’d left her hotel room.

Horne fixed a smile on her face as Eva stepped into the dining area. The two women looked at each other with dispassion. Eva had buttoned up the shirt, but had rolled the sleeves up. “Eva, everything looks so good. I’m so glad you found something to do. Nothing like a home cooked meal.” Eva’s eyes narrowed imperceptibly. It’s not for you, bitch. She caught the look in Steven’s eyes and after fixing him with a withering look, turned away. Melanie didn’t notice and smiled at Steven. “Steven, I need to speak with you in private.” He nodded and began to walk over to the foyer, following Melanie.

“Oh,” Eva called out lightly. The others were in the kitchen grabbing plates, it was just the three of them in the room. “The food will get cold.” She was speaking directly to Steven. “So make sure you come back quickly.” He winced as he left the room. She was pissed off at him. When he got out into the foyer, Horne turned to him.

“I just wanted to talk about…you know.”

“Yeah.”

“I…I really liked it. It was the best I’ve had in a long time, a very long time. I just want to avoid any awkwardness or anything.” Melanie said. “And I was wondering when you were free again. Maybe dinner or something.” He smiled.

“I’m sure we can figure something out.” He said, sliding a hand to the small of her back. He decided then and there that what he did with Agent Horne was none of Eva’s business and she had no right to make him feel guilty for it. Melanie smiled, sliding her arms around his neck. They kissed.

Eva noticed the easy smiles on both of their faces when they got back inside. A wave of sadness overcame her. She got everyone seated and the mean began.

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Post by Mir » Tue May 13, 2008 10:16 am

2008

“We all clear?” There was a response through the walkie talkie. “Alright. Let’s get a move on.” The three cars responded by joining up with the rest of the traffic on the street. The first car was an old Dodge Neon, a faded forest green. Rust showed through in a few spots, and one of the tires was missing a hubcap. The next car was a white Ford Taurus. Like the Neon before it, one could tell from a quick glance that it had been heavily used in its day. Last but not least was a Buick that had seen a few years, but wasn’t as old as the previous two.

Steven Santieri sat back in the passenger side back row of the Taurus. Eva was next to him. They were headed for the courthouse. It was the first day of the trial and Eva was a primary witness in the prosecution’s case. Steven was willing to guess that the lawyer, whose name he didn’t know yet, wasn’t going to call Eva out onto the stand just yet. There was no need for him to use one of his biggest weapons in the case in the first few days, let alone the first few weeks. This trial was going to drag on, and probably get appealed more than a just a handful of times.

The three cars blended in well with the Gotham traffic and they made their way from Eva’s apartment to the courthouse. She sat next to him, unusually quiet. She wasn’t really speaking to him anyway, but this was even more silent than usual. Ever since she’d found out that he and Horne had slept together and were considering doing it again, his relationship with her had shifted dramatically. He couldn’t say that she was jealous, because she wasn’t acting that way, but she did have some thoughts on the whole subject.

He was considering just forcing her to tell him what was going on, to clear the air, but he knew that wouldn’t get him far. He was about to speak, just for some idle talk, when she did and stopped him from speaking. “How many of the family members are going to be there?” He stopped and thought about her question for a few moments before answering. Mentally counting, he soon came up with her answer.

“I’d say all of Michael’s immediate family and some of the Capos.”

“His mother?”

“Oh yeah. She’ll probably be in the seats with the rest of the audience.” She nodded slowly. Despite the fact that she’d had to protect herself, she felt bad about having killed Michael. No mother deserved to have her son taken from her, especially not like that. No matter what he’d done in his life.

“You’ll be there, right?” She said, turning to him, a look of urgency in her eyes. Her hand had suddenly grabbed his tightly.

“Yeah, I’ll be there.”

“In the courtroom, not outside, talking with your police buddies or Horne?”

“Eva, I promise you, I’ll be in the courtroom.”

“Swear to me.” She stopped for a second thinking. “Swear on the Virgin Mary.” He closed his eyes. That meant he had to do whatever he said he was going to do, for fear of going to hell. Why did they both have to be Catholics and she had to know that?

“I swear on the Virgin Mary.” He said. She nodded and seemed to relax, if only for a moment.

“We’re going to need more protection on the ride back. Don Francesco will probably have someone try to follow us to figure out where you guys have me staying and-“

“Eva,” Steven replied patiently, because he knew how threatened witnesses could get, “I think I know how to do my job.” She paused.

“I know. I’m sorry, I’m just….I’m scared.” He nodded and pulled her into his arms. She was a bundle of nerves alright. A soft bundle of nerves that fit perfectly in his hold. Rodriguez wore a simple black business suit kind of thing, with a skirt that ended an inch or so above her knees. It was pinstriped and he couldn’t fathom how it didn’t matter what she was wearing, she still looked gorgeous in it. He knew he wasn’t going to be paying attention to the trial when she was on the stand. He was just going to be staring.

Drooling even. Snap out of it, Steven, he told himself. Every time he got like this, he just had to remind himself of their positions in the game of life. She was a witness he had to protect. Nothing more. He couldn’t let that happen, because then he’d either get too protective, or he’d get sloppy. Probably get them both killed. Wouldn’t that be a good ending to the show?

Still, he thought, his right hand still in hers and clenched close to her tummy, his left hand on her left thigh close to her knee, he could dream couldn’t he? That’s what got him through the day, daydreaming about Eva. It was funny. He didn’t even have any real feelings for Horne. She was there and he was there and they were doing what normal adults did with a physical attraction that both parties had been open to. But he knew it probably wouldn’t develop into anything more.

Yet every time he looked into Eva’s two pools of sinfully brown chocolate that she called her eyes, he wanted her. So badly. He barely noticed when the car stopped. They were at the courthouse. She turned in his arms, her elbow on his leg balancing her. “Thanks, Sheriff. Just…make sure I don’t die.” She said, trying for levity.

“Absolutely. Just think, what the hell would the fellas and me do for food if you were gone?” She smiled, and impulsively kissed him on the cheek. He quickly let her go before he grabbed her for more and opened the door, her perfume sending shockwaves through his system.

He saw the blind form of Justice and smirked. This would be an interesting trial.

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Post by Mir » Sat May 17, 2008 9:50 pm

2007

Isaiah sat in front of a row of supercomputers. He sat behind them really, a pencil in his mouth as he fiddled with the plugs that went into the backs of the powerful array of computers. Connected to Wayne Enterprises’ intranet and the internet, the computers were the most advanced and safest the world had never seen. He’d taken control of them himself earlier that day, moving them from a warehouse under the pretext of warehouse inventory problems and then robbing the truck himself. Yes, he’d technically stolen from his own company. But he couldn’t afford anyone being able to trace anything related to Batman back to Wayne Enterprises and then to him.

He’d taken all the information from Bruce’s computers and put them into these new ones. He also created a new set of files for every single person in the database that was a super or a mutant. If he was coming out as the new Batman, then it was only reasonable that there would be a new Iron Man, or Green Lantern for example. That meant that Isaiah had to be ready for anything. He wasn’t sure what weaknesses and strengths the new versions of the old guard would have, and if there was a difference why they had taken the same name. But he needed to have safeties set in case something did happen.

There would be new heroes and new villains as well. Fall backs had to be created for these newcomers as well. Muir finished switching two of the plugs and then leaned back in the chair. Everything looked good. Rising from the chair, he set his hand on its back and moved it and himself back towards his huge console control. Large monitors allowed him to look through a wide array of information at once. He pressed a few buttons on the different keyboards and the monitors displayed the Bat logo as the massive computers booted up.

Winston stood a few feet away from the control system and watched as after a few moments, the WayneTech OS Cougar appeared on the screen, fully functional. A woman’s voice was broadcast through the Batcave, “Connection established to Wayne Tower. Connection to the internet and intranet at one hundred percent.” He paused for a moment before speaking.

“Was…was that Mademoiselle Simmons’ voice, Master Isaiah?”

“Yes, Winston, that was Cassie.”

“Ah.”

“You have something to tell me, I’m guessing?”

“And there are the brilliant skills of deduction that make you Bruce Wayne’s rightful heir.”

“Usually you abstain from humor after eleven at night. Why so chipper?”

“I am so chipper because it is around one thirty in the afternoon in Tokyo, and I received word that your shipments have gone through. I just got off the phone with the last of the companies.” Isaiah nodded. He’d gone through all of Wayne’s Batsuits, the entire process taking him well over two days, and had made changes here and there, mainly to the design due to the differences that his physique shared with Wayne’s.

A few weeks into his work, he’d uncovered an insanely useful find. Bruce Wayne had set up contingency plans for everything. One had been his own death. He’d set aside all the information on his time as Batman into a single book and had hidden it in the library in the actual Manor. He’d known that someone would eventually take ownership of the house and that there was a possibility that the person would feel as he did about crime.

So he created something akin to the infamous War Journals of the Punisher. Isaiah had only gotten through the first few sections. However, what he’d learned was already beginning to shape his mind and help him make the final jump from a good detective and crime fighter to becoming the one thing that criminals feared more than anything else.

The Batman.

He’d already been able to figure out much of what Wayne had done in the beginning, and the book had only confirmed that. He was next going to begin work on designing a new series of Batarangs as well as the other tools of the trade that would make up the compartments of his utility belt. He’d also begun to look at different designs on the internet of cars that he could use and turn into his Batmobile.

He had the old original Batmobile, which Bruce had lovingly called the Tumbler in the book. He also had all of the later versions of the Batmobile, as well as the Batboats and Batplanes. He was going to be conducting upgrades to all of them, but he was going to start with the one that he would use the most, the Batmobile.

What he’d found to be the most interesting part of Bruce’s book so far, was how Bruce had continually stressed to avoid entangling alliances with other heroes. He’d skimmed through the rest of the book and everywhere, Bruce had insisted that the reader avoid alliances and avoid groups. Groups, he said, were the downfall of the crime fighter and Isaiah had to agree with him. He knew that people would be hard pressed to get him into a crime fighting group. You would never see him with the Avengers or the Justice League.

It just didn’t make sense to Isaiah.

He rose from his position at the computer console. The test was complete and everything was running perfectly. He’d test out some of the programs by hacking into Langley later. For now, he had some work to do on the Tumbler. He had the blueprints sent to a tablet PC that he held in his hand as he walked towards the garage. “So, when will the shipments be in?”

“I believe the last one should be in by the end of next week, Master Isaiah.”

“End of next week? Good. I should have work on the Tumbler finished by then. Winston, I don’t think I’ll need anything more from you tonight. You can go to bed if you’d like.”

“Very well, Master Isaiah.” He turned to leave.

“Oh wait, could you bring me some Pepsi and a sandwich before you go to sleep, Winston?”

“What kind of sandwich would you like, Master Isaiah?”

“The usual. Turkey, Swiss, ketchup, mustard, lettuce. Whole wheat.”

“Of course, Master Isaiah, I’ll be right back.”

“Thanks, Winston.” He heard Winston’s footsteps recede into the distance as he got to work on the Tumbler, sliding under it, tools in hand.

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Post by Mir » Tue May 27, 2008 7:44 pm

Steven stepped out of the courthouse, aviator shades on. He was at the side entrance, one of many that allowed access to the courthouse. He looked around quickly. They were at a service entrance and the cars were waiting. “I’ll drive.” He said, and took the keys from one of his fellow police officers. “You ride in the other cars. I’ll take Eva in this one.” The man nodded and Steven walked over to the car. He slid behind the wheel of the Taurus. Eva opened the passenger side door and got in. “You did good today, Sport.”

“What do you mean? I wasn’t called in to testify.”

“I know. But what I meant was, you didn’t go crazy and get all scared.” He said with a smile as he stuck the key in the ignition. She rolled her eyes.

“It was scary.” She said, being serious. He knew what she meant. He’d had to testify during cases in the past, and he didn’t like being in front of a lawyer too much. They made you feel like slime, even if you were right.

“I’m sure it was.” He said with a genuine smile this time. She smiled back at him and the temperature in the car jumped a few degrees.

“It’s made me hungry.” She said and it was his turn to roll his eyes.

“We’ll be back at the apartment soon.”

“Can’t we go to a restaurant or something? Even a McDonald’s or a Burger King? It’s the taxpayer’s money that’d pay for it, so technically my money, so I say we spend it wisely on our stomachs.”

“Where do you want to go?” He asked, considering the pros and cons of such a decision.

“How about you find a place? You have to know a good place in the area.” She said as they came to a stop light. She reached out and plucked his aviator shades off and put them on herself. He scowled at her, but she smiled back at him innocently.

“Yeah, I know a place we can go to. You like Greek food?” She nodded. He accelerated as the light changed. He was still surveying cars around them, making sure that there wasn’t anyone suspicious tailing them. He wouldn’t be able to relax until after they got back to the apartment and even then he wouldn’t be fully relaxed. Steven changed lanes and headed for the Greek place he knew.

On the way, the two of them discussed the trial, at least what had happened so far. The opening arguments from both sides had been rather compelling. The defense had painted their clients as hard working Americans who did what they had to do to survive in these hard and harsh times. Steven had very nearly felt sorry for them, but then he remembered the bruises that he’d seen on Eva, and the stories that he’d read from the transcripts of Thiam’s questioning and he’d condemned the fuckers to hell.

Just what their best boy as they’d put him had done to Eva alone had been enough for him to say that. She was a beautiful, precious woman who didn’t deserve any of that. Since he’d met her, Steven had become incredibly protective of her, and he’d found it hard to sit in the same room as the people who had allowed the abuse to continue, if not encouraged it through their actions raising Michael. Added on top of that the narcotics, embezzling, extortion and other rackets that they conducted, the damage they’d done to many others lives, he wanted to see some hard time given to the Vitale’s.

The government’s lawyers hadn’t been pushovers, despite the fact that the Vitale’s had some of the best money could buy. They’d told the jury that the Vitale’s were exactly what they’d been accused of being: soulless mobsters who killed and extorted from the people. The lawyers had praised the original idea of the mafia, to protect Italian farmers who needed help. But the idea behind the group had been lost to its misogyny and its abuse of the people. An abuse that had to stop.

Steven had seen the righteous rage on the faces of some of the jury members as the prosecutors had detailed only a few of the many crimes linked to the family. He had no doubt that once the jury had heard Eva’s testimony, it would pretty much nail the coffin shut. Her testimony wasn’t the most important piece of evidence, but it was up there. It was the most damning, not the most shocking. She was the glue that tied different murders and drug transfers, and all kinds of things together.

And right now she was hungry, so he had to get her food. He smiled to himself as they pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. He stepped out of the car. Walking around, he reached out and attempted to get his sunglasses back. Santieri was unsuccessful, and got a not too soft punch in the stomach for his efforts. The two of them walked into the restaurant. “What do you want?” He asked her after they were seated and the waiter came to take their orders.

“Whatever you’re having, I’m not picky.” Eva said in reply. He nodded. “I’m going to go use the little girl’s room.” She said. He nodded again and gave his attention back to the line. His mind replayed once more the events of the day. Nothing and no one had seemed out of place. There wasn’t anything as far as he could tell that lent itself towards someone being able to get past their security to get to Eva. He fished his wallet out of his pocket and opened it to get money out, as Eva exited the bathroom and walked over to him. “Lemme see your driver’s license.”

“Why?”

“Because, you probably had a bad photo moment and I want to see it.” Shrugging, he handed her the small plastic card. “Damnit.” He smiled. “Can’t you do anything the way I want you to?”

“Nope. Sorry.” She handed him back his driver’s license.

“Now you’re just pissing me off.”

“Anything to make you happy.” He replied as their waiter returned with their salad and feta cheese. Eva dug in and Steven finally allowed himself to relax.

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Post by Mir » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:56 pm

2007

Isaiah feinted to the left and his fist slammed into the side of the punching bag. Sweat poured down his forehead, but that didn’t stop him. He’d been training for more than a few hours already, and he still had a ways to go before he quit. Even then he was just going to be shifting to another aspect of his life as Batman. He threw another punch and then a third. He shifted, beginning to use elements of Brazilian jujitsu in his combat style. He dropped low to the ground and punched the bag in the lower part. He was about to throw a rising knee when he heard the door to the Batcave open.. Only Winston had the entrance code beside himself and Winston would only come inside if there as something important. He stopped and then turned.

“Yes, Winston?”

“Master Isaiah, the shipment of parts for the Batplane have arrived at the warehouse.”

“Good. When can we have them brought over?”

“Tomorrow, sir.” Winston said. Isaiah nodded. “If I may ask, Master Isaiah, when are you going to begin practicing with the suit on?”

“Soon, Winston. I want to finish setting up the contents of the utility belt and everything that is going to be on the suit’s person before I begin training with it.”

“What about when you begin work on the different suits?”

“I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” Winston nodded.

“Good night, Master Isaiah.”

“Good night, Winston.” He watched as his butler climbed up the steps towards the entrance to the cave. He turned back and looked at the bag. He threw another punch before, grabbing the bag twisting it. He had it stored against the wall, with a rod extended. The chain could swing forward and backward, but when twisted, it locked into place. Isaiah pushed the black bag back towards the wall. When it was stored, he turned and headed over to the garage. He pulled off the white t-shirt he wore, revealing the tank shirt underneath. It was graying and fraying and he liked it.

The Batpod was his current project. He looked at it with a smile. Bruce had put in quite a few nifty toys into the Batpod. He wasn’t going to tinker with it too much, just a few modifications here and there, mainly to the engine. The weapons readout he was going to keep the same. Isaiah walked over to the table that held all of his tools in a metal dish, all arranged in rows. He pressed a green button on a series of different buttons and levers. The lights on the whole area brightened. Then he flipped a switch.

There was a whirring noise as the new engine moved into view, held in the air by chains attached to the ceiling. He pressed another button when the engine was in place, and it was lowered. Isaiah moved over to the engine and got to work.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

In the morning, Isaiah sat reading the paper over a bowl of cereal. He still had three pancakes to go through, his customary allotment. He had the radio on, turned to 104.9, the urban/hip hop station of Gotham City. He was about to bring another spoonful to his mouth when the song changed and he heard “Showtime!” He always stopped for a Swizz Beatz song. But it wasn’t “Top Down” or “Money in the Bank”. It was a Swizzie production, but he heard Cassie on it. He kept listening until the hook came in.

As his childhood friend proclaimed how she had the club on lock and that the guy interested her needed to step his game up, he finished his cereal and started on the pancakes. He’d been crazy to think that he could have a relationship with Cassie. She was big time singer and model. If he was going to do what he was going to do, how could he afford to have the two of them attached together?

It would bring too many paparazzi. He had much more than enough, but with her, he’d have to deal with Perez Hilton or Mediatakeout. He looked around the room and then finished his meal. Rising, he collected his plates in his hands and then moved over to the sink. He always cleaned up after himself. Isaiah headed over to the stereo, and pushed a button, shifting the music to other parts of the house.. Then he walked out of the kitchen. He fished around in his pocket and pulled out his cellphone.

He dialed a few numbers and the line was picked up immediately. People moved when Isaiah Muir came around. “Mr. Muir, yes this is Britney Harmon. The meeting will be in a few hours. Do you need a car sent to Wayne Manor to pick you up?” Isaiah had moved through the house and had reached the garage. His eyes fell onto the keys of his Jaguar XK. Muir smiled.

“No, have the directions sent to my phone, Mrs. Harmon.”

“It’s Ms. Harmon.” He stopped his movement toward the keys. He closed his eyes and tried to put a face to Ms. Harmon. Blonde. Blue eyes, cute little nose, a great pair of…

“I see.” He said. “You will be at the meeting?”

“I am Mr. Santiago’s assistant, Mr. Muir.” He smiled at the sarcasm behind the voice. He was liking this Ms. Harmon more and more by the minute.

“That you are. Well, I look forward to the meeting, Ms. Harmon.” He said and hung up the phone. The radio was finishing up Cassie’s song. He felt a bit of guilt rush through him. But he shrugged it away. He was going to continue his life and live it the way that Bruce had. The future that he and Cassie could have had, it had died alongside his parents all those years ago. All that was left now was to continue his training and his updating of Bruce’s tech to prepare for the fateful day when he would don the uniform of the Batman. Fear would strike once more into the hearts of criminals. None would stand before justice.
Last edited by Mir on Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mir » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:47 pm

2008

Steven leaned back in the chair that he was in and wiped his mouth with his napkin. He surveyed the plate before him. The contents of the plate that Eva had set before him half an hour ago had been demolished. Fish with an amazing sauce and white rice. She’d intentionally served him extra vegetables too, just to annoy him. She sat on the couch, talking to one of his fellow police officers. He rose and took the plate in his hand along with his cutlery and headed over to the sink in the kitchen.

He was finding it harder and harder to avoid Eva’s place for lunch. A lot of the guys on the force talked about it like it was an actual restaurant, it was funny. She had a gift with food, and she was more than happy, it seemed, to cook for the officers who were holed up with her to keep her safe from the Vitale’s. He rinsed the plate and the cutlery off and then stepped outside of the kitchen. Eva looked up at him from her position on the couch. She gave him a little smile. He nodded and started walking towards the front door.

Santieri picked up his briefcase and reached his hand out for the front door. “Leaving so soon, Steven?” One of his men said, and he turned to them with a smile. He’d gotten there only a few minutes before lunch, and was leaving now, right after they’d finished. He knew that some of the guys had wanted to talk to him about something, but he just didn’t have the time right now. He was busy and had to get back to the Gotham City Police Department Headquarters.

“Got to report in to Roberts on some of the things that…Horne and I found out.” Eva rolled her eyes.

“I didn’t think that woman had an actual investigating bone in her body.” Eva said.

“Yeah, but the bones she got look mighty fine.” Another one said. There was a round of light and short laughter. They were in the presence of a lady, after all. Luckily there were no female officers assigned that week to the FBI’s safehouse for Eva. Even the FBI agents there who knew and worked with Horne had joined in on the laughter.

Everyone except Eva and Steven. He was dead sure that she hadn’t forgiven him for sleeping with Horne. At the same time, he was damn sure he didn’t need her permission or her forgiveness. Eva just rose and gave a ladylike look of contempt around the room, before heading towards the kitchen.

“Steven, could I talk to you for a minute?” She said as she crossed the threshold into the kitchen. He set the briefcase down and checked his watch. It was 2:47. He had a few more minutes to spare. That and she knew if it came to her feeling safe, there was little that he wouldn’t do. Walking forward, he slipped into the kitchen, and leaned against the side of the entryway, looking at her with a neutral expression on his face.

“What’s on your mind?” He asked, lightly, hoping it wasn’t anything either serious or frivolous that would be time consuming.

“What are you and Horne still investigating for, if we’re in the middle of the trial?” They were just starting the second week of the trial and Eva had yet to be called to the witness’ stand. He knew it was affecting her more and more. She just wanted to do it and be done with it.

“Well, right now, we’re just making sure that if something is deemed permissible as evidence in the court case, we’ve got it documented for future cases. We’ve got the work done on the Vitale’s, but now we need to use this information to go after some of the smaller families, and after people they associate with and use to do their dirty work.”

“Won’t that make you a target? Those people will come after you.”

“I didn’t take the job because it would be a walk in the park, Eva.” She nodded, drying her hands. She’d been rinsing out the saucepan she’d used to make the fish. “Was that all, I really need to get going.”

“Oh, yeah. Yeah.” She said, hanging the dishtowel back up. She turned to him. “Be careful out there, okay?” He smiled.

“Sure thing, Ms. Rodriguez.” She stuck her tongue out at him. He smiled again and headed towards the door. She stuck her head out of the kitchen and smiled at him, he was exactly where she wanted him to be.

“By the way, your mother called. She wants to know when I’m coming over to meet her.” This time the laughter wasn’t light, nor was it short. Only mildly annoyed, Stephen opened and shut the door, nodding his head to the two police officers stationed outside. Their cover was that they were electricians. GCPD had arranged with the people who owned the building to have periodic blackouts and other problems affect the people of the building, to lend credence to the electrician cover.

He took the elevator down and during the ride down pulled out his cellphone. Sure enough, some how his mother had gotten the number to get in touch with Eva and had spoken to her. He’d mentioned Eva in passing, the few times he got to go to his mother’s and spend time with her. How she’d managed to get the number he didn’t know, but Steven wouldn’t put anything past his mom. One thing he knew, Eva wasn’t allowed to go anywhere unless she had a GCPD escort, and even then, the list of places was slim to none.

He stepped out of the elevator with a sigh. That wasn’t going to make his mother happy. He smiled as he slid behind the wheel of his car. At least life wasn’t going to be boring.

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:53 pm

2007

Isaiah spun the XK’s steering wheel and the Jaguar moved into the parking lot of the airport. He looked through the Marc Jacobs and past the tinted glass of the windshield. There was a small corporate jet parked in the private runway, one that looked far more expensive than Santiago was capable of. He was pulling out some of all the stops it would seem. Santiago was desperate and it made sense to court someone like Isaiah well. Isaiah slowed the car and then opened the door.

“Mr. Muir, I see you’re a punctual person.” Isaiah turned and was grateful the shades hid his eyes.

“I try my best.” He said with a smile. “I could have sworn you had blue eyes.”

“Brown.” Britney Harmon replied with a smile of her own. “I do have blue contacts though.” He snapped his fingers.

“That must have been it. Has anyone ever-“

“-Told me I look like Abbie Cornish? Yes, many times. Has anyone ever told-“

“-me that I look like Isaiah Muir? Too many times to count.” She laughed.

“You’re shameless aren’t you?” He put on a stoic face.

“You better believe it.” He said with a grin. He walked to the back seat of the car, and opened the door. Reaching in, he grabbed the Louis Vuitton backpack. He threw one of the straps around his shoulder. Britney looked at him with a single raised eyebrow. Brooks Brothers suit, sans tie, top button undone, Italian leather shoes, and a Louis Vuitton backpack.

“You pack light.”

“We’re going to a resort near one of mine. I have a set of clothes there. Didn’t make sense to pack normal.” She nodded, adjusting the rim of her glasses. He cast an eye over the conservative cut of her business dress and how tightly her hair had been done up in a bun. “You are going to, at some point over the course of this week, let your hair down?”

“Not during business hours, not when Mr. Santiago needs me.”

“If he was as smart as you are diligent, his company wouldn’t be fast approaching bankruptcy.”

“I can’t comment on anything like that, except to say that Cadric Enterprises is doing well, despite the recent developments that have been hurting profits.” Isaiah had made his way over to her as he spoke and now he bounced a finger on the bridge of her glasses.

“Standard PR spiel won’t work with me, sweetheart.” He smiled. “Alright, let’s see what your boss cooked up to try to impress me and the others.”

The two of them walked towards the jet, whose stairwell had been lowered so that people could board. He stepped onboard to an empty jet. “In addition to being punctual, you’re also early, compared to the rest of Mr. Santiago’s guests.”

“And Mr. Santiago himself.” Isaiah said. He looked around the jet for a moment. There were a few stewardesses moving about, checking and re-checking different things here and there. “That doesn’t bode well for his business deal.” He looked at his watch and then turned, looking at Harmon. “So, when is Jerry expected to arrive here?”

“Within half an hour.” Isaiah nodded and promptly deposited himself in one of the plush seats, settling the backpack on the ground next to his chair. Her eyes followed him, and she couldn’t help but smile at the way that he looked, as though he owned the place already and that she worked for him.

“So, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself while we wait for him?” Britney looked like she clearly didn’t want to do that, but for the sake of appeasing her boss, she sat down in another seat and decided to do as Isaiah had asked.

“Before I begin, can I get you anything to drink?” She asked, and Isaiah shook his head with a smile. Then she began to talk about herself, not trusting herself to be around Isaiah by herself for such a long amount of time. He was after all, Isaiah Muir, one of the richest men on the planet, and dreadfully good looking.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Jerry Santiago rarely got a word out of Britney Harmon that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Every attempt to get a normal conversation, heck, even a normal, human reaction was impossible. Of course, he had offered her the position of his mistress, but that had been over two years ago. The woman could have lightened up a bit. So when he stepped onboard the jet to see Britney giggle at something Isaiah Muir had said, he was rightfully annoyed.

“Something funny, Ms. Harmon?” She turned, eyes going wide. Her fingers had been wrapped around the stem of a champagne glass, the amount of bubbly left a bit of an indicator as to how much she’d drank in the past twenty minutes. Her fingers slipped up the stem of the glass a little bit, the shock evident. Before she could speak, and possibly anger Santiago further, Muir cut in, and helped her out.

“I was just telling Ms. Harmon of the time you and I went hunting. You remember, right Jerry, upstate New York?” Santiago stopped for a moment and then smiled. Isaiah hadn’t been saying anything of the sort, rather getting Harmon to make fun of her boss. She turned and looked at him, but he silenced her with a look. He looked back at Santiago.

“Yeah, I remember that.” Santiago said and turned back to Britney. “Ms. Harmon, the rest of the group is going to be arriving soon. Please speak to the crew and make sure that everything is ready to go.” He said. She nodded and rose, setting her glass down. Isaiah sent her a smile before she left to head towards the cockpit to relay Jerry’s requests.

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Post by Mir » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:08 pm

2008

“Absolutely not, no way.” She’d all but stolen his aviator shades and Steven had given up trying to get them back. Every time, Eva had shown him what little of jujitsu she knew, and it had been enough to drop him. Twice. They sat in the car on the way towards the courthouse. Steven had a feeling that Eva was going to be called to the witness stand soon. So did she. That’s why she was recently becoming more focused on leaving the safehouse and doing things. He’d relented a little bit, they had gone to see a movie but Santieri had found a theater in a different part of town.

He’d been nervous throughout the women friendly tearjerker, from the possibility of something happening; the anti-man, pro-emotional sharing movie; and going to a movie with Eva. She hadn’t been much help, resting her head on his shoulder and crying profusely as women tended to do at women friendly, anti-man, pro-emotional sharing films. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and looked at traffic. “How’d you get the tickets anyway? I thought the Feds put special restrictions and programs in the computer they gave you.”

Eva smiled, adjusting the aviators on her face. Either he hadn’t been paying attention, or he’d forgotten when she’d told him that she was a computer genius and had taken computer science in college. The Fed’s restrictions and programming would have taken her all of five minutes to get past. She ran her tongue over her lips, a move not lost on Santieri’s hormones, as she considered giving up her source to his interrogation. With a sigh, she decided that she should tell him about the mole.

“Well, you know Larry Berman, he was telling me that Jimmy in accounting got them from Sarah, in Human Resources. Anyway, it appears that Sarah got them by winning a bet with Michael Wells, you know, Thiam’s secretary. Turns out that Wells got them from his cousin over at Ernst and Young who got them as a gift from his boss as a way of thanking him for saving his ass on his wedding anniversary. Sarah gave them to Jimmy because they used to be boyfriend and girlfriend. I say used because they broke up before they could use the tickets. Jimmy kept the tickets but gave them to Larry as a way of getting back at Sarah. Larry feels bad and so he gave them to me. I checked on the internet. This is a fierce rivalry and these are good seats.”

Steven blinked a few times after she was done, trying to sort everything out. How did she know more of the GCPD grapevine than he did? He shook his head as she smiled. “So how do you know all this?” He asked, finally as he made a turn. The odds of her saying something obvious were high now. Make him look like a retard too.

“I asked after Larry gave me the tickets. How’d you think I found out, idiot?” I just had to ask her, didn’t I? “So…when’s your next date with Whorne, I mean, Horne?” He winced.

“Tomorrow actually.” He said, trying to instill some brightness into his voice, knowing that she was about to rip into it.

“What are you going to do, take her to a mini-golf place, make some lame jokes about penis and ball size compared to the putter and golf ball size and then try to get a hole in one?” He rolled his eyes. “I mean, its not original, she’s already seen you naked, but she’s stupid enough to fall for it.”

“Why don’t you like her? Seriously. You’ve never answered the question.”

“I don’t trust her. She’s too slick, even for an FBI agent. You just like her because you’re getting to screw her. You don’t like her personality. You don’t like her personally. You just like her for her body and her availability. Admit it.” The truth hurt, especially because she was able to see it so well, and it was Eva. There was some truth to her statements. More than Steven wanted to admit, to be honest. He’d seen her act, more than once, pretty badly to people who hadn’t deserved it. But he wasn’t getting past the amazing body. But then again, he wasn’t looking for anything beyond willingness and availability at the moment. “She’s not right for you, you just don’t want to admit it.”

“So now you’re an expert on me as a person and my love life?” She just smiled. He honestly couldn’t believe he was having this conversation with a witness. She’d managed to worm her way into his life. “So who then, would be good for me?”

“I’m not saying that I am, which is what you’re insinuating. I’m not interested in you, the big bad Sheriff, I already told you that.” She said. He didn’t understand why Eva didn’t trust Horne. It didn’t make any sense. What was there not to trust about Horne? He decided not to question Eva about it. At least not right then. “You think its my day to sit in that box?” She asked after a few moments of silence, shifting his thoughts away from Horne and back onto the case.

“I don’t know. I just know they want you in the building under lock and key in case anything happens.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“The defense would like to call James Lawrence to the stand.” Steven sat in the rows of benches that made up the people’s area at the trial. James Lawrence was a small time crook who felt as though what he owed the Don was more important than the years that the police could give him if convicted. So he’d decided to take his chances and appear as a witness for the defense, knowing that the police would be watching him after that.

Santieri had a feeling that the Don was going to do a big shakeup of his organization, if he won this case. He knew that if the Don won this case, the problem on the streets was going to get worse and they wouldn’t be able to legally get him. He would streamline his organization, cut out the fat. He’d have blood in his eyes and would be looking at the GCPD as his main target.

It was very important that they win this case. Lawrence came forward and was sworn in. Santieri closed his eyes as the lawyers began. He didn’t want to watch. For him, he had to hear it in order to remain impartial and everything.

“Please, state your name for the jury…”

“James Fisher Lawrence.”

“What do you do, Mr. Lawrence?”

“I own a Lexus dealership. Sir.”

“Now, I’m sure that you would probably be hard pressed to remember a particular day a few years back. After all, you are a busy, hard working American. But try if you could, to remember a February 8th, 2004. I believe Mr. Vitale was coming through to purchase a car from your dealership?”

“Yes, I remember that day very well. It wasn’t the first time that I’d done business with Mr. Vitale and every time I had, I had been struck with how professional he acted. He was a fair and just man.”

“Thank you. Do you remember what time he came by?”

“I do. He came shortly after lunch, and stayed for roughly an hour and a half while we worked out prices. He left at three and then returned at six to pick up the vehicles that he’d purchased.” Lawrence said. Steven opened his eyes. He knew what this was about. Apparently, one of the city officials had been threatened in his home that day, along with the rest of his family. The official had claimed that it had been Vitale, but Vitale said that he hadn’t been there, and had been purchasing a car.

“So, when did Mr. Vitale leave the dealership?”

“Shortly after seven. He stayed and we talked for a little bit, you know, about our families and our kids and everything.” The lawyer nodded.

“The defense rests, your Honor.”

“Your witness.” The judge said. The government’s guy got up and straightened his tie before walking over. This would be interesting.

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Post by Mir » Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:21 am

2007

The plane had landed an hour ago, and already the group had arrived at the resort. Britney found it nice to be able to visually see the numbers and figures that she dealt with on a day to day basis for her employer. They were more than just particles of ink on paper to her already, but this enabled her to connect better with what she had to do. She pulled at the collar of her shirt. The heat was stifling for someone who wore what she was wearing. The business suit didn’t have decent ventilation. The rest of the people in their group seemed to be suffering as well. Except for Mr. Muir. He turned to her as they walked through the lobby of the hotel building.

“Nice weather.”

“Oh, yes.” She said with a smile. They were towards the end of the group, no one else could see them, so Isaiah decided that since fortune favored the bold, that’s what he should be. He moved closer and put his hand at the small of her back as he leaned in.

“You’re still not angry with me about what happened on the plane, right?” She looked away for a moment, incensed at his words and actions, but delighted at the same time. He whispered it right into her ear as they walked, giving him a chance to break the touch barrier and finally get a good whiff of that amazing perfume she wore. She turned to him, her cheek brushing his lips.

“Yes, I am rather still angry with you. You got me drunk on purpose, knowing that he would find me like that. I’m just lucky I have a fast metabolism and I hadn’t had too much to drink.” She replied, whispering right back at him. “I’d appreciate it if you’d leave me alone for the rest of the trip.”

“I’m sorry sweetheart, but I can’t do that.” Isaiah smiled. She was going to be an interesting pursuit and Isaiah was more than happy to go after her.

“And why not?” She said, lifting a beautiful and well defined eyebrow up in a curious look that had Isaiah’s blood heating. He smiled to himself.

“Well first off, I think you’re the most attractive woman here,” He said, indicating as a group of drop dead gorgeous resort women walked by, “and that’s saying something. Plus, I find you incredibly interesting. I never really take the time to get to know my secretaries and after meeting you, I know that’s a big mistake. So I’d like to get to know you better.” She didn’t want to admit that she was flattered, but it wasn’t every day that she got complimented by an outrageously handsome man, especially Isaiah Muir who was drop dead gorgeous. She smiled, her eyes fluttered slightly, and her legs went a little weak.

He wanted to get to know her better. Her. Damned if he didn’t make her smile. “So,” Isaiah said, “what are the odds that you’ll have dinner with me tonight in my suite?” That threw her a curveball. She had probably been expecting him just to flirt with her for a while before making his move. It didn’t make much sense for him to be acting that fast unless he was sure of himself. Isaiah was quite sure of himself.

“We’re supposed to go to the restaurant for dinner, tonight.” He smiled. She did know the schedule by memory having set it up and worked on it herself.

“That’s true.” He replied. “Perhaps I could convince you to have a drink with me afterwards?” She shrugged in response. “Pretty please.” Harmon grinned then and he knew he had her right where he wanted. He smiled to himself thinking on how this business deal was going to be so much better now.

“Maybe. I’ll see.” She said. He nodded as the group turned a corner and reached the elevators. They stepped inside and Jerry pressed the top button. They were going to the penthouse suite area. Muir wasn’t staying with them, he was going to go to the Meriok Tower and Resort elsewhere on the island that they were on. He’d come over to conduct the meetings and to socialize with the rest of the people who were going to try to help Santiago bail his company out of near bankruptcy.

That meant that he had a place to get Ms. Harmon away from the rest of the group and take her mind off the schedule.

“So, Muir, you ready for a rousing game of golf?”

“I’m more of a tennis player. But I’ll hit a few with you guys.” Isaiah replied, a bit annoyed by the interruption. It was clear what the guy standing next to him, big in semiconductors, was attempting, what he was attempting himself. Isaiah watched him move in with a hidden smile. He was clearly pretty good at what he was doing since it was obvious that Britney had no clue what was going on between them, besides an innocent question.

“Ms. Harmon, do you play tennis or golf?” The man asked. Setup had been good, Isaiah thought with a smile. Most of the people in the elevator knew each other and knew what each other liked to do. Harmon was the odd one out, so the question would seem harmless to her. But it wasn’t, not by a long shot. This guy was pretty egotistical. He was assuming he’d be able to get her even though she was doing an activity which involved the entire group or at least a large chunk of the group. Isaiah knew he could, but he didn’t feel like bothering with that right now, which was why he was taking her away from the rest of them.

“I play tennis, but not golf, no.” She said, flashing a smile that raised the temperature a few degrees and nearly made Isaiah start to feel the weather. He decided to act quickly and efficiently.

“You’ll have to play with us then.” He said, cutting in before Mr. Semiconductor could. He gave Jerry a look that indicated that her employer should have some say in the matter, even if it was extremely little and inconsequential.

“Of course, Ms. Harmon. Feel free to accompany us on our golf outings and tennis games.” Santiago wisely said. All of the business owners in the elevator’s wealth combined wasn’t equal to a fourth of Isaiah’s money. He needed Wayne Enterprises on his side. Britney just smiled and politely nodded.

“I’m calling Ms. Harmon as my doubles partner,” Isaiah said as the elevator door chirped and the doors opened. She laughed.

“I’m decent. Nothing amazing.” Isaiah nodded.

“You hear that, my friends? You have no excuse when we wipe the floor with you.” There was an assortment of chuckles as the group exited the elevator and stepped into the penthouse suite. Isaiah saw the stacks of papers set out neatly in front of the different chairs at the table and his smile slowly died as Harmon headed over to the bar, asking if anyone would like a business. Fun time was later. Business was now.

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Post by Mir » Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:20 pm

2008
The cotton sheets, whose thread count had escaped Steven’s mind, were soft and comfortable. They shifted as he did. In addition to being soft and comfortable they were also form-hugging, delineating every curve in the body of the woman in bed with him. She slept peacefully, eyelids closed over green eyes. Her blonde hair was gray in the blackness of night. She was turned towards him and her chest rose and fell gently, beating out a gentle rhythm that he should have shared.

But sleep escaped him and he didn’t know why. The sex made him sleepy, but he hadn’t been able to translate it into REM. With a soft sigh, Steven slid out from under the covers. He was in her kitchen, pouring a glass of cranberry juice when he caught up with himself. He knew why he had been unable to sleep. The something that was bothering him was the case. He sat down on the sofa, sipping at the cranberry juice.

He knew that the case was solid. They had the facts, the jury was on their side, and the prosecution wasn’t playing around. But there was a doubt in his mind. Something didn’t sit well with him. He rose and began to pace by the sliding door that led to Horne’s small balcony. After a while he headed over to where her dining table was in the hotel room that the FBI had put her up in during the course of the trial. They’d spread out a bunch of papers as they’d used the excuse of work to let Steven get Melanie’s clothes off again.

While that had been fun, now he wanted to actually get some work done. His fingers brushed pictures, sworn testimonies, and other evidence. He slowly began to piece together the evidence with his own detective’s mind at work. Something was missing, or off, but he didn’t know what it was. His eyes moved over the pieces of paper and glossy paper on the table.

“You really do have a one track mind, huh?” He looked up to see Horne standing in the doorway. She leaned against the frame languidly, with a smile on her face that fit her lazy posture. She had thrown on a white silk robe with some lace design on the edging. If he’d had any mind to get some work done, he was sorely tempted to do something else now. She walked towards him as he took a sip from his juice in his seated position at the table.

“We got a little distracted earlier.” She smiled, nodding wordlessly. She sat in his lap, straddling him. His hands settled on her silk clad thighs. He saw that she hadn’t bothered to put on anything underneath. She took the small glass in hand and took a sniff, running a finger over the edge a few times for added effect.

“Cranberry juice?” She playfully cocked her head to the side. “You on your period?” He laughed and moved a hand under the silk, reaching for where her legs met. She let out a little noise. Melanie bit down on her bottom lip, eyes closed. Her eyes slowly opened. “What’s bothering you?” She asked, referring to the case.

He settled his hands on her hips and shrugged. “There’s something missing from the case. It might be something else, I just don’t have the words for it. I just can’t tell what it is.” He said, sliding his hands down to her rear and beginning to massage through the soft silk.

“Mmm.” She said, rocking back forth a little. “What does it have to do with the case? What part in particular is giving you trouble?”

“Something to do with the list of murders, I think.” Steven said. “There’s something wrong when it comes to the murder of…who was it…Lucy Wyndham and Mark Reynolds.” She nodded.

“Same murder weapon, both times. GCPD wasn’t able to match up the bullets for a while, if I remember right. Something wrong with the ballistics or the bullet type, I forget now.”

“Yeah.” They were kissing now. “They found the guy, and he got sentenced, sent to Blackgate, you know, the works. He was shanked a few months later and a month after that, the weapon disappeared from Evidence.”

“So, what’s the problem?”

“If he was killed, if everything was a closed book, why was the gun stolen from Evidence? Why would Vitale want an old snub nose .38?” Horne shook her head, unbelting the robe so that the soft material fell downwards. The silk at the back piled on top of the back of his hands.

“It’s linked to other murders perhaps. Or some cop wanted to sell it for a quick buck. If everything was a closed book, and GCPD didn’t know it was related to other murders, then its possible a corrupt cop grabbed it to sell to someone.”

“That, or the gun could do more than just implicate another random street thug. The cop could have been on Vitale’s payroll, taking the gun out of evidence before anyone thought to take a closer look at it. Those two murders have extremely light links to the ongoing case and trial. They’re barely connected.” She bit lightly into his shoulder and his mind blanked. He rose, putting her on her back on the table. The silk was a thin layer of cushioning for her back. She looked up at him as he moved in between her legs, his hands sliding up her thighs and then the rest of her.

Her hands framed his face, pulling his head down for a long kiss as he pushed himself inside of her.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Her long fingers set the plate of pork, rice, and plantains in front of him. Her other hand set a small dish of black beans in from of him as well. She was standing directly behind him and Eva hit Steven lightly in the back of the head as she walked away. He scowled. He always felt guilt being around her after he’d slept with Horne and he had no idea why. It was confusing and annoying. She smiled, though he couldn’t see, just knowing that he was scowling.

“So, how is everything?” He asked lightly.

“Good, I guess.” She shrugged from her position in the kitchen. “The A/C conked out yesterday. Your boys and the FBI got into a massive argument about how to get a repairman that we could trust, so I just stole some of the tools they used to set up their surveillance equipment and fixed it myself. Macho guys arguing trying to see who’s got the most down there.” She said, a slight edge of annoyance coming to her voice.

“You fixed it?”

“Yeah. Took it apart and everything. There was a problem with the Freon and all, but that’s what you get when you go to Stark Enterprises. Steven smiled. “Anyway, what’s up with you? You haven’t been coming around that much. I take it the mini-golf outing went fine?”

“That was a week ago, and yes, it went fine, thank you very much.” Eva grinned as she walked past him.

“Is that perfume I smell?” He immediately checked himself, clawing at his throat.

“I am not wearing any…” He trailed off at the look on her face. “I guess you think you’re really smart huh?”

“Genius.” She said, brushing past him with her empty plates. She’d eaten with the rest of the crew before he’d gotten there.

“Actually, I have a review coming up tomorrow evening.”

“I bet you’re regretting all the bribes you took.” He laughed.

“Well, they want to promote me to lieutenant.” She turned in the doorway of the kitchen, hands now empty and beamed him a smile that jerked the temperature of the room up more than just a few degrees.

“That’s great. I’m proud of you Steven.” She said, coming forward and sitting across the table from him. “When will you know?”

“Probably around lunchtime tomorrow. Unofficially, of course.” She nodded, already thinking to herself. “It’s nothing amazing or anything.” She shook her head then.

“It’s very important, whether or not you’re willing to accept it. I’m sure your mother is proud of you.” She said with a smile.

“I haven’t told her yet.”

“So, you ready to lose at Scrabble again?”

“Actually I have to go.” Her face fell as he dug into the food, not noticing the change in her expression. “I have a meeting to get to as soon as I finish.”

“You just want me for my food.”

“I’m not going to respond to that statement.”

“Plead the fifth all you want, but I know you, Sheriff.” Why was he always leaving right after eating? It made absolutely no sense to Eva. Unless he left to force himself to puke her food up and then actually eat stuff he liked, and he just ate here to make her feel better. Other than that, which was pretty outlandish, there was no evidence as to why he kept leaving all the time. Or perhaps he didn’t like her company but was indeed, just here for the food.

But he insisted on being in the car with her whenever she had to go anywhere, didn’t he? Was he just tolerating her because of his job? She looked away, staring at the pale blue walls of the dining area. She knew she couldn’t ask him, because if he did feel that way, he’d just lie so she wouldn’t know. She eyed him, but he wasn’t giving anything away. “Where do you have to go?” She suddenly asked.

“I have to ask a friend of mine about something involving a case.” He said, after taking a gulp of water. He never really talked to much about his work besides the Vitale case.

“Oh, okay. You coming tomorrow, cause I’ll just think of words to use.” He smiled.

“Sure thing.”

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Post by Mir » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:11 pm

2007

Isaiah smiled. There was a reason that when his parents had had his IQ tested, he’d been off the charts. Literally. As he watched Britney’s amazing rear end move in the white tight fitting tennis outfit, he knew that he was a genius. She was his doubles partner and he’d put her in front of him. The front of her in the outfit was nice too, but this was just beautiful. Isaiah was barely hitting the tennis balls, just watching her move. They had just finished beating the life out of their opponents.

He watched her stop at the bench and grab the bottle of Poland Spring water. She unscrewed the top and took a long, long pull that had his libido jumping. She eyed him out of the corner of her eyes while she drank. She lowered the bottle. “You know, we would have beaten them faster if you kept your eyes on the ball and off me.”

“You’re a distraction. I had no idea how good looking you were until you changed into that little outfit.” She turned then, an eyebrow raised. He took a step over towards her and placed his racket lightly on the steel bench on top of hers. She wasn’t moving and so he decided to press his luck. He took a step in closer. “But you’ve got good form with a racket, I’ve got to admit.” He said with a smile.

“You’re shameless.”

“That’s what they tell me.” He said with another smile. He maneuvered so that he was in front of her and then he sat down. She looked down at him and he up at her. Both of them were sweaty, but then again he was constantly in training, so it wasn’t much. She’d tied that long blond hair of hers back into a ponytail, but some of her hair had escaped to play out over her face.

“I should dump all this water on you. You picked me for a doubles partner on purpose.” She said and he could hear the beginning of a snit coming on. He had to avoid it; it was a pitfall that he could easily fall into. Fortunately, Isaiah had plenty of practice avoiding snits. Except, he noted with a bit of annoyance, Cassie’s snits. Those were deadly and damn near impossible to avoid.

“Yes, I did, and if you poured all the water out on me, you’d have none to drink yourself.” She scowled at him.

“Britney, Muir, you guys up for another game?” The two of them turned and then Isaiah nodded to the other two. The two of them headed over to their side of the court while Isaiah and Britney were at their bench.

“Sure we are.” He said in reply, lifting a hand in agreement. Britney turned and looked at him in disbelief as he idly bounced one of the tennis balls on his racket and smiled up at her in a completely non chalant way. He had to be messing with her, she decided, he had to be. There was no way that he wasn’t bone tired after all of this. She was and he’d been playing longer than she had, having had a solo game with someone before she’d gotten there.

“How can you not be tired after all of this?” They’d been playing for at least two hours. “I don’t need that much more of workout for the rest of the day.” He slowly rose and made her take a step back. She looked at him; arms folded over her chest and gave him a look that told him she was rather annoyed with him. He gave her an innocent smile.

“After all of this, I’ll buy you a drink.” She scoffed and rolled her eyes at his and he knew in that instant he’d won the argument. He had her right where he wanted her and was going to move in for the kill. This was going to be good.

“I don’t need alcohol.” She replied an even tone telling him that he wasn’t going to be able to get her drunk. Britney was here on business after all, Isaiah did know that. She would be hard to distract from that, but then again he was Isaiah Muir. He’d seduced actresses and models. Of course, half the time those women had wanted him to take them to bed, but that didn’t detract from his skill at the game.

“Then dinner?” She gave him another look. “You’ve got to eat; you might as well eat with me.” He said with a smile and then bent in and gave her a kiss on the cheek. She smiled slightly and then turned it into a simmering look of indifference. He smiled to himself.

“You’re assuming I’m willing to stand your company.” She said.

“I think you can.” He replied. “I’m willing to bet on it.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“You can cook?” He nodded. They were in his suite, in his resort near Santiago’s. The two of them had changed into more comfortable, normal attire. He had a collection of vegetables as well as veal cutlets. He twirled the knife in his hands and began to chop the carrots with the ease of a practiced professional. It made her lift an eyebrow in surprise. Isaiah Muir was more than what met the eye that much was clear to her now. She was going to have to be careful around him. Very careful, but she knew she could handle him.

“My mother and my butler insisted that I learn for when I wasn’t around them.” He said. It was true. He put the chopped carrots into a bowl. There was already lettuce in there. He was going to add red onions and a whole lot more. Britney leaned against one of the counters, sipping at a glass of white wine. She smiled at him, or at his back. She took another sip of the wine.

“Do you honestly think that this is going to impress me?” She said, trying harder and harder to be non chalant about everything. He turned with a smile. He was amazingly handsome, and he had a kitchen towel over his shoulder. He moved in fast and swift. There was a hand at the small of her back, pulling her in close. Luckily she’d drunk enough of the wine, so it didn’t slosh out everywhere as he kissed her.

He pulled back just as quickly and he was back to cutting vegetables for their meal. “Yeah.” He said with a smile that she couldn’t see. “I’m thinking it will.”

“You are…a good kisser.”

“Wise choice of words, I must say.” He said with a smile thrown over his shoulder. She shrugged, trying to remind herself why she was angry with him. He had a really nice smile. Heck, he had a really nice everything if she was going to be honest about things. He turned and then leaned against the counter, finished with the salad. “So, tell me more about yourself.” He asked before throwing the veal on a skillet. They’d cook fast so they’d be eating soon.

“What do you want to know?” She said. “I grew up in Plainsville, Florida. My father was a research scientist. He was a molecular biologist. My mother was a science teacher. He always insisted that she knew more about science than he did. It was kinda funny. I had a normal childhood, whatever you want to consider normal.” She said. He nodded, gesturing for her to continue. “Why don’t you tell me a little about yourself?” He turned with a smile.

“What, you don’t read the tabloids about me? I’m hurt.” She smiled, giving him yet another chalk mark for shamelessness.

“Anyway, I went to college and got good grades, the whole nine yards, never really broke any rules or anything, you know and joined Cadric Enterprises about six, seven, years ago.” He nodded and turned to her.

“So you’ve been a good girl all your life.” She had a feeling she didn’t like the tone of his voice. It wasn’t an incredulous tone, but a bit of a challenging one.” She nodded. He took a few steps so that he was in front of her. He put his hands on the counter behind her so that her hands were on the outside. He leaned in and she leaned back as far as she could, giving him a challenging look. He smiled.

“You could say that.” She said.

“Well, I think we’re going to have to do something about that.” She raised an eyebrow giving him yet another challenging look. He smiled as he leaned in for another kiss. The second time was just as potent as the first, she thought. Probably even more potent because it was the second shot of a drug that she was hooked on now. She put her glass of wine down on the counter so that she could wrap her arms around his neck. He straightened, and the motion lifted her off the ground by an inch of two.

He turned his head, and deepened the kiss. She was exactly what he needed to get his mind off of Cassandra. Jerry was going to leave here with the money to save his business, but not with his secretary, that was easy enough for Isaiah to decide. He was going to bring her to work for Wayne Enterprises and he was going to fast track her for success. He’d seen the work that she did, and she was diligent and a hard worker. It wouldn’t take her long to adjust those skills to any department or division. She didn’t need to know how it worked to make everything balance and keep things running. She’d make a fine CEO of a company one day. Not Wayne, he’d never give that up, but he had a feeling that one day she’d approach him to be a white knight investor for a venture of her own.

For her part, Britney just let go and enjoyed the kiss. She enjoyed the hands moving around her back, pressing through her shirt. When they finally broke apart, she looked at him and this time couldn’t come up with a witty look or phrase to throw at him. She looked away for a moment while they stood there. He bent and kissed her neck, slowly agonizingly slowly.

Isaiah smiled at the little sound she made as he kissed her neck. What made it even better was that he could feel her pulse at her wrists and he could feel her vocal cords vibrate to make that oh so good sounding noise. He leaned back. “Ready for dinner?”

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:06 am

OOC: I had a much better and longer post, but it got swallowed. Came up with this one on the fly.

IC:

2008

Steven stepped inside the apartment. He looked around at the different plains clothes in the room waiting for him. He tossed a series of manila folders on a chair and looked around at the people, trying to figure out what they were waiting for. Eva stood there with the group too, not in the center, but still in the front due to her height. “So?” She asked, as soon as the door shut behind him. The single word was ripe with meaning. He looked at her, and then shrugged.

“Yeah, they made me a lieutenant.” She smiled and stayed where she was as a few of the other officers in the room congratulated him. A few of them made some derogatory remarks about him having some extracurricular activities that got him promoted, but he knew they were just joking. After the police had finished, Eva crossed over to him and gave him a quick hug. He smiled as the group dissipated, each heading back to what they had been doing before hand. He also saw that Eva had concocted some kind of feast for them, complete with a cake that looked like it was from a bakery.

He looked at the cake and smiled. There were no decorations on it. Despite wanting to put them on there, Eva had realized that Steven would get cranky if she’d somehow leaked out information regarding where the FBI and GCPD were holing her up through an innocent cake. Good girl. he thought and turned. She was leaning against the wall and surveying her handiwork. Then she looked up at him.

“So, congratulations, Sheriff. You call your mother and tell her?” She asked and he grimaced. Odds were his mother was going to be upset that he hadn’t headed over to see her immediately after finding out that he was official promoted. But a part of him had wanted to see Eva first. He’d known that she was planning something, that much had been obvious. He would have hated to let her down. His mother would understand once he explained things to her. But he had to explain things to himself first.

He was doing more and more things designed to make Eva happy and he didn’t even know why. He just knew that he was doing them. Not that he was getting any satisfaction out of them at all. “No, I haven’t. You mind if I use your phone and call her?” He asked, gesturing to the white phone attached to the wall. She looked and then shrugged.

“My taxes have to pay for something, right? Knock yourself out.” She said. She didn’t use the phone at all. There were only a few reasons why. There were only two groups of people she would call. They were Vitale family members and a few of her old friends. Obviously she wouldn’t want to call the Vitale family and Eva didn’t want to call her old friends mainly because talking to them would just get her upset about the way her life was going right now. She was the main witness in one of Gotham City and the country’s largest mafia cases in recent history. She couldn’t afford to take chances that would put her out in the open.

Steven walked towards the phone, but before he picked it up he turned to her. “Can we play something other than Scrabble tonight?” She looked at him, her eyes going wide. Did he dare blaspheme? They had a routine. They stuck to the routine. Just because he’d gotten a promotion didn’t give him the power to change that. She decided to tell him that.

“I’m sorry, what? We have a routine. We stick to the routine. The routine is set in stone. In concrete for that matter. Just because you got a promotion doesn’t give you any power over the routine.” He was going to say something, but she cut him off. “Don’t you get all high and mighty with me, Sheriff.” He smiled.

“I’m not good at Scrabble; I always get unlucky with the tile pick up. I’m decent at Monopoly.” He said. She grinned and shrugged. He lost at almost every game they played, and not because he did it intentionally. While he dialed his mother’s number, she dreamed of Park Place and Boardwalk.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

With a look of concentration on her face, Eva tossed the dice onto the coffee table. She counted in her head and then looked up at Steven, a smile of victory on her face. “Free Parking! Give it to me!!” He rolled his eyes and thought of his misfortune. This was just another time in God only knew how many times she was going to dodge his Free Parking Corner Strategy. He had hotels set up on all the properties surrounding the Free Parking square and Eva consistently got the automobile token into the spot.

“I think this game is rigged. You must have rigged it.” He said, as he looked at the stacks of tan one hundred dollar bills on her side of the board. She shook her head.

“You just suck at life. Admit it.” She said with a grin as she took a sip of wine. They sat on sofas opposing each other in the living room of the apartment, the coffee table and the board game in between them. She’d managed to get two bottles of wine for the little “party” that they’d had. He had his own wineglass. He grabbed the dice and tossed them.

“Son of a….”

“Marvin Gardens, my love, Marvin Gardens.” Eva said, and held the card out. She had this awesome way of completely disrespecting any other players in the game. She’d hold the card out and they’d have to read out loud exactly what they owed her. He looked at the piece of cardboard and then down at his money supply. Four houses? That was going to hurt a lot. He paid her and then sat back, thinking back to the conversation he’d had with his mother.

She really wanted to meet Eva. More than she wanted to meet Melanie, which was weird. He’d figured that his mother would want to meet a woman that he was “seeing socially” over someone he was working a case on. He figured it had something to do with cooking. He’d patiently explained to his mother how the two meeting was close to impossible, something that had taken a long time to do.

He knew that the Vitale’s were watching his movements closely, particularly his movements outside of any normal traffic. Since they figured he was on the job looking for more evidence, they had probably dismissed his almost daily visits to Eva’s apartment safe house. Visits to his mother’s were more closely monitored. They were looking for a way to get in to the defense and their witnesses, chief amongst those being Eva. Taking her there would give the Vitale’s ample ability to get at her, and possibly harm her.

Which meant it wasn’t happening until after the case was finished, and even then, Steven doubted he’d let it happen. He knew what would happen. His mother would bring up all sorts of embarrassing moments in his past and Eva would memorize them and bring them up at the worst possible moments. He didn’t realize that he had basically added Eva to his life and was thinking about what would happen when the case was over.

“It’s your turn.” Eva said, pulling him out of his thoughts and back to the board game. She’d rolled and had landed on Water Works. He never bought the utilities and railroads and she did. He made a note to try to rectify that problem the next time they played the game. He took the dice and then looked at his watch. If he’d had any sense, he would have stopped the game over an hour ago. It was damn near three. In the morning. Luckily he didn’t have any work tomorrow, but that wasn’t the point.

“You know, I think we just stop now.” She made a face.

“You’re just annoyed cause you’re going to lose. You could just give up.” Eva replied. He scowled.

“Or I could just not throw the dice. I think I like that idea better, a lot better.” She just smiled and then folded her arms over her chest, the dark gray sweater bunching appropriately.

“And I could just refuse to cook for you anymore.” He was seriously scared at that threat. He’d become addicted to her food, more so than he was to his mother’s. She couldn’t…then he saw the look on her face and scowled again. Eva knew just how to push his buttons. “So, what’d your mom say?”

“Nothing much, just congratulating me, you know.” She nodded.

“When do I get to meet her?” He groaned silently.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

“We’ll see.” He shook his head at her words, knowing that her stubborn streak was coming out and he had to head it off as quickly as possible.

“It’s too risky for everyone involved, I’m sorry.”

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:08 pm

2007

She’d been confused. The sight of him the next day had definitely unsettled her. Britney ran a hand through her hair and adjusted her glasses before resuming her seat at the table. Her mind was definitely not on her work, it was on the multi-billionaire a few seats down and across from her. They’d had dinner and had then proceeded to neck on the couch in his living room. He’d gotten her in his lap and she’d been ready for him to suggest a bed. Or the couch or the floor or the wall.

But he hadn’t. He’d eventually said that they couldn’t do anything tonight and would she like him to take her back to Santiago’s resort? He’d been sitting on the couch and she’d been kneeling in front of him, hands on his belt buckle. Over the past few days, she’d known where she stood with Isaiah, but now? She had no clue after last night. Santiago smiled, thinking that his secretary’s rendezvous with Muir had made Isaiah sign the papers. Jerry knew he’d eventually hit that, and he didn’t mind going after someone like Muir. It was just a matter of time really.

He rose. “Well gentlemen, its been good to do business with you and I hope that this relationship will allow us to do more in the future. Feel free to stay for a few more days on the house.” He said. He turned to Britney. “Ms. Harmon, that offer is extended to you as well.” She nodded and smiled her thanks. Slowly the room emptied until only Britney was left, sitting at the table, and Isaiah, standing and looking out of a window, his back to her.

“So,” he said finally, “…you’ve got a bit of a vacation.” He finished the sentence and turned towards her. She looked up at him from her position at the table and took off the reading glasses. She folded them and slipped them into the breast pocket of her business jacket. She stayed seated, going over once more what had happened during this last meeting. Santiago’s business was saved. Wayne Enteprises was going give the corporation a lot of money in exchange for a chunk of shares. Cadric wasn’t going to be owned by Wayne Enterprises, but it was going to be partially controlled by them.

“So it would seem.” She replied, unsure of where he was going with this. Before she had a chance to properly ask him, the two were interrupted. His cell phone rang. He pulled it out and answered it, turning away from her and back out the view that the window afford.

“Yes, this is Isaiah.”

“Master Isaiah, I hope I haven’t disturbed you.” Isaiah smiled at Winston’s voice and ever cheerful British accent.

“Of course you haven’t disturbed me Winston; I’m just about done closing the deal.” He said and the phrase applied to a lot of different things. He had a feeling that Winston would see through the business one and realize what was going on. He looked out of the corner of his eye at Britney, who was clearing up papers on the table, her face down, unable to see him looking at her.

“So I see. Am I to understand that you’re referring to some beautiful woman and not that business deal?” Isaiah nearly laughed out loud. Winston’s ability to know what he was up to was uncanny. But then again it probably had something to do with knowing Isaiah since he’d been born. That tended to give you an edge in that department when you thought about it. It didn’t shock him that Winston had figured things out. His butler was a genius.

“Something that English accent…makes me think I’m ten again and you’re scolding me.” He said with a smile on his face. There was only a bit of silence before Winston’s reply came across the phone.

“That’s because I am scolding you Master Isaiah. Call me when you’re leaving, sir, so I can put a stop to the wild parties I’m throwing at the mansion. Though I might want to keep some of the women around, you know.”

“Sure thing. Just make sure to leave some for me, will ya? I’ll call you tomorrow, there’s something I need you to do, and I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. Goodbye Winston.” He hung up and put the phone away. Britney looked up having wanted to give him privacy during the phone call. He turned to her. “Where was I? Oh right, your vacation. Do you like fish?” She looked at him confused. What did fish have to do with anything?

“Yes, yes I do.” He nodded and beckoned her towards him. She came over to him and looked out the window with him. “Um, what are we looking for?”

“Nothing yet. Pack your stuff and meet me outside of the hotel in an hour and a half?” She just nodded, knowing that questions would just complicate things at this point in time. She trusted him for some reason. Harmon left to do as Isaiah had asked.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Two hours later, she wondering just how he’d managed to pull it off. She was wearing a purple one piece bathing suit, jean shorts with her hair in a ponytail, a black Gotham Knights fitted cap on top and his expensive shades protecting her from the glare. She stood on a pretty big looking sailing boat. She turned to him. “You could have just said we were going sailing.”

“Keeping you in suspense is better, sorry.” Isaiah replied. She scowled at him.

“So, why’d you ask me if I liked fish? We’re too far out to go to a restaurant on the island or anything like that,” Britney said. Isaiah pointed at the water all around him now that they were a good ten miles away from the island.

“A lot fish all around us.”

“We’re going to catch one?” He nodded. “Do you know how to clean a fish?” He nodded again. “You’re full of surprises, aren’t you?” He nodded again and smiled this time.

“I can teach you, if you don’t know how to fish.” He said, opened a closet and pulling out a fishing rod. He baited the hook and handed it to her. “When you’re getting the baited hook in the water, that’s called ‘casting’.” She rolled her eyes.

“I know how to fish. I’ve just never caught anything.” He nodded.

“Alright then.” She flicked the rod back and then forward. It plopped into the water. “But I’m not sure that you know where to stand.”

“Oh?” She said, tossing him a look over her shoulder. He smiled as he stepped towards her.

“Yeah. See, you stand right…here.” He set his hands on her hips and guided her so she was in front of him.

“Let me guess,” she said with a smile, “I’m supposed to lean backwards like this?” She leaned back into him and his hands settled on her hips again to pull her snug against him. She felt really good against him, he had to admit.

“For balance’s sake of course.”

“Of course.” She replied. They stood there for a few minutes, just listening to the sounds of the ocean waves lapping against the anchored sailboat.

“You want something to drink?” He asked finally. Deciding to be a little sarcastic, she nodded.

“I’m thinking a nice red wine, preferably from Italy, that’s been aging for many, many years from before we were born. Oh and if you have some of that moldy cheese stuff, that’d be great.”

“Actually I’m fresh out of that, but I did bring along a lot of PBR.” She laughed.

“Pabst Blue Ribbon? Perfect.” He went and fetched them a can each. When he returned, he stood next to her, leaning against the ledge, his back to the ocean while she held the fishing rod.

“You know, I’ve been thinking. You’re wasting your time with Santiago.” He said, thinking on how to properly convey the thoughts that were in his head on this matter. He had to be delicate about it or she’d take it the wrong way.

“What do you mean?” She asked, pulling the small thingy that held her hair in the ponytail off. She pocketed it, wanting to feel the wind going through her hair. She turned and looked at him as she posed the question.

“Well, I’ve seen you work and seen your work. It’s impressive.” He said.

“Thanks.”

“But that’s just it. You should be much higher than a secretary to a CEO. You could be the vice-president of a division if you put your mind to it. I don’t know why you’re not or why Jerry hasn’t promoted you. I’ve made some inquires at Cadric. You’ve turned down offers of promotion close to three times now. He should have just forced you somehow.” He said matter of factly, showing that he was more than acquainted with her personal file at Cadric Enterprises.

“You…You looked up my file?” She asked, almost dropping the fishing rod in shock at what he’d said.

“I know, I know, invasion of privacy, sue me. Matter of fact, I’ll just give you a couple million and more every year. All you need to do is to just come over and work for Wayne Enterprises in the Aerospace division. I can use someone like you to whip that part of the company into shape; I’m too busy with other projects to deal with it right now.” She stared at him, jaw dropping to the boat’s deck.

“You’re…you’re serious.”

“I’ll even though in a golden parachute. No, I’ll throw in a platinum parachute, with rhinestones all over it. You’ll love it.” He said with a smile and she couldn’t resist, she had to smile back despite being angry with him. He’d had no right to go into her file, but the offer that he was giving her was tempting.

“I…I don’t know what to say. I’ve never taken the promotions because I’m scared of failing. As a secretary, I know what I’m supposed to do and how to do it. It may not pay well, but it’s good for me.” She said, lifting a hand to brush wind tousled hair out of her face. He shrugged in response.

“You could say yes. Babe, you’re not allowing yourself room to grow. You’re stuck in a rut here. If you never try you never give yourself a chance to succeed. You’re always failing.” Isaiah replied, smirking. She gave him a scowl in response. He didn’t understand the gravity of the situation that he was presenting her with. But then again he was Isaiah Muir, he was used to the easy life. If she couldn’t cut it as a big time executive and had to leave then where would she go?

“I could say no.” She said, and Isaiah knew he was going to face a bit of an uphill battle convincing her of what he and by extension she, wanted. Still, he knew what he was doing was for her own good. Isaiah was also one of those people who refused to take the word “no” for an answer so he was going to work on her quite a bit.

“You could say that you’ll think about you’ll get back to me.” He replied evenly to which she nodded slowly.

“I’ll think about it and I’ll get back to you.” She fell silent after that and he smiled to himself, knowing that if the thought was planted in her head by someone like him, perhaps she’d take heed of the advice and actually go through with it. He could use someone like her on the Wayne Enterprises team. He hadn’t been lying when he said that she did good work. He had looked over her file after hacking the Cadric network himself last night after he’d gotten back from dropping her to Santiago’s resort.

“Cool. By the way, you’ve got a fish on the line.”

“I have a-what?” She turned and looked where he was pointing. The fishing rod was almost out of her hands and the wheel was spinning at a furious rate. She grabbed a hold of it. “What do I do?”

“I thought you said you knew how to fish.”

“I also said I’d never caught one before.” He helped her reel it in. The fish flopped on the deck of the boat. “Oh my God….it’s disgusting! Isaiah, don’t just stand there, do something!”

“Your fish, you kill it.” She looked at him, a look of horror on her face.

“You can’t be serious. Do you give all your possible executives tests like this?”

“No, but I’m considering it after this.”

“Creep.” She said. He shrugged and grabbed the fish by its tail. She shrieked and jumped backwards. It was a large fish, he had to say that. Definitely be enough for the both of them, since it looked like she didn’t eat food at all to get the body she had.

“Okay, fine, I’ll deal with it. But you did just lose a million off of the contract.” She stuck her tongue out at him and grabbed her beer.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

She stretched and lifted her head from the pillow. Her blonde hair was tangled around her face. Sunlight was pouring into the main cabin of the boat through a window that had its blinds partially closed. The sheets entrapped her legs, wrapped around her just at her rear end. Britney smiled to herself. Well, at least she finally knew where she stood with Isaiah. She heard the door opening to the main cabin and put her head back down on the pillow. She turned her head as she felt his weight push the mattress down a bit.

His fingers brushed over the tribal tattoo she had at the small of her back. Isaiah bent and traced it with his tongue, moving over the design. “I really like your tattoo.” He said. She made a sound of agreement and he reached, rolling her over onto her back. She looked up at him a smile on her face. “I brought coffee.”

“Coffee sounds nice.”

“I thought so. Ground the beans myself.” She smiled.

“I thought about your offer.”

“And?” He said, knowing she would have come to a decision fast or not at all.

“I’ll take the job. If only to slap a sexual harassment suit on your table a year from now.” He laughed and nipped the mug of coffee from her hands.

“I really do like the way you think.” He said and kissed her.

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:52 am

2008

“What do you mean you can’t find her?”

“I don’t know where she is. She was in the room over half an hour ago. I left to go check with Murry about something and when I got back she’s gone.” Fear curled up in Steven’s stomach. Eva was missing from where they kept her in the courthouse during the trial. While he knew that the area was protected that didn’t mean that it was impossible to get to. He was moving through the hallways, his right hand resting on the grip of his pistol as he moved just in case. He didn’t even want to think about what could be happening to her, but the thoughts entered his head regardless.

Damn it. You promised her you would protect her. You gave her your word. She trusted you with her life. The thoughts kept on through his head, like the banner on the Goodyear blimp in Scarface. He came around the corner and was standing in front of the officer that he’d been speaking to before. “Alright. Tell me what happened.” He said, trying to inject some calm into his voice so he would calm the officer down.

“We had left her alone for some time. She asked us to be alone and then-”They were interrupted by Steven’s ringing cell phone. He whipped it out and was about to press the ignore button when his mind reasoned that perhaps whoever had taken Eva might try to contact him with ransom demands or something, anything that would help him get her back. Even if was just to hear that something had definitely happened to her. He needed to know.

“Hello?” He asked his voice harsh into the receiver of the cell phone. The response came back quickly.

“Steven?” Eva asked and he sighed. Relief poured through him, like water on a fire. He closed his eyes for a moment. He didn’t know whether or not she was safe, but he knew that she was alive at least for the moment. He’d find her, and he’d get her back in GCPD custody. And then he was going to do a lot of yelling at his men.

“Eva, are you okay? Where are you?” He asked, the words almost tripping over themselves to get out of his mouth.

“I’m fine, Sheriff.” She said, cheerfully. It didn’t sound like there was anyone there threatening her, but Steven could never tell. What she said next confirmed his theory however. “I’m driving one of the cars we took to the courthouse and I’m headed towards your mothers’ house.” His eyes narrowed and his anger grew as his temper ignited. She’d never seen or heard him angry and she was definitely going to get a taste of it now. He switched the phone to his other ear.

“What did you say? What the hell did you say?” On the other end of the phone, Eva winced as she made a left turn onto Brandenbury Avenue. She’d known he was going to take it bad, but seriously, this bad? She was guessing that he probably had a vein bulging in his neck or something as he tried to keep his anger down. She decided that reasoning with him was probably going to be out of the question but still worth a shot. It was all she could do in this situation realistically; there wasn’t much else, because he was just going to yell at her. So she readied herself for what was going to come her way.

“I said, I’m fine and that I’m headed towards your mothers’ place. I’m not too far actually, she said she lives by William T. Blake Park.” He nodded slowly, thinking to himself how someone as smart as Eva was could be so damned stupid.

“Oh okay, because for a second there, I was thinking that maybe you had lost your God damn mind. Turn the car around right now, Eva. You are not safe. Please, come back, I don’t have anyone in that area.” He said, trying to stay as calm as possible. He knew that yelling at her over the phone wasn’t going to get either of them anywhere. But he was saving everything for when he got her back in the apartment. She was going to wish she’d never got it in her head to go and meet his mother.

“I’m sorry; I just want to meet your mother. You’re welcome to join us, you know. She was going to extend the invitation to you, but then she figured you’d be a little upset. I don’t know why I didn’t agree with her at the time.” Eva said cheerfully, and he clamped down on the urge to strangle her. He knew where his mother lived and he knew how to get there fast. He signaled to the officer to stay there and then he headed out a side door. There was a 2008 red Cadillac CTS parked there. That was the car that he’d driven to the courthouse. He still had the keys in his pocket.

Five seconds later, he was peeling out of the parking lot, the V6 giving him three hundred and four horsepower. He was still on the cell phone and driving one handed. “I’m coming over there right now, Eva, and then you’re coming back with me.” He said as he flashed past a light a good five seconds after it had turned red. “And you and me are going to have a nice conversation about listening to the people who are attempting to protect you, understand?”

“Mmm-hmmm. I have to go, I’m at your mom’s now.”

“Say hello for me, and tell her that she and I are going to talk as well.” He closed the cell phone and damn near threw it at the front passenger window. Both of the women in his life were pissing him the fuck off right now. He didn’t even notice as he flew past another red light that he’d forgotten about the fact that Horne was in his life. Remembering that if something went down, he was going to need backup, he grabbed the phone and dialed one of his officers. “Jake, yeah, this is Steven. Listen, get me a couple patrol cars and get them to the Blake Park area. Make sure they’ve got body armor and tell them to get there as soon as humanly possible.” He hung up before his friend had a chance to respond.

And they’d just made him a lieutenant. This woman had no consideration for other people. He shifted lanes and cut off the soccer mom minivan that he’d been tailgating. He sped up as the woman had forced him to cut his speed. He was doing seventy in the middle of Gotham City, not giving a shit about the speed limit or lights. It took fifteen minutes to get to his mother’s place from the courthouse when driving at a reasonable speed and obeying the rules of the road. He was going to do it in five and avoid six accidents while doing it. Sexy rear end or not, Eva was in a lot of trouble.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The door to Carla Maria Santieri’s house flew open. “Mama!” Steven called out in a loud voice. He walked through the halls, hand on his gun and came into the living room. “Jesus Christ, you’ve got to be shitting me.” He said. Both women looked up from the sofa, where they had been sitting drinking a cup of tea and looking at Steven’s baby pictures. Both wore an irate look on their face.

“Mind your language!” The two women said at the same time as his mother made the sign of the cross. If his mother had been standing and close to him she would have smacked him. “Have you no decency, Stefano, none at all?” She said, using his Italian name. He took a deep breath.

“Mama, you jeopardize my entire career, my safety, Eva’s safety, and the outcome of one of the largest organized crime trials in the history of Gotham City to show her my baby pictures?” He said incredulously, pointing at the photo album that rest on Eva’s lap. The two women looked down at the album and then back up at Steven before his mother gave him an answer.

“I also make her my veal and I give her recipes too. She has told me how she feeds the police officers who are at the apartment where she stays. I want to help, is that so bad?” He sat down on one of the chairs in the living room and tried not to curse again. He knew his mother would probably hit him and Eva would hold him down so he couldn’t run anywhere. His mother had the amazing ability to turn into a martyr in the span of a sentence. It’s why his father, bless his soul, had never won an argument with the woman.

Santieri had a sneaking feeling that Eva had received training in the art as well, especially after she started talking. “Steven, I’m sorry. I just, I wanted to get out of the routine. I’m either in the apartment or I’m at the courthouse. I needed some breathing room, some time alone without any of the officers or you or anyone. Your mother was kind enough to help me out. And seeing your baby pictures didn’t hurt either.” She smiled and he found himself want to forgive her. “You were cute back then, what happened?”

“My boy has always been cute, Eva.” Carla said in response. She wasn’t blind and could see what was between the two of them even if neither of them did. One of the first things that she and Eva had discussed when Eva had entered the house had been Steven. She could tell that the Hispanic woman was the right match for her son, but she didn’t know how to get either of them to realize it themselves. Despite everything she’d said, Eva had been firm in saying that she didn’t have any inclination towards her boy.

“You don’t understand, Eva.” Steven said. “I have no problem with you meeting my mother. Well, I didn’t think baby pictures would enter the equation, but I’m still fine with it. But the problem is that you’ve possibly exposed yourself to Don Vitale and any hitmen he could have. You’ve endangered yourself and my mother by coming here. I’m sorry, we have to leave now.”

“I made cannoli.”

“Mama, not now.” He said and rose. At the same time, someone rang the doorbell. Steven turned and started to head towards the front door to see who it was, when a large bang was heard. Twelve gauge shotgun if his ears served him right. “Son of a-“ He dropped to the ground, as did Eva and Carla. He looked at them. “Exchanging recipes, didn’t think you get killed over shrimp scampi did you?”

“No one shoots anything in my house! Not in my house!” Carla rose and swiftly exited the living room.

“Mama!” Steven called out and started to rise. Just as he did, a man dressed in a black suit and tie stepped into the living room. He had a Benelli M4 Super 90 Shotgun, more commonly referred to as the M1014 that the United States Marines used. Steven had had the luxury of shooting one off before. It was semi-automatic and that was not good. The man saw Eva crouched near the coffee table and turned. Steven knew that he wasn’t going to be able to get his pistol clear of his holster in time. Luckily he didn’t have to.

His mother came around the corner, one of his dad’s old shotguns in her hand. She leveled both barrels of the gun at the man who registered a look of surprise on his face, before he got both of the barrels of shot sent at him. Steven jumped up. “Mama, you told me you got rid of Pop’s guns.”

“I lied. I didn’t want you playing with his guns, Stefano, I told you.” Muttering some evil thought about his mother, Steven grabbed Eva’s hand and pulled his pistol out with the other. “There should be officers on the way; I made the call on the ride over here just in case. Mama, you stay in the house, do not leave under any circumstances. Eva, we’re getting to the car.”

“What about the one I brought?”

“Forget it, now’s not the time.” She nodded and he moved through the hallways to the door. There was another man entering the house. He brought his gun to bear, but Steven was faster, and two hollowpoint rounds entered the man’s chest. Steven headed past the fallen man. They exited the house. Suddenly shots rang out. “Jesus, they got organized fast.” Steven said and headed towards the car.

Bullets pierced the hood, and Steven could tell that they were shooting out the engine. He could risk headed to the other car or any of the cars on the street, they’d just get taken out in the same way. He looked around from his crouched position as one of the windows of the CTS shattered. The area was built like a large rectangle. The park was in the middle and surrounding it was a street. Surrounding that were the houses. There was only one way in and out of the area. They shooters’ vantage points were only on one side which meant only one thing.

They had to go through the park. Any other way would be suicide. In the park they could find cover. It was the only choice, incase Vitale got men onto the other side of the length sides of the rectangle. “We’re going to go through the park.” Steven said to Eva over the screams of bystanders who were running for cover. He’d fired two rounds so far. He had a total of four clips for his pistol with him, and he had a .38 in a shoulder holster. Things were not looking good. He grabbed the small gun and handed it to Eva. “Ever fired a gun before?”

“Yes.” She said, nodding her head.

“Now wouldn’t be the time to ask if it was legally done at a firing range or in self defense would it?”

“Not at all.” She said with a smile. “Don’t worry, I’ve got good aim. I’ll make sure that Agent Whore doesn’t loose her boy toy.” He grabbed her other hand and they made a dash for the park entrance. Bullets tracked their progress, never actually hitting them, luckily. Steven knew that they would be able to evade better here in the park. Trees littered the place, in addition to normal playground equipment. The best part about the park right now was the three foot high brick wall that ran around the perimeter. That was going to save their life.

He pulled her to the brick wall on the shooter’s side and dropped behind it. He leaned against the wall as the shooters found where they were. Pieces of brick flew off the top as the hitmen tried to get them. “Will the wall stop all the bullets?” Eva asked, unsure as she leaned on the wall and put her head on his shoulder, breathing heavily.

“It’s a foot thick, it should.” He said, and put his hand over the edge of the wall and fired two shots blindly.

“Oh, God. Steven, I’m really sorry, I didn’t think that they’d be able to track me, I shouldn’t have been so stupid.” She leaned forward and to the side, so that she was huddled basically on top of him. He put an arm around her.

“Don’t worry about it now.” He reached into his pocket for his cell phone and dialed Jake Crane. “Damn it, Jake, its like a fucking warzone over here, where the hell is that back up?”

“There was no one in your vicinity. I had to send people from headquarters itself. HQ is beyond the courthouse and with traffic, its going to be another five minutes at least.”

“I do not have five minutes. I’ve got at least five, maybe six shooters here. From the sound of things, one of them has a G36. The rest have small arms. You need to get help over here now!” He hung up and pointed a finger at Eva, right in her face. “And you. From now on, you do exactly what I tell you to do, you understand me?” She nodded and hugged him, scared. She put her head on his chest and he rested his chin on top of her head. “You have no idea how scared I was when Jake told me you were missing, because something like this could have happened.”

“I’m sorry,” She said, her voice muffled by his shirt. The last thing he needed was hysterics coming from her. One of the whizzed over head and she hugged him tighter. He settled his hand at the small of her back and flicked the safety off of his pistol again.

“I should have grabbed one of Pop’s guns before I left.” He said more to himself than to her. His dad had had a semi-automatic AK-47 stashed in the house, unless his mother had actually thrown that one out. That would have been handy right now. He shifted, so that Eva was under him. He kept his weight off of her, knowing that he’d crush her. He looked down at her. “You wouldn’t happen to have one of those makeup things would you?”

“What?”

“A whats-it called…a compact?”

“Yeah, why?” She replied, looking a little confused. He just made a motion for her to give it to him. She reached into her purse and handed it to him. He popped back down and flipped it so that he could see the mirror. “That mirror is too small. You’re not going to be able to see properly.”

“What are you a mathematician?”

“I got a degree in Mathematics from Gotham University as well. I minored in it. That and I have a healthy dose of common sense.”

“Right like the common sense that told you it would be okay to go out in public unescorted while there are people with guns looking for you. You mean that common sense?”

“There’s no need to be sarcastic.” She said primly. He rolled his eyes and lifted the compact above the brick wall.

“Well have you got a better idea?” He said as he attempted to see if he could figure out the location of some of their shooters.

“No, not really,” Eva admitted. Suddenly, he turned and rose, firing three shots, taking one of the shooters down. The man had been firing from behind a bench on the other side of the street. As he fell to the ground, police sirens could be heard. The firing began to die down as the cop cars came squealing around the corner and into the rectangle.

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Mir
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Post by Mir » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:04 pm

2007

Night had fallen on Gotham City. With it, the shadows were longer and darker; People retreated to the somewhat safety of their homes. The innocent feared for the safety of their loved ones. Few people paid attention to the procession of three cars that were driving through the streets. The first and the last were of the 2007 Durango model. The one in the middle was a Bugatti Veyron. It was black on black and the group moved almost silently through the streets. There were few people out in this area, it was a known Vitale stronghold and people obeyed the rules that the family had set up in this area.

The three car group turned off the main road and then went through a series of side streets until they reached their destination. A medium sized building that had a neon sign attached to the outside. The sign boldly proclaimed that this was a strip club. The cars parked in the back and then the people inside got out and headed in through the back. They had business to attend to. They would work before they played. Those were the rules and they always stuck to the rules.

Inside, they walked through the back parts of the club, past girls putting on costumes and makeup and headed down stairs so that they were below all of the action. The group of men numbered four and they moved as though they owned the place. After all, one of them did, even if it wasn’t a legal ownership. The basement of the place was set up into a few compartments. The backmost area, also the largest, was set up with a table, chairs, and a few other amenities. The group headed over there.

The leader was a man in his early thirties. He exuded confidence and swagger. He sat down as one of the members of the group headed to a table against the wall and grabbed a pack of cards. As the rest sat down, he joined them, beginning to shuffle the cards. He dealt them all hands and they started a friendly game of Poker. They got through a few rounds before someone came down to them. It was a man with a smile on his face. “Hey there, Vitale, how are you?”

“I’m good,” Michael Vitale said in response. “How’s things here?”

“Fine, fine. Anybody coming by tonight?”

“A few friends. I’d like it if some of the girls could meet them. I think the girls would really like my friends.”

“Sure, not a problem. I’ll send some of them down right now.” Michael shook his head.

“I’ll come up. I haven’t gotten a good lap dance in a while.”

“You’ve been visiting another establishment haven’t you?”

“Guilty,” Michael replied with a smile. The man smiled back and then headed back upstairs to his work. Michael turned to the rest of the group that he’d come with. “So, what’s on the agenda?”

“We have Willy coming through, delivering the money we’re giving to the Greeks. Besides that, we’re free until the Greeks get here.” Michael nodded. “By the way, what’d you tell Eva, Boss?”

“The bitch knows her place. She didn’t ask me where I was going and I didn’t tell her shit.” Some of the guys cracked smiles. “And when I’m getting my dick sucked by some of these girls, I’m not going to feel bad about it at all.” Michael said with a laugh. He threw down his cards, revealing a three of a kind. While he didn’t win the hand, he didn’t care. It was just a game. Reaching into the pocket of the pin striped coat he wore, he pulled out a cigar and a cutter. He sliced the end off and lit it with a matchbook that was on the table. As he took a puff, some of the girls entered the room. He smiled at them, beckoning them towards the group.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“You’re looking good.” The man said. Michael looked up with a smirk at the man who led a group of five as they walked into the basement area. Michael currently had a woman of European descent in his lap, moving to the strains of some unheard beat. She was topless and Michael was going to get her bottomless soon too.

“Do you have what I requested?” Michael asked as the others filed into the room. The leader nodded. Michael gestured to the Rubbermaid crate that Willy had dropped off half an hour before. One of his men went over there and opened the crate. Inside was a collection of twenty dollar bills, wrapped into sets of two thousand. There were, from Michael’s count, fifty sets, totaling a hundred thousand dollars. The whole collection was wrapped in plastic wrap. The man turned to the leader and nodded once. The other three in the group beside the leader stepped forward.

They had been holding cases in both hands. They set them down on the table and clicked them open. In each case were two Heckler and Koch MP5s along with two clips and a suppressor for each gun. Twelve in total. Michael smiled. “Very nice. You are indeed a man of your word.” If the girls had been scared by the appearance of the guns, they didn’t show it. The man nodded and after the cases had been cleared away by Michael’s men, placed one more case on the table.

He popped the lid and here was what Michael had spent a lot of the money on. A Fabrique Nationale de Herstal Project 90. More commonly known as a P90. It had been made untraceable and it was perfect in Michael’s eyes. He reached out and ran a few fingers over the cool black metal. “Very nice indeed.” He looked up at the Greek. “You have time for a drink and some entertainment?” The man shook his head. “Ah. Very well then. It is good doing business with you. I’m sure my father will be very pleased with everything once I show it to him.”

The Greek smiled and the two shook hands. His men had already grabbed the Rubbermaid crate and the group headed out as soon as the transaction was completed. Michael turned to the blond haired woman in his lap and reached a hand out, cupping one of her breasts. “Alright sweetheart, let’s see what you can do.”

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Mir
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Post by Mir » Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:24 pm

2008

Steven sat in Robert’s office and stared at his boss. “You can’t be serious.” He said, trying to rise. The pain in his side halted his progress. He winced and sat back down. While the cavalry had come, Steven had managed to take a round to the right side of his stomach a few moments after the police cruisers had come around the corner, tires squealing, lights flashing. They had brought an ambulance with them and that was why Steven was alive now.

“Yes, I’m serious, Lieutenant. I spoke with the FBI and we decided that this was the way to go.” The two looked up as the door to Jason’s office opened. Horne stepped in. She went over to Steven and laid a hand on his shoulder before looking at Roberts. “Agent Horne, I can assume that you’ve been briefed on the recent developments and what we’re doing in response to them?” Melanie nodded.

“I’m not too thrilled with it.” She said, “But you went over my head on this, so I have no choice. Not that I’m angry with you or anything.” She said with a smile. “You want him to shadow her, and live there?” She asked, wanting to get a detailed explanation on Steven’s new job description. She lifted a brow in anticipation of Robert’s response to the question she’d posed.

“Yes, that’s what we need him to do. She’s most comfortable with him and he’s already over there a lot. We can pull some of the officers out of there; also it will allow her a greater deal of protection. We just didn’t want to do it at first, because we knew that Steven was being watched. But now it’s just easier to do, since they already struck at him once. Overall, we have to think of her protection.” Roberts said.

“What’s his cover story?”

“The bullet was more damaging than previously thought. He’ll be able to escort Eva to the courthouse, he’ll just need to stay more out of sight.” Jason said. Steven turned to Melanie, knowing that she wasn’t sold on the idea. Despite the fact that she didn’t need to be, he still wanted her to be okay with it.

“It’s fine, trust me. I don’t care.” He did, actually, but he wasn’t going to say anything about it, not now, not in front of Roberts. He wouldn’t say too much about it in front of Melanie, for fear of her complaining about it to her higher ups and getting things changed. It was what had to be done and so he was going to do it. He’d feared that something like this might happen, however and it was one of those times that Steven hated the fact that he’d been proven right. He leaned back in the seat as he spoke.

“I know, I’m just wondering what’s going on. My superiors wouldn’t tell me much about what was happening in response.” Horne said, dropping into one of the other chairs in Robert’s office, both men watching her form as she did. Roberts nodded at her words.

“That’s understandable.” Jason said. He turned to Steven. “You make sure that she goes nowhere unless you’re with her. Nowhere.

“Oh, don’t worry,” Steven said with a smile. “She won’t.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Why does it have to be you?” Horne said when they two of them had reached her office after the meeting with Roberts. GCPD had given her an office, but it was a little out of the way. She had dropped the blinds when they got in there.

“She is comfortable the best with me compared to anyone else.”

“I know, Steven, I’m just complaining.” She replied, giving him a smile. “Lift up your shirt.” Steven did as he’d been told. She gently pressed fingers to the bandages, standing close. He winced in pain. Her head came up. “You poor thing.” She said. He shrugged, working through the pain that was only a day or so old. He’d insisted that the doctors in the ER clear him as soon as humanly able, knowing that he’d been needed immediately. He’d waved away Robert’s insistence that he take some days off to recuperate. He’d taken bullets before.

“Just part of the job, really.” She shook her head and framed his face, kissing him.

“Do you realize what this is going to do to our ability to see each other?” She said. He smiled.

“Yeah. It’s not going to be good.” He replied, kissing her back. There wasn’t much on her desk and with a bit of strain, Steven set her on the desk. He stood in between her legs and she toed off her shoes and wrapped stocking clad legs around him. Their lips met and Steven slid his hands into her blond hair. She unbuttoned her business jacket as she clung to him.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The door to Eva’s apartment opened. She looked up from the show she was watching. Her eyes widened and she immediately rose. Steven had crossed the doorway and he had a suitcase with him. She was worried that he was still pissed at her. He looked as though he was still pissed off. If anything he looked as though he was even angrier with her, which didn’t look good for things. Suddenly unsure where to put her hands, Eva kept them at her sides.

“Steven…hey. Um, what are you doing here?” He looked at her for a moment as he shut the door. “You never come by this late.” He shrugged. She was surprised to see him here considering that the shooting and everything had been the day before. His mother was alright, she’d just been annoyed that Eva and her lunch date had been cut so short. She’d also been pretty emotional when she’d found out that Steven had taken a bullet. As he took another step, he winced and Eva came over to him, reminded of how she’d felt when she’d seen it happen.

It had been horrible for her, because she’d been so scared that what she’d done was going to cause serious problems for him. She been by his bedside and had prayed for a while. He’d been unconscious and she hadn’t told him about it, keeping it to herself. “Are you alright?” She asked, reaching for him. He brushed her arm away, a bit rougher than he’d intended. It put Eva immediately on the defensive.

“I’m fine.” He said.

“Okay.” She replied, taking a step back. He headed past her and walked to her bedroom. He set his suitcase down by a couch against a wall in her bedroom. “What’s with the suitcase?” She asked. He came out now, clearly angry.

“Well, because you apparently can’t control yourself and act like a rational human being, I’ve been assigned as a shadow.” It stung and it hurt. She’d admitted to making a mistake and she’d apologized, but he wasn’t going to let it die. No, he was going to use it against her and grind it against her. Just like Michael used to do with her whenever she’d made a mistake. She looked away, nodding slowly.

“What does that mean, a shadow?”

“It means that from now on, where you go, I go. I’m not supposed to let you out of my sight unless I’m reporting in. I live here now, until the case is done.”

“But…what about all of your street cases and your patrols?”

“They’re going to be taken over by other people.” He said and she saw one the reasons that he was angry. Steven lived for his patrol and his job. Just as she’d been unable to deal with being cooped up in the apartment, he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to stand it.

“Oh. Do…you want something to eat?” I could make you a sandwich or something.” He shook his head.

“No. Melanie and I had dinner before I came.” He said, almost daring her to say something. She didn’t. The only good thing, in Steven’s mind was that he was going to be able to work on the Vitale case and help the DA. He’d already been in communication with the District Attorney’s office and they’d welcomed his help, knowing that an extra set of hands and an extra opinion and viewpoint helped to set cases up in concrete, creating an airtight attack on the defense.

“Well, okay then.” Eva said, unsure of what to do, what to say. She wanted to check his wound, to see how bad it was, and to apologize again. Anything to try to make things better between the two of them. But she knew that he was in a mood and it wasn’t smart to try that. She gestured to the TV. “I was watching some old mystery movie.” Steven nodded and came around the couch. He sat down. Eva sat down on the other side of the couch, turning the volume back up.

She watched him out of the corner of her eyes. He wore a dark gray button up shirt that tucked into dark blue jeans. Black sneakers rounded out the mix. A part of her wanted him to tell her that he wasn’t angry with her. She considered him a good friend, and if he was going to be around her all the time like he said he was going to, she knew that it would be bad if they were like this. She rested her cheek on the arm of the couch, deciding to lose herself for a while in the story of the movie.

Time passed. During the course of the movie, which was actually pretty good despite the odds against it, the two slowly came to the middle of the couch, their actions truly unconscious. He sat there in the middle and Eva was next to him, their shoulders touching. Steven was watching her now, though he was also paying attention to the movie to keep up appearances. She wore a maroon tank top and matching pajama bottoms. Her long black hair was pulled into a ponytail.

He was still angry with her. But it was passing. He knew she hadn’t done it on purpose and Eva was logical all the time. It had just been an uncharacteristic action. He watched as the detective on the screen finally pieced together the last part of the mystery. “I’m sorry.” She said, when the credits were rolling fifteen minutes later. He had instinctively looked at his watch before realizing that despite the lateness of the hour, he didn’t have to wake up that early. He’d need to adjust his body’s schedule to her own.

“What?” He asked, turning to look at her.

“I said that I was sorry. About what happened.”

“I know you’re sorry, I’m just…I’m not angry at you.” He said. She turned and looked at him. “Anymore that is,” He added with a smile and he got a hint of one back from her. “Actually, my pension goes up cause I took another bullet, so I guess I should be thanking you.”

“Oh God, don’t say that.” She said and before he could stop her, she’d pulled up his shirt and was looking at the bandage. “You should still be in the hospital.”

“I slipped one of the nurses a piece of paper with my number on it. She helped get me cleared and out of there. I hate hospitals.”

“You do?” He nodded. She stopped and thought for a second. “Because of how your dad died?” He nodded again. “I still don’t think you should be working or anything like that.” He shrugged at this.

“Gotta do what I gotta do.”

“Well, I think that what you ‘gotta’ do, is rest.” He smiled.

“Maybe I should take a few more bullets. You’re actually being nice to me.” They were getting back into their old way of dealing with each other. She laughed softly, still unsure. “I bet I could get you to lose to me in Monopoly.” She rose.

“That will never happen.” She said and headed towards the kitchen. He turned and watched her, the oversized pajama bottoms bunching around her bare feet. “At least all of this confirmed what I suspected.”

“What’s that?”

“That you were really ugly as a baby.”

“And here I was just thinking about forgiving you.” He said, heading to the doorway of the kitchen. She was waiting for him. He’d barely stepped into the kitchen when Eva had her arms around his neck, and her body pressed against his.

Steven couldn’t lie, at least not about this. He’d dreamed about her. He’d fantasized about her, thinking about what she’d feel like, what she’d taste like, how she’d be in bed. Eva had one of the most amazing bodies he’d seen in his life and he’d never seen her in anything other than normal clothes. She had muscles, but wasn’t muscular, instead possessing a lithe, toned body. Her actions had taken him by surprise and he settled his hands on her curved hips.

Melanie was a ten yes, but compared to Eva, she was a five. Eva had curves were women weren’t supposed to have them, it was that serious. If ever a man were to look for a woman with child bearing hips, he’d find them here. Since her actions had taken him by surprise, Steven’s body reacted naturally. He had no time to think about what was happening to him, how the changes were so much more powerful and deeper than anything he’d experienced before.

The other thing that stopped him from realizing this was that his mind had blanked, since Eva just happened to be kissing him, eyes closed and everything. It was strange to know that you’d been right in fantasizing about how good a woman would feel in your arms. It was also strange to know that you been right in fantasizing how tantalizingly soft their skin would feel. But Steven found it really strange at how he’d been right in figuring out just how Eva would taste.

Perfect. That was just how she tasted. Her full lips parted and he slid his tongue into her mouth. She pushed against him and he backed up into one of the walls of the kitchen. Good God, she was perfect in every way. He’d never in his entire life wanted a woman the way he wanted Eva right then and there. But it wasn’t just that. He didn’t want to just scoop her up and carry her to her bedroom for a few hours of mutual enjoyment. No, he wanted more than that.

As he unconsciously reached down and picked her up by her thighs, forcing her to put her legs around him and settle herself more comfortably, Steven realized that he’d gone and done what he’d promised himself he was not going to do. He’d gone and fallen in love with Eva. Her tank top stopped an inch sort of her pajama bottoms and his fingers found the soft smooth skin there, the dip at the small of her back. Now he knew why he’d been so angry with her, even more so after he’d gotten shot. It wasn’t that he’d been shot, it was because he’d realized just how dangerously close she had come to getting shot.

He wanted no harm to come to her. She meant so much to him. It was just lust or anything like that. He liked being with her, being around her. He enjoyed her company.
Despite getting thrashed in almost every game they played, Steven kept doing it because it made her happy, because he was able to spend time with her. His relationship with Horne wasn’t based on anything like this. That was straight lust. It wasn’t a relationship, they were just…coworkers with benefits. Or something. This was the first time he and Eva had done anything like this, up until this point he’d only dreamed and wished and prayed.

He was in love with her. The realization slammed into him like a fist at full power. At the same time another realization dawned on him. As much as he wanted her and as much as he was in love with her, he couldn’t sleep with her. Any other man would have been hitting him and telling him to stop being an idiot, but Steven knew that he couldn’t.

He cared for her too much to jeopardize her safety by pursuing a relationship or anything with her. She could be a friend and even that was a stretch. Maybe…maybe when everything was over. Abruptly, he set her down.

Eva had been in heaven. Everything that she felt for Steven, everything that she’d covered up, had come out. She’d lied to him, to his mother and most importantly, to herself. She’d told the three of them that she had no feelings for Steven, that she didn’t like him in that way, and that she in fact actually didn’t like him. But all of it had been a lie. Since she’d met him, she’d been falling in love with him. The exact moment when she’d fallen had been when they’d been at the park, getting shot at.

Not the most romantic of times, but they’d been thrown together, she had been on top of him, huddled for safety. He’d shifted so that he was on top. She’d looked up into his eyes and had seen something there that she’d never seen in Michael’s eyes, ever. Genuine concern and care about her wellbeing. Steven actually cared about her. He, if she was living one of the dreams she’d had since she met him, loved her. She’d decided then and there that she was going to do whatever she had to do to get him.

She’d been hurt when he’d mentioned Melanie and he having dinner, because it had shown that he’d known something of how she felt. She remembered when she’d found out that he and Whorne had slept together. They’d been right here in the kitchen, and she’d been short with him the rest of the time he’d been in the apartment, unable to think that what he’d said had happened had actually happened.

It might have happened and it might have happened again and a few more times, but there was no way that he could have held her like this, been kissing her like this if he didn’t feel something. She looked up at him, confused as to why he’d set her down. She’d gone along with him holding her that way because she knew that it’d be easier to go to her bedroom.

“W-What’s wrong?” She asked, a bit out of breath.

“We can’t do this, Eva.”

“What do you mean?” She asked him, running her tongue over her swollen lips.

“I’m supposed to protect you. We can’t do this.” He brushed past her suddenly, heading towards the couch in her bedroom that was actually a futon and leaving her alone in the kitchen.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
Posts: 18556
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Post by Mir » Sun Oct 05, 2008 5:35 pm

2007

“So you think it’s a gang war of some kind?”

“There’s no way to be a hundred percent sure, Winston. These people are packing a lot of firepower. The sheer number of round casings found and slugs dug out of bodies lend credence to submachine guns and light assault weaponry.” Isaiah said from his seated position in front of the huge bank of computer monitors that displayed the information that his supercomputers gave him. He was doing a wide variety of different tasks at the same time and was doing each one to the best of his ability, given the fact that he was a genius in his own right.

On a few of the screens were the police reports from the recent string of gang related murders. On another screen was diagnostic information from the Batboat, which Isaiah had been working on recently. It had been giving him a few problems regarding the launching of the submersibles and he’d been looking forward to testing the new version out. “It’s too early to be naming names and asking questions, I think. We definitely need a bit more data before we have anything fully conclusive. Should take another week at the earliest to figure out what’s going on here.” Isaiah rose.

“Well, I’m sure that you’ll be able to keep those taps on GCPD up and running, Master Isaiah. More information will definitely present itself. I don’t think these people are going to just stop what they’re doing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need a Batman and you could go back to doing whatever it is you do during the day.” Winston said. Isaiah nodded and gave a wry, unseen, smile as he looked down at another console from his standing position.

“It would help if I had a sympathetic commissioner.” Isaiah said, turning and looking at Winston for a few seconds before looking back at the computer console. His fingers flew over a keypad as he entered commands into the computer regarding the Batboat. He’d test it out the next day in the underground harbor that connected Wayne Manor to the ocean and to Gotham Bay. He had a feeling all of his adjustments and repairs were fine, but it never hurt to be on the safe side.

“Jason Roberts is a good man. He’s just had to keep Gotham safe without Batman for some time. It’s got to be a strain on anyone.” Winston said. He was standing a few feet away from Isaiah who turned now and gave the older man his full attention. Winston had a point there. Roberts had been the force behind the police for some time, using his officers in a constant guerilla war against crime. He’d brought it down, to some degree, but not to the degree that Bruce Wayne had done. Nor had he been able to crack down on the Vitale Family or the other families that had moved in once Batman had died.

“That may be true, but it doesn’t help me.”

“Agreed, Master Isaiah. As to the guests that are going to be trickling in soon…?”

“I’ll change. Where is Britney?”

“I believe Miss Harmon is getting ready.” Isaiah smiled. He knew that Winston didn’t particularly like Britney, nor he did he know why. Probably had something to do with the fact that Winston was fond of Cassie, having had a hand in raising the two of them. Isaiah knew what he was doing though. He nodded and headed towards the elevator. He pushed one of the buttons and headed up towards the actual house.

When he reached his bedroom, he was treated to a sight. Britney was attempting to get into a snug gold dress. He leaned against the doorway and watched as the dress moved over her underwear clad rear and then up. She set the straps and saw him in the reflection of the mirror. She stuck her tongue out at him and he wondered how she could be an executive in one of the largest corporations in the world with that level of maturity. “Isaiah, perfect timing. Can you do the back, please?” It was backless, but had a little bit that needed to be zipped up. He came towards, pulled her to him, putting his chin on her shoulder and molding her hips with his hands, fingers on the soft silk of the dress.

“What if I don’t want to?” He said, snuggling and kissing her neck.

“Then I hurt you.” His right hand went down and zipped her up. “Thank you.” He nodded and they kissed. “This should be an interesting party.”

“You’re staying over tonight, right?” She leaned against him, looking at his face by means of the reflection in the mirror and nodded.

“I have to check with my mom, but I think I can sleepover.” She said, as his hands came around to her stomach, pulling her even snugger against him. He kissed her, drawing it out for a few moments. She turned in his arms and then she smiled when they broke apart.

“Well, if you need me to keep the monsters in the closet, I’ll keep you safe.” He said with a smirk and she smiled. “Alright, I have to go check on some things, but I’ll be back.” She nodded.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

His mind was more on gold dresses and what was going to happen afterwards in his bedroom than on the party itself. Another part was working on the recent developments that he’d put into the computer for work on later. He’d have to get to it the next day, after Britney left, as odds were the party would last till the early morning and he probably wouldn’t get to sleep around sun up considering the stamina in bed that both he and Britney had. He had a feeling he knew who was behind the weapons buildup though. Vitale’s son, Michael. He was crazy enough to escalate things that drastically. Who used MP5’s in shootings anyway. Besides the military or PMCs, few people would utilize that kind of firepower, even under the “home defense” clause.

Isaiah had, despite what he’d said earlier, decided to do some questioning. It was why he’d insisted that Michael come to the party. H had a feeling that Michael would bring his fiancée. He had to keep up appearances and the appearance of all being well in his impending marriage was one that needed to be cultivated. Odds were that Michael hadn’t thought of it though, but his father had come up with it. The Don of the Vitale’s was a smart man after all. Eva Rodriguez was a looker; there was no doubt about that. She put supermodels to shame and did it without even thinking about it.

Speaking of supermodels, one had just entered the party. Isaiah was on the second floor of the roofed atrium looking down into the large party room. A beautiful woman in a stunning little dark green number with slits up the side of her legs. He hadn’t seen her in what felt like years. As always his pulse quickened, his eyes widened a little more, his hands clenched and unclenched. He put his hands on the railing to steady himself as he made sure he was seeing what he was seeing.

Cassandra Simmons, Isaiah’s soulmate even though he refused to do anything about it, walked forward into the house that she’d spent more than a few years growing up in. She had a beaming smile on her face. She gave Winston a huge, tight bear hug, the action looking definitely out of place for the usually poised supermodel. His mind blanked, forgetting what it was that he had been thinking about. He headed down the stairs. Entering the room, he watched as some of the caterers worked on one of the displays. Cassie came towards him, a smile on her face. She knew him well enough, probably better than anyone except maybe Winston and she could tell that he was feigning not noticing her.

Before either of them could say anything, Britney came and gave Isaiah a kiss on the cheek. She turned and saw Cassie, but not the diminished smile or the obvious anger of a woman pissed off at another poaching on what she considered as her territory. Cassie had wiped the look off her face. “Hello, oh my God, you’re Cassandra Simmons, right? I love your work.” Isaiah was forced to turn.

“Cassie! Hey, how have you been?” He said enveloping her in a hug. She closed her eyes and he did too, both thinking on how good it was to be around the other, both hoping there wouldn’t be any complications.

“I’ve been good Isaiah.” She said and smiled at Britney. “It’s a pleasure always to hear that.”

“This is Britney Harmon, she’s one of the new execs at Wayne Enterprises.”

“I think I saw your name on one of my most recent royalty checks.” Britney laughed.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“Damnit, Eva, let’s go.”

“I’ve been ready, Michael.” Eva Rodriguez said. She’d used makeup to cover up the latest of Michael’s abuse. She had a few bruises on her face and body, but in her mind, it was nothing major to keep the peace. She was waiting for him at the door to their apartment. She’d gotten a new dress for the occasion, a little black dress. Eva pulled the look off with ease, looking as she did.

Michael came around the corner in a suit. He was looking good. He was smiling and that meant that he was in a good mood. She just hoped that it would stay that way. It would be bad if he didn’t, and she wanted to avoid anything bad from happening. She would be mortified if something did, considering the caliber of people who would be at Isaiah Muir’s house tonight. Just with it being Isaiah Muir who had more money than anyone else she’d ever heard of.

They had borrowed one of Michael’s father’s cars. The Audi was pristine. Eva slid into the passenger seat and Michael got in to drive. His fingers tightened on the wheel and he started the car. “Eva, this is really important. Muir might want to talk about the family’s legitimate business.” She nodded. “So you better be on your best behavior.” She nodded again, thinking to herself that she was always the better behaved of the two of them.

“Whatever you say, Michael,” she said. He nodded and patted her knee, leaving his hand there.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Isaiah knew that bad things were going to happen. Cassie and Britney had fallen into a conversation and had politely excused him from it with nothing more than a look. He was mingling with guests as they came in and made small talk. No matter what though, his eyes kept coming back to Cassie. She looked gorgeous, perfect, she always did, but that was just how she was.

He headed over to a table and poured himself two fingers of whisky. As he did, Britney came up to him. “So how’s the party?” She asked, rubbing his back. He shrugged. She nodded. “She’s a looker isn’t she?” He smiled knowing that he was facing a firing squad. All hopes of having an exceptionally good time went out the window as he contemplated the implications of what was going to happen. “You love her, don’t you?” He smiled to himself as the final question came.

“Yes…I do.” He said, knowing that he wouldn’t lie to Britney about something like this.

“But you won’t go after her for some reason. So why me? We both knew that this relationship wasn’t going to get serious or anything like that, but do you really replace her with other women?” He was amazed that she was so calm and understanding, but then he nodded slowly.

“It helps that you get it.” He said. She reached out and cupped his chin. She leaned in and kissed him.

“I should be mad at you, but I’m not. I don’t love you either, but the possibility existed, I won’t lie about that.”

“It’s good that it doesn’t.”

“Why won’t you go after her?” Britney said looking at where Cassie had been before going to the bathroom.

“Maybe I’ll tell you later.” He said and she nodded.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
Posts: 18556
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Post by Mir » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:54 am

2008

Eva set the mug of coffee down in front of Steven. He looked up and smiled his thanks. She was used to how he liked his coffee now. A little bit of milk and four sugars. He had a notepad in one hand, reviewing some information on the trial. His eyes were on the work in front of him and he was attempting to block any distractions out. Of course, he failed when it came to Eva. “You know, you should start considering Splenda.” Steven looked up when she spoke and rolled his eyes at her. Eva just shrugged and sat down across from him. He had been up for a few hours. He’d been unable to sleep properly at all. The couch/futon was old and broken in a few places. More than a few places actually. It was also too small for him.

The worst part was that Eva’s full sized bed was in the room and she’d been in it. He couldn’t have gotten the futon out of the room even if he’d tried, and he wasn’t going to sleep on the couch, which was smaller than the futon. How the moving people, whenever they had set the place up, had managed to get it into the room, Steven didn’t know. He figured that they’d used some kind of vision of the future to know that sleeping in the same room as Eva would be torture and had found a way. The room smelled of her scent and it was intoxicating. How was he supposed to sleep?

She had curled up on the bed, and his eyes had often opened, when sleep escaped him to see her comforter and cotton sheet clad body. From his shins down were frozen solid because of the temperature and short blanket. He could have been nice and warm and toasty, curled up with her, his arms around her waist. It was incredibly trying on a man, especially hearing her rhythmic breathing, and knowing that it was doing the opposite of lulling him to sleep. They hadn’t spoken of what had happened.

Steven looked at Eva out of the corner of his eye. She didn’t look like she was mad at him, but women were, of course, sneaky like that. He had enough proof of that in his own mother. Carla Santieri had easily been able to put his father in his place, and his dad hadn’t even minded. Eva had made two slices of toast and had lightly buttered them. She lifted one and took a bite. She was reading Gotham’s newspaper. “What time do we have to head to the courthouse?” She asked, after swallowing her bite.

“Ten.” He said. She nodded and checked her watch.

“I need to shower.” She said. She took another two bites and then handed him the small plate. “Finish this for me. And wash the dishes.” She said and headed to the bedroom. Yeah, she was pissed at him. He’d already showered and dressed, so he was ready to go as soon as she finished getting ready.

He finished her food and washed the dishes. Then he waited. They had time. It was only eight o’clock. He headed to the sofa and sat down. The TV held no interest for him right now. He heard the shower start and winced. Had he not been such a stupid idiot last night, he would be showering for the first time then and would have been immensely pleased with himself.

He’d already beaten himself up about it. His decision remained the same though. He couldn’t compromise on it. Suddenly, he heard Eva start singing one of Cassandra Simmons’ hit songs and his eyes closed. This woman was tormenting him. It was not fair at all. He had half a mind to undress and remedy the situation immediately, but he knew that he couldn’t, despite what he wanted to do. It just wouldn’t end well for him and for the case.

Steven stretched out on the sofa, legs hanging out over the end. He fell asleep rather easily. Santieri woke to the scent of a perfume that just smelled amazing. He’d smelled it before and it had been burned into his memory. Chanel No. 5. He opened his eyes and almost had a start. Eva was in a gray business jacket and skirt outfit and was bent over him. The gold cross at her neck hung low. Her jet black hair was pulled back into a long ponytail. She had a touch of makeup on and had two gold drops in her ears.

“Are you ready?” She asked tentatively. He nodded slowly. He was getting ready to get up when she put a hand on his chest and pushed him back down.

“Um…Eva…?” He realized that he was in a very disadvantageous position. Of course, Eva couldn’t weigh more than a buck ten, so he could easily reverse the position. The question was whether or not he wanted to. Her fingers were spread out on his chest.

“I thought about last night.” He swallowed. He was in trouble. “And I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not going to forget.” She said and he nodded mutely. “I’m not going to let you forget either.” She said and he found his voice, knowing that he had to talk some sense into the situation otherwise things were going to get out of hand, really, really fast.

“Eva, now listen.” He said, trying to talk, but she wouldn’t let him.

“No.” She said, and struck. They were kissing and her arms were around his neck. His hands rose and captured her waist. He rose and pulled her into his lap. His fingers went underneath the buttoned jacket to hold onto her. Her arms meanwhile moved ever more around his neck. Her tongue was in his mouth and he shifted his head, deepening the kiss. “You’re not going to forget.” She said, breaking the kiss and then kissing him again after. “I’m not going to let you.” She added.

He looked at her, unsure of what to say. She was looking down at him and she bent her head. They shared one of the gentlest, most perfect kiss either had ever had. Steven usually did that, knowing how women responded to it. He’d never realized how much it could affect him. She rested her head on his forehead. “We have to go, Steven.”

“Right, yeah.” He rose and then realized that he was carrying her. She smiled at him, a little amused.

“You can put me down now, Stefano.” She said, using his Italian name. He cursed. Woman should have known better after messing with his system like that.

“C’mon, let’s go.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The room was empty. Well, it was dark, but that didn’t mean that it was empty. There were a few tables and chairs. The door to the room opened, letting a shaft of light into the room. It revealed a man sitting with his back to the door. He was in a wheelchair. The person who came into the room shut the door, bringing the darkness back. Before the newcomer had a chance to adjust to the darkness, the man in the wheelchair spoke. From his tone it was clear that he was upset with the newcomer and it had nothing to do with bringing temporary light to the darkness “You have failed.”

“I didn’t realize that Santieri would be there.”

“That is immaterial. I still blame you. Santieri was doing his job, something you should have been doing.”

“You brought more than enough firepower. What stopped you?”

“Do not presume to judge me. I am not the one on thin ice here .” There was silence for a moment as the man in the wheelchair let the full implications of his statement slide into the person’s mind and mull there for a while. “It has been decided that you will be the one to kill the prosecutor’s star witness.”

“Me?”

“Yes. Do you find any problems with this task?” The man said and it was clear what emotion he was expressing.”

“No. No, I don’t.” The person replied.

“Good. Now go. The trial is about to reconvene and you need to be there to watch the two of them.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Steven was sitting in the rows of the courtroom, and his eyes moved around the room, taking everything in and letting nothing get past him. He was watching the trial, and it was work, not pleasure to hear and see all the sickening and more importantly, mounting evidence against the Vitale family. Eva was up on the stand, answering questions. Every once in a while, she would turn and look at him. Their eyes would meet and he’d smile, reminding her that he was there for her.

He was listening to her testimony of the extortion of Spring Inc., a small technology firm. Apparently, the Vitale’s really controlled it and had been using it to bring high level equipment into the country to sell, without paying taxes on the freight. They were also using it to launder money. So far the highest number that Eva had spoken of was around three million dollars, and that had been one year alone. He leaned back against the hardwood bench that he was sitting on.

He turned as Thiam came into the room and headed towards him. She smiled and sat next to him, whispering her hello. She sat down and looked in on the proceedings of the trial. She handed him a folded sheet of paper. He took it and looked at it. It was a message from Roberts. He looked at it again and read it more carefully. Apparently there was another person in the Vitale organization who wanted to come forward. Steven would have been on the job to get to the person, but because of his new job description regarding Eva, he wouldn’t be on the team that secured this person. Melanie would liaison with another GCPD officer.

Roberts was just keeping him in the know, which was a good thing that Steven appreciated. He nodded at Thiam and then began to think about the woman sitting next to him. He had dated Thiam for nearly two years. She was beautiful and had a good personality. She was pretty crazy in bed, that was for sure.

When they had first started dating, Steven had been a little unsure about whether or not it would work between them. They worked in the same place and were about the same thing in that workplace. It had worked out for a while and he had some good memories from the experience. They had parted friends and had remained colleagues.

But something was different when it came to Eva. He hadn’t wanted to protect Thiam as he did want to protect Eva. Both were capable of taking care of themselves, but something was clearly different. He wasn’t sure what it was. He had never been fully in love with Thiam. Perhaps that had been it. As if summoned by his thoughts, she turned to him.

“Something wrong?”

“What? Oh, no, nothing really. I just want this case to be done.” He said. She nodded.

“Yeah, I know what you mean.” She said. Her face turned sly. “How are you going to deal with Eva leaving?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, once the trial is over, she’ll go about her life. Probably have to enter the Witness Protection program. You’ve gotten attached to her. Oh, don’t give me that look. I know you, Steven. You like her, even if you won’t admit it. You don’t want her to leave.”

“I…you’re right.” He said after a few moments. She nodded and he leaned back. Looking up at Eva, he saw that she was looking at him again. She smiled a little. Steven smiled back, not noticing that someone was watching them, someone hired by the Vitale’s to track Steven and Eva.

When the trail was adjourned for the day, Steven rose, heading out. Eva had left the stand before the trail had adjourned. Steven walked through the halls of the courthouse. He made his way this way and that, recrossing his path to shake off any would be pursuers. Ever since the attempt on Eva’s life, he wasn’t playing any games anymore. Eventually, he walked into a room. Eva was there, with two other officers. He walked up to her and dismissed the other two.

“Ready to go?” She nodded with a smile.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

They were back in the apartment. Eva had made them a pair of sandwiches. She sat on the couch, having set her empty plate on the small but long table in between the couch and the TV. Her eyes were closed and she was drifting off to sleep. Eva had taken her hair out of the ponytail and it was back to being long and loose, the way he liked it, though her hair was beautiful any way she did it up. Steven watched from where he was at the dinner table.

She was beautiful and that was being more conservative than Bill O’Reilly on Fox News. She was smart, probably smarter than he was, especially when it came to computers. Eva had a great personality and was great to be around. She was attainable and by some miracle, wanted him. So why was he dragging his feet? What was the problem? Deciding that he needed to put his mind on different things he rose and grabbed her plate and empty glass. He headed to the kitchen and put them into the sink. He washed everything, keeping as quiet as possible for Eva’s sake. Then he headed to the table where he had some papers from the case. Before he started though, he walked to one of the closets and grabbed a blanket and spread it over Eva’s curled up form. Then he got to work.

He’d reorganized everything, working down from higher profile murders all the way to the lower ones. There was little viable evidence for the more notorious ones, but that was to be expected. The Vitales had learned from Falcone and Moroni and those that the Batman had taken down. More than a few leaves had been taken from their books and much of what the Vitales had done was air tight.

It was the smaller ones though. If they could link those, as well as find an undercurrent narrative, they could connect them to the larger ones. Steven went to work. Time passed, easily hours. He was wrapped up in his work and not coming out of it for a while. He’d cajoled one of the DA’s assistants into giving him a set of unused cork boards. He’d done it after the trial, but before going to pick up Eva, having them sent through GCPD to the apartment. As he worked on things, he began to put them up on the board. He was leaning against the back of one of the large armchairs in the room, thinking to himself.

Everything, at least in his mind, came back to the Wyndham and Reynolds murders. He’d been unable to find the patrolman who had signed out of the Evidence the gun that had been used. Steven had tried hard though, pulling a bunch of favors that he’d been owed, but in the end he’d come up empty and that had annoyed him to a degree. He needed to find the patrolman and get that gun back. It was important to the case. Something told him that the gun’s information would enable them to link things together, making it that much more important, even vital, in his eyes.

Right then, he wished he hadn’t quit smoking. Life would have been better. Sure, his mother would try to kill him through fake kindness, but still. He had a feeling that Eva would frown upon it and God forbid his mother and Eva ever had another little get together. Even without people shooting at them, Steven would have so many problems he’d have to pull his hair out. He heard a little noise behind him and realized that Eva was up and stretching. He turned and watched as she did some complex yoga stretch that made his mouth water. It was clearly designed more to mess with his system than to do anything towards waking her up. She rose.

She came to him, her eyes half closed. “You want some coffee?” He nodded. “Mmkay.” He smiled. He’d never seen her drowsy. She headed into the kitchen and he went back to work. Some time later she came back, holding two steaming mugs. She looked more awake. She handed him one of the mugs of coffee and he took a sip. It slammed into him harder than a trucker’s fist.

“Jesus Christ, what is this stuff?” He asked, after the boiling hot liquid had gotten to his stomach, and the full extent of its potency hit him over the head.

“It’s nothing special, just a homegrown variety, designed to kick start the system. It’s only a little bit stronger than normal coffee.” She said, after smacking him for cursing. Her eyes still had a bit of fire in them for his blatant blasphemy and attempt to go to Hell. It definitely sucked that she was so Roman Catholic she was up there with his mother. Though he would never mention it, he did find it funny that she’d engaged in “pre-martial sex” on a regular basis with Michael, since she’d lived with him for a while before they’d started thinking of getting engaged.

His mother had overlooked this too and Steven had a feeling that if he brought his “actual” girlfriend to the house, which at this point was Melanie Horne that his mother would eat the blonde alive. Still, he didn’t say anything, because he valued being in one piece and in one place. Eva took an indulgent sip and he smiled. She had small hands and a small face and the mug was pretty huge, creating a funny picture.

“A little strong? Yeah, I’ll stick with Folgers.” He said. Eva normally used Folgers or Maxwell or some normal brand when she made coffee. She shrugged, the way she was turning it into an inadvertently sensual move. He noticed that she was rubbing one of her shins with the sole of the other foot. He immediately set up a fantasy image before he could stop himself of her doing that while wearing nothing but one of his white dress shirts, with none of the buttons done up and reading glasses on her face.

“Suit yourself.” She said and nipped the mug from his hands. “It’s not my fault that you’re not man enough to handle a coffee that’s not even strong at all.” She turned to head back into the kitchen. He moved fast, lopping an arm around her thin waist and having real estate to spare for his arm, not knowing that she was secretly pleased by his actions. She leaned against him, putting the cups down on an end table next to the armchair that Steven had been leaning against.

“Oh yeah?” He asked with a little touch of fake anger in his voice, his mouth a mere inch or so away from her ear.

“Uh huh.” Eva replied. She turned and kissed him. It was fast, but he hadn’t not been fully expecting it. “I want you,” She said, breathless, her voice barely above a whisper. “I want you so badly.” She said, kissing him again. She was flush against him, her curves matching him, fitted like they had been one person, cruelly separated some years ago.

“Eva…I…” He said, lifting his hands from where they’d burrowed under her halter top and then up to touch soft, soft skin. She took his hands out of the air and put them back on her.

“You’re closing up on me again.” She said, nearly taking a step back. He shook his head, trying to get her to understand.

“No, I-I just need to focus on the case.” He said, latching on to the first thing that came into his mind when he wasn’t thinking about her soft chocolate brown eyes or how he wanted to kiss every inch of her. “It’s my job.” She ran her tongue over her lips, doing horrible things to his insides as she also looked down. She had her hands on his hest and she was playing with the buttons on his shirt. He brought his hands up and held hers in them, one to each hand.

“I understand. You and…Your job is important to you.” He nodded slowly, hating himself. The light that had gone into her eyes had died. He knew she was going to make a move again soon, but maybe she was starting to better understand his position. “What is it that you’re working on?” She asked and turned again so that she could see the board. She leaned against him and he put his arms around her, linking his hands in front of the clasp of her jeans. She put a hand on each of his wrists. Her eyes scanned the board.

Eva’s mind was dulled to the murders. She’d watched Michael do some of them with his little hit squads. Some of the times, Michael had taken her on purpose to insinuate the threat of force if she didn’t stay with him or take care of the books and her other jobs. Furthermore, she’d known some of the people who had been “whacked.” She’d had to record their deaths in the secret books, books that were now in the hands of the Gotham City District Attorney’s office and the FBI. Her eyes traced the past few years and she couldn’t help but feel empty inside. “Maybe you shouldn’t look at this.” Steven said, noting the look on her face.

There had been an attempt on her life. She could have easily ended up like one of them and could have been on the board herself. Steven didn’t have to know that it could have happened many times in the past thanks to Michael’s tendencies towards violence and abuse. At one point, Eva would have welcomed death, the release that it would have given her, the freedom that she would have had. She shook her head. “No, it’s okay.” Her eyes followed the colored strings and organized design that Steven had set up to the last indicator. “Wyndham and Reynolds.” She said and her mind began sorting through what she knew about the murders.

“Yeah.” He said, gently resting his chin on her right shoulder. Her right hand unconsciously came up to slide through his hair and he breathed in her scent, deciding that tormenting himself more would get his mind on work and off of what would easily be the best play of his life.

“Something’s wrong though.” Eva said and his mind snapped back to reality.

“What?”

“Something’s wrong with what you have up here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, where’s the second set of murders?”

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Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Post by Mir » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:30 pm

2007

The door shut, deceptively soft. Eva opened her own door and exited the vehicle. She headed up the steps of her apartment building and entered, followed by Michael Vitale. They were silent as they moved through the lobby of the apartment building. Upon entering the elevator, Michael pressed the button for their floor and leaned back, clearly content with remaining silent. Eva for her part didn’t press the issue, knowing that no talking between them was often times better than talking, or as it usually was, Michael yelling and Eva just taking it. She enjoyed the silence, when it was available to her, the few times that it was.

They got to their door and Eva slid the key into the lock. After unlocking it, she unlocked the three other locks that her paranoid boyfriend had installed on the door. When you thought about it, it wasn’t paranoia, just precaution. He was the son of the Don of the Vitale family after all. Francesco Vitale had few enemies, but the ones that he did didn’t play around. The locks wouldn’t have done much if they decided to attack him, but they would do something against the average foe that came Steven’s way.

After they were all done, she took a step inside. The lights were on, just like they’d left them. She’d no more than taken her third step, when the door slammed shut. The sound was jarring, out of place for the quiet and tranquility that had ruled the evening. It was the first indicator that something was wrong and that things were going to change in a great way. Eva turned, her eyes wide. Michael was standing there, an incredibly calm look on his face. She took a couple steps back, unsure whether or not he’d shifted to abuse.

He had. She discovered this fact as he lunged forward, grabbing her by the arms, his fingers clenching her arms, bruising her skin. He turned and slammed her into the wall, making her cry out. “What? What did I do?” Eva said, willing to apologize for anything, even if she hadn’t done it, just to make him happy and get him to stop. He turned and tossed her down the hallway onto the ground.

“You think I wouldn’t see?” He said his voice calm and gentle. In any other situation it would have been soothing and relaxing, but not now. He advanced towards her, and she scrambled backwards, stopping when she bumped against the back of a chair. Her hands flew behind her to grab the top of the chair to steady herself. Eva reflexively gripped the chair hard, as she began to get scared by what was happening. Michael spoke again then, confirming her fear that perhaps tonight was going to get a little violent, a little bloody. “I saw. I saw it all.”

“Saw what? Nothing happened, Michael.” She said, trying to make him understand that she didn’t know what he was talking about and was utterly confused. More than that, she was scared. She was definitely scared at this point. Scared of what could happen if he believed himself, which most of the time, was what would happen. It would mean bad things for her, to say the least.

“I saw you flirting with those guys. You didn’t think I would, but I did.” She tried to think of what he was talking about, but her mind drew a blank. She’d stayed by his side the entire night. The only time she wasn’t, was when she’d been introduced to and met Cassandra Simmons and Isaiah Muir. She’d thought that they looked good together, and had commented to the both of them on it. It had done the trick of both affirming repeatedly that they weren’t a couple or anything like that.

It had made her think about how she would have liked to change Michael. He was an uncaring, cheating person and that was only scratching the surface. She knew he had grown up in surroundings not conducive to making a good member of society. He was the son of the don of the most powerful crime organization in Gotham City. He ran with the killers and the racketeers, and all of that. She knew this, but she still had had hope that he would become a gentler person, that he would be just a better person. She had thought, perhaps foolishly, that she could have done some good in his life by making him a good person.

But she knew now that it would never happen. Michael was a monster, an abusive man who used people for whatever he could get out of them. She didn’t love him anymore; she didn’t even like him now. She hated him. Eva hated him with all of her heart and wanted for him to be dead since it was the only way she would be free. She wanted to leave, but knew she couldn’t, no matter how much she may have wanted to. She wondered if she had ever loved him. No, she decided after a moment of thinking, she hadn’t. She had used him, just not as badly as he used her.

She had used him to escape from the pitiful life that she had known. She hadn’t known at the time what it would mean for her. It was like she was trapped. There was no way out and no one to rescue her. Her circle of friends was all the wives and girlfriends of the mobsters in the family. While they weren’t the stereotypical collection of wives and girlfriends, they weren’t much better than those seen in movies like Goodfellas. They wouldn’t help her even if they wanted to, which they didn’t. They didn’t treat her like one of them, they never had. She was alone, even though she had the “family”. It was rather ironic to say the least.

She watched as his hand lifted and swallowed. He stopped though, before he could raise it high enough to hit her. Then in a fluid motion, it lashed out, and he backhanded her. Just as the door had shut deceptively soft, the raising of his hand had been deceptive as well. She should have known better. Michael didn’t need to raise his hand high to cause the maximum amount of pain. The sheer force of the hit to the face knocked her to the ground. He walked away and for a moment, she had the wild hope that it was all that he was going to do to her.

Eva heard the flick of the kitchen light being turned on. She heard the sound of glass hitting glass and then the sound of liquid in a bottle being shaken around. Her soft brown eyes, eyes that Steven Santieri would fall hopelessly in love with, looked up to see him return, turning the light off. He had a half empty bottle of Jameson in his hand and Eva knew that it wasn’t the end. It was only the opening act, a taste of things to come. He had already drank at Muir’s party. He’d had more than a few drinks and it was clear that it wasn’t going to stop. He’d had more in the kitchen. She had a feeling that he wasn’t going to hold back tonight, not that he did any time he beat her. She knew that her hunch was correct after he unscrewed the top and began to chug the liquor. She could see it in his eyes, in his posture.

Eva watched as the bottle descended. Michael wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, the hand that he’d hit her with. Then, the hand did something that Eva feared even more than the backhand. The hand went to his belt and he undid the clasp. “This is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you.” He said. “Every time I have to discipline you like this, it hurts me. Why do you keep making me do this, baby?” Eva watched him with a dull expression on her face. She needed a change in her life and she knew it. She watched as he finished pulling off his belt. He chugged more of the Jameson before setting the bottle down on their dining table. He folded the belt in half, tested it.

She needed someone to help her, she couldn’t do it herself. But who was that white knight going to be?

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“You said you were going to tell me why.” Isaiah sighed. He was attempting to have a good time with Britney, and she kept asking about Cassie. Ever since the party had ended, that had been the only thing she’d wanted to talk about. It was starting to get annoying, even though he had said he was going to tell her. He leaned back and looked down at her. She was lying down on a sofa in one of the rooms, her head in his lap. Her legs were curled up and she adjusted the bottom of her dress for modesty’s sake, a move that made him smile. He took another sip of the champagne in his glass. Britney looked up at him expectantly, waiting for him to tell her as he’d promised.

“Yes, I did.” He said with a smile. She smiled back, batting her eyelashes at him. Damn, but she was cute when she was being difficult. He had to admit it. If he was any less of a man, he would have given in immediately. But he had to be difficult. At least, he had to appear as though he was being difficult, even though he was still wrestling with the decision in his mind. He was unsure and wasn’t fully committed. Though he realized that at this point, he had already let on more than what he should have. He couldn’t just spin this one off and find a way out.

“So?” She asked and he groaned inwardly. Women. They were always causing problems and never making life simple. It seemed often that it was their goal in life, that it was what they had been put on earth to do. Isaac knew better, but he liked to think that way sometimes, when it suited him. They made sure that things weren’t dull or boring though, that much was for sure. They were definitely always fun to be around. That was Isaiah’s thoughts on the subject.

“It’s complicated.” Isaiah finally said, setting the glass down on the table next to the sofa after he took another sip of the wine. He studied the crystal glass for a moment, considering the work that had been done to obtain the design that it had. Amazing craftsmanship. It reminded him of what he was going to tell Britney and why he wanted to tell her. She lifted a hand and pushed it through his hair. He bent and kissed her, lifting her head up for a moment. She let her head fall back down onto his lap and looked up at him, expectantly.

“It can’t be that bad.” She said. “Are you going to tell me, or no?” She asked with a smirk on her face. He shrugged as he replied to her question, making it seem as though he hadn’t fully decided yet. What he said next easily exposed what she had already known had been the lie of that gesture to her. She had gotten pretty good at reading his body language since she had met him, though somehow Isaiah did manage to keep switching it up on her. It was honestly as if he knew when she had figured it out and already had changes planned to trip her up all over again. He was definitely sneaky like that.

“Well, yeah. I was actually going to tell you eventually anyway.” He said. She sat up and turned and looked at him. Whatever it was, it had piqued her interest. She wanted to know it now. If he was going to tell her anyway, then why had he needed Cassie’s appearance to make him tell her? It didn’t make sense, but she was going to get to the bottom of it very soon. That much was certain in her mind.

“Now you’ve got me really interested.” She said. He shrugged. She smiled at him and lightly punched him in the shoulder until he was finally ready to tell her.

“You know the legends that surround Gotham City, don’t you?” He asked. Britney nodded slowly. There were many legends, but when someone referred to them, there was only one that could possibly come forefront into anyone’s mind. It wasn’t legends; it was singular, much more singular. One legend. One legend that was chief amongst all that lived in the streets of Gotham, in the hearts of its people, in the whispered words on darkened nights, when the evil lurked just around the corner, there was one and only one of them.

The Batman.

Two words, whispered amongst the tall buildings, huge buildings that literally scraped the sky. They were carried on the winds that tore through the city, making a man pull his coat just a little bit tighter around himself. They flowed through the telephone lines and the instant messenger conversations. They were everywhere and anywhere. They were omnipotent, able to strike fear into the hearts of even a seasoned criminal whereas some other combination of letters might not.

The two words were synonymous with the two words that were the city’s very name. The Batman. The guardian of Gotham City. The hero that stood above the streets, above the criminals, above even the law, though he protected it and those who abided by it. He was the watcher in the night, the man who kept safe the lives of millions of people. To say that he was something of legend was an understatement. He had died, yes, but heroes could die. Legends, as they say, lived forever.

The Dark Knight.

Britney Harmon knew what Isaiah was referring to, though he said the plural of the word. She nodded again, slowly. “What about the legends?” She asked. She couldn’t even begin to think up a reason as to why Batman would have anything to do with why Isaiah wouldn’t allow himself to pursue Cassandra Simmons. It didn’t make sense. Batman was dead. He had been for over fifteen years. His Rogue’s Gallery, one of the strongest assortments of villains the world had ever seen had been killed or had disappeared. The big names were gone.

The Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, Ra’s al Ghul, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, The Mad Hatter, The Ventriloquist, Red Hood, Hush, Clayface, Gearhead, Two-Face, The Riddler, Black Mask, Doctor Phosphorus, Harley Quinn, Hugo Strange, Mr. Freeze, Killer Moth, Poison Ivy, Lady Shiva, Bane, Man-Bat, Solomon Grundy.

They were all dead and gone from people’s minds. The memories of them surfaced in the darkest of nights, when hope seemed to have flown out the window on bat wings. They reminded people that things weren’t that bad. There could be a crazy murderer out and about killing, looting, plundering, and doing a host of horrible thing to the people. Life may be bad, but it could have been worse. But just as memories of the Rogue’s Gallery gave people a reminder that things weren’t that bad, the memory of the Dark Knight reminded people even more than Gotham needed a savior.

It needed its Dark Knight.

It needed someone to protect the people from those who would do them harm.

“Well, there’s something interesting about some of them. Take a walk with me?” He asked. She nodded and rose. He took her hand and walked out of the room. He led her down a story as they were on the second of the mansion’s many, many levels. They came into one of the smaller rooms. It was a miniaturized version of the study. The room was stocked with books, all safely put on old, wooden shelving. They were all alphabetized and organized properly, and Isaiah had Winston to thank for that. Also in the room was a Steinway & Sons full grand piano.

Bruce had set up a lock on the door to the Batcave. Over time it had changed, but Isaiah had reset it so that it was keyed in when someone played a particular set of notes on the piano, as at a particular tempo. His fingers danced over the keys, playing an section of the Russian Dancer at an incredibly fast pace, one that only he and Winston knew the exact tempo of. The code worked, as was expected. One of the huge set of shelves pushed itself forward, and slid to the side, revealing a passageway that lead downwards, with stairs. “Through there.” Isaiah said.

“No way.” Britney said, looking at the stairs and then back at Isaiah. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” She added, her eyes wide. He looked at her and slowly shook his head. She took a step forward and he followed, as they headed down the stairs and into the Batcave. As they walked down the stairs, the massive lights that Bruce had installed years ago turned on, and their way was lit. Britney couldn’t not gasp as she saw the insides of the massive Batcave. The equipment, the suits, the mobiles, and most importantly, the collection of memorabilia that the original Batman had built up over the years. It was all here, just as the stories about the Batcave had said.

“Welcome to the Batcave.” Isaiah said, once their feet had left stairs and touched down on solid rock. He smiled slowly, basking in the glory of what had been the Batman of old and what was now his destiny.

“Why did you bring me here?” Britney asked and Isaiah turned to look at her.

“So you can see what stops me from being with Cassie.”

“I don’t understand. You’re going to bring back the Batman?” She asked and he nodded. “So you wouldn’t want to be with anyone you cared about, in case someone put together that Isaiah Muir and Batman were one and the same.” She said, and it was more statement than question, but Isaiah nodded again nonetheless.

“That’s the gist of it, yes.”

“Why were you going to show this to me?” Britney asked. “You said that you were going to tell me about it anyway, but that this was a good time. Why?”

Isaiah walked forward to where a series of Batsuits were located behind hardened, bulletproof glass. “When Bruce Wayne was Batman, he had access to Wayne Enterprises technology. A good deal of it came from a man named Lucius Fox.” He turned to her and her eyes widened slightly.

“He was CEO of the company, wasn’t he?” Muir nodded at her question. “So, how do I fit in?”

“I want you to do what Lucius Fox did for Bruce Wayne.” He said.

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Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Post by Mir » Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:52 am

2008

There were two sets of Wyndham and Reynolds Murders.

Well, no, that wasn’t true according to what Eva had told him. In reality there was only one set of Wyndham and Reynolds Murders. There was a second set that had been staged properly to appear like the first in the way that the two people were killed. In addition, names and identities had been changed so that the people who were really killed were never actually found. Steven found it hard to believe that plastic surgery could have been done on a dead body. He also found it hard to believe that the Gotham City Police Department wouldn’t have been able to tell that the plastic surgery had been done. It just didn’t make sense.

At the same time, it was hard to believe that Atlantis still existed and that the people could communicate with marine animals and swim underwater, but that was true. Also, had Steven known the truth, he would have found it hard to believe the Bruce Wayne had been the original Batman and that the billionaire playboy had been the one responsible for keep Gotham and its people safe from insanity for years. It just wouldn’t have been something that he could have believed. But it was the truth; just the same way it was with Atlantis. Eva had used Atlantis as her argument as for why it could be possible.

She also told him that Michael had forced her to watch the murders take place and furthermore had forced her to watch the surgery performed on the bodies to make them look like other people. He had done it to scare her into staying closer to him and being loyal and faithful to both him and the family. She had known that if she angered him enough, he could just make her disappear as he had done these two people, and that it wouldn’t take much effort on his part.

Eva had given him the identities of the two real people killed in the second set of Wyndham and Reynolds murders. But before that, he had asked her why she had called it the second set of murders. If the people who had been killed had been doctored to look like other people, people who weren’t Lucy Wyndham and Mark Reynolds, why were they considered the second set? Her answer had given him a great deal of insight into both the murders and into the ongoing case. The Vitale family called them the second set because they were the second murder to use the same weapon.

That was why the weapon had been taken out of the evidence room by Vitale. Melanie had been right. She had suggested that perhaps the weapon had been linked to other murders. It remained to be seen whether or not the cop who had taken the gun out of Evidence had done so to sell it on the street or under orders by someone within the Vitale family. With the way things were looking, Steven was willing to bet that it was the latter. Everything was fitting too perfectly for it to be otherwise.

It was then that Eva told him the names of the people who had been murdered, the real people, not the fakes that the bodies had been doctored to appear as. Laurence and Jennifer Marvin. The names had struck a bell with Steven, though he hadn’t remembered who they were. He had done a search on the internet for them and what had come up had answered a few questions and raised a few more. The couple had been the owners of a rather large company in the Gotham City area. What the company did wasn’t that important, it wasn’t in a trade that one would consider lofty or great. It wasn’t a telecommunications provider, or an automobile manufacturer. Neither was it an electronics producer or an internet solutions provider.

No, it dealt in something taken for granted by the average person. They were a vending machine distribution company. This particular vending machine company was one of the bigger ones in Gotham City and the surrounding area in New Jersey. Why the mob would have targeted something like that, made no sense, until one realized that it was merely another front for money laundering. That had been what Steven had thought of and Eva had confirmed his suspicion. But she’d also told him something else that had forced him to respect the ingenuity of Don Francesco Vitale.

A vending machine company did business with a lot of people. A company that had a large presence in the market would do business with even more people. This followed logic. What it meant, was that the Vitale family had people going into various buildings and locations on a regular basis. It meant that they had locations for drop offs and money transfers. They also had eyes and ears inside different companies and so they would be able to stiff arm and extort them better. Because the murders had been covered up, no one knew that the takeover had been done by the mafia, so they wouldn’t have reason to suspect them.

Vitale had done the takeover through one of his squeaky clean operations and thus had maintained the façade that there was nothing wrong with the company. The questions that were raised were what had happened to the investigation when the Marvins had disappeared. In order to get that, it had taken a little bit more digging on the Gotham City Police Department’s website. His clearance only got him so far, and that was where Eva had taken over. She hadn’t been kidding when she’d said that she was a genius with computers, and had set to work on getting him what he needed to know. The woman had given him the information he’d been looking for in no time at all.

The Marvin couple had disappeared. There had been reports that they had been on their yacht in the Atlantic Ocean, near Florida. The Port Authority of Miami had listed them as having left, but the yacht had disappeared. Vitale’s men had done good work, taking the yacht and storing it somewhere safe, making sure that all of their bases were covered. The police had no idea where the yacht had last been seen, so they had no place to begin a search. This meant that they had been forced to close the investigation. There had been a power vacuum in the company and the Mafia had stepped in quickly, buying up the company through one of their legal businesses.

That snub nose .38. It had to have been the weapon that had been used on Laurence and Jennifer Marvin. He looked at the date that the weapon had been logged with Evidence. Then he looked at when the second set of Wyndham and Reynolds murders had been first documented. It was a couple months before the weapon had been found. The officer had moved quickly. There had been a month long gap between when the weapon had been found and when it had disappeared. Time enough for the case to go cold and for the presence of the weapon to be forgotten amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life in Gotham City.

He had tried, unsuccessfully, to locate the officer that had taken the weapon out of Evidence. Now he knew that he had to find him. If he could get the .38 and get it back in Gotham City Police Department hands, he would have a definitive link between two of the murders. Since the first set of Wyndham and Reynolds murders were unconnected to anything, this would give it a connection, add another murder charge, and who knew what else they would be able to connect through the weapon. All of this meant that he had to try again to locate that officer, the one who had taken it from Evidence, his reasons known only to him and possibly Don Vitale.

“Steven, are you’re going to go now?”

The voice with the gentle Portuguese accent roused him from his thoughts. Steven had been sitting in a chair at the dining table, going over everything in his mind. He had also slumped down in his seat and his head had been cocked to the side. So engrossed had he been in his thoughts that he had completely forgotten about the other person who lived in the apartment with him. Eva sat on the couch, curled up. She had been looking at some of the papers he had. She had already been through almost all of the District Attorney and FBI’s information, but it didn’t hurt to go over it again. There was so much that some of it escaped her at times.

In answer to her question, he nodded as he rose. It was already pretty late, but he would see if he could at least talk to Walters secretary and maybe find out where the man was. Then he’d get to him in the morning. He headed to the closet and grabbed a black overcoat. As he slid his arms into the sleeves, Eva came over to him. “Be careful, okay?” She said and he nodded, grinning to reassure her. But she wasn’t having any of it. “I’m serious. Don’t do anything stupid or heroic. You’ll get yourself hurt or worse.” She said. She unconsciously grabbed a scarf and wrapped it around his neck, ignoring his look of annoyance. “As a matter of fact, just club him or something and arrest him, okay, Steven?”

“Yeah, okay. I’ll be fine. I think I know what I’m doing, Eva. Look, I know I’m supposed to stay here and watch you and all of that, but this is important. I could just have someone else do it, but this is easier. Are you sure you’re going to be okay while I’m gone?” He asked and her hands, which had been in the process of tying the scarf slowed and then stopped. She could easily stop him from going and possibly getting killed or maimed by saying that she didn’t feel she would be okay. But that would be lying and furthermore, she knew that it had to be done.

Eva had grown up on the street and had long been used to the idea of doing whatever it took to survive. But this would be different. It wasn’t a life or death situation, not really. As far as they knew, Don Vitale didn’t know where the FBI and the GCPD had set her up. That meant that she was safe unless they had a rat in the GCPD. She didn’t doubt that there was a rat, but Steven had taken care to limit the number of people who knew about the safe house to only those that he completely trusted. Good, honest, cops. For her that sounded like an oxymoron but the man standing in front of her, the man she had fallen in love with was exactly that, and she trusted him.

She nodded. “I’ll be fine. You take care of yourself. Don’t do anything stupid, I’m serious, Steven Santieri.” He smiled and nodded. Before he could stop her, her arms were wrapped around his neck and she was kissing him. If in a perfect world he settled down with her and this was how she sent him off to work each day, he had a feeling he’d be an incredibly happy man. His hands captured her hips and gently moved up. Finally, she broke the kiss off. “Go. The sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll be back.”

He couldn’t stop himself and he bent, kissing her once more before heading out.

Eva turned and headed back to the dining table. All of the information that Steven had on the case was there. It was evidence of everything that she had witnessed and seen. She sat down in one of the chairs, a defeated look on her face and in her posture. She was okay from a physical attack, yes. But before her was basically the past few years of her life, and it reminded her of everything she’d seen and experienced. She flinched as if an invisible hand had smacked her. She reached out taking a picture of Michael into her hands, her eyes transfixed on the photo.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

His name was Benjamin Walters. He’d been on the force for quite a few years. But that wasn’t going to help Steven find him. In fact, nothing really was. Steven had looked up the man’s file on the personnel information section of the GCPD, and what he’d gotten hadn’t helped him much. Everything that was there was what he’d already known. Walters’ place of residence was an unknown. It had been a pretty decent area of town, but he’d moved. With the backlog of work that the police department had to deal with, no one had ever changed his personnel information file.

While one might have thought that it would make things incredibly hard when it came time to cut the wage checks, Walters was a fixture of the force. He got his checks handed to him, instead of mailed or put in through direct deposit. He was an Assistant Chief in the GCPD, and whenever Steven had called into his office, the man’s secretary had told him that he’d just missed him, or that Walters was in a meeting. She told him everything but the truth, which was that Walters was never actually in the office, or he was at least physically present for only a few of the hours he was supposed to be.

That meant that most of the time he was out in Gotham City. Steven had a higher chance of finding Bruce Wayne, who’d been dead for eighteen years than finding Benjamin Walters. But it didn’t mean that Steven wasn’t going to try. He had nothing to really go on, but he had an idea. He’d decided that he was going to pay Walter’s office a personal visit. His car pulled into his designated spot in the Gotham City Police Department’s parking garage. He stepped out and headed inside the main building, bound for the man’s office. It took a while to get there, moving through the different levels. As he walked, he saw various people that he knew, people that he worked with. Since he hadn’t been in any of the GCPD buildings in a while, he had to stop and talk with a few of them.

When he finally got to his destination, he went straight to the secretary who sat behind a desk in front of the only other door in the room. That door led to Walters’ office. There was no one else in the room besides Steven and the secretary. She looked up at him before going back to her work, whatever it was at the moment. He waited patiently, until she was done with what she had to do. Then she looked up at him, almost expectantly. “How may I help you?” She asked and he knew it was the same person from the phone calls. She had the same voice. He nodded and took another step forward closer to her desk.

“Steven Santieri, I believe we spoke over the phone a few times. I need to speak with Assistant Chief Walters.” Steven said, once he had her complete and undivided attention. He looked at her, studying her now. She was in her early twenties and she had red hair with brown eyes. She was a pretty thing really. He wasn’t above flirting to get what he wanted, but he could tell that it wouldn’t work in this situation. She was a serious one and wouldn’t budge for anything. Already his goal seemed to become very elusive.

“Lieutenant Santieri, I’m sorry, but Assistant Chief Walters has a series of appointments. If you’re not on that list, if you haven’t made an appointment, I’m afraid that he’s just too busy to see you.” She replied evenly, her tone indicating exactly how she felt. Steven nodded slowly as she kept her hands busy with a blue ball point pen. How much was he going to reveal? Since he’d started the phone calls, he had to guess that Walters knew about him. If Walters knew who he was, he knew what Steven wanted to speak with him about. This meant that coming here, in person, was going to raise even more red flags.

“Yes, well, it’s an important matter. What I need to speak with him directly influences an ongoing case.” Steven said, deciding that in the end, he had to stick to his guns, and hope for the best. He knew it wasn’t going to get him anywhere, but he could do nothing but try.

“What case would that be?” She asked, making it look like she was assuming that it would be some mundane thing that she could shuffle out of her front office, along with the attractive lieutenant. In reality, she knew exactly what Steven was referring to, as Walters had spoken to her about it once the first phone call had come in. Walters had her deflect a lot of flak for him, and she did it for a good reason, which was her own. Despite the fact that Santieri was extremely soft on the eyes and she wanted to help him, she knew what she was supposed to do. Though she had to admit, part of wanting to help him had a lot to do with seeing if he was as good as the rumors had indicated. Thiam and Horne were two whose company she wouldn’t mind joining in that regard.

“It’s the big one we’re working on right now. You’ve probably heard of it, I think, the Vitale family case?” He asked with a smirk.

Her eyes widened slightly. She hadn’t known that it would be that important, at least that was the impression she was giving. Now, she really wanted to help him. Lord knew everyone detested the Vitale family. Gotham didn’t need people like them hurting innocent people. But what were you to do when the greatest superhero the world had ever seen had been missing for so long? The people had depended on Batman and he’d given up his life in order to fight his nightly war against people like the Vitale’s. She couldn’t go against what her boss had requested of her, especially considering the reason why.

She shook her head slowly and Steven realized that she wasn’t going to help him. He’d seen the martial light in her eyes and had been able to tell that she was willing to help him. She’d been a good actress, though Steven didn’t know it. But something had stopped her, and that something was probably loyalty to Walters. Steven knew that when he left the office, there was a high possibility that Benjamin Walters would know that Santieri had been there in person. There would be problems. He’d been hoping to deal with this today, now and find one of the missing links in the case.

“Can I make an appointment then?” He asked. It was all that was left to him.

“Of course, you can. Let me see the earliest that he’s available.” She said and turned to her computer. He watched her long fingers tap on the keyboard for a moment before she turned back to him. “The earliest I can get you is in two weeks.”

“Are you serious? He’s not free for another two weeks!?” Steven said. Odds were that when it came around, she’d call him, claiming some problem and they’d have to reschedule. He knew the game that she was playing, the delaying tactics. She nodded and he sighed, part of it staged and part of it not. “Alright, put me down for an appointment.”

She smiled and tapped away.

Fifteen minutes later, he was finally out of there. She’d forced him to make it an official appointment, so he’d had some paperwork to fill out so that it would be documented that he was trying to meet with Walters. It would hold him liable if he failed to show up. He had a feeling that there would be no problems when Walters had the meeting canceled through his secretary. After everything that had happened, Steven was happy to be out of there. His only way of trying to get to Benjamin Walters had fizzled and he’d tipped his hand, revealing that while before he had maybe had a passing interest in the snub nose .38 and Walters’ behavior, now he had a real interest.

Time would tell if Walters deemed him a threat.

Now, he wanted to get back to the safe house and make sure that Eva was okay. He faced the same problems on his way out that he had coming in. People wanted to stop and talk to him and chat with him. While Steven enjoyed working as a police officer and enjoyed the company of people and was a friendly, affable person, right now he was feeling incredibly introverted, and just wanted to get back to Eva. It took him another hour and a half to get out of the building and into the parking garage.

He headed towards his car, noting the change in light outside. It was dark already. He’d been away from the apartment for over four hours now and he’d be a little over five by the time he got back, if he left right now. Steven walked past a group of cars and turned to his own vehicle when he stopped. A man was standing near the car and Steven’s jaw dropped slightly. The man he was looking for had come to him.

“Are you Steven Santieri? Lieutenant Santieri?”

“Yes, I am.” Steven replied and he felt a momentary flash of fear. Odds were that Vitale would know that the DA and the police would figure out about the second set of murders. If Walters had helped them cover it up, it was reasonable to assume that he would help protect that secret, especially since it affected him as well. Steven knew that he could be walking into a trap of some sort. It put him on edge. “I’ve, uh, actually been looking for you and I’m on my way now. I just tried to see if you were in your office, but unfortunately, you weren’t there.”

“Well now, I had just stepped out, Lieutenant.”

“Funny, that’s what your secretary has been telling me over the phone nearly every time I try to get in touch.” Steven replied, deciding that if they were going to play a game, he was going to force Walters’ hand.

“She would, yes.”

“I also just found out that you’re busy for the next two weeks. Apparently, you’re solidly booked.” Steven said, voicing a little of his annoyance at the situation.

“Yes, well, I’ll have to cancel that appointment once we’ve finished here, Lieutenant Santieri. I’ve been looking for you.”

“Why is that?” Steven said, his right hand uneasily heading towards his pistol. The man lifted his hands up to show that his intentions were not hostile in anyway. Steven still didn’t trust the man, but he was willing to hear him out. Still, he kept his hand near his gun, just incase. While Walters might not be ready to do anything, he might have gotten help to do it and he was lulling Steven into a false sense of security. Anything was possible right now and Steven had to keep his eyes open.

“You’re looking for that old snub nose .38, aren’t you?” Walters said.

Steven stopped the motion that he was making.

“Yes, I am.” He said, completely baffled at this point and wondering what was going on. Something was wrong here; at least something appeared to be wrong.

“I took it out of Evidence after Don Francesco Vitale told me to.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Steven asked after a few moments. It made no sense. It was easier for the man to just attempt to gun him down. Better yet, it was easier for him to have said nothing and to just have killed Steven when he’d gotten out of the elevator. Or when he’d come around that group of cars. Why stop and talk to him? This made absolutely no sense to him. “Why are you doing this?” He asked.

“When you get as old as I am in this line of work, you’ve seen things, Lieutenant. Some of those things no person should have to see or have to deal with. Especially when you know that you made some of those things exist. I’m doing this because I don’t want to live with the ghosts anymore.” Walters replied. He crossed the space between them and stepped past Steven to a BMW 7 series. It turned out to be Walters’ own car. He turned and opened the trunk of his car. He reached in and pulled out a plastic bag. In the bag was a Smith & Wesson Model 60 revolver. Steven had a good feeling that it was chambered for .38 Special rounds. Benjamin walked over to him and placed it in Steven’s hands. “I trust you with this. I know you’re going to do the right thing.” He took a few steps back. “You know, I’ve heard talk of you, Santieri. Straight laced, with a good head on your shoulders. I knew your old man.”

“Messing with the Vitales’ got him killed.” Steven replied and Benjamin nodded his head slowly. “You’re going to need protection.”

“What do you mean?”

“You just handed me a weapon implicating one or more members of the Vitale family in a double homicide. You just mentioned my father and my fight with the Vitale family got him killed. When they find out about this, there are going to be repercussions.” Steven said.

“I think I’ll be able to take care of myself.” Benjamin said. “I’m doing this because I need to. If they feel they have to act, then that’s their business. I can’t ask anything of them but to do what they feel that they have to do in order to survive. That’s what I did all these years and I’m paying for it now.” He added.

“I guess that’s fair enough. Thank you.” Steven said with a nod.

“Godspeed.”

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

As it was, it was a little over six hours when he finally got back to the safe house. Steven’s key slid into the lock and he turned the door. He opened it and looked back at the plains clothes officer in the hallway. He nodded his farewell before walking inside and shutting the door, locking it once more. In his mind, well, in the part of his mind that was horny, needy, and generally pissed off at the current situation, the problem with Eva was larger than what the problem with Walters had looked like. All he wanted to do was crawl into bed next to the woman he loved. She was probably asleep, and he didn’t want to wake her up and make love to her. He just wanted to be near her.

He couldn’t and it was his own damn fault. No, he had the joy of sleeping on an extremely uncomfortable futon that was way too small for his frame. It was pure joy, there was no other way to put it. He unraveled the scarf that was around his neck and hung it up along with his coat. He began to unbutton his gray dress shirt and pulled it out of the waist of his pants. He changed into his nightwear, which consisted of the white t-shirt he wore underneath the dress shirt and basketball shorts.

Steven walked over to the dining table and looked at everything. He went back to the coat and pulled out the gun in the Ziploc plastic bag. Placing it on the table, he took a step back and surveyed things. They had that much more of a clearer picture of what was going on. He didn’t want to get into the details now, he was tired. A quick check of the time told him that it was close to midnight. Then he headed into the master bedroom to the futon of doom.

Before he settled down for sleep, he checked on Eva. She was under the covers, her hands balled into fists and resting on the pillow next to her head. Her breathing was regular, and her long black hair had been pulled into a pony tail. As much as he didn’t like ponytails, wanting women’s hair to be long and free, it looked good on her. Hell, anything looked good on her in his mind. He smiled. Turning, Steven got himself settled under the covers that he had for the futon and tried to go to sleep. He had his work cut out for him in the morning. He’d have to get to church for Mass with Eva and then make sure that Roberts and Horne knew about his discovery of the pistol.

But for now, he could rest.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

At least, he could try to rest. Steven was woken up less than a few hours later to the sounds of whimpering and moaning. His eyes snapped open and he looked around. What the hell was going on? He half rose and turned. It was coming from the full sized bed in the room. He jumped to his feet, thinking Eva hurt. Upon closer inspection, he found that this wasn’t the case. She was having a bad dream. But it was something more than a simple nightmare. She was shuddering uncontrollably, her back turned to him. As he approached the bed, the noises that had woken him turned into a scream, a piercing scream.

He knelt on the bed, his other foot on the floor and shook her lightly, but he got no result. He shook her harder and harder until finally she woke. Her eyes darted around and she gave a start. “Eva…what happened? What’s wrong?” He asked. She made a sound and turned, looking at him over her shoulder. Their eyes met and for a moment he saw that she was terrified, scared to the bone. She turned the rest of her body now and flung her arms around his neck, pulling him down onto the bed next to her, clinging for what appeared to be dear life.

Tears sprang into her eyes, something he’d never seen happen to her before, but they didn’t spill over. She looked so scared and frightened that the need to protect swamped over him even more than it had when he’d first heard the noises and had woken up because of them. Her eyes were wide, so incredibly wide. “I…I…Oh, God, it was horrible, Steven. I was so scared.”

“What happened?” He asked gently. “Was it a bad dream?” He felt her shake her head and move in closer. Her head was tucked underneath his chin and she’d maneuvered herself so that she was flush against him. Now was not the time to be thinking of anything other than consoling her and finding out what was wrong and he knew it. He did his best to not think about it.

“After you left, I started looking at everything you had on the case, all the information…and it just brought back so many bad memories. I was dreaming, but I was remembering everything that happened with Michael.” She said. “I remembered all of the abuse, the times he raped me, the humiliation, all of it.” His hands were around her now, and he rubbed her back gently, pressing into her spine. She pulled him closer and he closed his eyes thinking about what he would have done to Michael Vitale had Eva not conveniently ended the man’s life.

Of course, had that disturbance not taken place, they would never have met and the case against the Vitale’s wouldn’t be going on right now, but that didn’t help the bitter taste of his loss leave him. She brought her head out from underneath his chin and looked up at him. “Thank you, Steven.” Eva said.

“Not a problem.” He said and began what would be the long and hard process of disentangling himself so that he could go back to sleep on his futon. But he couldn’t because something was stopping him. It was Eva. When he had let her go and started to push away, she had only moved in more. Her arms were around his neck and she wasn’t going to let go for anything.

“No.”

“Eva, I’m going to be in the room, right over there.” He said and pointed to the futon. She let go of his neck with one hand to reach out and grab his hand and pull it back, as though no part of him could be far away from her.

“No. Stay here with me.” She said, threading his fingers with her own. “I want you to stay here with me.” She said again.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I don’t care.” She replied. She moved to the middle of the bed and pulled him with her. He sighed. He knew that it wasn’t a good idea. This didn’t bode well for either of them, but the rational part of his brain had clicked off for the night. Eva needed him and that trumped a great many things in his mind. He stretched out, at least happy to have a bed that better accommodated his height. He was on his side and she did the same. She fit perfectly, and he had to struggle to keep from noticing how well her shapely behind fit against him. Her back was straight against his chest. She’d pulled his hands so that they were around her and she held them in the front and her head was tucked once more underneath his chin. “Just stay with me, Steven, please.” Eva said, closing her eyes.

“Okay, I will.” He whispered.

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Mir
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Re: Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:50 pm

2007

Michael Vitale opened his eyes. He looked around and smiled. He had dozed off, but he was awake now. He had actually been having a good dream before he had woken up. His hand tightened a little on the handle of the Glock pistol that he had been holding before. He rose and set the gun down on the table next to the leather chair he’d been sitting in. He looked out the window for a moment at the skyline of Gotham. He was in the living room of the apartment that he was in. Then he headed over to the kitchen area. He had a collection of woman in the large kitchen of the apartment. It wasn’t his apartment, at least not the one that he shared with Eva. But that was alright. She knew what happened here. She understood what had to happen and that it was part of the business. It was a part of the life that she was now a part of.

The women were all topless and had only panties on. There was a representative for each major ethnicity because, Michael thought with a smile, he would never do anything so bad as discriminate in his work force. That would be just cruel and politically incorrect. They were his work force though, that much was definitely for sure. They were working on the cocaine that he sold to the black dealers. He watched for a little while. Eventually he indicated that one of the girls should come over to him. She was a little white girl and she knew what he wanted. She brought over a piece of cardboard over to him, with a little mound of the white powder. He took it and she leaned up, giving him a kiss on the cheek. Michael brought the piece up and snorted a good bit of it.

He shook his head a little, clearing it, and he smiled. The only way to ensure that you were selling good quality was to make sure yourself. That was the only way. He smiled again as he handed the piece of cardboard back to the woman. He turned and left the kitchen. It had been a few days since the party at Wayne Manor. He hadn’t apologized the next day when he had woken up to see the bruises and marks all over her body. He didn’t expect her to want one from him. She knew her role and knew her place. Eva had been the one in the wrong and she had deserved the punishment that he’d given her. He went back to the window in the living room and looked out at the skyline once more.

He felt someone coming up behind him. It was the white girl from before. She put a hand on his back and leaned in, whispering that there was a phone call for him. She had a cell phone in her other hand and he smiled. It was time. The other party was calling to get in touch and to set up the time. The place had already been decided. Here, just like it was every time they had a deal go down. He held his hand out and accepted the cell phone. He put it up to his ear and she walked away to give him privacy. He waited a few more moments before speaking.

“Yes?” He said without preamble. Anyone calling on this phone already had someone in particular to talk to, namely him, and they also knew what it was that his voice sounded like, so he didn’t have to say who it was. In addition, one could never be too safe, even in a city like Gotham City where even if you were honest, there was no one to turn to tell about the shady dealings of the rest of the people. The Vitale’s had survived by being cautious and calculating. Michael wasn’t going to stop now because of convenience’s sake. That was just stupid for business and he refused to do anything that would fuck with the money.

“Is everything ready?” The man on the other line asked without introducing himself as well, knowing that just as he knew that he was speaking to Michael, Michael would know just who it was that he himself was talking to. The man had respect for Michael because Michael, like himself, believed in maintaining professionalism, which meant no names on the phone, and nothing that could give yourself away if the cops, the FBI, or the DEA ever decided to get smart with them.

“Yes. Whenever you’re ready, you and your people can come on through. We’ll be waiting for you.” Michael replied. This deal had to go down now, because he had to go out of the country for a little while after it took place. He had to go to his apartment. He had told Eva to pack his things and he expected it to be done by the time he got back. Usually, Eva was good when it came to these things, but recently, that little bitch had been acting up.

What had happened a few days ago had been nothing more than him laying down the law and reminding her how it was supposed to be. He’d fuck her and then he’d head out to his father’s house and then from there, he would head to the airport. But first, he had to make sure that this deal took place and that the money was in and the drugs were out. That was of the utmost importance before he got his fiancé naked.

“We’ll be there in three hours.” The man said and then the line went dead.

Michael put the phone in his pocket and went back to the chair that he’d been sitting in before. They hadn’t been connected long enough for the police to have traced it, even if they were trying to. If they had been listening in on the conversation as was their right under the Patriot Act, they would have gotten nothing. So, he had given the cops nothing, but had taunted them with the fact that they knew he was doing a job and could do nothing about it. They were powerless and he held all the cards. It was a satisfying feeling to say the least. He sat down, thinking to himself about the deal that was going to go down. Some people might have been bowled over by the amount of cocaine that he had snorted just a few moments ago, but not Michael.

He was still dealing with the high that the cocaine had given him, yes. But it wasn’t a big high, since he was used to the altering effects of the drug. He had taken it many times before, more times than he could count. He had probably started to use cocaine more than he used marijuana, ecstasy, or vicodin. He wasn’t addicted, it was nowhere near that. He was just going along for the ride, and that was all that mattered. He closed his eyes, wanting to relax. The blond girl came over to him and leaned over so that they could speak. They didn’t speak loud enough for any of the other girls to hear, another thing that had to do with safety that Michael insisted upon no matter what.

“They’ll be here in three hours.” He said.

“I’ll make sure that everything is ready. Do you want anymore, baby?” She asked.

He nodded in reply, not needing to speak. She smiled, gave him another kiss on the cheek and then left for a few moments. She returned with a much larger supply of coke than the original amount that she had given him in the kitchen. She handed it to him, and he began to do it. Meanwhile, she sat down on the arm of the chair, and watched him, rubbing his back gently. She was like Eva, in that he’d gotten to her when she was in college. He had gotten her to drop out of college at the age of nineteen and work for him. She ran this apartment when he wasn’t there, making sure that the product was made regularly on schedule and that there were no problems.

In exchange, she was paid well and given a supply of coke for her own personal use. The apartment was her residence and when the women weren’t making product, she had it all to herself, which she enjoyed. Also, she was given the belief that Michael actually cared about her, and she got his dick in her pussy a number of times each month. Sometimes they fucked each other while high and drunk. Other times, Michael got one of the other girls to help them out and spice things up. Those were some great experiences and she was a little spitfire in bed.

As much as she was a fiend for the cocaine, she was a fiend for his dick, maybe even more. And she gave the most amazing blowjobs he had ever had, though they didn’t top the few that Eva had given him. Despite how good in bed this girl was, no woman Michael had ever been with could top Eva. She was just incredible between the sheets. This girl, though, she knew the rules. She knew that he was the only man allowed to fuck her here, because of safety reasons. She obeyed him, no matter what, even one time when he had told her to kill someone for him, she had done it without questioning him.

And to think that Eva had started to refuse him when he wanted sex. That little Portuguese bitch was living the good life on his dollar and she had the nerve to refuse him. Eva should have been waking him up every morning with his dick nice and hard and in her mouth. That and obeying him when he told her what to do should have been her way of thanking him for everything that he did for her ungrateful little ass. Speaking of her ass, that was something he’d wanted to get into for a while, but it was the one thing that she had always refused him, no matter what he did.

She deserved it every time he beat her, every time he reminded her that she was a woman, he was a man, and that she had a place in this world. She, unlike this good girl sitting on the arm of the chair, obeyed him the way that she should. Finally when he was done, he turned and looked at her. She smiled and bent, kissing him on the mouth this time. She took the plate that she had used to give him the coke and set it aside. She wiped some of the powder that was left and turned back, letting him watch as she spread it on her tongue.

“You want me to take care of you before they get here?” She asked with a coy smile on her face.

“Is that a question?” Michael said in reply as she came forward and knelt in front of him. She reached behind her, securing her long blonde hair. Michael reached forward, grabbing one of her breasts in his hand and caressing. She smiled at him as she undid his belt buckle and dragged his pants and boxers down. Then she got to work.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The hours passed quickly. Before he knew it, some of Michael’s soldiers were there and they had set up shop. They had been outside and in the surrounding area, waiting for his call. Michael watched the white girl, thinking to himself that she was going to be completely naked once the deal was done. Then he was going to go home and tell Eva all about it, like he had done more than a few times in the past. He watched as the door opened. This was a casual formality, for the most part. They did it to make sure that everyone was happy as the leader of the drug dealers were able to voice any concerns they had with Michael concerning other aspects of the Vitale family’s trade.

He didn’t usually bother with actually listening because honestly, in Gotham, organized crime was run by the Vitale’s. They were the only real crime family and the drug dealers lack the muscle to really fight the Vitale’s. He threw them a bone every once in a while, but besides that, he didn’t really bother too much. Michael rose as the door to the apartment was opened. The men came in and were frisked as was customary. No weapons were present as was also customary.

There were rules that had always been known and had always been followed. The people coming to the place of the deal never brought weapons. When the Vitale’s went to the blacks for women to use in their various brothels and whorehouses, they never took weapons, at least not to the place where the actual deal was going down. Michael was happy to see that the rules were being followed. Then the deal went down.

A good million dollars in cash was put on the table. They were buying a number of bricks of cocaine in this one sitting. It would tide them over for a few weeks and then another deal just like this one would go down. As long as the money kept coming in, the Vitale’s would continue to supply them. The Vitale’s dealt under the table to the Mexicans, as well as the Russians, but the blacks didn’t know this. Vitale kept them all against each other, supplying each side with weapons in the ever escalating street war. As long as nothing came back to roost on his father’s doorstep, everything was status quo. The two leaders did a little back and forth, discussing recent events.

A cop had been killed and the blacks needed the investigation shut down. This meant paying a little extra this time around; to make sure that the case went to the proper judges. Also, no cop on the Vitale payroll would have ever gotten himself involved in an exchange with the drug dealers, so it meant an actual honest cop had been killed, and that was a good thing for the Vitale’s. So they won on both fronts. It was always a good day when that happened and the way the Vitale’s owned Gotham, it meant that they had a number of good days all the time.

Besides that, the black man laid before Michael a few grievances. Apparently some of the Vitale soldiers in the Gotham Heights area had been making trouble. Nothing too major, but the man wanted it dealt with before things could get out of hand. Apparently they were newcomers to the family and they were trying to make a name for themselves. While Vitale couldn’t give a shit about some black guys getting harassed or shot, he did care about keeping his men in line. They could make a name for themselves, but not by fucking up the money. If the money didn’t move, it meant bad things. It was the only thing that was important.

It was kind of sad, but Gotham City was a place where money was more important than a person’s life.

So he said that he would look into it. Michael was a man of his word, Eva knew this. When he said he was going to beat her so bad that she had to go to a hospital, she knew that it was going to happen, just like he had said it would. The black man knew this as well and he had accepted Michael’s word that the problem would be dealt with.

Last but not least, the man spoke on how they needed more rounds for certain types of guns. He gave Michael an order that would have made an ammunition manufacturer’s dream come true. Literally thousands of .357 rounds, and hundreds of 9mm rounds. Handgun ammunition for the most part. There was an item on the list that piqued Michael’s interest. It was a request for AK-47 rounds, 7.62 by 39mm rounds. Nearly a couple hundred of them. It was enough for about five or six clips. What made it unusual wasn’t the fact that it was a strange request. What made it unusual was that it was so small. Usually when they bought ammunition, they bought a huge amount. This didn’t make sense.

The man had merely answered that it was for personal use. Michael didn’t push it further, since he didn’t care. But if he heard word that there was AK-47 rounds in any of his men, he would know where to go. Perhaps that was why the man was doing it. To prove that they didn’t fight against the Vitale’s. They were definitely being smart in doing that.

Little did they realize, but they were being watched, the whole exchange. Every word was being recorded and they didn’t even know it. Not by the cops, nor the FBI or the DEA. But by someone else.

Someone far worse than any of those three organizations.

Someone who was about to bust the Vitale’s wide open.

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Mir
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Re: Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:23 pm

OOC: This thread has been rated R since the beginning. However, this post goes more in depth than other posts have, including the previous one. This is just a reminder that you knew what you could potentially read when you clicked on the thread.

IC:

2008

It was Eva that woke first. Her eyes didn’t open, she kept them closed, but she became aware of what was going on around her. She could feel the warmth from the sunlight streaming in through one of the windows in the master bedroom of the apartment. She was lying in the bed, on her side, just as she had been when she’d gone to sleep. There was a pair of arms around her. The arm that was underneath her was cupped by the flare of her hips. The arm that was on top of her was settled around her in a way that gave off an air of familiarity. The hand connected to the arm was splayed across her belly. Eva’s right arm was curled up, her fist near her face. Her left hand was on top of the hand that was holding her tight against something. Her much smaller fingers fitted perfectly against their counterparts and she knew what the something was that she was pulled tight against. Steven.

She mentally smiled, and it became a physical entity, the smile playing across her features, with her eyes still closed. The sunlight wasn’t the only thing warming the bed; the body heat generated by the extra body was contributing a great deal as well. The shapely rear end of hers, the one that she didn’t know that Steven often thought about was pulled tightly against a part of him that Eva found attractive and wanted to get more about. Her back was ramrod straight against his chest, and his nose was buried in her long, black hair. Somewhere during the night, the band that held the ponytail in place had come loose. She turned her head slightly and opened her eyes. Out of the corners, she could see Steven’s face. He looked pretty peaceful when he was asleep.

Shame flooded her. It wasn’t based on the fact that she had shared a bed with a man who she wasn’t married to. She had done that before. Shame at having admitted a weakness to Steven. Shame at looking and appearing weak. She needed him, and she knew it, but she had never wanted it to be that obvious to him. She would have preferred just keeping it to herself, but now, after her breakdown last night, there was no way that he wouldn’t know. Eva closed her eyes then, and her mind reminded her that she should live in the moment. At the moment, she had Steven right where she wanted him, away from Whorne.

And with her.

Not with her, not like that, but at least he was next to her, holding her and not on that futon. It was something, right? Actually it was kind of pathetic, and she knew it. Especially since she’d basically thrown herself at him and despite everything she had done, Steven had managed to resist her. Not one, but twice. She turned her head back, not realizing that her movements had woken up the man sleeping next to her.

Steven’s eyes opened and he was looking at the back of Eva’s head. He had to admit, as the back of the head went, Eva had a rather attractive back of the head. But then again, to him, she had an attractive anything. He’d probably find the arch of her foot attractive. It was all the more reason why he had been trying to avoid something like this from happening. Sleeping in the same bed as her, even if they were doing nothing, it was complete and utterly destroying his system and his defenses. He couldn’t afford for that to happen, he had to maintain his reason, even if it seemed harder and harder to do.

She was so perfect, in every way. He loved her personality, the constant snipes, the love of family, everything. He loved her laugh, the way it tumbled out when they were playing a game or just talking. He loved the way she made him feel, good inside knowing that he was helping people through his work as a cop. The fact that her body was one that men would kill to have as their woman and one that women would kill to have was nice, it was great, but it wasn’t the reason why he loved her. It was up there, but she could have looked horrible and he would still want her.

What had started out as lust had changed into love.

He didn’t want to let her go, both in the immediate sense, considering he was holding her tight against him and in the distant sense, considering what would happen after the trial. Regardless of the verdict, Eva would probably have to go into the Witness Protection program. He would never see her again. Never be able to be around her personality, one that praised him for his accomplishments and helped him deal with his failures. Never be able to hear her laugh, or make her laugh. Never know the satisfying feeling that she instilled in him, just by being herself. And, of course, never be able to see and be around a body that would make a Victoria’s Secret model look like a regular old model.

They had only known each other for a short period of time, but she had become a part of him in ways that he didn’t properly understand and probably never would. She was a part of him.

What had happened last night, it had made him so angry. Unable to lash out at someone, at something, he had kept it inside. Being able to hear her breathing, the simple rhythm, it had been so soothing and so calming to him. Knowing that she felt safe in his arms, knowing that she knew that no one and no thing could hurt her while he was around, it had been such a powerful feeling for him.

Now, Eva turned once more, thinking him still asleep. Their eyes locked, and they shared a look that for both was the same, though they couldn’t recognize it in the other’s eyes.

Love.

Eva leaned forward and kissed him, softly, gently. She leaned back and realized that his eyes were still on hers. He hadn’t moved, hadn’t said a word. So she leaned forward again and kissed him once more. This time, he kissed her back. When she pulled her head back the second time, she smiled slowly. “Thank you, Steven.” She said. “You have no idea how much what you did last night meant to me.” She said and watched him nod. She turned then, still in his arms. His right hand found new contours to feel and explore. No more was his hand over tight but soft abs, feeling the diamond stud of her belly piercing.

Now his hand felt something different, through the material of her nightwear, the small of her back. How the muscles were firm and the dip a place where a man could lose his mind. Steven was losing his, he knew it, and wasn’t just from that. Her scent was everywhere and he would never be able to get it out of his head. The shirt she wore had ridden up somewhat in the back and his pinky and ring finger brushed against soft, smooth skin. He unconsciously moved his hand, so that it was underneath the cotton shirt and was able to feel the skin that he wanted to kiss so badly.

She leaned forward one more time, and this time, his senses returned to him. He pulled his head back. She stopped, a frown brushing over her features. He was instantly sorry that his action had caused the serene and peaceful look on her face to change. She wound her arms around his neck, sinking her fingers into his black hair. She pushed, so that his head came forward and she leaned forward again. “Just this once.” She said. “Just this once. It’ll be enough, I promise.” She whispered against his lips just before they kissed.

He knew it would never be. But he lied to himself. He lied and told himself that she was right and he kissed her back.

His other hand slid underneath the material, and he pulled upwards, revealing more of her back. Her right leg came up and slid over his lower half, her heel hooking and pulling his left leg forward. They moved and she was underneath him, while she angled the kiss, making it deeper. Her legs came up now, latching around his waist, crossing at the ankles. She looked up at him. “I want this. Please, just this once.” She said.

“I don’t…Eva…I…I’m not sure.” He replied, trying, convince himself not to do this and at the same time wondering why he was bothering with doing that at all.

She was wearing a button down kind of night shirt. She let go of his neck and brought her hands to the buttons, beginning to undo them.

“Eva…” He said again, but she cut him off before he could continue.

“I’m sure.” She said. “Trust me, Steven. I put my life in your hands, in your protection everyday. I trust you no matter what. Now, I’m just asking you to trust me.” She said. She had reached her belly piercing by now and his mind dully registered a simple fact that sent his libido into overdrive, and had his animal instincts clamoring at the door to his brain that they wanted to come in and have a nice conversation with the thing he called his reason. She wasn’t wearing a bra. The valley in between her breasts and the upward slopes of her breasts were visible. He took a deep breath as she finished unbuttoning the shirt. She took his right hand and in hers and skimmed it slowly up her stomach, and then her ribs, until finally, he was cupping something of hers that he’d only dreamed of until that point.

He almost had to smack himself to make him believe that he wasn’t dreaming. That he wasn’t still asleep next to her. She lifted her head and the kissed as she moved his hand in intimate circles. He got the jist of what she liked and soon she was able to take that hand away so she could root it firmly in his hair. He bent and kissed her, moving down to her neck. Her pulse pounded against his lips and he stayed there for a few moments, just feeling the pounding rhythm. Then he moved further down. Down until he playfully flicked her belly piercing with his tongue, making her laugh. He stopped at the waistband of her pants and traveled back up until his mouth was where his hand had been.

While his tongue did things that she would remember until her dying day, his hands reached for her pants and began to pull down.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

It had been perfect. Steven’s eyes opened and he realized that they were going to commit a mortal sin by not going to church and hearing Mass. More importantly, he realized he didn’t care. He could have died right then and there, and would have been happy with his life and happy if St. Peter pointed him down to hell. It had been just sex; he’d wanted to keep it that way. If he did that, then he could reason with himself that maybe he wasn’t in love with her. Maybe there was some hope after all that things would be able to work out after the trial was over and neither of them would get their hearts broken, particularly him.

Somewhere along the way it had changed though and they hadn’t had sex, they’d made love. He didn’t know if she realized it. He barely did himself. It was somewhere in the back of his mind and he wasn’t thinking about it right now. He couldn’t, because if he did, he would have known that he was lost completely now. He was just thinking about how amazing and wonderful her naked form was. She was lying atop him, but not fully atop him.

Steven lifted the sheets and looked. Yep. Even the backs of her knees were attractive. God, he loved this woman. He let his head fall back down onto the pillows. Eva murmured something, but she stayed sleeping. They had fought this for a while, on both sides, but it had happened and they couldn’t take it back. He knew after that life altering moment that nothing was going to be the same ever again. Steven couldn’t pretend that what had happened between them hadn’t taken place and more importantly, he didn’t want to. His hand was idly sliding up and down her back, following a movement that his mouth had done earlier.

He closed his eyes, almost wishing that the trial would drag on and that the jury would take their own sweet time in reaching a verdict. He didn’t want to let her go. He didn’t want her out of his life. The thoughts came rushing to him. He couldn’t forget this, and he didn’t want to. At the same time, he needed to, in order to keep his sanity and keep him from doing something drastic. It was then that Eva woke for the second time that day. She realized that he was awake and appreciated the symmetry. Before, she had woken up first, and now it had been his turn. She lifted her head, her long black hair cascading downwards. She smiled at him.

“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” Steven asked after a few moments. “I mean, I remember, at one point when I-“

“No, you didn’t. I just wasn’t used to…” She trailed off and a weird smile came over her face. “Let’s just say that Michael wasn’t, um, half your size.” Eva finished, keeping a straight face.

“Ah. You should have told me, I would have-“

“You were fine, great. It was the best I’ve ever had in my life.” Eva said. “It was like you were in my head; you knew what I wanted and what I needed.” She said, and leaned forward, kissing him.

He smiled, settling his hands on her hips. Michael’s size explained a few things. They kissed again, and this time it was deeper. Eva was trying to convey the thoughts in her head, the thoughts that wanted to scream to him that she wanted to be with him for the rest of her life and that he had better do something to make that a reality, like getting down on one knee and getting some gold in a ring form with preferably a diamond in the setting. Michael had been nothing and Steven…well Steven was everything for her. He was the white knight that she had been looking for and praying for. He had gotten her out of the clutches of the Vitale’s after she had found the courage to stand up to Michael and kill him.

She owed him everything.

Eva looked down at his chest and kissed his sternum. She closed her eyes with her forehead leaning against his chest and knew that it was the perfect time to tell him. She just needed the courage. She needed to find that strength within herself to put it out there. She didn’t know how he would respond. Had it been just sex for him? It had been something so much more for her. She needed to tell him, she had to. She was like a little school girl with her first crush. Had she had a notebook and a pen, she would have been writing “Eva Santieri,” over and over again. Knowing that she had to tell him, she lifted her head and screwed up her courage.

His cellphone rang.

Eva pounced, moving faster than he could and intentionally putting her chest in his face as she grabbed the cellphone on the nightstand. She looked at the caller and then made a derisive snort. Perfect timing as usual. She wasn’t that surprised really. Nothing ever worked for her the way she wanted it to. She rolled off of him and tossed him the cellphone. “Who is it?” He asked as she lay next to him.

“Whorne.” She said, showing him her bare back.

“Ah.” Her one word answer was more than enough and the fact that he had been able to taste the venom and feel the fire behind the one word also helped a great deal. Yeah, he knew that she didn’t like Horne at all, and he still didn’t know why outside of the fact that for some strange reason, Eva refused to trust the blond FBI agent. He grabbed the phone and flipped it as Eva pulled the sheets up around her. “Yeah, hello?” He said. It was then that he realized that Eva was going to make this rather difficult if not downright impossible. Her hand was over his abs and was moving ever so slowly downwards. He shifted the phone to his other ear and looked at the coy smile on Eva’s face. He mentally groaned and scowled at her.

“Hey, Steven, it’s Melanie. I got your call from last night. You said you needed to speak with me?”

He didn’t remember calling her, but he knew that he probably did sometime during the drive back to the apartment. Eva was straddling him now, and her hand was moving in a way that was designed to blank his mind.

“Uh, yeah, okay. Yeah, I, um, need to speak with you, yeah, in person.”

“Is everything okay? You sound distracted.” Melanie replied.

“Distracted?” Steven said and saw Eva’s smile in response. “No, I’m not distracted, I just, uh, woke up.”

“Wow, you’re waking up late, Steven. It wasn’t that late when you called me. What did you have a late night playing scrabble or monopoly with Eva?” Melanie said and Eva, who had been able to hear everything Melanie said so far, scowled now. She rose and left the bed, heading to the bathroom, but not before grabbing the dress shirt that he’d had on the night before.

A part of him was grateful, and the other part of him, the part that usually beat down on his mind’s door to have a conversation with his reason, was pissed as hell.

“Something like that.”

“Listen, if you need to speak with me in person and you need time to wake up, I’ll be there in a couple of hours, okay?”

“Alright, sounds good.” He said, and she hung up.

“What did Whorne want?” Eva asked from the bathroom.

He rose and headed over there and was treated with the answer to the question of what Eva would look like with one of his shirts on. The answer was, just like the back of her knees, attractive. And it was a button down gray shirt too. The blessings just never seemed to stop. She turned and looked at him, waiting for his answer.

“I called her last night regarding the Wyndham and Reynolds murders.” He said as he stood in the doorway of the bathroom. She continued to look at him, and then realization dawned on her beautiful face.

“I completely forgot about that, after…what happened last night. What did you find?” She asked in response.

“The weapon used to commit the murder.”

Eva’s eyes lit up and she threw her arms around his neck. “That’s great.” She said, kissing him. Then she pulled back and her eyes narrowed slightly. “So what did you need to speak to Whorne about?” She asked.

“I need her to take a look at it and then to go with me to Roberts when I turn it in, properly. It’s got to be official first and we need to speak to the DA regarding it so he can figure out how he wants to work it into the case because its going to be an important piece of evidence once they link it to the Vitale’s.” He said. He braced himself for her response to the next part. “As a result, Melanie is coming here.”

Eva let go of him and took a few steps back, her eyes narrowed further. He mentally grimaced. This was going to be a problem and he knew it already.

What?

He almost cringed.

“She’s coming here and –“

“I don’t want her here.” Eva said, cutting him off. She also folded her arms over her chest, and he knew that she was getting ready to dig in to fight him. She was nearly as good as his mother on this, possibly better. He knew that he didn’t stand a chance unless he figured out something and figured it out fast. She was liable to tear him apart over this. If the Portuguese started flowing, he was in trouble, he knew that much. Never a dull moment with his girl, he had to admit. Then he smiled to himself since he’d reflexively called her his girl.

“Do we have to go through this every time?” He asked, in an exasperated tone that conveyed rather well the displeasure of having to go through this again.

“I don’t like her, I don’t trust her, and I do not want her here.” Eva said, and somehow her eyes narrowed further.

He reached out and framed her face. “It’ll only be for a little while.”

“Don’t care.” She said, obstinate until the end.

“Do it for me?” He asked.

She paused and considered and made a face. He made one back at her.

“I’ll do it, fine I’ll do it, are you happy?” She said and he smiled, nodding. Before he could say anything though, she added to her previous statement. “I’ll do it for you; however, I’ll do it only on one condition.” Eva said.

“Name it.” He replied, thinking that no matter what the request was at least he had gotten her to go along with what he needed her to do. Unless it was something that involved embarrassing Melanie while she was here, in which case, he would just put Eva in the room and lock her in there. Of course that would mean no food, and more importantly, no sex for the near future, but that was price that he would have to pay. He was unsure if peace in the kingdom was worth no sex though. That woman could do amazing things. Her cooking was too amazing either to pass up on. He was not bargaining from a position of power here and he knew it.

“When you come back, you have to bring me lots of cookie dough ice cream.” She said and stared at him, daring him to challenge the request. He chose wisely.

“Gallons of it.”

“Buckets of it.” Eva corrected.

“Deal.” Steven said, leaning in and kissing her. They both paused after the kiss.

“It’s going to happen again.” Eva said. “I know I said only one time, but…it’s going to happen again.” She said.

“I…I know.” He replied after a few moments. “I just…I want to make sure that our heads are in the game. This isn’t about sex; it’s about protecting you, keeping you safe. If I feel as though it is going to compromise that, it’s over.” Steven said, resting his forehead on hers. She nodded, coming in close to him. “I…” He said and then trailed off. He’d just said that it wasn’t about sex and that was true. He’d also said that it was about keeping her safe, something that was also, very true. He’d been about to tell her that he loved her and wanted to be with her after the trial was over, and while that was also very, very true, it would mess up the second statement. Telling her that he loved her, it would complicate things.

“What?” Eva said.

“I was going to ask if I could, uh, join you in the shower.” He said and threw on what he thought was a roguish grin.

“Well, that would ensure that it happens again and happens again rather soon, don’t you think?” Eva said with a twinkle in her eyes. “I’m not going to scrub your back or anything.”

“I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking that of you.” Steven replied as she pulled him into the bathroom. “And as a matter of fact, I’m a little shocked that you would think that I would-“ He never got a chance to finish the sentence and tell her what exactly it was that he was shocked about, because she was kissing him and shutting the door. He managed to turn the exhaust on before he forgot.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The door to the apartment opened and Melanie Horne stepped inside. She walked forward and smiled when she saw Steven. He was setting the table for lunch. He turned to her and smiled. She walked forward. While she had been intending to start talking immediately, she saw Eva step out, holding a dish of food, so she instead of stopping short at the table, she continued, walking up to Steven and planting a kiss on his lips. She didn’t have to look at Eva to know that there was a look of intense hatred on the other woman’s face.

Melanie was not telepathic, so she didn’t know that Eva’s look of hatred was masking a much more smug thought. One which involved Portuguese curse words that related Melanie to both the village idiot and the village whore. Words that also stated that Steven belonged not to the blond haired FBI agent, but instead to the black haired star witness of the Vitale trial.

Steven for his part, knew nothing of either of what was going through either of the two women’s heads and feared Eva grabbing one of the kitchen knives and going to work. If the vegetables in the food they were going to eat were any evidence, Eva was quite qualified to use a knife and use it well. So he cleared his throat and took a step back. “Hey, Melanie.”

“Steven. Eva, good to see you again.”

“Hello, Agent Horne.” Eva said before ducking back into the kitchen to get more of the food that she’d cooked.

Melanie noted that both Steven and Eva’s hair was wet. While she knew that there were more than one bathroom in the apartment, and she knew that it was foolish to think it, she couldn’t help but wonder if they had taken the shower at the same time, perhaps even in the same place. Eva was possibly psychic as when she came out of the kitchen, she made sure to run her free hand through her hair, on purpose. Steven caught the gesture and felt that while it was stupid and pointless, he was going to clear his throat again. Telling Eva to play nice was tantamount to getting himself killed, since generally speaking, telling her to do something usually meant she did the exact opposite. Particularly with him. Particularly to piss him off.

Luckily for him, the rest of lunch went without a hitch.

They made small talk, and discussed what was going on with the trial. All the food was eaten and praise was given, mostly from Steven, to Eva on the quality of her food. But once the dishes were cleared, it was time to get to business. Steven had taken the gun from the dining table and had put it in a safer place. When he had come in last night, he had been too tired to think of any proper place to put it. Now, he pulled it out of a drawer in one of the tables that was in the room. “You need to take a look at this.” He said, handing it to Melanie.

“Oh my God, is it what I think it is?” She asked after she had gotten a good look at the gun in the Ziploc bag and had turned it over a few times in her hands.

“The gun from the Wyndham and Reynolds murders.” Steven said as she put it down on the table next to her. “There was actually two of them, two sets of different murders and this is the gun that did both of them.” He said. “There’s more, a heck of a lot more, and I need to speak to you and Roberts about it as soon as possible.” Steven added.

“You found the gun though. I remember you were trying to figure out what was so weird and wrong about the murders and you figured it out.” Melanie said.

Eva rolled her eyes, though neither of them saw. First off, Steven was a police officer and a detective. It wasn’t outside the realm of belief that he would actually figure something out. Second off, if you were going to congratulate someone for something, you didn’t have to make it seem like they were a puppy who had finally managed to learn how to roll over or fetch. She was treating him like a little kid and all things considered they were lucky that Eva didn’t smack the woman. Steven owed her lots of cookie dough ice cream that much was definitely for sure.

Honestly, this woman was insufferable. She was just downright annoying and Eva knew it was a good thing that she had tried to fight against Steven bringing her here. Just being around the woman, knowing that Steven had slept with her, it angered her, angered her to no end. She was jealous. Not in the immediate sense, but in the sense that she was forced, no matter what she did, to own up to the fact that she had had to share him with her. She would never be able to get that out of her mind, that before she had managed to get him into bed, Melanie had done the same.

Even more infuriating was the fact that Melanie had had an easier time in doing it that she had. Steven hadn’t fought Melanie every step of the way like a pig headed idiot. Her white knight. Her hero. The man who had saved her, the man that she loved. Eva had avoided looking at the gun, knowing that it would bring up bad memories and now she turned and looked at Steven, surprised to see that he had turned and was looking at her. She widened her eyes a little, unsure what he was trying to do. It wasn’t like he was able to hear her thoughts or anything, thank God.

“Well, I can’t take all the credit. It was Eva who told me about the second set and helped me get to the conclusion that I did.” He said. He reached out and put his hand on hers, an innocent gesture in his mind, but one that was a loaded gesture to the two women sitting at the table opposite of each other. He squeezed lightly, adding insult to injury. It was Melanie’s turn to give a loathing look to Eva and Eva’s turn to smile sweetly. But of course, they were women and so they were innate pros at the whole emotional display thing, meaning that they kept a straight face, their looks of anger and satisfaction kept on the inside.

“I guess we’d better get going.” Melanie said, rising. “Eva, are you sure that you’ll be alright for a few hours? I know that Steven is supposed to be your bodyguard and all that, but I’m going to need him for a little while.” She said. “You’ll have all of the regular guards, I can guarantee that.” She added.

“Well, if you must.” Eva said with a smile that had no warmth in it.

“I won’t be gone for long.” He said, wanting to reassure her as Melanie grabbed her coat.

“Steven, you left your cell phone in the bedroom.” Eva replied and he looked at her confused for a moment, knowing that he had done no such thing. They went into the bedroom and as soon as the door was shut, she grabbed him, pulling him into a tight embrace. She kissed him, long and hard. He let his hands settle on her hips, hips that he knew intimately now, hips that drove him even more insane than before they had made love, if that were even possible. She pulled back finally. “I’ve got your favorite dinner that I can make planned, mister. How long are you going to be out on work?” She asked.

“I’ll only be gone a few hours. Three, maybe four tops. It shouldn’t be too long.” He said.

She nodded slowly, and he bent kissing her again. She opened her mouth and pulled his tongue in.

“Okay, okay, I’ll try to make it three tops.” He said and she grinned.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“This is exactly what we were looking for.” Roberts said and Steven smiled. He was in Robert’s office with Thiam and Melanie. The gun was on the table and they had been discussing it for a little while. Roberts had been ecstatic about Steven finding it, and they had the District Attorney on speakerphone. He turned and looked at Steven. “How did you find it?”

“I have a source, but I think that the person would like to remain anonymous concerning this. The person’s life is going to be put in danger if anything regarding them is revealed. From what I understood, the Vitale’s know who this person is and once they find out that we have the murder weapon, things will not be looking good for that informant.” Steven said.

“Should we get this person protection then?” Melanie said, noting that Steven had kept the person’s gender a secret and for good reason. There was no reason to trust any of the people in the room, despite the fact that they were all here to bring down the Vitale’s. They might have been assigned to the case after Francesco pulled strings or during the course of the trial had been gotten to and turned to the side of the Mafia family. Steven was being on the safe side and that was good.

But from what she had seen in that apartment, he was not being so cautious when it came to other things. It was rather obvious what was going on between Eva and Steven. She wasn’t sure if it was the best decision on his part and she was already formulating a plan to intervene and head it off. Not that she was jealous in any way. No. It wasn’t that she wanted to keep Steven for herself. That would just be mean. Though, truth be told, she didn’t like seeing Steven and Eva together. She did want him to herself and this would be an easy way to make that happen.

“No, I don’t think that will be a smart move.” Steven said. “Just like with Eva, it’ll make the person a bigger target. Also this person has the capabilities to defend themselves. Eva doesn’t.” He said.

Jason Roberts nodded. “Alright. We’ll get this over to the DA’s office as soon as possible, meaning today, right now.” He said. “Thiam, I’m going to need you to work with Agent Horne here to get everything settled for the sequestering of the jury. It should happen soon from the looks of things and I want to be on top of it when it happens.” He said. “We can’t allow any slip ups at all.” He added.

“Quite right.” Melanie added. “But for right now, I was thinking that perhaps we could all head out to dinner?” She said. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m starved and this is definitely the biggest development we’ve had in this case, since it started with getting Eva into custody.” She added.

Steven frowned at her word choice. Eva had willingly come under Gotham City Police protection and technically she hadn’t done anything wrong, at least, anything that they knew about, anything connected to the Vitale’s. He could only assume that she might have a little bit of a criminal background when she had been growing up in order to make ends meet, but he couldn’t fault her for that. Not really. She had been an innocent, abused by the Vitale family and she had come to them. After killing Michael of course, but still. “I, uh, guess.” He said. “I’m actually supposed to head back to the apartment for dinner. Eva’s…” He trailed off when he noticed how all of the other people in the room were looking at him.

“Eva’s what?” Roberts asked.

“She’s making dinner. Um, I think it’s supposed to be shredded beef with yellow rice. Black beans, plantains. She was saying about a whole chicken. I don’t know, I just know that I don’t really want to miss it.” He said.

“Can we go to the apartment then?” Thiam asked. While she didn’t dislike Melanie on the level that Eva did, she didn’t like what she was seeing. She knew that Steven was head over heels in love with Eva. After all, she had dated him for a while and she knew a good bit about him, particularly when it came to women. She wanted to get them back to the apartment. She knew that Eva would be able to take care of the FBI agent from there.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea. There are probably eyes and ears watching the building.” Melanie said. “If we all go there, particularly us four considering how attached we are to the case, the Vitale’s will be bound to figure out where we’ve got Eva safehoused.” She said.

“She’s got a point.” Roberts said. “Steven, grab some of the members of your team. We’ll go to one of the restaurants around here. Nothing major.” He said as he rose.

Fifteen minutes later, they were ensconced in one of the restaurants that were near the GCPD headquarters. It wasn’t a really upscale restaurant, but it was better than what many of them did when it came to dinner. Except for Steven. He grinned wickedly as he thought about how he’d rather have Eva’s cooking over this. Then he frowned since he was passing on it in order to eat here. He’d have to find a way to work up an appetite by the time he got back, since he couldn’t disappoint Eva. He hated doing that.

Melanie sat next to him, and next to her was Thiam. Roberts was on Steven’s other side and the rest of the group filled out the remaining seats at the circular booth. They had already ordered and their drinks were being put on the table. Everyone had something alcoholic, but then again they were all in the law enforcement “industry”. Steven sipped at the whiskey that he had. The women had all ordered wine, while the men had gotten either beer or liquor. They made small talk then, discussing recent events and arrests. Roberts began telling them how he was planning on making a new taskforce.

It was going to be dedicated to keeping the Mafia out of Gotham, once the trial was over. They were banking on a favorable verdict and odds were they were going to get it. Even with the appeals process, it would mean that the Vitale’s would be off the streets of Gotham for a very long time. There would be a power void and they needed to make sure that they had the manpower to take whoever tried to pop up down and keep them down. Steven told Roberts that he would be available for that taskforce. He wanted to advance, and more importantly, he wanted to make sure that a new Mafia wasn’t formed. They’d be even more vicious than the previous incarnation, the Vitale’s. That was the way of things.

As the dinner progressed, Thiam noticed that the FBI agent was leaning more and more on Steven. She had to smile as she watched. She knew from practical experience that Steven didn’t notice if a woman was attracted to him unless the woman was pretty blatant about it. His mind was just focused on other things which were funny considering he was a guy. Still, Melanie was playing her cards and playing them right from the looks of things. Steven was paying attention more to her than to anyone else at the table. They were close to being in their own little world.

Thiam shook her head. It was a good thing that the Brazilian woman wasn’t here, otherwise, she would have kicked Melanie’s ass already. Eva wasn’t one to play around, particularly on the issue of the FBI agent that she already didn’t like. Add in to that mix the fact that Melanie was poaching on a territory that clearly belonged to Eva, and there’d be blood spilled. Hopefully some of Melanie’s perfume would get much to close to Steven. Thiam wished she was a fly on the wall when Steven got back to the FBI/GCPD safehouse where Eva was. It was because she and Steven had dated for a while that she wanted it to happen. Mainly because the FBI agent was just no good for him.

She thought about the assignment that she’d been given. Maybe it would make sense for Steven to get closer to Melanie. After all, whether Eva was going to be alive down the road was up in the air.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

After dinner, the group had broken up. Everyone had headed home for the night, with the exception of those who had night shifts. Steven had intended to go back to the apartment, but Melanie had dragged him to her own apartment. He had insisted that he needed to get back, but she had reasoned with him. There were plenty of guards and officers at the apartment. There were also FBI agents at the apartment. So far, he had received no calls regarding any disturbances. Everything was status quo. He was still unsure, but in the end, he had agreed to head over to her apartment for a little while.

They were now inside her apartment, and she had poured them some drinks. Steven hadn’t lost track yet of how much alcohol that he had drunk so far, but he did know that he had a high tolerance and was still functional when it came to driving a vehicle. He had forced himself not to move before when he had been too intoxicated, so he trusted himself. He was unsure how long he needed to stay before he could go home. He didn’t want to overstay, but at the same time he didn’t want to be unkind to Melanie. She had invited him to her home, well, at least, her home away from home.

As he sipped at his whiskey, he realized that he didn’t really know where it was that Melanie called home when she wasn’t working on some case for the FBI. She had to live somewhere, unless her residence was the FBI headquarters building. That would be funny, if it were true. He leaned against the back of the sofa that he was sitting on and looked around. She was nowhere to be seen, after she had given him his drink. He was about to get up and call out for her when she came back into view. He smiled as she sat down next to him with a glass of wine. “So, how’s everything with Eva?” She asked with a smile.

“Good, I guess.” He said.

“It must be hard.” She said. “I mean, forced to live with someone like that.”

“Hasn’t been too bad.” He said with a smile, unsure of where the conversation was going. Thiam had been right in saying that he missed the obvious, especially when it came to women, but over the course of the night, he had gotten a distinct message from Melanie, one that included a request for him to spend the night at her apartment. That was something he couldn’t and wouldn’t do. Not that Melanie was a bad girl; she was great to be around. But his heart was with Eva. He wasn’t the type who considered cheating an option at any point in time. It just wasn’t him and as far as he was concerned, Eva Rodriguez was his girlfriend. Just not the kind that he went out on dates with.

Unless one considered the games they played as dates in which case Steven went out on dates with her everyday.

He was smiling when Melanie spoke again.

“I’ve missed you, you know.”

He turned and looked at her. “I’ve missed you too.” He said and she smiled. Melanie leaned in and kissed him. He was pretty sure that he shouldn’t kiss her back, but there was enough alcohol in his system for his reason to leave him without his inhibitions. So he kissed her back. She reached out and put a hand on his cheek, pulling him in for a deeper kiss. Before he knew it, she was in his lap and they were making out. After a good long while they broke apart.

“I’ve really missed you.” She said with a chuckle. She reached a hand up and slid it through her hair as she breathed. Steven reached out, unconsciously tucking some of the hair behind her ear. She smiled at him when he did the motion.

“I can tell.” He said, his mind not functioning properly anymore. She smiled, kissing him again.

“We need to make up for lost time.” She said, rising and pulling him towards the bedroom. He went with her. In the back of his mind, he was starting to realize that he was making a mistake. This was wrong, very wrong. Melanie was not Eva, and this was not a full sized bed in the apartment that he had woken up in. That meant that he was in the wrong place. The woman he loved was not the woman pulling him along and that needed to be corrected as soon as humanly possible. He had to find a way to extricate himself from the situation that he was in. He hadn’t overstayed or understayed. He just needed to get out of Melanie’s apartment now. Still, the alcohol’s hold over him was strong enough to make him continue the path that he was down, despite how stupid it was. All his brain knew was that there was a willing woman pulling him along and that it was a good thing.

They made it all the way to the bed and he was working on a way to do just that without coming off as a complete asshole, when his cell phone rang. He didn’t realize the lateness of the hour and more importantly who would be calling him now. Steven just knew that he had a phone call. He sat on the edge of her bed and pulled his phone out. Without thinking, without looking at the phone to see who had called him, he accepted the call and then proceeded to answer it. “Hello?” He said.

“Steven?” Came the female voice, and it conveyed with it a lot emotion, particularly being upset, being distraught, being glad, and being relieved. He knew who it was by the one word she spoke and he cursed the timing of her call. He was about to get himself stuck in a very dangerous situation and he knew it. His common sense was telling him. He was starting to sober up, but he was still drunk enough to say something stupid. He had to get her off the phone as quickly as possible, but without messing things up. “It’s Eva.” She continued. “Where the hell are you? It’s been six hours, nearly seven.” She said. “Are you okay, where are you?”

“I’m fine.” He said, his speech, slightly slurred. “Roberts, Melanie, Thiam, myself and a few others on the force went out for dinner after I showed Roberts the gun and we discussed what to do with it, you know, all of that kind of stuff. Now I’m at Melanie’s place.” He said and then realized his mistake. He should have just said that he was on his way home, back to the apartment. He was already messing up and he knew it.

What?” She asked. “What are you doing there? You said you were going to be back in a few hours. Why didn’t you call me when you guys left for dinner? I cooked this dinner especially for you, Steven.” She said.

“I’m sorry, I know that I should have, and we just made the plans very quickly. I just forgot, I’m really sorry, Eva” He said. He was about to keep going and tell her that he was going to be coming back to the apartment as soon as possible, when Melanie reached out and took the phone from him. He looked up at her confused as she put it up to her ear and spoke. His mind was screaming at him that it was a very bad idea to let her talk and that he needed to do something about it. Before he was able to stop her, she was already talking to Eva.

“Hey there, Eva. It’s Melanie. Listen, I know Steven would love to talk to you and tell you all about why he’s not back at the apartment and everything, but he and I are in the middle of something here, if you know what I mean.” She said, her voice dripping with honey. “He should be back at the apartment tomorrow though, if you catch my drift. I’ll make sure that he leaves early enough to make sure that you get to court on time, so you have nothing to worry about. He’s spending the night over here, okay? Bye.” She said and then hung up.

She tossed the phone onto a chair and then moved back over to him, straddling him. She kissed him and began to work his shirt off of him. He grabbed her hands and pushed her away.

“What the hell did you do that for?” He asked as soon as he got her hands off of him.

“She was interrupting us, so I told her what she needed to know so that she would stop and we could get back to what we were doing.” Melanie said as she reached for his belt buckle. She leaned in to kiss him and he knocked her hand away from his belt. Then lifted her off of him and put her onto the bed next to him. Then he rose to his feet. He walked over to the chair and grabbed his phone, turning back to look at her.

“Look, I…I’m drunk alright and I’m not in the best mind frame right now, okay? To be honest, what we were about to do, was going to be making a mistake.” He said. “We can’t do this, Melanie.”

“What do you mean we were going to be making a mistake? Steven, it’s not like we haven’t had sex before.” She said in reply, starting to smile.

“I know we’ve slept together before. But…things have changed since then and we can’t do that anymore.” He replied.

“What do you mean?” Melanie asked, folding her arms over her chest, her tone very serious. She was sitting on the bed and looking up at him. She looked at him with a look that told him that she expected an answer and that she also expected it very soon. It also had to be an answer that would completely and utterly satisfy the question that she had posed to a degree of her liking.

“I can’t sleep with you, because I really like Eva, and I can’t do that to her. To be honest, I love her.” He said. “It’s not being fair to her.”

“You’re supposed to be protecting her, not fucking her.” She said.

“Well, we’re supposed to be working together on the case and protecting her, not sleeping with each other.” He said, starting to get angry. He took offense to the term that she had used. Technically they had fucked, yes. But it had been more than that, definitely to him.

“You really love her, don’t you?” She said and he nodded. “I…I’m sorry then.” She said. “It’s just that I really like you, Steven, I really do.” She added.

He felt like a complete asshole, but he had to do what he was doing. He owed it to Eva and the relationship that he had with her, even if it wasn’t a real relationship right now. He loved her and he knew he was going to face hell when he got back to the apartment.

“I’m sorry, Melanie.” He said and then walked to the door of the bedroom. “I’m going to head out now.” He said and she nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” He added before he left.

He was driving like a maniac, trying to get back to the apartment. He had to make sure that she knew and that nothing messed up his relationship with her. He loved her and he wanted to be with her and he didn’t care how long it took to get around her resolve if she was determined to be angry with him. He would do whatever it took to make sure that she knew what had actually happened. Steven did make sure to stop at a supermarket and grab a gallon container of cookie dough ice cream. The line at the supermarket was long for that time of the night and he’d almost whipped out his badge. He’d had a plan and everything ready.

He would have lied his ass off, saying something about a pregnant wife who wanted chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and how he had to get it to her. He knew that he needed everything and then some to make up for what had happened. He did have the truth on his side. Yes, he might have started to do something with Melanie, but he hadn’t actually done anything. Okay, so maybe they had made out for a little while, but it hadn’t been that bad, right? It wasn’t like he’d actually done anything.

He hadn’t had sex; he hadn’t been unfaithful to a girlfriend who wasn’t actually his girlfriend. That was his story and he was going to be sticking to it because it was the truth. He didn’t have to defend himself; he had the truth on his side. Of course, Eva had the whole woman thing on her side and often times that beat out what the truth was. Unfortunately for him. She was going to be pissed and he knew it. There was nothing that he could do about it either. He had unfortunately made this bed and now he had to sleep in it.

By the time he arrived back at the apartment, he had been gone for a good eight hours, twice the time that he had said he was going to be gone. He walked up the steps of the apartment building, since the elevators were down. Of course they were down. God was attempting to punish him and make things worse. First the supermarket line and now this. He finally got to the apartment door and after acknowledging the officers; he unlocked the door to the apartment and stepped inside. The lights were on, as was the TV. Eva walked out of the kitchen with a plate of food. He noted that it was what she had prepared for their dinner. She also had a glass of red wine in her hands.

He saw that there was a bottle of wine on the table and it was close to halfway done. From what he remembered, they hadn’t opened the bottle yet. She had reheated the food after he hadn’t shown up and now she was watching TV. She didn’t look up, just sat down on the sofa and started eating. After putting the ice cream in the fridge, he slowly made his way over to where she was and sat down next to her. She was silent as she chewed her food and then took a sip of her wine. He turned and looked at her and then he went back to the TV. Okay, she wasn’t going to make the first move. That was okay, he would. And he was going to make sure that she listened to him. He wasn’t going to live with this over his head. “Uh…Hi.” He said. Eva was silent. “So…can we talk?”

“No.”

“Oh, okay.” He said. He sat there for a few more moments, realizing that now he was completely sober. Unfortunately. At least if he was mildly inebriated, he could…well…no not really. “Look, I want to talk about it.” Steven said.

“No.” Eva said.

“But-“

“No.” She said. “I don’t want to talk about, so we are not going to talk about it, do you understand me Steven?” She said. “You want to fuck Melanie, fine. It’s just sex right? That’s all that’s between us as well, and we shouldn’t let it complicate what needs to be done. The trial is all that’s important, right?” She said, and then finished her wine. She handed him the plate of food. “Here’s the dinner I made for you. Enjoy it.” She said and then rose, heading over to the bedroom. “Oh and I hope the futon’s comfortable for you.” She added.

Fuck my life.

It was his only thought. He sat there with the food as Eva prepared for bed. He stared at the TV, unsure of what to do, what to say. He wanted to go in there and tell her that nothing had happened. Nothing at all. But he couldn’t. Something stopped him. Self preservation, perhaps. Or the thought that he didn’t know what to say and needed to make sure that whatever he said, it was perfect. He knew that it was what he should do. He needed to tell her. He rose and turned the TV off and then he went into the kitchen, putting the plate into the fridge. Then he headed into the bedroom. Eva came out of the bathroom. Her eyes rose to meet his. She was in her pjs. She looked beautiful and his heart sank because she also looked so defeated and so sad. He just wanted to pull her into a hug and tell her that everything was okay, nothing was wrong.

She walked over to the bed and slid underneath the covers. She turned, so that her back would be to him when he was on his futon. It reminded him of how much he hated that damn futon. He should have thrown it out first thing that morning. But then she would have just made him sleep on the couch in the living room or on the floor. That would have sucked more. “Eva, look.” He said, starting to explain. She turned and looked at him over her shoulder. The look on her face would have frozen hell over. He nodded slowly. “Never mind.” He said.

“Just be ready to do your job in the morning.” She said. “Since that’s all that matters to you.” She said and then rolled back over so that her back was to him again.

Steven prepared for bed and once he was ready, he turned off the lights. He’d talk to her in the morning. Maybe in the morning, she’d be more open to listening to him. At least, that was what he hoped.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
Posts: 18556
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Re: Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:32 pm

2007

Britney Harmon rose and smoothed the wrinkles out of her salmon colored dress. She had wondered that morning whether or not it would be a good fit, but now she was happy that she had worn it. It was both dress up and functional, something that she liked when it came to business attire. She stepped away from her desk and turned, grabbing the blue jacket that she had put over the back of the chair. She had juts gotten off the phone with one of the many various suppliers for Wayne Chemical. Wayne Enterprises was in the process of buying the company out, since the new CEO and management team of the chemical company had been attempting to stall a few deals in order to get a higher price. They hadn’t properly understood who they were messing with, because solutions were already being worked on to stop them from being a problem.

She had received confirmation from Isaiah to make the takeover happen, and Britney had already set the plans in motion. She would have to do a little bit of work in order to pull the transaction off properly. She had gone over the CEO’s head and had spoken directly to the Board of Executives for the company. One of the largest shareholders in the company was an old family friend of Isaiah’s and once he had been told that he would be properly compensated for his shares, he had gotten behind the deal rather quickly. It wouldn’t be long before the company was added to Wayne Enterprises and through the act, bring their costs down and increase their cash flow situation, always a good thing. Now, she had a meeting that she couldn’t afford to miss.

She walked out of her office and past her secretary. The black haired, blue eyed woman behind the desk looked up, rather confused. She knew already that there was nothing scheduled at all for right then and there, but that usually Britney liked to remain in her office and field as much grunt work as she could. The day to day operations of the multi-billion dollar company were mundane and trying, but the new CEO of Wayne Enterprises apparently enjoyed doing it, coming from the background and direct experience that she had. As it was, the secretary held her tongue as Britney headed to the elevator. She knew much better than to even think of questioning Harmon on whatever it was exactly that the blond haired woman was doing.

No one questioned Harmon. Well, no one but Isaiah Muir, but then again, Isaiah was someone that you didn’t dare not answer. Anyone who did that risked having their life ruined in more than a few ways. He was also someone who didn’t get questioned, ever. He owned the company and most of Gotham, after all. The Muir/Nevins trust had been finally dissolved some years ago, and everything had gone to Isaiah. This was after Jason Nevins had gone and disappeared after the fallout of a corporate scandal in which he had been heavily involved. There were rumors that he had gone to some island in the Caribbean to live out the rest of his days. There were also rumors that Isaiah had gotten rid of Jason Nevins permanently, but those were just rumors from those who deemed to naysay about the owner of Wayne Enterprises.

And that was mainly because they didn’t like him or were envious of what he had. But then again, who was out there in the world that wouldn’t be envious of what he had? He was Isaiah Muir, the king of Gotham City. Everyone knew who he was, both in the city, in the country and around the entire world. He had more money than he or anyone else would ever know what to do with and he used it to help people, not just to make himself rich like some people might have done or would have thought that he would do. Furthermore, he was bedding extremely desirable women left, right, and center, women that some men would kill to be with.

Britney looked at the elevator signal that told her that she was on her way to her destination. She folded her arms over her chest as she went through everything that she still needed to do that day. She had to get in touch with the Vice President of Wayne Aeronautics and see how progress was on the new passenger jet that they were working on, the one that needed to be getting into full scale production soon in order to beat their competitors. Because of her background as a former secretary, she knew that word of mouth was one of the best ways to get information in a company. It was a source of actual information and a way to weed through the lies and falsehoods.

In addition, it was a very good way to see what people thought of what they were working on and what others were working on. One could see whether the workers themselves had faith in their products. They were, after all, the most knowledgeable about what the company was doing and whether or not the bottom line would be a good one or a bad one. Britney respected this way of getting things done and had her own “spies” within the company. She was then able to spread information and disinformation, particularly to the few corporate spies that were in the company that went and reported to other firms and corporations.

They were few and far between, but those that were there, she treated with immense respect. She also made sure to give them information as well as a lot of false information. It was just another system of control, one that Britney made sure that she was in charge of at all times. She couldn’t afford to let anything get out of hand when it came to Wayne Enterprises. Impatiently, she looked up at the sigil that the elevator was displaying. Sometimes she didn’t like the fact that she had an office on one of the highest floors on the building. It meant that getting from point A to point B was downright difficult if not impossible. At least she had gotten herself a private elevator that would take her as quickly as possible to whatever floor she wished.

Except that she wasn’t going to a floor, not really. The Wayne Enterprises building was huge, but in width and height. But that height was misrepresented. The building was extended far below street level, though not too many people knew this. There were the normal set ups, maintenance as well as a parking garage and other necessary sections.

But beyond those, were the more interesting parts of the company. The place were advanced research went on. The elevator doors finally opened and Britney stepped out. She smiled as she did. This was a great place. There were many pieces of technology here that would never see the light of day, because they had been deemed either too expensive, or just unfeasible for different reasons. But that didn’t mean that they couldn’t be put to use. She looked around the area, going through the various sections of the place, until she finally saw him.

She still got butterflies in her stomach when she saw him, and she ran a hand over her silk clad stomach. He was worth billions and was one of the most successful people in the country. He had inherited a lot of it, yes, but after he had taken over, Isaiah had pushed Wayne Enterprises back to success and had helped get Gotham City out of the hole that it had been in. And he was one of probably only a few billionaires that she had met and saw dressed down almost all the time. Here, he was wearing black dress shoes, dark blue jeans, and a black t-shirt. His back was to her, so she was able to study him for a few moments without him noticing, though he had to have known that she was there. He was standing, arms crossed over his muscular chest, looking at the thing in question that had brought her down here in the first place for the meeting.

“Isaiah.” She said and he turned to look at her. He just nodded and turned back. “What do you think?” She asked, referring to the thing that he was standing in front of, as she walked towards him. “It was the latest model back when Bruce was still around, which means that comparatively, it’s sort of old. It was supposed to go into use, but, of course, he died before being able to use it.” She said. “I had the team strip it down and completely rework it. Only the chassis is the same as the old one, and even then, it has various improvements due to breakthroughs in aerodynamics and propulsion systems. Everything on the inside, however, is top of the line and state of the art Wayne Enterprises technology.” She said. She stopped walking, coming up next to him.

They were looking at what could possibly become Isaiah’s Batplane.

“Do you really think you’ll need to use it, though?” She asked as she looked at the jet plane with a look of admiration on her face. The new jet was a work of art, really. They had taken a lot of the things about the Batplane that had been good and had put in hours at the drawing board, working on them to make them even better. The breakthroughs in technology that had taken place since 1990 had allowed them to do amazing things and create a vehicle that would suit Isaiah’s needs completely. Of that, Britney had absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

“Bruce had one. I need to at least have everything that Bruce did if I’m going to be able to do this the right way. My skill may not be on the same level as his was, at least in my eyes, but at least if I have the same equipment that he did, I might have a better chance at doing some good and bringing honor to the name of the Batman.” Isaiah said, his gaze becoming even colder and more distant than it usually was. “I don’t know when I’m going to start doing things outside of Gotham City, I have enough to deal with here in the city itself, but if I ever need to, I need to make sure that I have something capable, reliable, and something that I can use at an extremely short notice, whenever I might need it” He said. He turned once more to see that she was looking at him.

“Understandable. The modifications should be done shortly.” She said as they continued to study the jet plane that was in front of them. “It shouldn’t be more than a few weeks at the most, I think. I spoke to the people working on it earlier today and they were confident that we should have all the work needed to be done completed soon.” She said. She walked away after a few moments, headed towards another section of the advanced research part of the building that they were in. “I’m just wondering, and you don’t need to answer this if you don’t want to, but when are you going to deem yourself ready and become Batman?” She asked.

“Soon.” Isaiah said. “Very soon.” He added. “It’s just a matter of when and where. I want something that I can use to immediately shock and awe the people of this city so that they know that the dark times are over and that someone is stepping up to the plate. It can’t be something that is slow and takes time. It needs to happen quickly and immediately. And I think I have that something that I’m going to use.” He said. He had walked over to where Britney was and now she looked at him, as if prompting him to go on and tell her exactly what it was that he was referring to. “You know the Vitale crime family, right?” He asked her.

“Yeah, who doesn’t?” Britney replied.

“They are pretty infamous in Gotham City and even outside of the city for what they’ve done. They’ve been growing their operations and have taken over a large part of Gotham’s under city. Suffice to say, they’re on the same level as Carmine Falcone’s operation used to be, possibly even bigger. They definitely use bloodier and more violent methods than Falcone used to.” He said. “They’ve got their hands in almost everything that the city does and much more than a few businesses. Their legitimate businesses aren’t many, but they’ve managed to funnel a lot of their illegal money into the businesses, which gives them a large amount of capital with which to grow the businesses.” He said.

“I do have a business degree, Isaiah, thanks.” She said with a smile. He ignored the comment and continued with what he had been saying before she had spoken.

“I did a bit of a recon mission a few days ago, and I found one of their largest drug houses. Michael Vitale himself was there to oversee a weapons deal that went down with the blacks over from the shadier side of Gotham Heights.” Isaiah said. “After the deal was over and the others left the drug house, I went and put a tracker in Vitale’s car and I’ve been monitoring his movements so I can get an idea of his patterns and routines.”

“You’re going after the son of the Don? That is a bit dangerous and a bit reckless to do at first, even if you are trying to do something that will shake things up in a very big way. The only thing you have on your side is that they don’t know that you’re Batman and they don’t know that you’re going to be there watching them and spying on them.” She asked, and as she spoke Isaiah could hear the little traces of fear in her voice. They were rather evident.

“No. I’m going to use him to get information on their operations and activities and then I’m going after them. He’s not going to know that he’s being used.” Isaiah said. “I would think that another two weeks or so will be able to tell me what he does on a regular basis and then I’ll strike.” He said. He turned to look at her once more. “Do you have the other thing I asked about?” He asked. When he had originally requested it of her, he had known that it was going to be something very hard to get and had wondered how she was going to do it. Britney nodded in response, and this yet again, impressed him. She appeared to be doing that on a regular basis.

“I really honestly don’t think you’ll ever appreciate how difficult it was to get this for you and how delicate the negotiations were, especially since I had to set up an economic package deal and also work with these people to make sure that we bought more than just this one time deal, because otherwise they weren’t going to make the sale. All things said and done though, Isaiah, I was able to secure a source of Vibranium, yes. What we did buy, the one time deal amount that you specifically asked for has been stored here, for safe keeping.” She said.

“Good. I’m going to need access to it, soon, in order to work it into the suit.” Isaiah said. “Hopefully I’m able to complete everything before I need to actually use the suit when it comes to the Vitale’s, but we’ll see what happens.” He said. He looked at her and then nearly smiled, but stopped himself before he did. “Everything is coming together, just like I planned, just like I hoped.” He added and she nodded in response to what he had said.

“Yeah.” Britney said, and then a look of worry came over her face as she spoke again. “I’m just concerned that you’re going to get yourself killed. You’re not Superman, you know. You’re not indestructible,” She added with a smile.

Isaiah smiled in reply, the first time she had seen him smile that day.

“I might not be Superman, but I have more than just a good feeling that I could take him down if I really needed or wanted to. It wouldn’t be that difficult and in fact, it would actually be rather easy if you think about it, you know.” He replied, his smile widening as he spoke. Britney couldn’t help but curse the fact that he had such a cute smile.

“It’s not because you’re stronger than him or could beat him in a straight up fight and you know it, Isaiah. It’s only because you have that kryptonite ring.” She said, falling into the easy task of flirting with Isaiah. It was a skill that she had developed very quickly. She had to, because he was a man who sported a very sharp and sarcastic form of humor. He was also quicker than most when it came to his humor, and because of how smart he was, his jokes and puns could sail over people’s heads very easily if they weren’t paying attention to exactly what he was saying. It was yet another reason that there was no man quite like Isaiah Muir.

“What can I say; I have to work with what I’ve got.” He said, his smile changing to more of a smirk. It was just his luck that he had a lot to work with and made use of it very well. The smirk changed, and he had a neutral expression on his face, the tell tale sign that he was going to do or say something designed to make her laugh. Despite knowing what he was going to do, Britney knew that she was going to fall victim to it, mainly because it happened every time, no matter what she tried to do to stop it. “Though, I must honestly say that it is very nice to see that you’re worried about me, Ms. Harmon. And to see that your level of concern is rather high.” He added.

“Something happens to you, I’ve aided and abetted the return of a masked vigilante and I could be prosecuted as an accomplice. If you die, well, then who’s going to sign my paychecks?” She asked her smile ever so sweet.

“Yeah, yeah.” He said in reply. He leaned in and kissed her lightly on the cheek. “Well, I guess I’ll take this time to tell you that you’re awesome.” He said and she smiled in reply.

“I know.” She said. “But it’s nice to hear it from someone else.” She added. “Despite the fact that you’ve just been nice, it doesn’t get you off the hook for our plans tonight. You’re still paying for my dinner tonight and you don’t have a choice in the matter.” She said and then smiled. “I am right, aren’t I, Isaiah?” She asked with a look of mischief on her face.

“Of course, but we need to make a change in where we’re dining.” He said. “I don’t want to go to McCauley’s.” Isaiah said. “Instead, we’re going to go to Zone Eight.” He added, knowing the question that was on her mind.

“That’s owned by Francesco Vitale, it’s one of his legit businesses that’s connected to him. Nothing illegal goes on there, Isaiah.” She said. She looked at him, confused. She didn’t understand why he wanted to go there, it didn’t make much sense to her. She would have understood going to one of the shadier restaurants or clubs. Maybe it was because he was Isaiah Muir, and as Isaiah Muir, he would never really go into one of those places. A man like Isaiah started with five star dining and then went higher up the literal food chain.

“I know.” He replied. “But Michael Vitale should be there tonight. From what I understand, the Vitale’s are celebrating something. I’m not sure what it is, but that’s part of why we’re going.” Isaiah said and quickly realized that he had made a mistake when Britney folded her arms over her chest and stared daggers at him.

“We’re going out to dinner because you’re taking me on a date. Not to do reconnaissance.” She said, getting annoyed.

“I have to do this, Britney. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.” He said in reply and Britney sighed. She had told him that she had developed feelings for him and he had told her that it hadn’t been a smart move. Despite the fact that she knew this and the fact that she had told him that she wasn’t going to pursue those feelings, she couldn’t help it. She liked being with him and being around him. Their personalities worked well together and she had a lot of respect for him and she knew that he respected her just as much. Since the night of the party, when he had shown her the Batcave and had asked for her help, their sex life had diminished, but only by a little.

She knew that she was beginning to fall in love with him, and she wasn’t sure how to deal with it. He was still linked to famous supermodels and celebrities and she didn’t like reading about it that was for sure. They had never said that the relationship that they had excluded them from seeing other people, but she could never bring herself to go out with another man. She wondered if there were a lot like her who had been struck by the Isaiah Muir sickness. She knew though, that he would never have dared to do what he was saying he wanted to do, if she had been Cassandra Simmons. The thought would never have even tried to have entered his mind.

Because he would have been around the woman that he actually loved. Actually truly, completely loved.

Isaiah probably wouldn’t even be thinking about his double life as Batman when he was around Cassie, and Britney knew it.

“You better make it up to me.” She said with a smile. Isaiah just smiled in response and began to head out of the room. She knew that he had places to go. She had worked hard just to get him to go along with the dinner date. It wasn’t because she wanted to go on the date, though that was a very good part of the reason. She did want to spend more time with him, yes. The real reason, though, or at least the reason with the most behind it, was that since she had seen the Batcave, she had rarely seen him enjoy himself and just relax. She had wanted him to at least relax and she could see that he needed to do it. But all she had seen him do since then was do nothing but train and prepare for what he was going to do, to become the Batman.

She was worried about him. From what she had seen, Bruce Wayne had known that eventually someone might stumble across the fact that he had been the Batman. Furthermore, he had guessed that perhaps someone would want to continue the work that he had started. So he had written down his memoirs as the Batman. He had, in essence, created a war journal of sorts. It was part history book, part training manual. Ever since he had found it, Isaiah had been an avid reader, studying everything that it had in it. Isaiah was already extremely smart. He had learned so much under so many people as well as through self –study. His detective and reasoning skills had grown by leaps and bounds. He had studied every single case that Bruce had worked on, and had studied every one of the so called villains that Bruce had put behind bars countless times.

In essence, he had seen every mistake that Bruce had made, the very few that there were and had learned from them. Furthermore, he had seen the thought process that Bruce had used in order to get to his conclusions. Isaiah wasn’t yet there, but he would soon be, on par with Bruce Wayne when it came to the former’s detective skills.

“I will, I promise.” He said as he continued to walk away. Britney watched him as he walked away and shook her head. More and more the man that had fallen in love with Cassie was getting pushed under the surface for the man who was going to rid the streets of Gotham of crime. She watched as he entered the elevator and then turned away. She had things to do.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

A few hours later, Isaiah was finished. He had been working on batarangs for a while once he had gotten back to the mansion. He was tired and needed to sleep. But sleep was not going to be coming to him for a while. He would probably catch a few hours before waking and getting dressed for dinner with Britney. He looked at his handiwork and picked up one of the batarangs. He turned and threw one of them full force towards targets that he had set up. It flew through the air, nothing more than a blur, until it was lodged into the target. Isaiah walked over and pulled it out, noting that it came out with some difficulty. This was good.

He had to make sure that he could effectively utilize them when he was fighting.

That was why he was getting a few of the human replica machines that Wayne Enterprises had been working on over to the mansion. After that proper testing some time ago, Isaiah was confident that he could use them to make sure that he was at his best all the time. They would be programmed with a lot of different movement techniques and fighting styles. This would allow him to properly train himself when it came to fighting, since they would be better than the average criminal, closer to a meta human or mutant than a normal criminal.

If he could take them down with ease, then Isaiah would know that he could take down a bank robber or other criminal without a problem at all. He looked at the bat shaped item in his hand and then moved, tossing it back into the pile that he had been working on. He built all of them himself and it took a long amount of time, something that he wanted to rectify. He had to make sure that he had access to a much bigger number than he could make on his own. He was thinking about creating a press of sorts that would allow him to manufacture them on a wider scale.

He knew that he was going to need them in large numbers. He didn’t want to leave them around the city, and he wanted to make sure that he picked them up after he was done in an area. All of the secrets of how Batman plied his trade had to remain a secret.

Furthermore, he had work to do on more advanced models than just a normal shuriken. But for now, he was going to get some sleep. He had a lot of work to do when he woke up and he had to be at the top of his game at all times.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Isaiah made sure to tell Britney that she looked quite beautiful in her dress. It was true, with her figure; she did the chocolate brown dress a very good amount of justice. When he heard how much the dress had cost, he had been very grateful that she had bought it using money that was all her own, though technically it was his since he did pay her salary. Still, it was soft and smooth and she leaned against him in the backseat of the limo they were in, and he could barely feel the layer of cloth between then, it did give him reason to smile. Isaiah looked out of the window at the lights of Gotham City as they moved through the wealthier part of the city.

“So, we just need your signature on the papers and the takeover of that chemical supplier will be done. I spoke with the SEC and various other financial agencies and everything should be finalized shortly after that. It shouldn’t take more than a couple weeks before everything is done and properly accounted for. It’s just a matter of time when it comes to making sure that all of the shareholders of the chemical company are properly compensated for their shares. Logistical nightmare.” Britney said, pulling his attention back to her.

“Good.” Isaiah said, threading her fingers with his. “Let’s not talk business tonight, though. I just want to spend an evening with you.” He said, lifting her hand up so that he could kiss her palm. He knew that he was baiting her on purpose, but he wanted to know if she had gotten past what had happened earlier in the day when he had moved the location of their dinner plans. He had a very good feeling that she hadn’t gotten over it.

“Why not? This is a business dinner, anyway.” She said.

So. She was still a little cross about the fact that he was using their dinner date to do reconnaissance. There was nothing Isaiah loved more than an upset woman. Fire and temper was much better than being calm, cool, and collected. He loved arguments and fights, particularly with temperamental women. It was probably one of the reasons why he loved Cassie so much. She had no problem with letting him have an earful whenever she was upset. He shifted his mind back from the Filipino to the Caucasian woman in the car with him. She’d get over it. Isaiah smiled and bent, kissing the side of her neck. He lingered there, so that when he spoke, his breath warmed her skin. “I suppose that I shouldn’t accept your invitation later to spend the night at your apartment then.” He said, gently nibbling on her skin with his teeth. The beautiful blonde merely smirked.

“Who said that the invitation was even going to be offered at all, Mr. Muir?” She asked, with a clearly superior tone in her voice.

Isaiah smiled. “Come on now, we both know that you’re absolutely crazy about me. Honestly, I can’t blame you. I’m a great guy. I’m nothing short of perfection if you ask me and if you ask me to be completely honest.” He said.

“Your ego never ceases to amaze me.” She said in response.

“I told you from the beginning that I was shameless.” He said. He smiled when she leaned closer against him in response to his words.

“That you did, you’re right. Still, I didn’t think you were this shameless.” She said. “You’re a very bad person, Isaiah.” She said, knowing that it was one of the many reasons why she was so attracted to him. She liked the bad boys.

“That’s why you like me, Britney.” He said with a knowing smile. He reached up and turned her head so that he could kiss her. He mentally smiled when she kissed him back, hard. “And we both know you were going to make that offer.”

“Don’t flatter yourself, dear. I’m considering taking it off of the negotiating table.” She said as they reached their destination. Isaiah knew that she was just messing with him. Even if she was being serious about that, she had threatened him with that before. He wasn’t the best at what he did if he couldn’t find a way around it. He always did, just like he had done in the past and would continue to do in the future. Simply put, there was no woman on this planet, at least, no woman that Isaiah had met so far, who could resist his charm when he really wanted it to work. He could put James Bond to shame if he tried.

Zone Eight was a very swanky restaurant. The prices were high, the food was good, and the social status that one had if you were able to make a reservation here was clearly valued. Isaiah had decided to not make a reservation. Britney found this out very quickly and stared at the man who was basically her boyfriend, in complete disbelief. She would have figured that he would at least do that, especially since he had moved the location without telling her. It was rather rude. The maitre’d did as well, unsure of what to do. It wasn’t until Isaiah gently reminded the man that the person standing in front of him was Isaiah Muir, the richest man in Gotham City and one of the richest men in the world, that a table was suddenly freed up for them.

Britney was scowling when they reached their table. She looked at him, more than a little angry. He could have made a reservation. While there was absolutely no place in Gotham City, at least amongst the cultured and elite, that wouldn’t let Isaiah in and do whatever it took to make him happy, the least he could have done was to make a reservation. He’d merely smiled at her, and asked her if she’d order the wine for the evening. She’d done so, and once she was done had leaned back in her chair. She looked at him, and smiled when she saw that he was looking back at her.

It was then that she realized that he wasn’t looking at her, but rather, he was looking past her. She made a half turn, so that she could see what had caught his attention out of the corner of her eye. It was the Don’s table. Tucked away in a more recessed area of the restaurant, Don Francesco Vitale was seated along with his wife. Michael was there. There was a red headed woman sitting next to him, closer to his age. The proprietary way that he had his arm around him, told Isaiah that this woman had come with him. She looked different than the Italians seated at the table, which didn’t lend any credence to the thought that she was a family member.

This meant that Michael was stepping out on his fiancée, Eva Rodriguez, much more than Isaiah had previously thought. Infidelity could be used against someone, if you knew which buttons to push. Isaiah always knew which buttons to push. There were other family members there and they were clearly celebrating something. A part of him felt bad about the fact that Michael was cheating on Eva. He had met her a little while ago at that party at his home and she had given him an image of a very clean cut, honest and generally good woman. No one deserved to have their significant other cheat on them like that. From everything that he had seen and what research he had done on Rodriguez, she was a good person, a victim of circumstance.

He watched them for a little while longer, until the sharp toe of Britney’s right foot hit him in the shin. He looked down and cursed the fact that she’d worn heels. When he looked back up there was a clear look on her face that he had better stop watching the Vitale’s and pay just a little more attention to her. Knowing that it was a bad thing to piss off the CEO of his company and also the woman who warmed his bed the most out of all the women right now, he decided to shift into easy flirtation.

But he still kept his eyes on the Vitale’s from time to time.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Re: Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Sun May 03, 2009 10:50 pm

2008

He was in hell. Steven leaned against the hard wood back of the bench in the court room. The love of his life was seated in the witness stand and she was talking about the Vitale Family. But while his eyes were resting on her perfect face, his mind was elsewhere. It had been two weeks since he and Eva had finally had sex, something that the baser side of him had wanted since a few minutes after he’d met her and the more cultured side of him had desired for after a few days of getting to know her. Two weeks since he’d gone and fucked it up. Technically he had done nothing wrong, and that was what he believed, but apparently he had done something wrong, even if he didn’t know what exactly it was. That one mistake had caused his world to come crashing down on him. It had been perfect; everything had been perfect earlier that day.

Then it had all gotten bad. Somehow. Melanie had insinuated that he was having sex with her and Eva had believed the FBI Agent. When he had gotten back to the apartment, she had refused to speak with him about it, and when she finally had, her words had cut to the bone. She had made him sound so cold, so unfeeling, and so calculatingly evil. Steven reached up and rubbed his eyes slowly, trying to get some life into them. He had been in paradise until she had kicked him out. Now he was sleeping on the futon in the bedroom, but he was barely getting any sleep at all, because it wasn’t big enough to handle his frame. That wasn’t the only reason, nor was it the biggest reason. Furthermore, she had done something, so that her scent, which already pervaded the entire apartment, had become that much more potent and deadly to him.

So he was sleeping in the same room as her, but not the same bed as her. He could definitely and very easily remember how good her bed felt and had been for someone like him. Not even the fact that she had been in it, all warm and willing. Just the fact that it was a full sized bed that was big enough for him as opposed to a dumpy old futon that definitely wasn’t big enough for him. Then you added the woman that to Steven was nothing short of perfection, the most beautiful woman in the entire world. She was soft and cuddly and she felt perfect when he was holding her. Now he couldn’t do that anymore and apparently it was his own damn fault.

Steven slowly rose from his seat in the court room. He needed some fresh air and a glass of water. He would have preferred something much stronger than water but the odds of being able to get that in a courtroom was slim to none. He didn’t notice, as he left, that Eva was watching him from the witness stand. Steven hated this. He hated his “home life”. For the past two weeks, he had been walking around on eggshells when it came to Eva, concerned that anything he might say or do would set her off and get her even more pissed at him.

He couldn’t see the look on her face as he walked out, a look quickly replaced by a more neutral one as she answered a question about a Vitale family racket.

Eva was hurting inside, she was hurting inside so badly. It had been a full two weeks and she still wasn’t over what had happened. She loved him, she loved him so much. Steven was her white knight, the man that had saved her from the dregs of Michael Vitale’s tender love and affection. He was one day of clear and sunny skies after years of overcast downpours. She had given him everything, even if she hadn’t told him. How could he have done that? How could he have betrayed her like that? Had what they had shared that morning been so cheap, so easy to him? Steven had been doing his best to avoid her starting the day after.

He had taken to staying awake as long as possible in the living room of the apartment so that he didn’t have to stay in the bedroom with her for a long period of time. He would usually now just crash and wake up in the morning ready to head to work. She had been tossing and turning for two weeks now. In one night, she had lost the ability to sleep by herself, after she had been doing it for years. Michael never slept next to her after they’d had sex or if he’d raped her. Generally if Michael had beaten her, he wouldn’t sleep in the same bed with her either. He just left, usually leaving the apartment, leaving her cold and alone. She had been sleeping by herself for years now, and then after Steven, in one flash it had gone.

She missed having him there, holding her, knowing that he was next to her. She was safe when she was with Steven. He kept her safe and he had killed in order to keep her safe. She remembered what had happened in the park, how he had fought the hit men sent by the Vitale’s to try to kill her. He had taken a bullet in order to keep her alive and keep her safe. She needed him there in the bed, next to her. She wanted him there, next to her.

That damn slut of an FBI Agent. Special Agent Melanie Horne had gone and taken away from her the one thing that Eva wanted more than anything else. She had lost Steven and the sad part was that she knew it. For all she knew, he was happier now that there was less tension between them. He would be free to pursue Horne the way he had wanted. When she thought about it, he had stopped flirting with her and then she had started doing it. It was possible that he had devoted all of his time to getting Melanie, and she had complicated things. He hadn’t wanted to give in and he hadn’t wanted to stay in the bed with her that night.

Maybe it was better this way. Maybe it was better to keep things the way they were. She could concentrate on the trial and he could concentrate on protecting her, which was their respective jobs at this point in time. Despite how much it hurt her. Every night, she wanted nothing more than to call to him, to reach out and pull him to the bed.

Just to hold her. Just to tell her that he had done nothing with Melanie. That he hadn’t basically cheated on her. He could lie to her and she would be willing to believe him. She knew that Steven would never lie to her though. It just wasn’t in his character and it was one of the reasons why she had fallen in love with him. The unflinching dedication to what was right and what was good. Still, anyone could do anything, if you thought about it. Maybe that was part of the problem. She had let herself be defined by the men in her life for so long.

It was possible, very possible, that Steven was just using her. It was a thought that scared her and one that she didn’t like to think about. She knew that Steven had to make sure that she stayed a happy witness and that she was on board for the trial. It was possible that he had done everything he had done in order to make that a possibility. She knew of his history with the Vitale’s. Michael had been the person behind the death of Steven’s father. She knew just how much he hated them. It was very possible that he was using her in order to bring down the Vitale family. Not the way that Michael had used her, but it was still just as wrong. That thought scared her, because she knew how much she loved him. She knew that she would do anything for him.

She stuttered then, brought back to the present. She had to answer the questions to the best of her ability. She’d worry about her problems with Steven later.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Steven looked down at the item in his hands with misgivings. It was his pair of aviator sunglasses. Usually Eva took them and wore them herself, and they played a running game where he would try to get them back and fail horribly. Usually she took them from him as soon as he put them on. But for the past two weeks, they had remained firmly in his possession. Eva hadn’t tried to take them, something that bothered him a lot, truth be told. It was just another thing that they had lost from their routine, another thing that he wanted back. He looked up as she walked down the hallway towards him. He mustered a smile for her. Her expression was neutral towards him. He shook his head slowly as he pushed the door open and stepped out of the court house.

They were at the back of the court house and Steven made his way over to where their car was. He nodded at the undercovers in the car next to the Corolla that they had brought to the court house that day. They’d have a shadow as they headed back to the apartment that would leave off halfway. Steven never took any chances when it came to Eva’s safety and had more than once taken the two of them on a small sightseeing tour of Gotham City just to make sure that they weren’t being followed. She had been partially annoyed and partially scared during the trip. The combination hadn’t been that great to deal with, when he looked back on it. He slid behind the wheel of the car and waited for Eva to get into the passenger seat.

When she was in, he started up the car and they were off. Silence quickly took hold and then ruled the car. Steven wanted to turn the radio on, in order to break the silence, but wasn’t sure about it. He would have started talking about the case, but Eva just seemed to be focused on nothing in particular and he could tell that the last thing she wanted to do was to talk to him about anything. He decided that he could play things her way if this was what she wanted to do. He didn’t mind the silence, not really. It wasn’t like he didn’t want to hear her voice, or hear her laugh. He kept his eyes on the road and moved through the traffic with ease. He just wanted to get back to the apartment so he could continue being miserable in his current situation.

It didn’t take them long, something that reinforced in Steven’s mind just how long it had taken to get back to Eva that night. He stepped out of the elevator in the apartment building and made his way over to the front door, Eva two steps behind him. He unlocked the door and opened it. His eyes scanned the inside quickly, making sure that nothing was out of place. They had passed officers on the way in, but then again, you could never be too safe when dealing with the mafia. He had learned that much after they had set up his father. Then he held the door open for her as was his custom. She just walked past him. Eva shrugged out of the jacket that she wore and put it on the back of one of the chairs in the dining room. She headed over to the kitchen.

He stood there in the living room and considered. He honestly couldn’t keep going on like this. He hated every minute of it. Either he was going to find a way to get her to listen to him, or he was going to request a transfer off of the case or at least to some other part of the case where he wouldn’t have to be around her that much. He knew that he would have a hard time doing that. She barely trusted any other police officer in Gotham City. After all, she knew that many of them had been on Michael Vitale and the Vitale Family’s payroll. It was why he had been assigned to her as a shadow in the first place. He was around her twenty four hours out of the day after all. He sighed. She just didn’t want to talk to him.

He had barely been able to get her to engage in decent conversation over the past two weeks. Their conversations when they were eating were restricted to him commenting on how good the food tasted, Eva accepting the compliments and that being about it. He had moved most of the cork boards out of the way so that she wouldn’t have to see them anymore. He had used one of the smaller spare rooms for them, knowing that they had an effect on her. When he had been moving them, he couldn’t help but wonder why that futon had to be in the master bedroom and couldn’t have been put into one of those spare rooms. But nothing he did got any sort of reaction from her. It was simple, really. It was as though she was doing nothing more than ignoring that he even existed. Well, no, not that. She acknowledged that he was alive and what not.

But she refused to interact with him unless it came down to the trial. Frankly it was just starting to get annoying. He knew all about the term “cold shoulder,” and over his romantic career, a few women had given it to him, but this woman, this one in particular, had something like the Antarctic shoulder the way she carried on. He watched as she came out of the kitchen with a plate of food. They had broken for lunch some time ago, and he was hungry himself. But the site of her moving around and doing something for some reason made him want to act to, but not on his hunger. At least not his hunger for food.

He moved forward, walking so that he directly blocked her path to the sofa. She stopped and looked up at him, the beginnings of a scowl on her face. “You’re in my way.” She said, finally.

“Yeah, I know.” He said in reply, knowing that he had really prepared nothing for this confrontation and that perhaps it would have been wise decision to not start walking through the minefield before he had at least taken the time to prepare himself for the consequences of his actions. Still, he kept going, also knowing that he had made the decision and now he had to stick with it no matter what. He looked at her then, deep into those chocolate brown eyes that he had fallen hopelessly in love with. “I want to talk to you.”

“Okay, talk.” Eva said.

“Well, I want to talk about what happened a couple weeks ago, if you don’t mind.” He said in reply and her face changed almost immediately. Gone was the scowl. Once more, Eva’s face was a cold, cold mask, seemingly impenetrable to anything and anyone. She wasn’t going to make this easy, but he had known that from the get go. He was really wishing that he had been wise enough to think of something before he had opened his mouth and walked forward. He waited for her response and he didn’t have to wait long at all for what he had known she was going to say.

Eva shook her head. “I don’t want to talk about that.” She said.

Steven reached out and grabbed the sandwich, taking the plate from her. He lightly tossed the plate, so that it landed on the dining table that was behind her. “Well, we’re going to.” He said, with an air of finality. Eva just shrugged and turned on a dime, heading towards the bedroom. Getting a little angry, Steven followed her, reaching out. He grabbed her wrist and pulled, gently though even though he was angry and annoyed. Despite everything, in the back of his mind was the fact that this beautiful, precious woman before him had been heavily abused and beaten over the years. Anything could be taken as a sign of aggression.

After he pulled, he pushed. Her back was up against the wall, but he kept his distance, not wanting to box her in or make her feel scared. Her expression was still neutral, but he could see what looking like something like anger beginning to creep across her face At least it was anger and not fear, for that he was grateful. He slowly moved in and she didn’t do anything in response. She knew that he would never hurt her or ever raise a hand to hit her. “Well, I do want to talk about it.” He said.

“Fine, let’s talk about it.” She said. “Why don’t we talk about you’re an unfeeling, heartless, asshole?” Eva asked, folding her arms over her chest and giving him a challenging look.

“I didn’t have sex with Melanie.” He said. There, he had said it. It was out there. He was going to stick to that story till the day he died and if he had to drag Horne here and force her to tell Eva what had really happened, he would. He refused to keep living like this, it was just too painful. She looked at him, as though she didn’t believe him.

“How do I know you’re telling the truth?” She asked.

“Because, it’s me.” He said, and it was the truth. He knew that he would never lie to her and never do anything that would intentionally hurt her or put her in a position where she could be hurt. It just wasn’t who Steven was. He wouldn’t do that to anyone, especially not the woman that he loved. “I’ve never lied to you before, Eva, and I never will. I’ll swear on whatever you want to me swear on, if that’s what it will take to convince you.” He said.

“Then why did Melanie say that when she was on the phone with me? What reason could she have had to do something like that?” Eva asked.

“Because she was able to tell that something had happened between us and she was jealous.” He said. “She did the whole thing because she was jealous.” He added. “I mean, we both know that I have slept with her before, and she’s an FBI Agent for a reason. She was probably able to pick up on what had happened between us and she didn’t like it so she wanted to do something about it. When I think about it, I had a feeling that she knew when I left the apartment. It makes sense, I’m telling you.” He said and Eva had to give him that much. It did make sense, because back when she had found out that he had slept with Melanie, she had wanted to get back at him somehow, to hurt him for doing that to her, even though he hadn’t known how she felt. He didn’t even know how she really felt right now. She conceded that point to him.

“Why didn’t you call me?” She asked, changing her avenue of attack. She jabbed a finger in his chest and then did it again, hard. She wanted to cause him pain so that maybe he could feel what she had gone through during these past two weeks. “You knew that you were going out to dinner and you knew that I was making dinner special for you. You knew this and you didn’t even have the presence of mind to call me. Why didn’t you call me? I was so worried about you; I thought something had happened to you.” She said, and he could tell from the look in her eyes that she was very serious when she said that she had thought that something had happened to him.

“I didn’t call, because…Look, I was in the middle of a room filled with police officers, plus Thiam, plus Melanie, and most importantly, Roberts. I couldn’t just call you then and every time after that, I was surrounded by all of them for the rest of the night. By the time I could, when it was just Melanie and myself, I was too intoxicated to do it.” Steven said in response.

“So? What does the fact that you were around all of those police officers have to do with anything, Steven?” She asked.

“It has everything to do with it. I didn’t want to call you because I was afraid that something would slip out in the conversation and someone would pick up on what had happened between us.” He replied. “Melanie already had and so I didn’t want to take any chances.” He added and Eva definitely had something to say about that.

“That’s weak.” She said, her eyes conveying exactly what she thought about that.

“Oh yeah? Well, look at it this way, if they even suspect that there’s something between us, they’re going to pull me from the case. Do you want someone you don’t know being the one protecting you? The reason they put me on this twenty four hour lock down protection was because they knew that you’re not going to trust any police officer except for me or someone I vouch for. If I’m not here you’re going to be more inclined not to trust them and we both know that.” He said.

Eva looked away for a moment. She shook her head, trying to think of what else she had to argue against him with. She was losing ground fast. Mainly because her own heart was working against her. She wanted to forgive him. She wanted to kiss him and hold him and tell him that she forgave him. She wanted everything to be back the way it used to be. And Eva definitely wanted him next to her at night, holding her and keeping her safe from her own nightmares.

“When we were at the dinner, we knew that we had the last piece of evidence needed to lock the Vitale’s away. We were celebrating. I shouldn’t have gotten drunk, I know that. I shouldn’t have gone back to Melanie’s place, but I’m telling you nothing happened.” He said. She turned and looked at him and feeling that maybe the time was right, he reached a hand out. He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand and she closed her eyes. They hadn’t touched, really touched in two weeks.

The sensation coming back to the both of them after such a long time was very potent and they both felt it. He was reminded of just how soft and smooth her skin was. She was reminded of just how much she loved his touch. He took a step forward so that they were basically touching and his fingers shifted, tucking some loose strands of hair behind her ear. “The whole time I was there, I was really uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be there, but I wasn’t sure how to leave. When you called, I was ready to bolt immediately.” He leaned in and their lips were less than an inch apart.

“Steven-“

“Nothing happened. I would never hurt you like that.” He said. “You have to believe me.” He said. “I hate this.” Steven said. “Us, not being the way we used to be. I miss the board games, I miss the jokes, and I miss all of it.” He said and his other hand went to her hips. Eva’s own arms had come up and were around his neck. “Please, you have to forgive me. I didn’t do anything, but if it makes you feel better, fine, I did, and I’m sorry. And I am sorry for not calling you and if something like this happens again, you’ll be getting hourly updates. I’ll call you to tell you that I picked my nose.” He added and Eva laughed in reply. “See, that’s what I want out of you. I just want things to be back to the norm, that’s all.” He said.

“I’ll forgive you.” Eva said. “On one condition.”

“Name it and it’s yours.” Steven said. Just like last time he was willing to do anything she wanted, except that this time, he was really willing to do anything she wanted.

“Melanie Horne is not allowed inside or anywhere near this apartment again.” She said.

“Done.” He said.

“You swear nothing happened?” She asked, her voice barely a whisper as she inched up to close the gap between their lips.

“Nothing. I wouldn’t lie to you, Eva.” He said.

“I know.” She said just before they kissed.

If the two of them really touching after two weeks had been so powerful, the kiss was exponentially more potent. Steven angled his head, deepening the kiss. Her arms came around his neck even more, making the hold tighter. His hand which had been up at her ear dropped down to her hips to mold her even more intimately against him. They broke apart after what seemed like a lifetime and she leaned forward, so their foreheads rested against each other. “Are we going to make it to the bedroom?” She asked him with a small smile.

“Not sure yet.” Steven replied with a wry grin. “I kinda want to use this wall.” He added.

Eva ran a hand through her hair and then leaned back, her head against the wall and made a show of looking at it. She let out a little hum that did nothing but horrible things to his already spiking libido, that coupled with the gentle rhythm she’d found in rocking her hips against him. All he knew was that this woman knew exactly what to do or say to turn him into putty in her hands. The problem was that she already knew and odds were, she always would. Really, it just wasn’t fair. Eva then looked down at him, her head still in the same position. She lifted an eyebrow as she spoke. “This wall?” She asked. “This one in particular?” She asked, lifting the free hand to knock lightly against the wall that was in question.

“Yeah. But if the color isn’t right or something, I have no problems with using a different one. It really is whatever you want.” Steven replied with a smile. She brought her head back down and he wasted no time in kissing the life out of her. Eva lifted her legs so that they were wrapped around him. “So,” He said when they broke apart again, “what do you think?” He asked.

“I think we should head to the bed.” She said with a grin on her face. She knew that she was completely killing a fantasy that he had had in his head for a while now.

“Damnit.”

“Next time, I promise.” Eva said as she put her other arm around his neck. He took a step back so she wasn’t leaning against the wall at all and he was carrying her. He was just happy that there was going to be a next time, to be honest. Steven carried Eva the short move over to the bedroom.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Unlike the last time the two of them had made love, Steven was the first to wake. His eyes opened and he half rose. He turned and looked at the sleeping form of the woman he loved. Santieri smiled. Nothing had ever felt more perfect than when he’d put her on the bed and he’d leaned back to take his shirt off and Eva had yanked him on top of her, telling him that she’d do that for him. After all of their back and forth, and the times they had switched positions, and the number of times that they had each climaxed, they had finally climaxed together and it had been perfect. It sucked that he was a hopeless romantic.

And right now, he wanted to do something to show her just how much he loved her. He couldn’t put it into words because he didn’t know what was going to happen after the trial, but he had to find a way to express it, even if it wasn’t in words. He smiled as he figured out a way to do just that. Steven rose, careful not to wake her. He dressed and then headed out into the main area of the apartment. He walked to the kitchen and took stock of everything they had. He was going to need supplies.

Santieri walked over to the door, his mind already at work planning everything out so that he would be able to pull this off perfectly. It was going to be awesome, just to see the look on her face. It didn’t take long for him to get in touch with one of the FBI agents stationed to the Vitale trial. He was able to get out a list of everything that he would need and he knew that the FBI agent would get everything he needed. He was going to have to wait a good amount of time before he was able to really get started on what he had planned. He was going to use that time to his advantage. They had a small portable iPod stereo system in the apartment, and he had an iPod of his own.

He booted up the laptop that the federal agents had allowed Eva to have and once it was running he was completely unsurprised to see that she had already hacked into the computer’s settings and completely taken out the FBI’s tracking system. They wouldn’t know what she did on the computer. But then again, she wasn’t a computer genius for anything. With a smile, he saw that she had Limewire installed. Trust Eva to use government property to steal music from the music industry. Still, the people who he was planning on stealing from were long dead and gone and furthermore, he had a feeling that if they were alive today would have had extreme culture shock.

Steven set up the song downloads and then had the iPod updating. As he did, one of the officers came into the apartment to tell him that they had gotten a hold of some of the stuff that he had requested and were already setting it all up on the roof like he had asked. He checked on Eva then and the Brazilian woman was still asleep. He drew the sheets and comforter up more around her and then left the room. He had a lot of work to do if he was going to pull this off properly and he had to make sure that his fellow police officers were setting things up the way he had envisioned it all. It was going to be perfect. He wanted it to be, for her.

Half an hour later, he was downstairs, and back in the apartment, cooking. He mentally made a note to thank his parents for making sure that he was Italian and furthermore to thank his mother for teaching him how to cook. Agreed, his mother was a much better chef and frankly, he enjoyed Eva’s Spanish and Portuguese cooking to his own food, but he could very well have Eva cook for her own surprise, now could he? It would just be unprofessional when it came to the art of the surprise. All of the ingredients that he had asked for had arrived and he set to work.

He had a full meal planned out. He was starting off with a salad. Eva loved olives, this he had learned after a short time spent with her and the salads she forced him to eat. She particularly enjoyed the green ones. When he was forced to eat vegetables, Steven found the black ones to be much better. They tasted better and didn’t have pits. With pits, it was two stages involved in the eating process and honestly, that just was just annoying. This only made him wonder why he liked cherries and peaches so much. His mind now on fruit, he quickly got himself back onto the task at hand. After the salad, they were going to have the entrée.

For this he was planning an awesome veal dish with a red sauce, of a special recipe that his mother had taught him. This had been back when she had gone through a crisis, thinking that he would never get a steady woman in his life and gives her grandchildren and she had decided that the family recipe had to be passed down somehow, even if it wasn’t to the woman in the family. He didn’t have time to make it the way he would have wanted to, since that would require more than a few hours and he just didn’t have that much time on his hands. Luckily for him, his mother had sent him a good bit of the sauce and he had stashed it in the fridge, in the “Steven” section, the small section of the fridge that Eva had allowed him to possess.

As he worked, he thought to himself how Eva was just going to love it.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Eva woke slowly, like she often did nowadays. Before she had been used to being awoken quickly at some ungodly hour to make sure that Michael was okay and was fine. She had been forced to look after him when he was sick, or had needed to try to run from him when he wanted to hurt her. It was yet another thing that she was thankful to Steven for. She blinked her brown eyes open and then stretched her entire body, all the way down to her toes, which she wiggled for good effect. Her hands were balled up into fists and they rested against the wall. She had an arch to her back and then she didn’t, resting once more against the soft sheets of her bed.

Where was that man? As she wondered, she turned her head and saw that he wasn’t there, confirming the knowledge that had been in the back of her head when she had woken up. Somehow, Eva had just known that she wouldn’t find him next to her. It was a weird feeling, she’d just known that he wouldn’t be next to her. She looked up at the doorway and then she smiled. He was standing there, leaning against the doorway, looking at her. “Hey, you.” She said as her smile widened. She felt a weird rush each time she saw him and a flutter in her stomach. She hoped that it would never go away, ever. “When did you get up? She asked trying to blink her sleep away.

“A little while ago.” Steven said.

Eva sat up and reached her arms out, beckoning him to her. He walked over to her, and put his hands in hers. She pulled, so that he was on the bed. She leaned up and kissed him, nice and long. She pushed at him so that he rolled and she was able to navigate her way on top of him. She leaned back and looked down at him. She smiled when his eyes roved approvingly over her naked form. Eva closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation of knowing that he was still looking at her. Finally she opened her eyes and spoke. “Up here.” She said, drawing his attention back to her face. “You hungry?” She asked. “I can make us something to eat, if you want.” She said.

Steven smiled the in response and for a moment she thought that he was going to take her up on her offer. It was then that she realized it was a rather weird smile and she started to wonder just what was going on.

“No, I’m fine.” He said. “I would like to show you something though.” He said, moving her to the side so that he could get up.

“Oh?” She asked.

“Yeah.” Steven replied. As she watched, he headed over to her closet and opened it. She took her gaze away as she slipped into her underwear and when she looked back at him, a frown flitted over her face. He held in his hands a pair of white slacks and a sky blue silky cami that she owned.

“I take it you want me to wear these things, Sherriff?” She asked, putting her hands on her hips. This was definitely a first for him; he had never tried to pick out her clothes, but he had now for some odd reason. She didn’t know what to think, mainly because he had never tried something like this before. She looked at him, extremely puzzled and it made Steven smile. It was exactly what he was going for. Also the fact that she had used the nickname that she had given him was not lost on him either. Eva took the blue satiny tank top from him and slid it on. The white slacks came next. She reached behind her, but Steven was already there. There were two ribbons at the small of her back that needed to be tied, and he was manipulating them into a bow. “You’re good at this.” She said.

“Are you trying to insinuate something?” Steven asked.

“Me? I would never do that, sweetie.” Eva said as she turned to look at him. She was caught up in his arms and being thoroughly kissed the moment after. “You’re good at that too.” She said when he let her go, as he bent for another quick kiss.

“I’m just full of surprises.” He said in response.

“You can say that again.” She replied with a smile and he realized the trap that he had inadvertently walked himself into. He knew that while she might have forgiven him, she would never let it go and he didn’t mind that. It wasn’t like she needed material to make fun of him, but it probably didn’t hurt to have more. “So what is it that you want to show me?” She asked.

“Well, you have to close your eyes.” He said.

“Another surprise, Steven?” She asked.

“Something like that, yeah.” He replied and turned her around. He reached his hands around and covered her eyes.

“You’re really getting into this, aren’t you?” She asked as they started walking out of the bedroom.

“Yep.” He said with a smile.

They walked out of the apartment, but not before Steven grabbed his coat and helped her into hers. They headed over to the stairs and then he had her close her eyes and led her up towards the roof. As they walked, she peppered him with questions as to what this whole surprise was, but he didn’t give her anything, skillfully dodging the various questions. When they got to the roof, her curiosity was killing her, but Eva decided to play Steven’s game. She had a feeling that he was really into this whole surprise thing. He opened the door to the roof.

“Can I open my eyes now?” She asked.

“No, not yet.” He said, pulling her out onto the roof of the tall apartment building. He waited a few moments and then smiled, taking a couple steps back. “Open them.” He said and she did.

He had been right. All the preparation had been worth just seeing her reaction. Her face lit up, brighter than the lights that he had strung up. Her eyes were wide as she took everything in. Steven had gotten a fairly decent sized table set up on the roof. There were two place settings and there were two candle holders complete with two long, red taper candles. There were poles that had been stuck into the roof for no obvious reason, but he had strung up white Christmas lights between them, creating an overhead lighting effect. There were two bottles of wine chilling in a wine cooler. They had a great view of downtown Gotham and the stars were appearing in the night sky.

“Oh, my…” Eva started and trailed off. She turned and looked at Steven and he could see that there were tears in her eyes. Before he could say anything, she was on top of him, her legs around his waist, her hands in his hair, and most importantly for him her mouth on his. “I love it.” She said, when they broke apart. “It’s beautiful.” She said.

“You like it?” He asked, slowly twirling around.

Eva laughed.

“I just said I love it, you idiot.” She replied, kissing him again. “But you didn’t…” She stopped and looked around. “Did you cook, too?” She asked.

“Uh huh.” He replied, pretty damn pleased with himself that she liked the surprise so much. “I’m happy you like your surprise.”

“I don’t like it, I love it.” She said, looking at him now. There was something in her eyes, but he couldn’t make it out exactly. He walked over to the edge and bent, so that her back was resting on the ledge and her head was hanging out. He bent down, and kissed her, before scooping her back up into the air.

“C’mon, let’s eat.” He said.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

Re: Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:54 am

OOC: For a few reasons, I’m going to be going with 2008 again in this post. The next post will be 2007.

IC:

2008

Eva was on top of the world. There was simply no other way to put it. She was in love and the future looked bright. Well, not sappy love story uplifting movie kind of bright, but bright nonetheless. Also it wasn’t just because she was in love with a great guy who was there for her and was the perfect fit for someone like her. She had just finished what looked like the last day of one of the biggest trials in the history of Gotham City and possibly organized crime in general. The defense lawyers for the Vitale’s had finished their closing statements just that morning and the jury was preparing to be sequestered. It meant that her job in all of this was coming to a close and she would be able to move on with her life. Her value to the Vitale’s defense, the value of keeping her quiet, had dropped considerably, since she had been able to make her testimony, with only a minor hiccup, though Eva did consider the bullet that Steven had taken for her to be a big thing. This meant that she couldn’t really damage them more than she already had. This meant that perhaps the fact that they wanted to kill her was going to go down a bit, but she wasn’t sure.

It wasn’t necessarily true, and she knew that Steven wasn’t going to budge an inch in his plans to keep her safe. She wasn’t too upset about this, because it meant that she was able to hang around him for as long as she wanted. It brought her back to the other thing that was going on in her life. She was in love and he was the love in and of her life. Staying cooped up in the house wasn’t that big of a problem if it meant that he was forced to be there as well, which of course, he was. A couple weeks had passed since everything had gone down and he had apologized about what had happened with Melanie. She was walking through the hallways of the courtroom, with Steven’s aviator shades in her hands. She had one of the ends in her hand and she was twirling it around ever so slowly, as she made her way to the waiting room where Steven was supposed to meet her.

She opened the door and stepped inside. He was already standing there, smiling at her. He was also on the phone talking to someone about something. . There were a few other officers in the room, but they left when Eva walked in. There was a counter and she walked over to it and leaned against it, continuing to slowly twirl his shades. He made a half hearted attempt to grab them. Steven knew that she wouldn’t hit him upside the head if he was on the phone. So instead, Eva punched him lightly in the stomach. He took a threatening step forward, but she just smiled her innocent smile at him. She raised herself up and then put herself on the counter.

He said good bye to whoever he was talking to and then put the phone away. “Ready?” He asked and she nodded in response. Eva proceeded to shrug out of the cream colored jacket that she wore and then began to undo the buttons on the white dress shirt that she wore, putting the aviator’s up on her head. She slipped out of the shirt, revealing a body armor vest underneath. It was Kevlar and was quite snug actually. Steven then checked it to make sure that all the straps were in place and everything was tightened. There was nothing he liked more than making sure that everything was secure and safe, this she knew. Eva stuck her tongue out at him while he did that and he leaned in and kissed her in response. Eva leaned forward, trapping him with her legs and slid a hand through his hair. His fingers moved quickly as he redid the buttons on the shirt.

“What, are you practicing, Sheriff?” She asked with a rather amused smile on her face.

“No, practicing would be undoing them.” He said with a smile of his own.

“I concede the point. Alright, well, I’m hungry so feed me.” Eva said in response.

“Where do you want to go?” He asked, her words prompting his smile to grow in size.

“Doesn’t matter to me really; just make sure that the prices are nice and expensive? Something about the taxpayers and everything, remember? The food doesn’t even have to be that good, as long as it’s expensive.” She said and Steven nodded in response, before attempting again to grab at the aviators and being denied once more by Eva. She gave him a look as if to convey the notion that he should have seen it coming and why had he bothered in the first place, to which he made a goofy face and she smiled in response.

“So, how happy are you that the jury is being sequestered?” Steven asked his mind able to piece together the reason why she was happy. It was the reason why he thought she was happy, but of course, when it came to women, particularly the woman in his life, Steven only saw one of the many possibilities. It was only one of the reasons and one of the most important of all the various reasons, but Steven was male and so he was naturally not able to pick up on other things.

At least, not able to pick up on them as well as he could have otherwise, if he was a female. But then again, those reasons wouldn’t exist anymore had he been female, so it was alright in Eva’s book. She figured that she had a good bit of time to work on him and get him better at understanding the way things really worked, not the way he thought things worked, or the way that men hoped or wanted things to work. She smiled at the Gotham City police officer and leaned forward, resting her forearms on his shoulders, her smile one of relief that easily coaxed one similar to it from Santieri.

“You have no idea.” She replied. “It’s a ridiculously big load off of my shoulders, I must say.” She added and moved forward, off of the counter.

In response, Steven grabbed her, his hands cupping her waist. He smirked and lightly spun her around once before setting her down on the ground. “You know,” he said, “whether you want to or not, you’re going to have to speak to Melanie soon.” He said. He had been waiting as long as possible to start this conversation with Eva just due to the nature of what it was and what it was going to mean for the relationship that the two of them had. It seemed like the best time was going to be right then and there. She was happy and in a good mood, which meant that she would be more open to what he had to say. At least, she appeared to be happy to him. But she was sneaky like that.

“About what?” Eva asked, biting down on one of the ends of the aviators and making Steven’s libido jump just because she felt like doing it. She slipped on her jacket and flipped her hair so that it was on the outside. Then she turned and looked at him, an inquisitive look on her face about what exactly she needed to talk to that bitch of an FBI Agent about. Unless it was about how Eva was going to beat the shit out of the woman, then there really was nothing that they had to talk about. At least, there was nothing that she could think of at the moment. Her hand curled into a fist as she considered what Steven was talking about.

“You need to speak with her about the Witness Protection Program.” Steven said, the words paining him as he spoke them. He didn’t want her to leave, but he knew that it was for the best. First and foremost, before anything was the fact that it was his job to keep her safe. Doing this, no matter how painful it was for him, would ensure that she was safe and that the Vitale Family could not touch her or harm her. It was all that mattered, when he thought about the situation. “We need to make sure that you’re safe once the trial is over and the only way to do that is to go into the program. Melanie will arrange everything for you and you can move on with your life.” He added. “You’ll be safe from the Vitale’s if ever they try to do something.”

“But...I don’t know if I want to go into the program. I have a life here, no matter how sad and pathetic it was, and I’d like to try to rebuild it. I don’t want to change my name or anything like that.” Eva said, her eyes coming to rest on Steven’s. “I like Gotham City. I like living here. Steven, I don’t want to move to a completely new place and start my life over. It’s…I don’t think I can do it.” She added and he nodded in response to what she said. She didn’t voice the thought that was in the back of her head. If she was with him, why would she need the witness protection program? She wanted to be with him and live her life with him. Maybe he didn’t want that. Maybe that was why he was suggesting this. All Eva knew was that it wasn’t something she wanted, not at all. She was Eva Isabel Rodriguez. She couldn’t be someone else and live that person’s life.

Steven rested his hands on her upper arms and rubbed gently. “I don’t know about that part. I just know that the reach of the Vitale family is long and extensive. I don’t want you hurt and this looks like its going to be the best way to achieve that. Keeping you safe is important to me, you know that. I know you can take care of yourself, but the Mafia is not something that you want to tangle with.” He said and his words earned the opposite reaction than what he had been hoping for. Why he was surprised, though, he had no idea. Eva’s eyes flared with anger, but she didn’t move. She just verbally jabbed in to him, something that he was willing to take, to allow her to take her anger out on him instead of on someone or something else.

“You think I don’t already know that?” She asked. “I think that I’ve dealt with them for longer than you have. I’ve lived with them; I know how many of the immediate family members think, their personalities, everything. I’ve even aided and abetted as you police officers would term it. I know their tendencies and what happens when they want blood. People die. I don’t want to sound mean, but don’t lecture me on what the Vitale’s can do. I’ve seen what they can do, too many times to count and I don’t want to anymore.” She said. “I know for a fact that they have people in GCPD and they definitely have people in the FBI.” She added. “I won’t be safe anywhere I go, and you know that, Steven.” She said finishing.

“But you’ll be safer in the Witness Protection program than you will out on the streets, Eva.” He said. “Look, I’m not asking you to make the decision right now, I’m just asking you to think about it and weigh the options. Your life is not something that you can risk.” He said. He had a point there and they both knew it. If going into the program meant that she would be safe, then it was what she had to do. Even if it meant doing something that she didn’t want to do and didn’t like doing. Steven watched as everything went through Eva’s head and she nodded to what he had said.

Happy that she was going to at least consider it, he knew that he had done his job, for now. He would quietly remind her about it over the next few days as the jury moved closer to a decision about all the various charges that had been brought against the Vitale family. “I’ll think about it.” Eva said. “Now, I think we should talk about my food?” She asked and Steven smiled in response.

“Sure. I just need to make a phone call.” He said.

“Okay. I’ll head to the car.” She replied and saw the look on his face. She rolled her eyes in response and waited a beat before answering his prayers. “I promise not to steal it to go to your mother’s place.” She added with a smile and then proceeded to head out of the room as Steven pulled out his cell phone to make that call.

Eva walked down the hallway and as she came around a corner, she saw Melanie Horne walking down towards her. Eva cursed silently. She had known that this day would eventually come, but that hadn’t meant that she had been looking forward to it. She didn’t want it to be today either. Why couldn’t it have been tomorrow? Then she could have wished for it to be the day after. The two women regarded each other with cool looks on their face. Eva had every intention of just walking past Melanie, and calling it a day. She could just get to the car and not worry about Melanie or anything. However, Horne stopped where she was, and it was clear that she wanted to talk to Eva about something. Knowing that it was just her luck, Eva summoned up the best smile that she could for someone she considered a personal enemy and greeted Melanie.

“Hello.” She said.

“Eva, its really good to see you. You must be thrilled that the jury is being sequestered and that they’re going to come to a verdict soon.” Melanie said with a smile on her face. The female FBI agent folded her arms over her chest and regarded Eva with a look of superiority, but one that wasn’t smug. It only infuriated Eva more. Melanie continued with what she had wanted to say. “It has to be a big relief that this chapter of your life is coming to a close.” She added.

“Yes, I’m thrilled.” Eva said, deciding that she could be polite and cool and polished as well, even if she wanted to smack this woman for even thinking, for even contemplating trying to take her man. It was hard to do, but she commended herself for her self restraint when all was said and done. “It’s been a really big load off of my chest.” She said and Melanie nodded in return.

“I need to speak with you soon about the next chapter in your life.”

“Which chapter would that be?” Eva asked, deciding that she was not going to like where this conversation went. She had a feeling that Melanie was going to say the same things that Steven had said. Except that at least when Steven had done it, the person she had been talking to had been much prettier, nicer to speak to and most importantly, wasn’t been a slutty bitch. All around, it had been a much better experience to say the least. Eva braced herself for the worst of it, knowing that it would pass sooner than later and that she would be able to go get something to eat with her Steven. She could suffer Melanie a few minutes.

“We need to talk about what’s going to happen to you after the trial.” Melanie said. “It’s going to be soon, regardless of how long the jury takes to deliberate and come up with a verdict. They won’t take forever. With these things they might take a long period of time, they might not. It means that you have to be prepared as soon as possible just in case. You have to have a game plan about what’s going to happen when they do come up with the verdict and then the judge delivers the sentence.” She added.

“The prosecution made a very strong case. I think the jury is going to decide that they’re guilty. Maybe not on every single count, but it will be enough to put most if not all of them away. I don’t think I’ll have that much to fear once the family is locked up and put away behind bars.” Eva replied, knowing what Melanie was going to say. Still, she had to say her piece.

“Yes, but there will still be those who don’t see prison time. We both know that they will want some kind of vengeance for what you’ve done. Still others in the family who are low level might try to harm you to curry favor with the Don while he’s in prison.” Melanie replied. “What are you going to do if they do get innocent verdicts for a lot of their crimes? Most of them will be on the street and definitely after to hurt and harm you?” She said.

“I can take care of myself.” Eva said evenly.

“You mean, you’re counting on Steven being there and the rest of the GCPD to protect you.” Melanie said in response. “They won’t be there all the time. They can’t afford to be doing this for the rest of your life, Eva. The number of men that Roberts has been forced to pull off of the normal force for this is affecting how well the organization can do its job. Steven can’t be a bodyguard for the rest of his life.” She added. “It’s incredibly unfair to him, don’t you think?”

“I didn’t say that I wanted Steven or any of the GCPD officers to be my watchdog.” Eva shot back. “I would never ask that of any of them.” She added.

“I know that Steven probably won’t be around for too much longer, that’s for sure.” Horne said with a self satisfied smile.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Eva asked, lifting an eyebrow and wondering if she needed to start stabbing this woman sometime soon. Why would Steven be leaving the GCPD? He loved being an officer and helping people and upholding the law. It didn’t make any sense, which meant that she wanted to hear what Melanie was talking about and what exactly she meant by what she had said that Steven wouldn’t be around for long.

“Well with how he’s performed during the trial and during the arrest of the Vitale family, I’m going to suggest to my superiors that Steven be asked to join the FBI, based off of his track record when it comes to the trial and also all of his prior accomplishments. He can do a lot of good as a special agent and he’s already got all the training he would need.” Horne said. “He really just needs to get out of Gotham City. He could be a section chief if he really wanted to. My superiors are the kind of people who just won’t take no for an answer. I’m very confident that after this trial is over, Steven will be joining the FBI.” Melanie said finishing and watched with glee on her own face the change of the look on Eva’s face.

Whereas before it had been simple annoyance and irritation, now it was something completely different. Eva felt as though a part of her had been ripped out. She knew that Steven was meant for bigger things than being a Lieutenant in the police force of Gotham City. She loved him and that meant that she wanted to see him succeed at whatever it was that he wanted to do in life. She wanted him to join the FBI and maybe become section chief of some place. If it was what he wanted out of life, then she wanted to see him become the director of the entire bureau. But she knew what that would mean for the relationship that they had. It would change, maybe not for the better. He would have to spend long periods of time away on assignments perhaps. He would be in more danger than he was now. She knew that she wouldn’t have to worry about him, but she would anyway, because of how much she cared about him.

That was part of the problem. She knew how she felt about him, but how exactly did Steven feel about her? They’d never talked about anything regarding the relationship that they had. In everything she had just thought of, she was assuming that her relationship with Steven would continue if he went to the FBI. There was no guarantee. She didn’t know if they would be together and she couldn’t afford to be making castles in the sky, no matter how good they were to do. She knew that Steven wasn’t like Michael, and she couldn’t help but compare the two men to each other. Unfortunately it also meant that she was jaded to relationships and towards men. She wasn’t a man hater, not by far. She just knew that it was wise not to trust a man until you knew him very well. The same went for women. It wasn’t pessimism; it was realism in her mind.

But there was something else as well. Melanie wasn’t saying everything that she could have said and Eva knew it. She was leaving things out for Eva to pick up on. Eva was smart enough to pick up on them though. Melanie was making it clear that the battle between the two women for Steven’s affections was not over, not by a long shot. If Steven went to the FBI and didn’t pursue the relationship that he had and could potentially have with Eva, then Melanie would be able to swoop in and restart her currently failed relationship with Steven. This was something that Eva wanted to avoid under all circumstances. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to handle it if something like that happened. That man meant too much to her.

Eva shook slightly as the full implication of what Melanie was saying hit her.

The FBI agent smiled, knowing that her dig was in. She had made her point and now she was going to leave while she was ahead. The last thing she wanted was to get caught in a drawn out engagement with Eva. Especially since Steven had come around the corner and was walking towards them with apprehension. He knew that there could be claws ready to leap out from either woman and he didn’t want to get caught in the middle of things. He had to work with Melanie for a little while longer before things changed. “He’s going to join the FBI.” Melanie said, keeping her voice low so that only she and Eva could hear, whispering it into the Brazilian woman’s ear. “When he does, he won’t be with you anymore. He’ll be with me, Eva. Give it up, you’ve lost, sweetheart.” She added and then lifted her head, putting a smile on her face for Steven.

Before Melanie could speak and after Steven had raised an eyebrow, Eva turned and reached up, grabbing Steven and pulling him down into a long, drawn out kiss. He wasn’t sure what was happening, but he knew he wasn’t going to complain when Eva was kissing him senseless. She pushed her tongue into his mouth but before he knew it they were done kissing. All he saw was the smug look on Eva’s face and the angered look on Melanie’s face. Still not sure what was going on, but having a bit of an idea, he decided that he was going to be compliant in whatever it was that Eva wanted until they got out of the area. The black haired woman looked at Melanie and gestured with her head at the look on Steven’s face, which was blank confusion that was definitely also blissful.

“You know, I think you might be wrong there, Melanie.” Eva shot back, linking her fingers with Steven’s and continuing on her journey out of the courthouse and to food. She had a smile on her face as she did.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Steven was still not sure what was going on between the two women. But by the time they got to the restaurant that he had picked out, he knew that it was something about what had happened a few weeks ago. They had been seated and the two of them had ordered. It was a Japanese restaurant and Eva had ordered an array of sushi. Steven on the other hand had gone with what he termed normal food, food that actually did its job of filling someone up and possibly temporarily curing what was known as hunger. Eva had just rolled her eyes at this and had made some choice comments about his selection in food, the peasant nature of it, the overall size of it, and how it was leading to obesity and a loss of culture in America.

He had noticed that since whatever had happened with Melanie, there had been a change in the overall mood of the one he loved. She had been her usual self before she had started talking with Horne, but now she was much more subdued, much more serious. Sobering, if she could be considered to be drunk on life, which was a euphemism that Steven rarely used and wouldn’t have considered something that applied to Eva. She wasn’t playing with the aviators any more. They were folded and placed on the table, next to her chopsticks, which had come nicely wrapped and in a red lacquer dish. The overall theme of the restaurant was red, with there being a red filigree type design on the handles of the cutlery and red present in the dishes on the table.

Ignoring the motif of blood for a moment, Steven brought his mind back to Eva’s change in behavior. He was trying to figure out what was behind it. Whereas before she was joking, now she wasn’t. He felt odder around her now. It was as though everything he said had to be filtered before he spoke, so that none of it upset her. He wanted to ask what was wrong, but he wasn’t sure how. The words just didn’t formulate properly in his head, or they did, and he was just unsure if they were right and tossed them out on his own. He was good at dealing with people when they were upset, when the upset involved yelling or arguing or even hitting. It was the quiet depression like upset that destroyed him. Steven just was never really sure how he should handle it and wasn’t sure if what he did was going to help or hurt the situation.

This meant that right now he was feeling useless, something that he absolutely hated. She was being quiet. Not as quiet as during the two weeks when she had been the ice queen to him. No, it was a different type of quiet. She wasn’t telling him what was on her mind and he wasn’t sure how to coax it out of her. He wasn’t that tall of a person, but suddenly the insides of the restaurant became too big for his six foot one frame. He reached for his Sapporo and took a well needed sip. He looked at Eva, but she was staring at something over his shoulder. He wondered if he should turn and see what it was, but he decided against it.

After a few minutes passed, Steven decided that enough was enough. He reached a hand out and placed it over one of hers. Eva broke her stare and turned, looking at him now. “Hey. You look like you have a lot on your mind, sweetheart.” He said. “You want to talk about it?” He asked, hoping that he was doing the right thing.

“No, I’m fine. It’s nothing that you need to bother yourself with right now. It’s just something that I need to work out in my head. If I need your help with it, I’ll ask you.” Eva said, smiling one of her normal smiles. She covered their joined hands with her other and squeezed lightly. She could tell that he wasn’t convinced; he just had that look on his face. “Steven, I’m fine, really.” She added, just to reassure him.

“If you say so.” He replied, leaving his hand there so he could wonder about which was softer, the back of her hand or the palm of her hand, since his was sandwiched in between the two hands. Deciding that he pretty much couldn’t decide, Steven enjoyed the sensations as their waiter came towards them. The man put their respective meals in front of them. Steven had ordered a large quantity of various meats cooked in the teriyaki style as well as a lot of rice. Eva had been making fun of his portion size and the rather generic order that he had made.

She on the other hand, had ordered a wide variety of various sushi’s. Different kinds filled the tray that was set in front of her. Eva reached a hand out and took the chopsticks in her hand, taking them out of the dish and then out of the paper covering. She expertly began to dig in to her food, while Steven began to eat as well. Silence ruled for a little while as they ate. Eva was still deep in thought over everything that Melanie had said to her. It infuriated her that the FBI Agent had been right or at least appeared to be right. Even if she wasn’t, the fact that she appeared to be right meant that there was some truth to what she had said concerning Steven’s future and the future of the relationship that Eva had with him. She didn’t like that, not at all.

The problem was that she didn’t know how to bring the subject up to Steven. She didn’t know if she should either. They had just really started the relationship; did it make sense to start questioning where it was going to go? Should she be asking him to put their relationship before possibly advancing his career? Their relationship was realistically only a month or so old. She wasn’t sure if she could justify to herself undergoing that course of action. Eva continued to eat, not realizing that her continual slightly abnormal behavior was truly disconcerting to the man that she wanted to marry and have lots and lots of children with. She kept her eyes on her plate of food as she ate and carefully weighed her options. She wanted to ask him abut what Melanie had hinted at.

Would he take the offer that the FBI made? He would be able to make more money probably, and he definitely would have a bigger role in upholding the law which was something that she knew Steven loved. She made a mental note to get past the FBI locks on the computer to look up FBI salaries and compare it to the salaries of the GCPD officers. It was as though she was entrenching herself already to hold out against him in an argument regarding whether or not he should go to the FBI. She hadn’t even asked him the question. Eva had already assumed that Melanie had been right. She chastised herself then. She had assumed Melanie had been right only a few weeks ago, hadn’t she?

That hadn’t ended too well for her and for Steven. The two of them had wasted a lot of time, even if he had been wrong to do what he had done. If she had known that nothing had happened, she wouldn’t have been as cold towards him as she had been over the two week period. She looked up then and before she could ask the question, she saw that Steven was secretly stealing glances at her cute little sushi. She looked down, wondering what he was looking at and then she looked back at him. She smiled then, ready and willing to put asking him the serious questions on hold in order to tease and flirt. He was her Steven after all. “What is it?” She asked, with a grin on her face. “Steven, would you like to try one of the sushi’s?” She asked.

“Yep.” He said and leaned forward with his fork.

Eva’s eyes immediately changed. She reached out with her hand and thwacked his hand with her chopsticks. “What are you doing?” She asked and met the confused look on his face with one of anger, but a large part of the anger was her just messing with him. “You don’t eat sushi with a fork, Steven.” She said, rolling her eyes. “You use chopsticks.” She said.

“Yeah, right. I’m just going to use my fork, if you don’t mind.” He said, reaching around where she had left her hand in the air.

“I’ll stab you with the chopstick, Sherriff.” She said and he stopped his movements immediately.

“Oh dear Lord, are you serious?” He asked, exasperated, and was only a little surprised when she used her free hand to smack him across the face for swearing. He wasn’t sure if it was a sign that she was coming out of her funk though. He reached his free hand up to lightly rub his cheek, scowling at the beautiful woman sitting across from him who had a self righteous look on her face mixed with her innocent angel look. The combination meant that he wasn’t going to be that upset with her, since she’d mixed just enough of the innocent angel look in, actually just a tiny bit of it. Of course, Steven wouldn’t have actually been upset with her if she hadn’t made that look, but still. He retracted the hand holding the fork.

“Here, use these.” Eva said, holding out the chopsticks. Her eyes narrowed when Steven didn’t take them. “Hey, Sherriff, I know the police have generally slow response times, but come on, its happening right in front of your face.” She said. After a moment she paused, trying to figure out why he wasn’t taking the chopsticks. She went with the first thing that came to her mind. “You do know how to use chopsticks, yes?” She asked. When he shook his head in response, Eva had to laugh, her free hand on her sternum as she closed her eyes.

“What’s so damn funny about not knowing how to use chopsticks?” Steven asked. “That’s kind of mean, Eva.” He said. “I just never had reason to. Usually, the Chinese or Japanese that I eat involves takeout.” Steven said and felt like getting a dig in, so he did. “You know,” he added, “when I’m working and I’m on the stakeouts.”

“You know I always wondered why they always eat Chinese food during stakeouts. I think its because takeout rhymes just oh so well with stakeout.” Eva said. “I mean, you’re only adding another letter. It must be really easy for you police officers to understand.” She said with a grin on her face, earning a scowl from him.

“Well, where did you learn how to use chopsticks?” Steven asked.

“I learned the first time I went to eat at the really posh restaurants with Michael and his family.” She replied. “Certain things are expected of you and I had to learn.” She added.

“Ah.” Steven said. “Well, I’m not in the mood to learn right now.” He said. “So I’m just going to use the fork.” He said, reaching forward again. She lifted the two chopsticks in a motion that made it look as though she was going to stab him and so he slowed once more.

“You can teach an old dog some new tricks.” She replied. “But you’re in luck, since I’m not in the mood to teach you right now. Here.” Eva said, selecting one of the pieces of sushi with her chopsticks and then lifting it up into the air. She started waving it around and also began to make little airplane noises as she did. “C’mon, Steven. Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? Open wide.” She said, smiling when his scowl got deeper. He opened his mouth though and she put the food in his mouth. Completely unable to resist, Eva took the two chopsticks to the underside of his jaw and then pushed upwards. It gave the appearance as though she was closing his mouth for him, but they both knew that he was stronger and could easily keep his mouth open if he’d felt like it.

Steven chewed and then swallowed. “It’s good.” He said. “Not something I would eat everyday, but its good.” He added.

“You’re not supposed to eat it everyday.” Eva said, rolling her eyes. She leaned forward then, kissing him.

He reached a hand up, cupping the back of her neck, his fingers sliding through her hair, pulling her closer. The kiss which had been friendly with just a little hint of mischief turned into something a good bit more. He finally let her go and she sat back down in her seat. “So, are you going to tell me what’s bothering you or no?” Steven asked, shifting the focus back onto exactly what it was that she didn’t want to talk about. Eva’s smile slowly diminished and she didn’t say anything. “What is it?” He asked. “Is it me? Did I do something to upset you?” He asked a little bewildered. When she didn’t respond, but only shook her head, he changed tactics. “Melanie. Did Melanie say something to upset you?” He asked, but Eva stayed silent.

This time she didn’t shake her head and Steven was able to confirm at least who had caused the problem.

“Whatever she said, don’t worry about it.” He replied. “She was being extremely unprofessional. There’s no need to worry.” He repeated. He wasn’t sure what else to say really.

“I won’t.” Eva said, even though she knew that she would.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Re: Genesis: Let Him take flight once more

Post by Mir » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:58 pm

2007

Isaiah looked at all the information in front of him, shown the Batcomputer’s main holographic display. The computer’s systems had been crafted for him by none other than Paul Matthews, also known as the new Mister Fantastic. Matthews was in charge of Fantastic Research Inc., a company that had been founded through financial assistance by way of one of the many dummy corporations that Isaiah had established over the years since he had taken over the Muir/Nevins trust. Muir had decided to reach out to Matthews and his team after the failed Energy Recapture Experiment, the same experiment that had caused the group to receive their super powers. He had actually met Matthews some time earlier, Matthews and his older brother, James. Since Isaiah had white knighted Fantastic Research Inc., Matthews had been supplying Isaiah with technology and working with him to perfect the equipment that would be in use by Batman. Matthews had long ago been working on holographic technology and this was nothing but the best from him, as usual. They had finished all of the various upgrades to the Batcomputer only a few days ago.

Displayed in blue was a large portion of all of the information that Isaiah had accumulated on the Vitale Crime Family over the period of time that he had been watching them and monitoring them. He had set up more than a few displays to allow him to look at all the information at once. He wanted to take it all in. The connections were all there, provided you were able to see them. Isaiah was able to see them. He had been honing his mind for years now in the deductive skills that Bruce Wayne had mastered. He wasn’t on Bruce’s level, not yet, but he would be soon enough. He had been studying everything he could about the Vitale family. He knew many of them better than they knew themselves now. He had routines memorized from the head of the family, Francesco Vitale down to the lower level people. He hadn’t omitted a detail.

Throughout his study, he had been looking for one person who if he targeted would bring about as much damage as possible. He had been looking for someone who had connections to a number of parts of the organization. Michael Vitale was a strong contender on that list, and Isaiah wasn’t going to target the Don just yet. He wanted to make sure that the Don was taken to court so that what other families were there saw what would happen to them if they didn’t stop. He knew though, that despite making an example out of the Vitale family that the others wouldn’t stop and would become troublesome in the power void that would be left when he took down the Vitale family. It was something that he would be prepared for. Isaiah was going to work them over, one by one. It would take time, but that was something that he had on is side.

His war for Gotham wasn’t intended to be a quick thing over for a few years. He had never intended for it to be something that would be over in a short amount of time. He had known from the beginning that he was in for the long haul. Isaiah had to constantly be watching everything that was going to on to make sure that crime stayed down and that the people were safe. He was dedicating his life to this pursuit and would achieve it in the end.

He leaned back in the chair and covered his mouth with his hand as his brain moved at a frighteningly lightning fast pace. It was analyzing and discarding various thoughts at speeds that were faster than even some of the smartest people around the world. He turned and looked at the completed Batsuit, one of many in the cave, but the one that was hanging in the main area. He had finally perfected it, utilizing new technology that hadn’t been at Wayne’s access, mainly because most of the new technology had been developed after Wayne had passed away. It would soon be time to don the suit, but before that he needed to make sure that he had his game plan in place. He rose and walked a few steps away from the Batcomputer. Isaiah checked his watch. It was a Wednesday night.

In a few hours there would be an exchange going on between Michael Vitale and another member of the Vitale Family. Isaiah intended to be there. He had been present at most of their drops and exchanges now, as he had long ago broken the code that they used to talk about things. The Vitale Family had created a code that was pretty interesting, but ultimately mundane and easily cracked. It hadn’t taken him long and he’d barely been using any brain power to do so. Isaiah hadn’t been surprised, though. He wasn’t going up against someone like the Joker or the Riddler. It had been an interesting code though, that was for sure.

Maybe he’d tell Vitale that, after he’d beaten him down. No, Isaiah decided, that would be too petty. Besides, Vitale would be worrying about much more important things than whether or not the code that his family had designed was up to the task. Also, if Isaiah said nothing it was possible that Vitale wouldn’t change the code and Isaiah wouldn’t have to bother with working out a new one. He didn’t intend for this strike to cause a lot of damage, it was more for the shock and awe factor. Isaiah reached out and pressed a few buttons on the computer’s keypad before leaning back, his hand coming up to his chin as he lightly stroked stubble that he needed to shave.

A new screen was displayed to his right and after a split second, it showed him an aerial view of that area of Gotham and he was able to see exactly where the drop off was going to go down. Isaiah reached out and touché the “screen” moving outwards with his fingers. The aerial shot zoomed out so that he was better able to see everything. He looked around the area, just going over everything in his head. He had already worked out what his plan was, he was being his meticulous self and going over everything to make sure that it was there, perfect. It was just a matter of making sure that he was able to do the mission.

His eyes flitted from the various buildings and then he activated the street view, so that he was looking at the site as if he was standing there. It was giving him all the information that he needed to know. Wayne satellites put the information that Google Maps had at its access to shame.

Deciding that it was time to get ready, Isaiah rose and headed over to the Batsuit. He reached out and pressed a button on the side of the case. The protective glass parted down the center and the two pieces slid to the side, allowing one to reach inside and taken the suit out. Isaiah brought his hands up and undid the buttons of his dark blue dress shirt. He had a black bodysuit that he intended to wear underneath the suit. Isaiah changed into the bodysuit and then turned quickly. He had felt someone near him, but he had known who it was, so he hadn’t been too concerned. He had been right in who it was. Winston stood there, his arms folded across his chest.

“Master Muir, by the fact that you’re preparing to don the suit, I take it everything is in order then?” He asked quietly.

“Yes, everything’s ready.” Isaiah replied with a solitary nod.

“Good. How do you feel?” Winston asked.

“Well, I feel as ready as I can be under the circumstances.” Isaiah’s eyes narrowed slightly after he spoke, knowing that something was out of place. Something was not as it seemed. He had known that Winston would come down to see him off the first time that Isaiah went out into the city as Batman. But there was something else besides what was obvious and on the surface. It was something that had brought Winston down here. With the lines of disapproval on Winston’s face, he could tell that it was something serious, something directly related to what it was that Isaiah was going to do. Muir sighed. “Where is she?” He asked.

“She’s in the southern area of the art gallery wing, Master Muir. I believe she expressed an interest in the art there.” Winston said. Isaiah gave him a look for a moment and Winston sagely nodded in response. “ She’s looking at the modern art section that your mother insisted your father set up.” Winston said, his disapproval of modern art coming out, regardless of what else was going on around him. It brought a smile to Isaiah’s face, knowing that some things would never change and that this was one of them.

“He did go soft in his old age.” Isaiah replied, using the phrase even though his father had not died when he was at an age that one would have considered elderly at all. Hugh Muir’s ability to have that old age had been robbed from him by Jason Nevins. It was what had set Isaiah down this path. He turned and looked at the blue numbers shimmering in the air that told him what time it was. The deal wasn’t supposed to go down for over two hours. He guessed that he could delay a little bit. He reached a hand up to the zipper on the bodysuit and proceeded to change out of what he was wearing and back into his other clothes. He then headed up and out of the Batcave, walking towards the Southern area of the huge art gallery that was in Wayne Manor.

He involuntarily shuddered, the same way that he did every time he walked into the modern art section. He made a mental note to have all the art removed and have this section turned into something else. Isaiah always made the mental note and he always thought about doing it, but he never actually did it, due to love for his mother. She had had a weird affection for modern art, one that he, his father, and his brother had never understood. It just wasn’t art or anything close to art really. There were definitely other things, besides the rest of the Muir and Winston’s apathy towards modern art, that wouldn’t change, he thought as he slowed down his pace.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” She asked.

“What is?” Isaiah asked.

“The art, it’s beautiful.” The black haired woman replied, with her back still to him. She turned then and smiled at him. “How have you been?” She asked him. “I haven’t seen you since that party that you had here. It was some time ago now, wasn’t it? I think I met a friend of yours, one of the executives of the company, Ms. Harmon? How is she?” She asked.

“I’ve been alright, Cassie and yeah, it has been a long time since that party. Britney is okay, she’s just upset I keep coming up with more and more challenges for her. But she takes it all in stride. She’s brought a higher level of success to the company and between the two of us, we’ve kept the stock price up even in the beginnings of what looks like a big recession next year.” He said. His voice changed, becoming gentler. “How is your mom doing?” He asked.

“Well, Mom’s hanging on. Losing Dad to the cancer was tough.” Cassie said. “I spent a good bit of the money that I made in my career to pay for his medical bills. I just don’t know how long she’s going to be able to go on without him; you know how people can get when they’ve become inseparable, especially when they’re in love and married like my parents were. She’s heartbroken without him and she’s just going through the motions almost.” She said.

“Cassie, you didn’t have to do that, and you know it. I told you that I’d take care of all of that. It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal.” Isaiah replied.

“I know, and I appreciate the offer and my mother did too. It’s called being independent, though and I value it. I lean on people when I need to, but there are times when I want to handle things myself. This was one of those things.” She said with a small smile, turning and looking at the artwork for a few more moments before turning back to him. He could tell by the look on her face that she was definitely still grieving over the loss of her father. “There’s just something about it that I like. Jared didn’t take too well to losing Dad. It took him a while to get over it, and I’m not sure if he is fully over with. I’m just happy that he didn’t go through too much coping with the loss. He’s doing better than Mom is, that’s for sure.” Cassie added.

“I’m sorry I missed the funeral.” Isaiah replied, genuinely sorry. He had been in Australia, learning more survival techniques from the Aborigines when Cassandra’s father had died. There had been no way to get in touch with him then, he had been out on a sojourn into the Outback. Even Winston had barely been able to get in touch with him, and Isaiah had left immediately, but had been a few days late. It had hurt him deeply that he hadn’t been able to come for Cassie’s dad’s funeral. The man had meant a lot to Isaiah, he had had a hand in raising him after all. No matter what had happened, that man had always been behind Isaiah and had always made time for him, if Hugh had been busy.

“I understand. Winston explained it to me. Some kind of survival trek that people with billions can take. You didn’t have access to the outside world. It was alright, you would have been there if you could have been, I know that.” She said. She smiled a little then. While others might have thought that it was a sarcastic jab, Isaiah knew better. He knew she was just playing around and her comment had no heat behind it, so he took it for what it was.

Against his better judgment, he reached a hand out and took one of hers, pulling her forward to him. He enveloped her in a hug. Cassandra was five feet and six inches tall, whereas he was six feet and one inch. He was a great deal taller than her. She leaned her head forward, resting it against him. Isaiah wasn’t exactly sure if he was able to pin down her mood. Furthermore, he didn’t know why she was at the Manor in the first place. He reached down and cupped her chin, lifting it upwards. “What’s wrong?” He asked. “You just wanted to talk?” He asked.

“Something like that, yeah.” She said. “I’m just…I’m lonely, that’s all.” Cassie said. “I feel as though I’m just going through the motions when it comes to everything. I’m not really experiencing life or any of the great things that it offers. It’s like I just get up, I get Jared ready for school, check on my mom, you know…” She said trailing off.

“It’s a different life from that of a pop star.” Isaiah said.

“I’m not saying that I want that again. This isn’t me wishing I had that back.” She said, a little heat flashing into her eyes. “I don’t want that life anymore. The last album is coming out soon, the greatest hits, and I don’t need to do anything more. It’s done and all of that is behind me, which is right where I want it all to be.” Cassandra said. “It’s not an easy life. I guess I just haven’t properly adjusted though.” She added after a few moments. “I don’t know what it is to be honest with you, I just feel weird all the time.”

“If you want, you can have Jared stay here for a little while. I’m sure he’d get a kick out of it. Plus, it’ll take a load off of your shoulders. Winston and I can watch him. You know Winston will make sure he’s fed and all of that good stuff.” Isaiah said. He would have suggested that Cassandra’s mom come as well, but he had a good feeling that being at the Manor would remind her about Cassie’s father and the many years of service that the two of them had rendered to the Muir family. It probably wouldn’t be the best of things to do. She had too many memories of the place and the time spent there. Isaiah rubbed his hands slowly over Cassie’s upper arms.

“No, it’s okay. I just needed to vent a little, that’s all.”

“Something tells me you miss our old sparring matches. They were a good way to relieve stress, and cause trouble.” He said with an easy smile.

“Oh yeah, I do.” Cassie replied, with a wishful smile on her face. It turned into a wry grin. “But you’re too easy of an opponent. I’d just beat you to a bloody pulp and then where would I be? I’d have no sparring partner for a while and I’d have to feel a little bit of remorse for putting you in the hospital and all that stuff.” She said, folding her arms over that beautiful chest of hers.

“Is that so?” He asked with an amused smile on his face. Isaiah was a little happy that they were easing back into their usual banter and a little sad at the same time. “You really think that you can beat me up, Cassie?” He asked.

“Well, yeah. You’re way too easy for someone like me.” Cassie said.

“You know, I do think that I’ve picked up some new moves along the way.” He said. “And I do conveniently forget the fact that you don’t have anything between your legs, are moody, and other female things when we spar.” Isaiah added and she rolled her eyes in response.

“How crude and perfectly male of a response.” She replied.

“I thought so. I wanted to make sure that it was just perfect, you know?” Isaiah said. Isaiah Muir wanted to stay and talk to her, to figure out how best to help her and then to go and do that. He wanted to be there for her and he wanted to do that now. But Isaiah Muir was not a simple person. He couldn’t just do that if he wanted to. He was two people. He was Isaiah Muir, King of Gotham, multi billionaire, playboy. He was all those things. But he was also the Batman, silent guardian of Gotham City, the man who criminals feared the most. He had a duty and an obligation to the people and he had to put them before himself. He had made that choice and he needed to stick with it. As much as he wanted to sit with Cassie and hear her out, he simply couldn’t at the time. He had to go and get ready. “Is there anything else I can do for you?” He asked.

She turned and looked at him. It was evident on her face that she was wondering where this was coming from. Cassie blinked a few times as she tried to rationalize what he had just asked. She never had to question whether or not he was too busy for her. She was Cassie Simmons. She had the rare ability to go wherever Isaiah Muir was and ask him for some time and get him to drop whatever he was doing to help her. It just went with the territory. There was no other person who could say the same thing. Well, they could when it came to other people, but no one could get that out of Isaiah Muir, the man who basically owned Gotham City.

So when she looked at him and saw a level of disinterest in his eyes, it shocked her a little, and unsettled her a bit more. It was something that didn’t have a proper explanation and she thought for a second that it looked like it was calculated disinterest. But that didn’t make any sense. Isaiah didn’t have anything to do tonight, that she knew of, and if he was going to jet off to some country for no apparent reason, he could always delay that by half an hour to make time for her. He had done it in the past, hadn’t he, so why couldn’t he do it now? She leaned her head back, her eyes narrowing slightly as she tried to figure out just what was going on.

“No, I don’t think so. But maybe you can just sit with me for a while?” She asked, deciding that she was going to punish him for what he had done. He was never allowed to turn her down. She turned on the puppy face and the eyes and the innocent little voice trick that she had mastered so long ago. She smiled to herself when she saw the results happen immediately. Cassie would always be able to wind Isaiah Muir around her little finger.

“I guess.” Isaiah said, mentally sighing. This woman was a thorn in his side. He had to come up with a way sooner than later, to stop her from being able to get to him the way she did. The way it was now couldn’t last. He hunkered down and got to work.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

He was running late. He had to get back to the apartment, pick up some things, get some dinner from Eva and then he was out again. Michael had a meeting that he had to attend, a drop that needed to be made. He was running up the stairs and he reached into his jacket pocket, taking out his keys. Michael slid them into the lock and turned it, entering the apartment. There was dead silence in the place, though the lights were on in the hallway. He walked through and into the main room to see Eva sitting on the couch, Indian style. She was surrounded by papers and books and she had a laptop on the coffee table in front of the couch. Her fingers were moving over the keypad, typing in information from the papers and notebooks that she had with her on the sofa. She was working on things for the family, it was obvious. He recognized some of the books that were next to her as she worked. Ever since they had started Eva as the main bookkeeper, she had reduced so much of the family’s headache and had streamlined a few of the things they did.

As he entered the room, Eva looked up, pushing up the reading glasses that she wore and looking at him. She gave him a small half smile and then went back to what she was doing. She was already sheltering herself from a blow, just incase it came. Since he was on a tight schedule and he needed to get moving, Michael decided that it wasn’t worth the time to talk to her. He needed to eat and he needed to get going. He paid her no attention, heading into the kitchen. He walked in and looked around. He flipped the switch, sending electricity into the room. His eyes scanned the place and then they narrowed. He stepped over to the fridge and opened it. Michael scowled then. He had told Eva to make him dinner, but she hadn’t done as he had asked. He headed out and walked over to where she was. “Eva, where the fuck is dinner?” He asked. “I told you to make dinner, I specifically told you to do that. Why didn’t you make dinner for me?”

She looked back up then, confused. Fear began to creep into her eyes but she steeled herself, trying not to show it. “But…But you told me over the phone not to make dinner. You said that you weren’t going to be by for that long because you needed to go on business. Michael, you told me you would get something to eat after the meeting.” She said. “If you had wanted me to make you dinner why did you tell me not to? I would have done it without a problem.” Eva asked, worry clearly evident on her face. She had made sure to remember what exactly he had said about dinner, knowing that something like this could happen. She should have realized that he would have changed his mind and had something ready just in case.

Michael didn’t recall this part of the conversation. He knew that he had been more than a little high on more than a few drugs earlier that day. It was very possible that Eva was right. But he would never admit to that, simply because if he did, it was a challenge to his authority. Eva was wrong and she was always wrong, no matter what they were arguing or discussing. He raised his hand and she immediately shrunk backwards. “You’re lucky I’m busy and need to leave, bitch. There had better be dinner when I get back.” He said and turned away, knowing that she would nod and do his bidding. She was a good girl when reminded what her place was. It was such a shame that she needed to be put in her place so often. He smiled then as he picked up some of the items that were involved in the deal from one of the closets and heading out of the apartment.

It was alright. He did enjoy putting her in her place.

With the package firmly in hand, he headed out of the apartment and quickly left, putting it in the passenger seat on the floor. The trunk was full of product and he was on his way to a drop. Michael’s eyes scanned the roads as he drove. He saw a police car up ahead and slowed down, ensuring that he was going the speed limit. You never knew who was in the cop cars. It could have been someone who was on the Vitale’s payroll. It could have also been a goody two shoes who actually tried to do his job. They were few and far between, but they were present and they were often nothing more than nuisances in the family’s side. Someone like Giovanni Santieri. He smiled as he reminisced about Giovanni Santieri and that interesting story. Santieri had been a beat cop, and according to the obituaries, had enjoyed his work. He had put in the years to be promoted, but he had constantly refused promotion to stay on the beat.

He had been a good man. A real stand up guy and a pillar of his community. All of that good stuff. Michael had even sent roses to his widow, Carla. Santieri had one son, who was around Michael’s age, Steven. Steven and Michael had actually gone to the same high school back in the day. Vitale remembered Steven Santieri. Even back in high school, Steven had been like his father, always upholding the rules. He had always made sure that the little guy received his due and the bullies got their just desserts. He’d never let Michael get away with anything and the boys had actually scrapped once. It pained Vitale to say that Steven had beaten him. Steven was what the women called, a good guy, all around, but he wasn’t a sap. He wasn’t a weakling. No one messed with Steven Santieri. He had gone into the Army after high school and once he had gotten to the rank of Captain, he had collected his honorable discharge and left. He had actually been fast tracked, because the Santieri’s knew a general or something like that.

He had gotten his business degree, but instead of going into the field, he had decided to become a police officer like his father and more than a few of his relatives. One of Steven’s cases had brought the two together and after that case, which had only yielded circumstantial evidence, Francesco Vitale had invited Santieri to his home and had offered him three and a half million to drop the case and to help the Vitale Family. Michael had watched as Steven had turned the offer down and left. Their plan had started then there. They had wanted to show Steven that anyone could be reached, including him. Whatever fortress he had built for himself in his mind could come crashing down at any moment, whenever they wanted it too. Their plan had been finished only recently.

Michael had planned everything out and had executed it just how his father had wanted him to. They had wanted to get to Steven and knew that the way to do that was through police work and hurting him badly. The Vitale’s had robbed a bank on purpose as part of the plan. They had used some of their best people just to prove a point, because they knew that Steven would get the message when they were done and he would realize that if they were willing to lose some of their best just to send a message, that he should be scared, very scared. Michael had known just how they were going to make sure that the message was delivered too. He made sure that there would be evidence that was circumstantial, like before. The evidence would tie the bank robbery to the Vitale’s and in particular to Michael himself. Steven would get the message. After some deliberation with the police, they had opted to get rid of some of the hostages, giving them away. They had wanted the police to take the building. Their plan had worked, as SWAT and the police had stormed the building.

Michael had gotten out, but not before depositing four hollow point forty five caliber rounds into Giovanni Santieri. He had been happy to force Steven to watch his father die at Gotham General Hospital.

Vitale drove past the cop car and smiled as he saw that it was one of the many who he had bought and paid for. He pressed down on the gas, not caring anymore about speeding or anything for that matter. He was late for the meeting and he had to get a move on. You couldn’t make any money if you were just sitting around on your ass.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Isaiah stood once more in the Batcave. Winston was nearby and the look of disapproval on his face was evident. Isaiah had listened to Cassie for a little while longer, but eventually he had nudged her along. The problem was that she had been able to tell that she was being nudged along. She hadn’t needed to make that look of hurt, but it had sliced at him in ways that no “bad guy’s” knife ever would be able to. She had tried to figure out what the vague thing was that he had claimed made him busy, but she hadn’t been able to and Cassie was smart enough to tell when she was being brushed off. Winston had witnessed the tail end of things and suffice to say, he was not pleased at all with Isaiah’s course of action.

Isaiah ignored the slightly angry but definitely disappointed look that was on his old friend’s face and walked over to where the Batsuit was. He stripped out of his shirt and then his pants and proceeded to put on the Batsuit. His fingers moved over the armored chest piece. They brushed over the Bat signal on the chest after he had the lower section on. He spoke then. “I didn’t want to do what I did, Winston, but I had to. I have a duty to the people of Gotham City and an obligation to justice. I had to do it.” He looked up at Winston, who stood in his impeccable as always suit. “She’ll understand.” He said, after he got into the chest piece. “It might take a while, but she’ll understand.”

“How can she understand if she doesn’t know what you’re doing?” Winston asked quietly, pointing out one of the flaws in Isaiah’s plan. He stood there quietly, watching as Isaiah prepared. “She has no way of knowing the true meaning behind what you have done. She has nothing but her own feelings to go by and what you conveyed to her was that you don’t want her around and you don’t care about what she has to say.” Winston said. “Maybe your intentions were good, but you went about it the wrong way and-“

“I don’t want her around.” Isaiah said quietly, silencing Winston. “I don’t want her hurt because of what I’m going to do, so I can’t have her around or in my life. I can offer help and offer assistance, but up to a point. It can’t conflict with my missions and operations and that’s a rule of mine which I will not break, not even for her.” He said. He saw the look change on Winston’s face. “I know what you’re going to say. You don’t need to.” He added.

“Perhaps you could say it then, so I can see how well you’re able to read my mind, Master Isaiah?” Winston asked him.

“You’re going to say that you’re shocked that I would say something like that. You’re going to say that you can’t believe that I would abandon my roots the way I’m doing so.” Isaiah said, as he made sure that the cape was properly set up behind him. His hands went to the cowl, probably one of the greatest symbols of the Batman that existed. He picked it up and cradled it in his hands, checking to make sure that his utility belt was tightly fastened first. “That’s what you’re going to say, isn’t it?” Isaiah asked, starting to get impatient with Winston. He knew what Winston was trying to convey and everything, but he didn’t want to hear it. Not now, not when he needed to get his head in the game and focus. He looked down at the cowl and then up at Winston, waiting.

“Yes, I was. I was also going to mention, however, that casting out the people in your life who make up your life is destroying what your parents tried to do for you. It’s destroying the kind of person that they wanted you to be.” The more elderly man said in reply. He folded his arms across his chest and Isaiah knew that Winston was right, even if he didn’t want to admit it out loud or to himself. This was why he had Winston. The man was a sounding board and he made sure that Isaiah didn’t do stupid things all the time. Isaiah’s focus was sometimes too keen on his mission that he lost sight of the people around him and he needed to be more understanding.

“That person died years ago, the minute Nevins did what he did.” Isaiah said, deciding that before he gave Winston his victory, he would try to stand up for himself. Also, it would give Winston the proper positioning to swoop in for the kill. Which would then allow Isaiah to get a move on with life. It was kind of the wrong way to be going about things, but it was what worked and that was what was important right then and there. Isaiah would think about everything later.

“And disassociating yourself with the people who were their good friends and your good friends destroys their memory and dishonors them.” Winston said.

“You’re right. I’ll call Cassie in the morning.” Isaiah said after a few minutes passed where he tossed everything around in his head and then made sure that it had appeared that he had done so. He then lifted the cowl and put it on. There was a hiss of air escaping as everything in the suit locked into place. He turned and looked at Winston. “Does everything look alright?”

“Everything looks good, Master Isaiah.” Winston said. “Good luck, sir, and Godspeed.”

“Thanks, Winston.” Batman said.

User avatar
Mir
KING OF STRONG STYLE
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:43 pm

2008: The Finale Part I

Post by Mir » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:00 pm

The wind was slight and the breeze cooled. Eva Rodriguez was up on the rooftop of the apartment building, and she inched the black trench coat that she wore a little bit more around her in response. As the wind ruffled her hair, she looked out at the Gotham City skyline. The city was beautiful, and she loved it. With a faked air of ease, despite the fact that no one was watching her, Eva checked her watch. He should have been home by now. The man that she was going to marry and have lots and lots of babies with, he was late and she didn’t like it. Steven was in the middle of finishing up the logistics behind setting up the area for the jury to be sequestered in. She knew that the GCPD needed him on the job, but at the same time, she would have rather he was here with her. There were two warring feelings within her, both based off of the same emotion, fear. She knew that Steven could handle himself, but she still feared for him, knowing that there were members of the Vitale Family who were willing to go to the extreme to get what they wanted. That was the reason why they were all here in the first place. The other feeling was fear for herself. She was the star witness in one of the biggest trials in the history of Gotham City, against one of the most powerful crime families in the city’s history. The jury was being sequestered and while getting to her would no longer serve any immediate, she knew that they would still go after her if they could. Revenge was something that the Vitales specialized in and loved to always have.

Despite the danger that she was in, she still worried more about Steven than she did herself. Her danger was far different than the danger that he was in, easily. Santieri risked his life day in and day out and it made her appreciate more what the spouses and significant others of those in the police force and the military went through. She still didn’t have much respect for the police force itself, though she did respect more members of it than she did in the past. Above all, though, she now had a huge amount of respect for those people who were related to members of it. Not really a spouse or significant other, though she had plans in the works to change that, Eva knew that any day a thug, like the ones that Michael Vitale used to employ could drive a bullet straight through Steven’s heart.

The power that the average criminal wielded over her and over her life and future, it was ridiculous. She didn’t know how Steven’s mother had been able to deal with it, and she’d made a few reminders to talk to his mother about that. The sin of helping those people, the Vitales, it weighed on her so much more now. What Eva had done by omission, because she had lacked the strength to get herself out of the situation that she had been in. Eva could remember what Michael had done to Steven’s father. She shuddered to think that she had been a part of it. She hadn’t known Steven then, and she would have given up so much to go back in time and stop what she had allowed to happen. There was a fear there, one that couldn’t just go away by simple will. It stayed in the back of one’s mind, eating away slowly but surely. She knew though that he loved his job and that for Steven, helping people and upholding the law was a great thing. Eva would never ask him to stop being a police officer. Though she was grateful that she had never met him back when he was in the Army.

That would have been too much to handle. She wasn’t sure if she would have been able to do that.

The woman checked her watch once more and then turned at the sound of the door to the roof opening. Her face changed into a look of love when she saw who it was who had joined her on the roof top of the apartment building.

He was tired and he knew it. Steven Santieri had worked a long, hard day at the office, finishing up what paperwork there had been in regards to the jury’s sequestering. He had been up and on his feet for more than a few hours, and he wasn’t done yet. He still had to go to the hotel where the jury was going to be, and make sure that the surveillance and protection teams were doing their jobs and that everything was running smoothly, particularly with playing ball with Horne and the FBI that were working with them. Coordinating all of this was his job. Roberts had given him that job because of what Roberts called his easy going relationship with Horne. It was going to be a long night, that much, he already knew. Santieri was happy to have a little while that he could spend here at the apartment before he headed out. If there was one thing he liked, it was spending time with Eva. Rest was on the agenda, and quite possibly a shower if time would permit. But for now, he was all Eva’s.

As he walked toward her, his eyes took in the gray cowl necked top that she wore, made of some silky material. His brain fogged from lack of sleep and baser nature appreciation as he tried to think of the name of the material that made up the scooped so nicely low top. His mind failed him and he just decided to appreciate. Appreciating was always fun after all. It was untucked and she wore dark blue jeans with black boots. Last but not least, Eva wore a long, black trench coat over everything. He stopped a few steps short of her and the two smiled at each other. It was good just to see her. Suddenly some of the aches and pains left him, and he felt more alive than he had walking up the steps to the rooftop. That was how good it was to be around her. Therapeutic almost.

“Hey there, Sheriff.” Eva said reaching a hand out and placing it flat against his chest, onto the dark blue t-shirt that he wore. She could feel the bulge that was his badge underneath the left side of his leather jacket and her heart skipped a little, but not in the good way. Just another reminder. Pushing the feelings that it caused to bubble up to the side, she spoke. She focused on what was happening around them, ignoring that possibly for the first time, the nickname that she’d given him was causing her some consternation, and not bringing back memories of their playful banter as it usually did. “How’s the sequestering going?” She asked.

“It’s going.” He said in reply. “We should be done in a little while, but unfortunately we’re not quite finished yet. I don’t have to head back to the office though, I went ahead and I brought all the paperwork with me. So I don’t need to leave early in order to make it on time. But I do need to go over a few things before I head back out.” Steven said. 

A look of confusion flitted over her face. 

“We’re not done, not by far. We had the place selected a while ago, and Roberts spoke to the owners of the hotel in order to make sure that everything was in order. But there’s still the logistics of getting everything in place and making sure that everything is hooked in and working the way it’s supposed to. That’s just the hardware though and only part of the battle. We have to make sure that the people are working the way they’re supposed to. Everybody has their jurisdiction and we want to make sure that everyone stays in their respective jurisdiction.” Steven said with a sigh, reaching a hand up and cupping the hand that was on his chest. He lifted her hand up and kissed her palm. “I’m afraid I will not be able to spend tonight here.” He said.

“I understand.” She said after a moment. She looked down at the ground and then back up at him. “I’m glad you’re here now though.” Eva said.

“Me too.” He said. He turned and looked out at the skyline. “Every time I see this, makes me remember why I do what I do.” Steven said, turning back and look at her. Things were a little different now for him than they were in the past. Before, sometimes when he saw certain people he was also reminded of why he did what he did. It wasn’t with a huge number of people though, mainly his mother. He definitely felt it every time he visited his father’s grave. Visiting his father’s grave reminded him that there was a job to do and that someone needed to do it, no matter the risk, no matter the cost. Whether it was him or someone else, the law had to be upheld despite the danger that was involved.

Now, he was able to add Eva to that list. When he saw her, it was like a great calm coming over him. It was more than just the feeling of the aches and pains leaving like before. As he lingered around her presence, the feelings changed, the type of calm changed. She had a powerful effect on him and he knew it. It wasn’t something that he was willing to or wanted to give up lightly. In a weird way, he could almost understand why Michael Vitale had done the things he’d done. No, he wasn’t condoning abuse, nor was he saying that he would ever think to do those things. But he could understand the reasoning behind it. Eva was a special type of woman. Steven knew that he risked his life to make sure that she was safe. He reached a hand out and slid it gently through her hair, the silky black locks sliding between his fingers smoothly.

“So are you hungry or anything?” She asked, lifting her hands in question, and he shook his head in response. Eva gave him a quizzical look, knowing that Steven was almost always hungry and that if he wasn’t something was very weird about his scheduling. He knew to come home hungry. She enjoyed making food and she enjoyed it when others enjoyed her cooking. That was how it worked, and he was well aware of this. Honestly, he was showing true audacity in attempting to buck the system and she, for one, was not going to stand for this. This rebellion against her will was going to be swiftly crushed, she would see to that.

“Had some burgers and fries and all before I got here.” He replied, explaining. “McDonald’s is amazing.” Steven added and he wasn’t surprised when he saw the face that she made, one of the many reasons that he’d fallen in love with her. “What?” He asked, innocently, even though he already knew what she was going to say and that she was annoyed with him. He loved it when she was annoyed with him. There was so much excitement to be had. Life was never dull, and that was putting it rather mildly, all things considered.

“That, is not food, and you know it.” Eva said, leveling a finger at him and jabbing him in the chest. She leaned up and they kissed. Simple and slow but perfect. As always. Just as always it left him wanting more. Steven stepped in closer, deepening the kiss as he let a free hand slide around her waist and stop after he had it around her back, before suddenly pulling her in. She framed his head with her hands and pulled him in closer, adjusting so that she could pull him almost flush against her. As they broke apart, she smiled against his lips. “Why don’t you grab a nap, and I’ll make you some real food?” She asked. “After you eat and have some rest, you’ll be ready to go.” Eva said. She looked up into his eyes then, and saw that he was looking at her with a somewhat weird look in his eyes. He was odd like that. “What is it?” She asked, knitting her eyebrows together.

“Nothing.” Steven said, shaking his head slowly. He bent and kissed her again. “I guess I could take a nap.” He said with a small shrug. He saw the look in her eyes, the sneaking suspicious look and decided to head it off before he had to explain himself to her. It wouldn’t bode well, no it wouldn’t. “I am tired.” Steven added and she nodded. That settled that. A nap was in order for him and she could tell, had been able to tell as soon as she’d seen him.

“Good.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


A good forty five minutes or so later, Steven woke up. He immediately reached out for Eva, but she wasn’t there. He groaned slightly, the muscles in his back tense and knotted up. Rising up into a sitting position, Steven rubbed his eyes for a few seconds, before deciding to take a whiff of the air. A smile appeared on his face. While he might not have been too hungry before, he was now, and of course, Eva had perfect timing. Sliding out of the bed, Steven’s bare toes touched the floor and he stretched, yawning. As he walked into the living room of the apartment, he could see Eva, her back to him. She had music playing and he was treated to the sounds of Telepopmusik’s Breathe. Her hips were moving in time to the beat and he couldn’t help but watch. She’d shirked the jacket, but kept everything else. Her hands were on either side of the stove, and whatever she was working on smelt heavenly. The song was ending and he took a few steps forward. The iPod that she had was on shuffle and Common’s Go came on. As Kanye West’s drums hit and John Mayer’s vocals came in, he watched as the sway of her hips slowed, became more sensual. The pull was still there, possibly even stronger.

As if she sensed him, Eva turned and saw him over her shoulder. She gave him a smile and turned back to what she was doing. Her hips never stopped moving. “How was your nap?” She asked, still looking back at what she was doing.

“Good. I needed that more than I thought that I did.” Steven said, rubbing the back of his neck as he stepped into the kitchen. Cracking his neck, Steven still couldn’t help but watch. As he came up next to her, she stopped her movements, nudging him with her hips before returning to the dance that she was doing. Steven laughed and then turned, leaning his hip on the counter next to the stove. “I’m going to grab a shower after we eat and then head out.” He said.

“Okay.” She said and leaned up giving him a kiss. “Set the table for me?” Eva asked.

“Absolutely.”

It didn’t take him that long to set the table, and shortly after he did, the food was ready and Eva started bringing everything out. As they started to eat, Steven watched Eva, noting that something was amiss. He wasn’t sure if it had something to do with what he had said before, or something else. Despite the fact that he worked as a detective and was one of the best that the Gotham City Police Department had, he was often times baffled by Eva. It was easily part of her charm. He did figure it out sooner or later and he was trying to pinpoint what it was that was bothering her. Leaning back in his chair, he wondered what the possibilities of it were. One of the first things that jumped to his mind was that it had something to do with the case and the jury being sequestered. The fact that this was all going to be behind her. The only other thing that he could think of, and perhaps it had something to do with the fact that he’d just woken up, was in regards to the look that he’d give her earlier.

That was simple to explain to her, but the repercussions of it, well, they wouldn’t be that great. It would be a hard subject to talk about with her, and one that he honestly didn’t want to talk about with Eva. So he decided to settle with it being the former, because he refused to deal with it being the latter. In the end, there was only one real way to find out, and that was to ask her. “What’s on your mind?” He asked.

“Oh nothing, just thinking about the trial, and it being over. This whole affair has dominated my life for a long period of time. I’m just happy that it’s going to be over soon. Though honestly, I’m not too sure how I like this recent turn of events.” Eva said. “I find it interesting that everyone in your department knows where the location is of the jury. You’d think after everything that’s happened, and everything that’s come to light, there’d be a little bit more security on this issue.” She added.

That was something that Roberts was actually working on. Ever since Eva had given him a list of all the police officers in Gotham that were on the Vitales’ take, there had been a huge furor throughout the police department. A lot of people were sweating, because they thought that they were going to get the axe and that the truth was going to come out about their shady dealings. Roberts was putting together everything Eva had on which cops were crooked in Gotham. It was going to be a long list, and sadly, Steven knew it. He had a bad feeling that some of his friends would be on that list, and he knew for a fact that there were some that would be. Some of them didn’t deserve to be prosecuted, they were good cops, just in a bind. He was trying to find a way to vouch for those that he knew shouldn’t be taken out. But he latched on to what she had just said and he thought about it for a few moments. The answer to his question was so very clear now. “No.” He said.

“Why not?” Eva asked, looking at him, clearly a little upset that he’d figured it out. She knew that he’d done it. Despite the fact that it was hard for her to pick up on his tells, Eva was positive that he knew what it was. It was something that he did, it was hard for her to keep her feelings from him, that much she knew. It complicated things, to say the least, something that annoyed her. She knew he was good at that kind of stuff, so why she was surprised, she wasn’t sure, but still, she was. “I was going to convince you, you know.” She said, leveling a fork at him. “I would have done it too. I have my ways, don’t you doubt me, Sheriff.”

“No, you weren’t, and no you’re not coming with me to where the jury are being sequestered. No way in hell, Eva.” He said. He paused thinking. The look on her face told him that he had forgotten something and needed to backtrack. It didn’t take him too long. “And no, you can’t hack the GCPD Database to find out where they’re going to be and conveniently find yourself there. It’s too dangerous, especially if the Vitales do try something.” Steven said.

She glowered at him in return. Damn, insufferable man thought of everything. Rising, she reached out and grabbed his plate of food, which he had almost finished, but was still clearly not done with yet and gave him a look of derision before heading to the kitchen. “You need my help.” Eva said. “You don’t know yet who all the dirty cops are.” She added. “I can pick them out. I know you probably don’t want to go into this whole thing and have to pick out who is bad, but at the same time, can you afford to have those people there?” She asked. “After all, this is supposed to be one of the biggest cases in the history of Gotham City. Don’t you want to make sure that there aren’t any mistakes with this? I would, but hey that’s just me.” Eva said, finishing her thoughts from the kitchen.

“Yes, well, I can’t go into this and start taking apart what force I have.” Steven said rising and coming in after her. “That’s going to destroy what I’m trying to do. Reduce whatever strength I have, considering that the Vitales are definitely going to try something? I just have to try to work around everything, which complicates things. Yet another reason you’re not allowed to go to where the jury is sequestered.” He said looking her square in the face as he finished the thought. He had a feeling that her response could take things down a dark and fiery road to destruction, but it had to be said. After all, he was responsible for her, in more ways and for more reasons than just one.

“Who made you the boss of me?” She asked, putting a hand on her hip and looking at him with an eyebrow raised. He loved it when she did things like that. Often times he got the feeling that she didn’t realize how attractive she was, especially when she did things like that. It was the little things indeed.

“I did.” Steven said back matter of factly. He paused then, considering. “Well you did, but then I did.” He said, correcting himself with a slightly smug smile.

Eva rolled her eyes in response to this, telling him exactly what she thought of that. “Uh huh. So I guess that means I could say that you weren’t the boss of me anymore. I mean, I was the one who put you in charge, makes sense that I can say you’re no longer in charge.” Eva said with a small little shrug, turning fully towards him after she put the dishes in the sink.

“Negative. I’m in charge, I’m the boss.” He said, checking his watch, not seeing her smile as he spoke. “Okay, I’m going to grab that shower and then I’m going to head out.” Steven turned and headed out of the kitchen towards the bedroom. He was close to the door to the bedroom when she spoke.

“Steven.”

He turned at the sound of his voice. She was leaning against the counter, after drying her hands. She beckoned him towards her with her finger. He was male enough not to see the trap that he was getting himself into. Walking over to her, Steven soon found her arms sliding around his neck, pulling his head down for a long, beautifully succulent kiss. Her tongue probed his mouth and he graciously obliged as her fingers wound their way through his hair. His hands were on her hips and explored a little of the body that he found so beautiful and so bewitching. Soon, his blood was starting to pound and he’d slid his hands under her top, capturing the soft flesh of her hips. He felt her nails dig into the back of his neck as she boosted herself up onto the counter. Her hands left him, only to come back after she took the cowl neck off.

Light hit her skin, and her face and body was flush with arousal. He smiled, dipping his head to kiss at her neck, nibbling and then moving down to her shoulder. His hand came up, and he slid two fingers underneath the silver right strap of her bra. Moving downwards, he freed the strap only when he’d accomplished his goal, and then his hand replaced the cup of the bra. She lifted his head up to hers and he saw it in her eyes, the dilation. She gave him a sly smile, her eyelids lowering so that she was barely looking at him out of them. “Sure you’re the boss of me, Sheriff?” She asked, her free hand moving down to his crotch and rubbing, appreciatively and roughly. “Sure about that one?”

He gave her a smile of his own. “Why don’t I, when you begging me not to pull it out and to keep it right there, why don’t I answer your question then?” He asked.

She ho-hummed. “I don’t know,” She said, reaching up to undo the clasps of her bra. It fell to the floor a moment later. Eva’s eyes widened in shock as he roughly reached out and grabbed her, pulling her closer to him. Her legs slid up, locking around him. “I don’t think you can make me want it that bad.”

“Oh? Is that a challenge?”

“Maybe for later. You need to take a shower, remember?” She asked him sweetly. Eva laughed as he picked her up and started heading towards the bedroom and the bathroom.

“You got dirty and sweaty with the cooking, you could use one too.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The 2002 Chrysler Concorde wasn’t in the greatest of conditions, but for Steven, it got the job done. It was a “company” car, one of many that he used in the line of duty for the GCPD. An undercover, it was also stripped down in many ways, to make up for the additions that the car folks had put into it. It served Santieri’s purposes and it was one of the cars that he used often actually. This one had never failed him yet. He eased the car through the lanes of traffic that made up Gotham City’s car population. His hands free was dialing the hotel that the jurors were going to be sequestered in. They had to work with the budget of the GCPD which wasn’t, you know, the net worth of Isaiah Muir, so they had opted for something that wasn’t that great in amenities or anything like that. They did what they could with what they had. Steven did know though that if this trial worked out in the Gotham City DA and FBI’s favor, that the budget for the police would undoubtedly grow. The GCPD could argue that after a very long time, they were starting to get results again.

A lot of people were looking forward to the monetary gain that would come about depending on either of the two possible verdicts. If the verdict came out guilty, there would be a lot of money in the appeals that would take place from the various number of people who were on trial. There would be a lot of money also involved with the press and the advertising in the papers and on the news channels when they talked about this. This was almost all that you were able to see on the news as it was, and Steven was pretty positive that the networks were damn grateful for the monetary help. It was just good business, which was interesting, because to him, it was all about putting the bad guys away and making sure that the innocent people were kept safe. But that just wasn’t the way that the world worked, or so it seemed. There would be books written, and special knowledgeable sources who would be able to charge the networks for their appearances on the various shows. Then you had to think about all the blogs and things like that. There was plenty of money to be made in multiple ways if you were smart.

If there was a verdict of non-guilty there was still money to be made in a whole other number of ways. And above all, either way the Parmesan crumbled, the lawyers would be getting paid. They always did and they always would. To Steven that was something that needed to be added to the death and taxes routine. He had friends in the DA office and he knew a lot of lawyers around Gotham City. But he never really liked too many of them. They only seemed like they were in it for the money. Even if they were with the DA, it seemed as if they were just using it as a stepping stone to get some fame and then move on to bigger and better things. He could understand the idea behind it and why something like that was a great thing to do. It was a career booster, definitely. But still, it just seemed so much of a sham to him. In the end, he felt that they were doing their job because they were just gearing up for the future, not because it was the right thing to do, and the people they represented or prosecuted deserved good lawyers.

Making a right handed turn, Steven changed streets, another step closer to where he was headed. For him, he cared which direction the verdict went, but in the big picture, he was still going to do his job. The people of Gotham City deserved a good police force, and he was going to provide it for them. If there was a guilty verdict, then it meant that the streets were kept a little bit cleaner and it made his job a great deal easier. He’d still have to deal with the Vitale Family in some way or another, but he’d be able to be a lot more effective with a large number of them off the streets. Furthermore, the organization would be reeling and it would be all the more easier to infiltrate and get into the family, which would only help bring them down even more. If there was a non guilty verdict, then his job would be more difficult, yes, but he’d known the difficulties of the job when he’d signed up for it. It wasn’t that big of a deal to him, just the next task in the list of things that he needed to do, needed to get done.

The more and more that he thought about it though, Steven realized that this verdict was very important to him. He was a police office and despite everything that the Vitale Family had done to him and to his family, he needed to remain objective. They deserved their fair trial, and they deserved a good trial. He needed to keep that lack of bias. But he could look past the times that a Vitale member had tried to kill him in the line of duty. He could look past the things that Michael and his father had done to Steven’s father. Yes, despite everything he could look past the fact that they’d killed his father. His father had been a police officer as well, and he’d understood the risk inherent in taking the job and swearing to defend the people of Gotham City. No, there was only one thing that Steven couldn’t look past. The years of abuse that Eva Rodriguez had suffered at the hands of Michael and his family.

He would never be able to forgive them for that, or look past it. He just couldn’t. She was such a beautiful woman on the inside and out, and they had damaged her, severely. The thought or phrase of broken goods didn’t dare once enter into his mind. Eva had the ability to take this situation and come out so much for the better. But it was the fact that at such a young age, they’d done such horrible things to her. Michael may have been the main abuser, but by knowing what was going on and saying and doing nothing, Michael’s mother and father were just as much to blame. The car slowed then, coming to a red light. Steven leaned back in his seat, his thoughts continuing.

The Don and the Don’s wife were not scot free in Steven’s mind when it came to the abuse that Eva had suffered. It was still clear in his mind what Eva had been like when he’d first met her and the time afterwards. She’d been scared. Granted yes, her sarcastic nature and wit had started to show through quickly after they’d met, but he’d been able to tell that even then she had been using it to cover for the pain that she was going through.

It would be years before she was ever truly over everything that she’d suffered at the hands of Michael Vitale. Not a day went by that Steven didn’t wish that he’d been able to kill Michael himself. He was painfully reminded then, that he’d had his shot, back when the two of them had been at the same high school. They’d gotten into a fight, a vicious one at that. He’d actually come dangerously close to breaking Michael’s arm before he’d been pulled off of the Mafia prince by one of the teachers. Damn shame. He remembered having no remorse for it, and his parents yelling at him and punishing him. Steven had also remembered his father taking him out back to the tool shed later that night and telling him that he was damn proud of what Steven had done and that the yelling in the house had been for his mother. Giovanni Santieri had been proud of his son for administering the beating that everyone else was scared to give Michael Vitale.

Despite being a Catholic and believing in forgiveness and absolution for sins, Steven was willing to bet that Michael was roasting in every kind of hell that there possibly could be. If he wasn’t, then God didn’t really exist and Steven didn’t give a fuck what anybody said about that. There were plenty of things that he could hate that man for, the fact that he’d been a mobster, a drug dealer, a pimp, an extortionist, a murderer. The fact that Michael had done all of these things and done them to excess and had affected countless of lives, families, and homes throughout Gotham City. As the light turned green, and Steven started driving once more, he was taken to the one thing that angered him the most. The one thing that incensed Steven more than anything was that Michael had dared to put hands on, and had dared to mentally abuse the woman that he loved. And that was why in the end, Steven hoped that every member that was currently charged, on trial, and awaiting the jury’s decision was given a guilty verdict. None of them deserved to walk. They’d all been a part of the organization and the family, and the school of thought that had given birth to a monster.

A monster who had hurt Eva.

What angered Steven the most was that guilty verdict or not, when this trial was over, he’d never see Eva again. He knew, whether she liked it or not, whether she agreed with it or not, that she was going to have to go into the Witness Protection Program. There wasn’t a choice. Her life would be in danger. In that sense, the Vitale’s would be hurting her and harming her for the rest of her life. She’d always be in danger. She’d always have to look over her shoulder. Unfortunately, he’d never be able to fully protect the woman that he’d taken one look at, covered in sweat, Michael’s blood, and her own blood, and had fallen head over heels in love with. Sure, it had taken him a little while to figure it out, but when he thought about it, he knew when he’d fallen in love with her.

It would be a fight and Steven knew it already. She’d fight him tooth and nail on this and she would refuse to give in. He already knew where she stood on the subject. His fingers drifted over to the radio, changing the station as the station he was on started playing commercials. Finding a station he liked, his hand came back to the steering wheel. Night was beginning to fall over Gotham City, making the already dark and gloomy city even darker. The ride was smooth and Steven’s mind started to wander to the conversation that he knew he’d end up having with Eva when they discussed her going into the Witness Protection Program. Her words he’d be able to fight. That much he already knew. Steven was an expert at arguing with someone. It was her voice, her body language, her face. That was what would do him in. He knew that he’d have to steel himself for that conversation, other wise he was going to lose it.

Especially since he wanted her to stay. God, how he wanted her to stay. Ever since she’d come into his life, she done nothing but cause problems and be a nuisance. But all it took was one smile, one look of gratitude and Steven wiped the slate clean. She had emerged from her ordeal an independent woman, but Eva, for all of her strength and heart, if she needed him, just a little bit, it was enough. That was all that he wanted, all that he himself needed. He doubted that it would ever happen though. Yes, she needed him now, but she wouldn’t once the case was over. Because he was going to make sure that she entered the Witness Protection Program. Anger seized him for a moment. He didn’t give a damn whether or not she argued with him or what she wanted, he was putting her into that stupid program whether she liked it or not.

Because deep down inside, where he really didn’t to admit it or not, Steven was scared. He was scared that she didn’t love him. No, he knew that she loved him, in her own way, but he didn’t know whether or not it was because of everything that was going on or whether or not she actually loved him. If removed from the environment that she was in, would she still love him? If he wasn’t her main source of protection and the person that she had to rely on the most, would she still care for him? When the case was over and she was let out of the safe house, would she still want him around? Or had a weird version of Stockholm syndrome kicked in for her? He didn’t know, and deep down, he feared that once she wasn’t under protective custody, she would stop loving him.

Steven was alone with his thoughts and he cursed the day that he’d given up smoking. Reminding himself that he wasn’t going to buy a pack of cigarettes, he made another turn. He was close now, to the hotel where the jury was being sequestered.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

“God damn, Steven, am I glad to see you.”

Steven smiled at the words that came out of one of the Gotham City Police Department officers in the room. The budget for the jury’s sequestering had been pretty good, nothing too amazing. Luckily, the FBI had been able to chip in a good amount too, considering the power behind a guilty verdict, which is what everyone was after. They’d picked the Watercrest Hotel. It was a decent hotel, nothing that Steven would ever go to himself, but that was because the surrounding area wasn’t always the greatest. It wasn’t really in the heart of the city either and it was nowhere near his normal patrol areas. For him, it just didn’t make sense. It wasn’t his needs that were being taken into consideration, however. It’s location and it’s rates made it prime for the jury. They were going to be sequestered on the fifth floor of the eight floor building. The hotel had a simple design. It was a solid rectangle, and after the sixth floor only the right and left quarters were left, with empty space in between them, for the rest of the way up. The rooms were apparently larger and much better up there, but that was natural for a hotel, all things considered. The GCPD had been given a fair amount of leeway from the hotel staff and management, they hadn’t been given any trouble so far.

They had been able to rent out most of the rooms on the fifth floor. The elevators were carefully watched, and there was actually a pair of GCPD officers by the elevators at all times. Furthermore, jurors had been assigned to rooms by random, and none of the rooms were next to each other on the floor. They were hoping that these precautions would stop anyone from being able to harm the jurors. Of course, this was assuming that anyone who would try something would be able to get past the GCPD and the FBI. Both organizations were fully tapped into the hotel’s pre-existing camera system. Where there had been any lapses in camera security, the FBI had stepped up, installing cameras. This had been another thing that had made the owner of the hotel more interested in working with them, since the cameras were going to stay and would be turned over to him once everything was said and done.

Another precaution had been to have the elevators bypass the fifth floor entirely. Furthermore, they had set up security positions at all of the stairwell entrances. No one would be able to enter through there and that was another thing that was put into place to keep the jurors safe. Steven didn’t want to be caught with his pants down in the off chance that the Vitale’s tried something. There was too much riding on the outcome of this verdict, both professionally and more importantly, personally. It would determine so much for so many and it would impact countless lives.

“What’s going on, Al?” He asked.

“We’ve got the set up going well enough.” The man said, turning to look at Steven. They were in the main room of the GCPD set up. Computers were up and running, routers were plugged in and there were wires everywhere. It was chaos, but if Steven knew his boys, he knew that they were ready to go and had everything set up nice and proper. That was good. They needed to buckle down and be ready for the long haul. While it might have taken Steven less than ten seconds to come up with his vote for the verdict, if he was on the jury, for these people it might take longer and they did need to show some semblance of impartiality, he supposed. “We’re the main lines and we’ve got the FBI piggy backing off of us.” Albert Irskens said. “Everything is pretty much done with the set up.”

“So why are you so happy to see me?” Steven asked with a smirk. “Seems like you’ve got everything under control here.”

Albert rose and gestured to the chair. Steven sat down. “Because, I need to pee, and no one else wanted to take my spot for a while. Thanks, boss.” He said and headed out of the room. A couple of the other officers laughed and Steven rolled his eyes.

“Fair enough.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Melanie Horne sighed as she looked at table in front of her. The meeting had gone well. The Gotham City Police Department representatives and the FBI agents had discussed the goals and requirements and everything on the agenda had been hit upon. Everyone knew their three hour and six hour goals, and hopefully when they reconvened in eight hours, everyone would have accomplished said goals. She was hopeful, but she was already planning contingency plans just in case. If anything, Melanie Horne was thorough. She liked making sure that everything was in place. That was how she operated and how she worked. Looking up, she saw that Steven was still in the room, fiddling with his phone. “How do you think the meeting went?” She asked and he looked up.

He shrugged after a moment. “I wouldn’t stress too much about the meetings, to be honest. I’ve done this sort of thing before. Everyone knows what they need to do and everyone’s going to get their jobs done. It’ll be fine.” He said.

“I know, I just wanted to make sure that we’re ready, you know? I don’t want the Vitale’s to try anything.” She said. She paused then. “Shouldn’t you be at Eva’s anyway?” She asked. “I mean, if the jurors need protection, shouldn’t she?”

“Not at this point. Well, I mean, she’ll always need protection from now on, but right now, the jurors are a bigger priority. Doing something to her, that’s not going to help the Vitale’s case anymore. The only way they can save themselves is by getting to the jurors.” He said. 

She nodded. “That’s true.” She said. Rising, she grabbed the paperwork that she’d brought with her. “How long are you going to be here?” Horne asked. “I think we broke everything up into three eight hour shifts so that people get regular breaks. Last thing we need is people getting grumpy about time here.” She said with a smile.

“I’m here until they reach a verdict.” Steven said. “Brought clothes and what not in a bag. It’s in the trunk of the car. Everything else is provided for, or I can get it easily enough. I’m in stake out mode now. Needs become minimal.” He said, not mentioning the fact that he’d had sex with Eva not too long ago and that that itch wouldn’t need scratching for a little while. He smiled to himself. He’d answered her question, alright.

Horne nodded. “I’m assuming that Eva wasn’t too thrilled with that notion.” She said.

“We’ve talked about it. She knew that it was going to happen.” He said.

“You did tell her not to break the rules and come here, did you?” Melanie asked and Steven frowned.

“Yeah, she’ll behave.”

“That’s good.” Melanie said. She brushed at the business suit that she wore and then looked back at him. “Hopefully this should be over in a few days and we can all get back to our lives.” She said. “I’ve got to get going.” She said, indicating the papers in her hand. “It’s a testimony from some Vitale street punk that says he wants to make a deal. Something about the case. Roberts figured I should get a look at it too, since this whole thing is federal.” She added and headed out of the room.

That had been pleasant. Everything was fine between the two of them. They had come close to having sex, Steven had explained that while she was very attractive and wonderful qualities, he was not attracted to her and she had been able to deal with it like a reasonable, well adjusted adult. He smiled. Steven was rather thankful. If Melanie was able to act like an adult about the situation, that was really good and it spoke volumes on what their working relationship would be like for the rest of the time that they were working together on this case. He figured that she’d still try to put in a good word for him to join the FBI, and while he respected the fact that she thought he would be a good agent for the FBI, he would politely decline. Gotham City was his home, and it was his battleground. Never would he think of leaving it for the FBI.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

The door opened and the person stepped inside. It was on the third floor of the Watercrest Hotel, and it was a conference room. The person had a cell phone and they were in the process of making a call. “Everything is set. The police and the FBI don’t suspect a thing.” The person said. “What’s the plan?”

“We’re going to wait a few hours and then we’re going to send in one of our specialists. He’s going to make it all look like an accident.”

“If you kill the jury that’s not going to look good for you. They’ll just start the trial over, but they’ll have all the evidence and everything in place.”

“But we’ll be able to tamper with everything again, and we’ll be able to kill their star witness. We buy more time. You’ve failed continually at every step of this. Now’s your chance to redeem yourself.” The person on the other end of the line said. “We’re going to be watching this very closely to see if your value continues to be what it used to be. You’re getting soft, don’t make us have to deal with you as well.”


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Hours had passed.

It was later in the evening, close to night, around eight in the evening. Eva was on her laptop, but she was being rather absent minded about what she was doing. She’d already hacked into the Gotham City Police Department database and found out where the jury was being held. The Watercrest Hotel, she’d been there before. She’d never stayed there, no, but she’d been there for a meeting once with Michael. It had been something about a series of weapons deals that were going to happen. The negotiations had taken a while, but in the end, Michael had gotten everything that he’d wanted. He always did. It had helped that he’d had taken over a series of docks that were part of Gotham Harbor. The memory had come back to her rather easily, and she was looking out the window, thinking. Thoughts of the Watercrest and of that meeting had made her think about Steven. Their trip to the Watercrest had been a few short weeks after the incident with Steven’s father and she remembered how Michael had still been gloating about killing Giovanni Santieri and the pain that it had put his son through. Looking at the clock on her laptop, she realized that it was close to eight at night.

She’d considered driving over to the Watercrest, but she knew that Steven would be far too upset with her about that. Also, she would need to get away from the plainsclothes staged at the safehouse. Granted, that wasn’t hard. They never came into the apartment and left her alone, as long as she left them alone. The usual teams had been switched out for newer people, as Steven’s team was in charge of the set up of the Watercrest for the jurors. She’d read up enough on the new people to know that they weren’t in the Vitale’s pockets, but she’d learned quickly enough that they were not as personable as the previous bunch. There was nothing wrong with that and she didn’t mind it, actually. All she needed to do, in order to get away was to use the fire escape.

After all, Eva had gotten out of here before, to go to meet Steven’s mother. It was doable and if anyone could do it, it was her.

She gave a start when the phone rang. A frown flitted across her features. Who would be calling? Very few people knew this number and even fewer still ever had reason to call it. Steven was the top of the list. Steven... Had something happened?

Before she had known what had happened, she’d jumped over to the wall where the phone was and grabbed it. “Hello? Is he alright?” She asked, bringing the phone to her ear. “Did something happen? I knew, I knew something would-”

“Eva, get a grip. Steven is fine.” The person on the other end said.

She recognized the voice and calmed herself down. “What’s going on, then?” She asked. “Why are you calling?”

“I ran into some evidence today that troubled me. Almost like the Vitale’s are definitely planning on doing something at the hotel where the jury is being sequestered. Steven trusts his police guys, so I don’t know what to do.”

Eva sighed, and turned, leaning against the wall. “I told him, I told him, but he wouldn’t listen to me.”

“He doesn’t, sometimes, does he. I know he’ll hate me for this, but I need you to come to the Watercrest. You know who’s dirty, you know who’s clean. I just get the feeling that something bad is going to happen and that I have the ability to stop it. You can help. We’re going to need your help, Eva.”

“Better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

“You read my mind. Don’t tell him that I asked you to come. Steven will be way too pissed off with me.”

“Don’t worry, it’ll be a secret. I’m on my way.” Eva said and hung up. She headed over to the bedroom and opened her closet. Stripped off her clothes, she started changing, opting for a heather grey longsleeve crew cut shirt and a pair of black leggings. Eva grabbed her black leather boots and roughly shoved her feet into them, after putting on socks. Reaching up, she took her black leather jacket and threw it on. If she left right then, she’d get there close to eleven at night. Then she paused. She looked at the safe that Steven had put into her closet. Emergencies only. This sounded like it could turn into one of those very, very quickly. If that was the case, she wanted to be prepared for whatever could happen. She knew the combination code, which was Steven’s father’s badge number, and she punched it in. The door to the safe opened to reveal a Smith & Wesson Model 5906 pistol. Eva already knew that it was chambered for nine millimeter rounds. There were three loaded magazines of nine millimeter hollow points next to the pistol and a chest holster.

She grabbed everything and ran.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Steven leaned back in his seat, hands behind his head. His eyes were starting to close but he willed himself awake. Looking forward at the table that he was sitting at, he saw his cup of coffee. Grabbing it, he looked down at the contents, not too pleased with what he saw. He needed another cup. As he rose, he saw that they needed to brew another pot. Steven was going through the motions of doing just that, when the door opened. Turning, he smiled, knowing that at least he would be woken up by the newcomer. “Aundrea.” He said with a smile.

“Wow, you remember my first name.” She said.

“Course I do, Thiam. What’s going on, I didn’t think that you were part of this.” He said, going back to mentally review the roster of who was supposed to be here and who wasn’t. Last he remembered, Thiam wasn’t supposed to be here and he distinctly remembered everyone who was. After all, he’d heavily been a part of making up the roster. He’d chosen to leave her out of this because he’d known that this would sap a bit of the strength of the force and that the’d need someone like her on the street because she could pick up the slack with ease. It brought up the question of why was she here.

“Just checking up on you guys, want to make sure that everything’s okay. I know the first day of this is always the hardest.” She said with a smile. “Nothing too major.” She turned and Steven looked past her when the door opened again. “Agent Horne.” Thiam said with a small smile. Steven wasn’t sure but for a reason he could have sworn that he saw a look of unease on Thiam’s face. That was something that was rather uncharacteristic for her. If anything, she was always confident, always ready for anything. That was one of the things that he loved about her and appreciated about her. It was actually one of the big reasons why he’d wanted her to stay on the streets while all of this sequestering thing was going on. “Good to see you, Melanie” She said and the two of them exchanged simple head nods.

Thiam started walking to the door. “I’ll check on the rest of the guys. I’ll swing by because there’s a couple things I need to talk to you about for a case of yours that I took over. Nothing too pressing, so it can sit for a little bit. Later, Santieri.” She said and headed out.

“What’s up?” Steven asked, looking at Horne. He’d started brewing the next pot of coffee. When he turned around, he saw that she’d shut the door. His eyes narrowed. Sleep deprived did not mean that he was like he was when he was a little drunk. Mentally reminding himself that he was now quite possibly in a dangerous situation, he proceeded with caution. Thiam’s look of unease was in the back of his mind, and he didn’t know why. However, he tabled the issue deciding that it was something that he could come back to, after this. If anything it would give him something to do, he had the time to kill after all. “What’s going on?” He asked.

“I just wanted to tell you that I spoke with my superiors. They’re very impressed with the work that you’ve done on this case. Regardless of how the verdict comes out, they’re going to offer you a position within the FBI.” She said. “You should join the Bureau, think of how much good you can do.” Melanie said, leaning against one of the desks in the room. He nodded slowly and she smiled, thinking that she was on the road to convincing him. “So you’ll join?” She asked.

“I don’t know. I mean, I would like to join the FBI, but at the same time, I need to stay in Gotham. It’s my home. I know what you’re going to say, that the FBI have people here in Gotham and that I could stay in the city. But at the same time, I have an obligation to the real people of Gotham, the people that fall in between the cracks.” He said, thinking of Eva. So much of her life would have been different if she’d just been offered different opportunities in life. “The FBI does great work, but to me, the Gotham City Police Department is more important. They care about the small guy, the common man. I appreciate the good words though, Melanie, I do.” He said.

“I understand.” She said, looking resigned. Her cell phone buzzed and she pulled it out, checking the text message. She nodded and smiled then. “Well, it was worth a shot, I guess.” Melanie said. “I have to run and give a brief.” She said.


=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=


He was a master of his craft. That was why he was hired to do these kind of jobs. He was the one who made sure that the people that needed to be taken care of were indeed taken care of. Don Vitale had come to him after his years of service to various families, organizations, and people for what was quite possibly the most important job that the Vitale family would ever need. He’d asked for a simple fee, and he’d already had one million dollars given to him in hard currency. When this job was over, he’d be given another five hundred thousand dollars. A good million and a half. This was going to be a good payday, to say the least. The man was already in the Watercrest Hotel, having got there before the police had actually. Before anyone had. He had been setting up. By way of the Vitale’s inside man, he’d been given the exact plans of the GCPD and the FBI in how they were going to protect the jury. There wasn’t much else that he’d needed, except for schematics and blueprints and those hadn’t been that hard to find.

He’d brought everything that he’d need into the building with him. A number of different weapons, but the one thing that he needed the most was his fire starters. After all, his plan was for people to die and for the entire place to burn down. It was going to be a beautiful blaze and he intended for it to get the job done perfectly. In order to make sure that that happened, there were a few things that he needed to make sure happened. The computer that he’d brought with him was plugged into the internet and he had a passcode to get into the GCPD’s database in order to get information that he might need. Also, he’d brought with him a slightly used GCPD uniform, but the person that he’d gotten it from wouldn’t be needing it for a while. He had hotel staff uniforms as well, just in case he decided to go that route.

If anything the hitman was thorough. After all, he was paid to be and it definitely paid to be. He walked over to one of the backpacks that he had with him. Opening it up, he started to sort through the smaller boxes that were inside. He had a number of firearms to chose from. Which one was going to be the lucky one? Opening one of the boxes, he withdrew, the submachine gun. An MP5 with a silencer. Satisfied with his choice, he set it back in the box and took the whole thing out of the backpack, before closing the rest of it up and putting it away. The rest of the weapons would be easily removed after the fire started, so he wasn’t too worried. He checked his watch. Eleven fifteen, it was getting close to midnight. Perfect. It was time to begin this thing of his.

Once he was dressed, he left the room and headed out of his room on the second floor and down the stairs. He was headed to the service levels. It was time to cut the power to the place. He would be able to access the service elevator which would still be running due to the back up generator. From what he’d read, the police and the FBI were not tapped into the back up generator. Should something happen to the power, then they would be in the black as well. Which was exactly where he wanted them. This plan had been mapped out to perfection. It would go well, because he refused to let it go any other way. When he got to the service level, he headed straight to the security center that the hotel had. They had cameras set up throughout the place, and he needed to check something.

He was in uniform as one of the hotel staff, and no one else paid him mind, everyone moving quickly with the hustle and bustle that was expected of a hotel. He knew from his readings that the hotel didn’t do a huge amount of business but that with all the people that were currently there, they were working hard to make sure that everything was perfect. They knew what was going on, and they knew what was riding on this. Everyone wanted to make sure that their interests were looked for. After all, that was why he was here, wasn’t it? When he got into the security office, he gave a simple head nod to the security guard that was there and looked at the monitors. After a cursory glance, he had the information that he needed. One of the reasons that he’d needed to get there earlier than the police was so that the program that he’d set up could do it’s work.


The hitman had patched himself into the security feeds and had recorded a portion of time that would now be playing on a loop in areas that he was going to be operating in. He didn’t want to get caught and he didn’t want there to be too much evidence that he’d even been in the building. He had a name and a reputation to maintain. That was what was important to him, almost above successfully completing the job. There had been times when he’d had to weigh the importance of one against the other and that was why he had a number of different aliases and names that he went by. But at the end of the day, if he could do it without having to be on the run for any period of time, then that was good by him. Once he knew that everything was running smoothly, he left the security office, and headed to the power lines. It wouldn’t take much to unsettle them. The building was old and there were parts of it that definitely needed to be repaired. That fact was going to be on his side in all of this.

Working quickly, he took his tools out of the backpack that he’d brought down. Within a few minutes, he’d cut all of the wires and had used chemicals to burn away at the metal that had protected the main fuse box. From there, he had set a small charge. On a burner smart phone, he was tapped in directly to the security office’s cameras for the service area. Once he saw the repair people start to attempt to fix the wiring, he’d blow the charge, rendering the place completely powerless.

He had set it so that he would be up the first flight of stairs when the power was actually cut. Right after the power was cut and the lights everywhere went out, he checked his watch. 12:02.

Locked