Tess

The, unexpected, impact jarred his teeth and sent him tumbling off the bed and onto the floor. He soon found himself struggling with a cloaked figure who had literally thrown themselves on top of him.

Hearing the subtle ping, he knew the assailant had some sort of shiv or blade. His fears were confirmed when he felt the sharp sting at his throat and a trickle of warm blood run down the back of his neck.. Pushing with everything he had, he forced the cold edge of the blade away from his throat and with a little more effort he brought his foot up underneath his attacker and kicked out with as much power as he could summon.

He watched as the figure was hurdled back and straight through Jack's bedroom wall, into the living room. The smash of wood and glass indicated a, non too pleasant, landing on the coffee table. Darting to his feet, he quickly followed out through the gaping hole he'd just made, ready to finish the fight. He'd expected to see a semi conscious body, in a heap on the floor, but there was nothing.

Just as he hadn't sensed the presence to begin with he didn't find it now. That really freaked him out beyond anything words could convey. Whoever this person was, they where extremely good and moved with an abnormal speed. He fingered his own shivs and silently drew them out. He hadn't had any good practice in quite a while and this could prove interesting.

Making his way into the center he kicked the couch aside, along with the few larger pieces of coffee table. Feeling the smallest of breezes on the back of his neck, he spun in time to block a very familiar shiv. It was one of his making. It was a foreign thought that he'd almost been killed by a blade he'd made himself. Imam would probably say it was a sign from God to quit the weapon making business.

All these random thoughts blurred through his head as the fight erupted. His other half taking over, as the movements on both sides became automatic and practiced. The swipes and blocks, the lunges and kicks, it was a hard fight to follow. Even in the morning light the figures would have looked to be nothing more than dancing shadows.

Riddick was by no means winning this fight, frankly he was having hard time gauging exactly where cloak ended and flesh began. It seemed every slash that should have made contact, simply caught nothing but air and cloak. It was annoying, highly annoying. As his opponent made a swipe for his head he dropped and catching the end of the cloak, he imbedded his shiv into the floor. This pinned the cloak and the owner was forced to let it fall or risk becoming a punching bag.

Riddick watched the cloak pool on the floor and he honestly couldn't find words to describe what he saw. It wasn't a he, but a she. Not just a she but, damn, she was severely pissed. While Jack may have been cold and manipulative the woman standing before him, with dual blades and a look that said "bring your throat to my knife", was the epitome of dangerous. She was wearing a feral snarl, worthy of the Riddick hall of intimidating glares. Riddick could tell from the look, that this was a duel to the death. Whatever he thought he could have done to upset this wildcat, he sure would be only too happy to apologize if she'd tell him what it was.

As Riddick moved in to continue, he watched, curiously, as the woman was hit in the side of the head with the bedroom phone. The blow didn't injure her but in its stead, left the woman with a somewhat confused expression.

Riddick would have taken the off guard moment and struck her down but before he could move, he too was whacked in the head with something heavy. Both fighters simultaneously turned to face Jack who was sitting up in the bed with her arms crossed. Donning a very, scary, red faced expression.

Riddick watched as the woman froze and relaxed her stance, still weary but the killer look had subsided. Letting her eyes linger on Riddick for a moment longer she turned to Jack who was trying to look strong and menacing, but having no such luck. Riddick could see understanding dawn in her eyes. Leaving her cloak where it lay she made it to her bedside in about two leaps.

"Firstly, I didn't realize you were expecting company...JESUS that hurt and...Christ, look at what he's done to your new apartment!"

Riddick couldn't help but snit at her choice of words

"Me?... last I checked there were two people in that fight!"

The woman for the first time turned to Riddick and with a "matter of fact" tone, gave him a tongue lashing.

"I seem to remember your foot, kicking me through the wall."

Riddick gave a snort and a low growl but the woman huffed, mirroring his non too subtle noise.

"Oh shut up...if I break your legs with a bat, who are you going to blame for breaking your legs... me...or the bat"

Riddick looked confused but just pointed at her.

"Great...so if you throw me through the wall...who's gonna get the blame...me... or you?"

Riddick chuckled, shit she had him right there.

A very agitated voice from the bed, silenced the woman.

"Tess...are you quite finished bickering over fucking nothing. Tess meet Riddick, Riddick this is Tess. Now, I'd like both of you to leave...now!...I don't even know what you're still doing here, Tess. I asked you to leave already"

Riddick noticed the woman, pale and take a step back. She left without a rebuttal, smart comment or display of emotion, only Riddick seemed to see that her coloring had suddenly become ten shades lighter. Riddick quickly followed her back out into the living room. Seeing that Jack had collapsed back into her pillow mumbling something about crazy people and angry neighbors.

In the living room, the woman, despite being ordered out, began tidying up the mess. The coffee table was demolished and it, along with the shards of glass everywhere, got swept up and put in the bin. Riddick noticed that she cleaned meticulously. And when the couch had been pulled back into the middle of the room the woman went and retrieved her cloak.

"SON OF A BITCH!!"

Hearing how loudly she said it, she instantly clapped a hand over her mouth. Holding up her now tattered and shredded cloak she just threw it in the bin with the rest of the rubble.

Riddick was watching all of this with interest.

He now had a good look at the woman, she had dark blond hair tie up in a tight bun. She wore a pair of worn leather trousers and combat boots. She had a black tank top and a belt with various numbers of small disposable blades. She was very muscular for a woman. Not the type of muscle hidden under a few layers of fat, no, this was on view for the world to see. Most men would have considered it abnormal but Riddick admired nothing more than good survival traits. He could see a very distinguishable scar running along her collar bone as well as numerous small ones on her arms and the side of her neck. A lot of very close calls.

She moved with a grace designed for predators, and she had that permanent "touch me and die" look in her eyes. As he watched, she arched her back and he heard the bones reset themselves. He could see her rolling her shoulder and from the look of the joint, there was going to be a little bit of swelling.

"Fucking kick me through the wall...then you shred my cloak. Bastard!!"

Riddick was startled out of his momentary trance when she spoke.

"Yeah...well I wasn't exactly in a peachy mood after that punch to the head"

The pair where still extremely cautious about each other. Everything said and done was done in a slow, open manner. Even the snide comments and odd joke, held a sort of paranoia filled tension.

"Just heard the screams and when I saw you standing over her...Well, what the hell was I supposed to think?"

Riddick took the opportunity to question this "Tess" more thoroughly, all the while sitting at his leisure, on the couch.

"So how do you know Jack?"

The woman quieted and her expression became statuesque. It seemed as though the air around her became colder and Riddick could see her mind contemplate telling him the truth.

"If she hasn't told you...then I think it was for a good reason"

Riddick wasn't at all surprised at the woman's closed attitude.

"So...you just come to her rescue and tackle me without hesitation. Must be close friends."

The woman's face stayed calm and expressionless but her voice betrayed her real anger and hurt.

"Jack and I aren't what you'd call "friends"...she gets herself into messes and I get her out of them"

Riddick would never have guessed that this, cold, ferocious, shiv happy bitch would be the kind to just drop everything and run to Jacks aid every time she calls. It seemed like she knew she was being used, then treated like shit, but she was ok with it. If he'd have guessed he'd said she was acting out of guilt.

"You...ok with that arrangement?"

The woman stiffened a little and gave a jaw clenching grin,

"That is completely none of your...goddamn business"

The woman didn't bother to stay, she pulled one of Jack's cloaks out of the corner closet and wrapped it around her shoulders. Sparing a glance in the direction of the bedroom she turned to Riddick and that murderous look was back.

"Touch her, hurt her, upset her in any way...and I'll castrate you with a plastic spoon."

The threat didn't wash over Riddick lightly, he knew she wasn't kidding. Something about the spoon bit struck a cord. He'd killed a man with a plastic spork before but he guessed it was just a random thoughtless threat.

While this stranger obviously heeded Jack's order to get out, he was going to wait until she woke up and then he was going to get some clearly defined answers, or try anyway. Everything she'd ever told him had been a twist of the truth. Not that he didn't admire that foresight, but when all he'd tried to do was help he didn't appreciate being deceived.


Murphy's law had brought Jacks earlier fears to light. The only consolation was that they hadn't killed each other. That was a small consolation though when you're looking out a, rather large, gaping hole, into your living room.

She'd told Tess to leave before Riddick arrived but she'd fallen asleep. Obviously that woman had stuck around longer than she should have.

Jack knew that Riddick wasn't going to leave her alone, so when she woke up she was either going to be faced with, both shiv happy interrogators, or just Riddick but one way or another she would be facing questions. The only thing that was going through her mind was whether she could tell the truth. Or would she fall back on some old habits and lie through her teeth.

"Jack...I know your awake...you seem to forget who you're dealing with here!"

Jack slowly opened her eyes and found him sitting in the corner of her bedroom. His face was once again expressionless, never a very encouraging sign. The only time he went completely stone cold was when he was overwhelmed with conflicting feelings.

"Interesting friend you got..."

She saw him push back a slight smirk at the mention of Tess but hadn't had enough experience with his happy emotions to identify why. She knew he was stalling so she waited for his next question.

"I gotta say...I don't know whether to be impressed that you kept so many lies runnin' all these years or upset that you fucking lied to me from the beginning. It's a dilemma...so, what do you think I should do about this little fuck up of a situation?"

Jack knew this was some kind of mind game. He wanted her to spill it all but she'd learned long ago how to deal with questions. First give them the obvious lie, then when they threaten you, you give a plausible half truth. What concerned her was, that it had already worked once and he'd learned from the mistake, would it work a second time. Jack opted for neither.

"I think you should be happy Tess didn't kill you...and leave"

Jack's voice wavered at the end of the sentence, and lacking any kind of force or determination all she got was a low growl in response. Followed by, of course, more questions.

"Speaking of the bitch wonder, how the hell do you get off treating someone, that put their neck on the line for you, as though they're trash. That woman's gonna have a hell of a lot of bruises because of you and you basically spat in her face. Fuck it Jack, the woman even cleaned up for you."

Riddick had never heard Jack snarl before, he'd never really seen her have anything more than a teenage tantrum. This though was scary, her face was practically cherry red.

"You think she did that for me? She's the definition of the word monster. And cleaning...she did that because she has a hygiene compulsion. I only ask for her help when I absolutely have no choice. Don't go round thinking she's doing this for me, she just does it to sate her own, very, guilty conscience...Now...GET OUT OF MY APARTMENT!!."

Riddick wasn't one to back down easily but Jack had kept all those lies for so long that threats would undoubtedly fail in cracking the shell. Rubbing his head, he stood as though to leave but as he strolled out the door, he threw one more question at her.

"So...this Tess...what'd she do?"

Jack face twisted in a little pain and discomfort.

"She murdered my father."