The Assassin and the Madman

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A/N: Hopefully this post works better than the last time. Some of my net-buddies have been bugging me to repost this. Love y'all!

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She had come to him in a moment of anger and frustration. How she'd found him he didn't know, but she'd come to his residence in the dead of night and the pouring rain. He remembered it all clearly - her blond hair was plastered to her skull, save her braids, which hung limply. Her eyes were fevered and her lipstick was smeared. Characteristically he felt nothing when he looked upon her. Another subject. What did this one want?

She hadn't said a word, but had taken off her coat and dried herself by the fire.

"What are you doing here?" He asked her, and she didn't respond. Had he been able to feel irritation, he would have cast her out, but she neither bored him nor intrigued him, so he let her stand there a while more.

"I want somet'in' from you." She eventually drawled to the fire, not daring to look at his face.

So did everybody. "And what is that, pray tell?"

Outside the rain poured down. She turned to him now, blue eyes flashing. "Revenge."

He knew what she was asking. He'd been watching her kind for a time now. A sadistic smile came across his lips as he remembered another subject of his who'd come in years ago.

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From that first night there, she never left his laboratory. She offered herself to him - whatever he desired of her - upon one term. For him she let herself be tested, tortured, have her genetics torn apart.

She never complained.

He never adressed her as anything other than "Madame", because he didn't allow himself to be attached to his subjects. But what she asked of him required that he pretend, that he acted. Both were actors.

On dark nights she lay next to him, or even on his broad chest. Her head beneath his, yellow braids and bangs splayed across his shoulders, her breathing light and soft, and he told himself again not to become attached.

Even as he called her 'milady'. Even as she whimpered in the night. Even as she lay there on his bare chest, hands cold against him, and cried in her sleep.

He was not attached.

"Don't leave me again, don't you dare leave me again..." She whispered, caught in another dream, another memory.

"Milady," He shook her shoulder slightly, and she slipped back into wakefulness. "He has already left."

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He realized several times that he could have broken his deal. He had what he needed from her and she was therefore of no more use to him.

He questioned himself. He no longer tested her, she was no longer useful to his research. So why did he keep her around? He had no sense of honor that prevented him from breaking his word.

He kept her and his end of the bargain. He kept her because he found that he liked her pressed against him in the night.

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His time for the deal had come. She had arranged it exactly as she wanted it, and his job was to play the role and say the lines, at the end of the aisle.

He smiled. In a few minutes, she'd have her revenge. From the corner of his eye, he saw LeBeau at a pew, with his skunk-striped wife next to him. He could see the Cajun trying to keep a straight face, to keep from making an expression of fury or fear. It made him laugh inside to see it, to know that she'd laugh when she saw it.

And when she walked down the aisle, he felt something. A palpitation? He would have to look into that.

He played his part as he should, and found that he meant some of the lines. The preacher turned to her.

"And do you, Bella Donna Boudreaux, take Nathaniel Essex to be your lawfully wedded husband?"

"I do," she said, and her kiss was warm.