By Chornyi

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

Yes, it's finally happened.. I've sold out..

I tried to hold out, I really did, but this just begged me to write it...

Umm.. Can it be selling out if you don't get any money? 'Cause I didn't..


It's another one of those days. Those days where you're sorry you got up in the morning, and only too glad to pull the covers over your head at night. In fact, it's been one of those weeks.

She's running on adrenaline and bad coffee, and she's just about to run out.

Sara pulls the shoulder holster off and drops it on the dresser. The gun makes a solid thunk as its metal hits laminate. The sound of the job being officially OVER.

At least for today.

She tosses her leather jacket in the corner.

Her pullover follows, and she's wearing only a thin white tank top under it. When she raises her arms in a long, luxurious stretch, the material pulls taut and her breasts rise to press against the ribbed fabric.

She yawns, shaking out her hair, shaking out the cobwebs. Maybe that leftover container of cold Chinese in the fridge. Maybe not.

Maybe just sleep. She is beat, so beat.

Flipping back the sheet of her bed, she leans over it to check for wrinkles.

Her long chestnut hair falls forward, baring the vulnerable nape of her neck. The knobs of her spine press against the tank top.

She is beautiful.

She is exhausted.

That's when she feels him.

She turns slowly, unwilling to believe it, but there he is, just as she knew he would be.

Dressed all in black, wrapped in that damned black coat he always wears, black-gloved hands still at his sides. He lifts his head and those dark, dark eyes fix on her.

And suddenly she feels naked.

He wants her.

He always wants her, but it's worse now. He can see her body, can almost taste her skin, that tender place behind her ear, the dew of sweat that has sprung out on her upper lip. Her fierce eyes pierce him and he shivers with longing. He wants to wrap himself in the strands of her hair, a spider-web of copper and mahogany and gold, binding him, trapping him.

He takes an involuntary step forward and her eyes widen.

'What is this?' she asks. There is the slightest tremble in her voice, just enough fear to make it almost unbearable. Then the fear turns to anger. 'What IS this, Nottingham? What are you doing here?'

Sara glares at him, feeling her rage build to a bubbling, fever pitch. He always seems to know. When she feels worst, when she is most vulnerable. Then he comes and they play this damn cat and mouse game. Well, she's tired of being the mouse.

'You come here to WATCH me, Ian?' she asks, deliberately using his fisrt name. 'You come here to SPY on me? To play your sick, twisted little stalker game? Or is there more to it then that?' Her voice is cold and hard, and she is gratified to see him flinch, his eyes shadow with confusion as she takes a step toward him, matching his.

'You want to WATCH me, Ian? Or do you want... More then that?' Her voice is softer now.

His eyes are fixed on her, wide with startlement as she looks down at herself and then up into his dark eyes again. 'You want to touch me, maybe? Or is it more then that..'

She's almost whispering, but he catches every word. He doesn't miss one.

'Maybe you want to take me. Well, go ahead, Ian..'

She licks her lips and looks straight into his eyes, hers green-gold and intense. 'I'm right here..' she whispers. 'Right in front of you. So what are you going to do? Are you going to do it?'

What she's doing is like holding up a steak in front of a starving junkyard dog. His mouth fills with saliva, he feels a fine trembling break out over his body.

Do it? He can't.. Can he?

He takes a step forward, then another, his eyes fixed on her, desire filling him like black water in a jar, overflowing, sweeping him away, drowning him.

He moves toward her.

He doesn't hear her the first time. He's almost to her when he sees the black metal in her fist and hears her voice, harsh now with fear as if she's said it several times already.


Confused, he stops. The gun. She's holding the gun on him, her eyes cold. 'You really are a psycho, aren't you? Did you think I meant it? Did you think I was giving you permission? Not in this lifetime, Nottingham. Get out.'

He moves so fast he's a blur. The gun is wrenched out of her hand and she hears it hit the wall across the room and ducks involuntarily, waiting for it to go off. But it doesn't. There is silence except for his harsh breathing. She doesn't have time for fear. He is back in front of her, inches away, his eyes glowing with some dark emotion. And the gun is gone.

She could say 'Don't.' She could say 'Please.' But those words aren't in her. Instead she says nothing.

For a moment, he doesn't move. Then he kneels at her feet and draws the sword from over his shoulder in one smooth motion. He pushes the hilt into her hand, it is hard and warm from his body heat, black enamel and some sort of metal in a raised pattern. The blade is long and narrow with a slight curve, the tip is squared off, not pointed. He brings the blade to his neck with his left hand, laying it in the hollow of his shoulder.

The edge is so sharp it parts the flesh and a line of blood pools on the blade.

'What.. What are you doing?' she asks him.

'Press.' he says to her. 'One hard press, to the left. It cuts like butter. Go ahead, Sara.'

'W-what.. What are you..' Her voice trails off and she looks down at the blade against his pale skin in fascination.

His eyes are very dark as he looks up at her. 'You should do it, Sara. I am like a mad dog. I have.. desires I can't control. I have things in me that you would not want to see. The mad dog is killed to put him out of his misery. I would appreciate the same courtesy from you.'

'Are you insane?' She tries to move the sword away from his throat but he holds it there effortlessly.

'You should end it now. Before it goes further.'

'Further? What the hell do you mean by that?' She glares down at him as if her anger will have some effect.

But the dark look in his eyes frightens her. He is too calm for a man with a blade at his throat, even if he put that blade there himself.

Does he really think she'll just do it? Just cut his head off with that Japanese Samurai sword or whatever the hell it is?

She pulls the blade away from his neck again, and this time he lets her. But the metal cuts a deep slice through the leather of his glove, through the flesh across his palm. He raises his bleeding hand to his mouth and presses it there. His eyes stare at her over his bloody glove. He looks feral. Dangerous.

'Jesus, Nottingham, look what you did!'

Sara grabs his wrist, pulling his hand up so she can look at the wound, the dark slice though the leather and pale skin beneath. 'This needs stitches...'


He pulls it back from her.

'At least some tape.'



He looks up at her again, directly into her eyes, and what she sees in his gaze silences her.

His mouth is smeared with blood. She notices for the first time that his hair is not bound, it falls around his face in a dark, wavy mass. His eyes are large and dark, drowning with emotions she is afraid to name but knows all too well.

Is this what it is all about?

Is it simply this?


She breathes his name and leans forward imperceptibly, and he tenses, his eyes widen but he doesn't move away. Of course he doesn't.

She drops the sword, the metal rings once on the floor and his eyes flick that way but she grabs a double handful of his hair and jerks his gaze back to hers.

'What do you want?' she whispers to him.

'You..' he whispers back.

When she pulls forward, he comes willingly.

Maybe she'll be sorry in the morning. Maybe it already IS morning.

She doesn't care either way.

Right now, this is what she wants. This.

And his soft, breathless sigh tells her it's what he wants, too.