By Chornyi

Not mine.. Not even Ian, unfortunately. You know whose they are.

Okay, taking a break from Vulnerable Ian for a bit.. How about... Dangerous Ian?

Feedback/reviews are always appreciated, but bad reviews.. well.. expect a visit from Dangerous Ian.

No! That is NOT a reason to give me a bad review! Okay, well, it is. Forget that.

Bad reviews will just make me cry :(


'See you later, Pez...' Jake leans out of his car window and pins her with a concerned look. 'Sure you're okay? Don't wanna ride home?'

'I'm fine, Jake,' she answers him automatically. It's cold, and she pulls her leather jacket closer around her. 'It's only four blocks. I'll be fine.'

'Well.. Okay. But don't say I didn't offer!' He rolls the window up quickly, shutting out the cold air. Then the window rolls down again an inch- 'You sure?'

'Jake. Go.' She softens the words with a smile. He smiles back, that boyish rookie grin, and rolls the window up the last inch. His car pulls away from the curb, leaving Sara alone with her thoughts.

This case was worse then most, why she's not exactly sure. Maybe it was because they were killing parents.

She still misses her father. Just the thought of the word 'parent' brings his face to mind- her only parent, really. Her everything, when she was little.

Well, the killers won't be killing anymore parents. They're both dead now, thanks to the Witchblade.

She remembers the feeling as the blade went in, the taste of blood on her lips, the rage. So much rage. More then usual.

As if they HAD killed her father.

It doesn't matter. They killed someone's.

Mothers, too.

They left children like she was left. Took away something that can never be replaced.

But they won't be taking anymore.

That thought gives her a cold satisfaction.


That's how she feels.

Should've ridden home with Jake, except she needed to be alone with herself.

If she let him drive her home, she'd have to ask him in, and although she loves Jake as a friend, there are times when his relentless good humor is too much to put up with. Rookies.. She sighs.

Now she's just cold. And alone.

Or is she? Sara feels the familiar sensation of being watched.

Ah, great. Just what I need, she thinks sarcastically.

Him, she doesn't need. Not tonight.

'Get lost, Nottingham.'

Turning violently, she abandons her reverie and heads for home.

And stops, just as violently.

He didn't get lost. Of course, he didn't.

She hears the light impact of his boots on tar almost before her eyes register the motion and she turns to her left.

He's standing there, wrapped in his black coat, head bowed so all she can see is his sleek crown and knotted tail of dark hair.

Then his head lifts and he fixes her with one of those dark, discomforting stares he's so good at.

Shit. The assassin is feeling frisky tonight.

Too bad, she's not.

'Nottingham, did you or did you not hear me? I said- Get lost.'

'I heard you.' His soft, mellow voice makes the words sound more intimate then they should. He takes a step closer.

She takes one back. 'So, go.' she says sharply. 'I'm going home. I'm not in the mood for your mysterioso crap tonight.'

'And when are you ever in the mood for my... mysterioso crap?' he asks.

'Never!' She turns away. 'Nottingham, if you know what's good for you, you'll take off.'

Shoulda taken the ride with Jake. Anything would be better thin this. How did he find her? How does he always find her. 'Fucking stalker.'

She doesn't realize she said the words aloud until she sees Nottingham's eyes widen slightly.

'What is a stalker?' he asks her.

'You, Nottingham. Some psycho who.. who follows someone around and never LEAVES them alone!' She realizes she's screaming at him and doesn't care.

'I'm not a psycho.'

'Yes, you are. You're fucking weird, Nottingham. You're a freak. Why can't you just crawl back to your 'master' and leave me in peace?'

Somewhere inside, she knows the words will hurt him, she's being crueler then she normally is.

She's never nice to him- why should she be? But she's usually not this harsh.

He does have a vulnerability, she knows that, and it's connected to her somehow.

She's not often this cruel, just because she knows she can be.

But tonight was the wrong night for him to push her.

He should've taken her hint and gotten while the getting was good.

He bows his head, as she knew he would. At least she got what she wanted- he'll leave now.

So, she'll feel bad later. When she can actually FEEL. Right now, all she wants to do is go home and crash.

But she's wrong- he's not leaving.

His head comes back up again, and those brown eyes are blazing with an unfamiliar emotion. Rage? Oh, shit. Did she actually push Irons' lapdog too far? She didn't even know he HAD a 'too far'.

It seems he does.

He takes a step toward her, and her mind screams RUN! even though he looks like if she runs, he'll chase her.

Sara being Sara, she lifts her chin a notch and faces him.

He comes forward one slow step at a time until he's inches away.

For someone who can't maintain eye-contact, he's doing a pretty good job of staring at her. And the look in his eyes is NOT kosher.

There's anger there, but there's other things, too. Unsettling heat. Frightening darkness. Under the neat, sculpted beard, his lips turn up in a small smile.

'Do you fully understand the concept of 'stalker', Sara?' he asks her. He's so close she can feel his breath.

'Uh, what? Yes!' she exclaims, looking away from that smile. Those lips.

Jesus, he's too close.

'I don't know if you do.' He leans forward a bit, as if sniffing her hair, and she starts to lean back, but he grabs her before she can move, his black-gloved fingers biting into her shoulders through the leather of her jacket.

'A stalker is someone who has a.. dark fascination for the object of his.. desires.' His words are breathed against the side of her face.

'A stalker is someone who has a desperate need to be close to that object. He can't let go of her.. He needs her.. He wants her... He longs for her. He will do anything to get close to her. Even cross the line.'

He pulls her a little closer to him, and suddenly she can't breathe.

'A stalker watches his victim..' he continues into her ear.

'Always, watching her. When she's awake. When she's asleep. Sometimes he enters her home when she's not there, and touches her things. Sometimes he enters her home when she is there, just for the thrill...'

His face is practically in her hair now. She feels his breath caressing her neck, hot and feral, and her body convulses in a vain effort to get away. But he's too strong.

'A stalker will never give up.. ever.. until he possesses the object of his desire, or until he's dead.' His words are barely breathed now, his lips so close to her ear she can almost- almost feel them.

'Sara..' he breathes. 'Are you sure you want to ascribe those.. motives.. to me?'

No, Jesus, no, she doesn't.

'N-no.' she manges. 'No!'

He lets go of her as suddenly as he grabbed her. 'Good.' he says.

She closes her eyes in relief, and when she opens them again, he's gone.

Sara almost sways on her feet. She clutches her jacket to her throat with desperate fingers.

He's gone but she can still feel him.

Watching her.