Here it is! I know I've kept you guys waiting for so long and I'm so sorry about that. This has proven to be a more difficult scenario to write than I had anticipated. I hope you guys like it, chapter ten is already in the works. As always feedback is welcome and appreciated. Enjoy!
"Here, kitten," J said, digging through the trunk of our blacked out SUV and handing me my gear. In my rush to get ready for our dinner I had completely forgotten to bring it with me for our meeting with Anton. Thankfully, he was prepared and had his men pack up a duffel bag full of my things as well as his signature gold-plated AK-47, my twin Colt handguns that were already tucked into my holster, and his favorite purple and gold Colt 1911.
I rolled up the partition that separated us from Richard's line of sight, although I seriously doubted he would have the balls to even consider looking back here unless directed to. He was more than familiar with the way J operated. I shimmied out of my dress, pushing it down to my hips and slipped my new corset around my torso. It was purple patent leather with golden bone clasps at the front.
When I had finally secured the closures, adjusted my breasts in the cups, and slid the holster for my Colts across my back, I found the pants J had packed for me and snorted. They were the same color green as his hair and made of a shiny latex.
"Really?" I said, holding the pants up in front of me. "How do you expect me to get into these while in the back seat of a moving car?"
J shrugged, reaching for my foot. His fingers worked the ties of my heels - one foot at a time, pulling them off and tossing them into the trunk.
"I'd imagine you have to put them on very, very carefully." He grinned, watching with amusement as I lifted my hips off the seat and pulled my dress down until it fell in a puddle of soft fabric at my feet. I heard him purr when he caught a glimpse of my lace thong.
I bunched up the latex pants all the way down to the leg openings and stuck both feet into them, working them up my legs very carefully, inch by inch, the material fighting me every step of the way. It took immense effort not to fall with every bump in the road we hit. When I had finally gotten the pants all the way up I glanced sideways at J - he was licking his lips as his eyes raked over the skin-tight pants approvingly.
"Remind me to have Tiffany purchase more latex for you." He commented, reaching out to drag his satin-gloved fingers down the length of my thigh. I smiled and shook my head at him. I hate to admit it but I liked the way the latex looked on me, too, as if someone had poured it over my skin.
I dug further into the bag when I was finished admiring my new bottoms and found my thigh holster full of my knives and a pair of gloves I'm assuming J had bought for me without my knowledge. I was always finding little things he picked out for me at the most unexpected moments. The gloves were long, stopping in the middle of my upper arms, and a gold colored silk. An elegant addition that was a perfect match with the clasps of my corset. I slid them up my arms before securing my holster in place and reaching for my bunny mask that was tucked away at the bottom of the bag.
"Allow me, Miss Malice," J insisted, grabbing the mask from my hands and slipping it on over my face. I liked when he called me by my pseudonym, it made it feel more powerful and real. When he acknowledged me as Miss Malice it was encouragement and affirmation all rolled into one. It was a sign of respect - one that I valued above all else, one that confirmed for me that he took me seriously as not only his lover but his partner as well.
I reached for my jewelry and took it off as he finished with my mask, tucking it into the small inside zipper of the bag, not wanting anything to happen to it should things go south.
"Thank you, daddy," I remarked, grabbing my Giuseppe combat boots and a pair of socks, putting them on and lacing the boots up tightly before setting the duffel bag back in the trunk.
"There's one more thing you can do for me-," J began, causing me to look over at him while I tried to settle the unease that was creeping over me. I didn't like that we were heading into this with absolutely no back up.
"What's that, baby?" I asked, cocking my head to the side. I watched him reach into the inside pocket of his suit jacket and pull out my choker, holding it delicately between his fingers. I didn't hesitate to turn my back to him and allow him to put it on me. I touched the "J" pendant fondly when it hit the hollow of my throat.
"Come here," He ordered, and I obeyed, sliding across the seat and into the circle of his arm. His other hand caught my chin roughly as he tilted my head towards him to kiss me. I moaned into his mouth, running my hands down the lapels of his jacket as I did. The kiss was shorter than I would have liked it to be but when we pulled apart he was looking at me with a level of affection that mirrored the way he'd looked at me before we left for dinner.
It was so unlike him, but it didn't make me uncomfortable like it probably should have. Instead, I felt a warmth that spread through me from my chest and out. I wondered idly if my desire had finally become a reality - maybe he really did need me now, like I had hoped he would ever since the first night I stepped into his club.
The partition began to come down, and it was then that I realized that the car had stopped moving. Richard's eyes looked relieved through the rear-view mirror when he saw that I was fully clothed.
"We're here," He said, shutting off the headlights and putting the car in park. I peered around the front seats and out the windshield. Thirty yards ahead of us, where the docks for freight shipping came to a halt, was what looked like a Mercedes G Wagon – its halogen lights illuminating the figure of a tall, lean man who stood in front of the grill. Flanking the man on either side were at least six other men, all clad in black clothes, who were unloading large crates full of assault rifles, semi-automatic pistols, and a plethora of shotguns.
Richard was making his way around the car to let us out, so I took the opportunity to grip J's forearm and catch his attention to express the nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach.
"Baby," I began, and he turned to look back at me as Rich pulled our door open. I chewed my bottom lip nervously. I didn't want him to think I was scared or hesitant. I was raised to fear nothing and never hesitate – those two things will get you killed, especially in our line of work, but I just couldn't shake this feeling.
He whipped his head back in Richard's direction, and signaled for him to hold on.
"Give us a moment, Anton can wait." He said, pulling the door shut behind him as he slid across the seat closer to me, gripping both of my hands in his. "What is it, doll face?"
"This doesn't feel right," I began, refusing to look him in the eyes. "We're heading into this completely blind and exposed. No back up, no nothing." He brought his finger to my chin, lifting my face and forcing me to drag my eyes up to lock with his.
"Madeline," He cooed, and to my surprise there wasn't a hint of annoyance or anger in his voice. He looked understanding for once. "I have a long standing history with Anton. We've made each other a lot of money over the years, and he's never been one foolish enough to sully our arrangements. He's scared of me, pet. He knows what happens to those who cross me." He finished, his lips curving into that wickedly unsettling smile.
"If anything happens to you…" I let my sentence trail off and hang in the air, averting my eyes from his once more. He purred and gripped my shoulders, bending down to bring his face into my line of sight.
"Nothing is going to happen to me, kitten, I promise you. Daddy isn't going anywhere and neither are you." He squeezed my shoulders affectionately, planting a chaste kiss on my lips that was meant to be reassuring but did little to quell my anxiety before turning back to the door, tapping on the glass to signal Richard to let us out.
J helped me out of the car and I stepped around him, allowing him to grab his AK from the floorboard. He glanced sideways at me and smiled, bending his elbow in my direction so I could hook my hand through it. I took a steadying breath before we made our way towards Anton and his men. As we went, I noticed that despite the brace that was circling his knee, his steps were sure and steady. If it was causing him any pain he made no show of it. He wasn't one to expose any kind of weakness to others.
"Mister J, sir," A gravelly voice rang out as we approached the group of men at the end of the docks. I still couldn't see his face. The lights from his vehicle illuminated his back, but shrouded the front of his body in darkness. "As you can see, the shipment is right on time."
"What's with the big production, Anton?" J asked, motioning to the piles of weapons at the man's feet.
"Well, sir, I just wanted to reassure you that you were getting exactly what ya paid for." Anton took a few steps towards us then, and the light from the lamp post beside us cast a yellow glow across his face. He was a handsome guy, in that old-fashioned, All-American sort of way. He had a wide, square jaw with a dimpled chin and day-old stubble. Thick, dirty blonde brows framed his deeply set almond shaped brown eyes, and his straight blonde hair was a ruffled mess atop his head. He had that sort of surfer boy meets board room businessman look to him. Unassuming as it may be I still couldn't rid myself of my nagging suspicion. Something just wasn't right.
"Now, now, Anton, there's no need for all of that. We've been in business a long time, you and I. You've never been stupid enough to short me, so what gives?" I dropped my hand from the crook of J's arm as he pulled his straight razor from an inside pocket of his suit jacket and began twirling it around his fingers.
"That we have," Anton locked eyes with me then and I was immediately thankful to J for having packed my gear. Something about the way he was looking at me made me sick to my stomach. "Say, Joker, that's a mighty fine specimen you got yourself there. I don't think I've had the pleasure of meeting her yet." Incredulously, Anton extended his hand to me, expecting me to shake it. As he reached out towards me I saw J's gloved hand grasp his wrist tightly.
"Don't even think about it, kid." J growled, his chest beginning to heave with anger, which only made Anton grin in response.
"I see you still don't like to share, huh, Joker? That's a shame." Anton shook his wrist free of J's hold and took another step towards me. "I've got someone willing to pay a pretty penny for your new bitch."
Quickly I removed my Colt's from their holsters and pointed them in Anton's face, letting my forefingers graze the triggers. I could hear J snarling beside me.
"Do you really think this is a wise choice, Anton? You know what happens to those who disrupt my plans."
Anton laughed, and it was then that I noticed his men had stopped unloading the haul and were standing shoulder to shoulder with a variety of loaded weapons in their hands.
"Yeah, I know what happens, Mister J, but ya see…I know you ain't got no backup tonight. My new client has me under good authority that your men are out and about keeping our boys in blue hot on their tails." I swallowed hard, trying my best to remain calm. My fingers were itching to squeeze the trigger and put this sleazy bastard out of his misery. "So…I'll take my chances. Besides, this guy is shelling out three times what you were willing to pay and all I had to do was get ya here and make sure your pretty little bunny was in tow."
I hadn't noticed Richard move to stand on the other side of J, his weapon drawn and pointed at Anton as well. J began to laugh, actually it was more like a cackle. He bent at the waist as he did so, and I saw him reach for his Colt 1911. When he straightened his posture the barrel of his gun was aimed directly at Anton's face.
"How pathetic," J spat. "I blame myself for giving you more credit than you deserve, Anton. Tell me…is the money worth more than your life?"
"The way I sees it, Joker, you're outnumbered and out-gunned. You really think you're gonna come outta this in one piece? You may be a crazy son of a bitch but everyone knows you ain't ready to die. You were notorious for leaving your old bitch out to dry when shit got heavy. I doubt much has changed for ya there except that you replaced your old bitch with a new one." J made a move towards Anton, they were practically nose to nose. I switched up my posture, moving to point one gun in the direction of Anton's goons while the other one remained locked on him. J's teeth were bared as he rolled his neck, I could feel the rage rolling off of him, and it was infectious. My unease began to dissipate, replaced instead by a seething fury.
"You've got me all figured out, huh? Figured out the method to my madness, did ya?" Anton nodded smugly, refusing to back down even though J was looming over him. "Well, pal, you're not entirely wrong - there's just one little thing you've got mixed up." He cast a sideways glance at me and I saw his lips curl into a smile. I took it as my cue and pulled the trigger, blowing a hole right through Anton's face.
Everything after that seemed to happen in slow motion. As I was pulling back on the trigger I was too engrossed to notice the M84 flash grenades that had been rolled near the group of us. Before Anton even hit the ground and anyone got to fire off another round the grenades exploded. The sound was unbearably loud and it was accompanied by three blinding flashes of lights. I fell to my knees instantly, dropping both of my handguns to cover my ears. I was seeing stars, blinking my eyes over and over again to try to regain my vision. Despite the disorientation, all I could think about was J. I needed to see him, to make sure he was okay.
"J," I cried out, even though I couldn't hear my voice over the ringing in my ears. I could barely make out the shape of his crumpled body a few yards away from me as I desperately tried to regain my equilibrium so I could move towards him.
I blindly began to crawl, hands out, as the spots started to fade from my vision. My efforts proved to be futile when an unfamiliar pair of hands yanked me up off the ground, securing my arms behind my back with a thick, plastic zip tie.
"Get the fuck off of me!" I sneered, trying to kick out at whoever had ahold of me but they were too strong and I was still trying to recover from the flash bangs. "J!" I screamed again, and as the ringing was fading from my ears I heard him yell for me too.
My eyesight was almost clear and when I looked through the fading haze I saw a swarm of people in tactical gear surrounding Anton's men and making their way towards Richard and J.
"Get him out of here, Richard!" I screamed. "Now!"
"No!" J bellowed as Rich lifted him from the ground, urging him to retreat. "Madeline!"
"It's me they're after. Please, Rich, just go! Get him somewhere safe," I pleaded, tears beginning to spill down my face. I saw him nod at me before lifting J up and slinging him over his shoulder, carrying him as quickly as he could towards our SUV.
Some of the men in gear made a move to follow but whoever had me in their grip commanded them to stop.
"Let them go," He yelled. "We got what we came here for! Pack up everything and get rid of the bodies - we're wheels up in ten."
I kept struggling against him, but felt a sense of relief wash over me when I saw Richard peel off and away from the docks. As long as he's okay, I thought to myself. When they were out of sight I used all the force I could muster to kick the knee of the man behind me. He dropped to the ground with a howl, pulling me down with him.
"Fucking bitch!" He yelled, and I laughed.
"I bet that hurt," I teased menacingly, and with that, he cracked the steel grip of his weapon against my temple and the world went completely black.