Standard disclaimers apply.

STRIPPED

By Cassandra's Destiny

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The room had smelled of incense smoke and sweat.

A loud thug and they were sprawled on the floor, with him making no effort in pinning her down, keeping her down. He reached across the carpet for his pack of cards under the table. Her eyes momentarily flickered with irritation as she watched him finger the flimsy corners of the grimy box. He noticed the intensity in her look, of course, but if it was of impatience or of spite, he could not tell.

"Don't move," he said in a harshly grating voice, his sudden action almost unsuspected.

A grunt. She fought the urge to spit on his face. "How romantic."

No trickle of sweat fell to her chin. The four of spades unmarked, positioned at an angle on the hollow of her neck. For a brief moment, their gazes met – lids low, eyes clouded.

And he went in.

Her cry was muffled by an unexpected growling thunder. True, her cry was loud in his ears, but not loud enough. He knew she would not scream or yelp in pain, not for him… not with him.

He went out, adjusted the angle of the four of spades. Now it inched closer to her unscathed skin. He was waiting for the skies to blaze and the rain to pick up. In moments, the low rumbling of thunder served as his cue.

He went in again – this time, harder, more powerful.

She bit her lip, and crisp blood came. He could not help but lick his lower lip in lustful desire, lightly running down the edge of the card on her lithe form.

He felt her shiver under him; with every meeting of thin plastic and flesh, her body reacted with an inconspicuous quiver. Leaning down, her eyes burning into his, he trippingly licked her lower lip, tongue darting in and out before biting the very spot of the cut. She felt his hot breath against her face and her cheekbones jerked slightly in pain. Blood flowed, lips turned pallid; he bit her hard.

He went in and out. In and out he went, yet she did not scream.

It was not frustration he felt, he was sure. The issue was not so much revolving around his ego, granted the circumstances. It was, however, an attack on everything primal in the world. She was supposed to lose control.

In he went again, and he began running down his tongue on her body – all real, stripped of anything synthetic. She dug her nails on the small of his back, scraped his skin with the intention of inflicting pain, not easing it. In an instant, the four of spades was back on the hollow of her throat.

"I told you not to move." His voice still hoarse and raspy, his tone, forceful and imposing.

She smirked, and he too smirked against her skin. He knew she would not allow herself the pleasure of losing control. She knew he would do anything to prevent himself from losing control.

Out, and in he goes once more. This time, the roaring thunder need not muffle any sound.

For she still refused to scream – not for him, never with him.

"You always give me this crap, Machi."

"…you deserve nothing more."

That hit a nerve he never knew existed. "Fuck you."

"You already have."

The side of his lips curled into what Machi perceived as a sinister smile. Hisoka closed his eyes and said nothing. In a twinkling, there was a pregnant pause. She turned her head and eyed the door.

It was raining out and the sound of each raindrop hitting the roof was bothering her. She pursed her lips in touchiness, her slim fingers drumming on Hisoka's desk.

"Thinking of ways you could kill me?" She had enough of the silence.

He was undeniably amused. Machi is usually not the type who would be uncomfortable in stillness.

"No," a shrug. "I was thinking of the odds I'd end up killing you."

Her impulse was to roll her eyes, but she settled for cocking her head instead. "I say zero."

"Zero?"

"The odds of you killing me is zero." The arrogant smile on her face was another amusing feat for Hisoka.

He shot her an arrogant look of his own. "My, you suppose I wouldn't be able to stand splitting you in half, or see your tiny body squirm in bloody pain?"

Her brow almost twitched. Almost. She does not squirm in pain. "It's not like you can kill me."

"Ah, yes," Hisoka began in an irritatingly high note. "They say you're always in for the kill, not to be killed."

"It's—"

"And you say it's not that easy to get rid of you… I remember." Her interruption has gone unacknowledged, naturally.

Machi leaned back on her chair and crossed her legs. She rubbed her temples for the second time that night. Had this been a transaction with an ordinary person, it would have taken four to six minutes, seven minutes tops. But Hisoka was not that kind of business dealer; he was no ordinary individual indeed. "I don't think you are deaf, Hisoka, neither do I feel you are suffering from short-term memory lost. In fact, in my opinion, you remember too much of things…" she trailed off.

Flattery, he thought. "Only important details, Machi."

"But tonight's not the night for you to narrate to me all those details."

Now he was certain she wasn't playing. "I remember," a short pause, a delaying tactic in her view. "You mentioned something about having an assignment and you having every intention of fulfilling it."

She nodded once.

"Then if you don't mind," swiftly, she uncrossed her legs and held the brown envelope in her hand. "I'm leaving."

Standing up, she dropped a pouch on his desk, producing an audible thump on the hard wood. Machi walked to the door at her own pace, neither sluggish nor swift. Hisoka watched her free hand reach for the metal handle, another sinister smile forming on his lips.

Before she could turn the knob, a card was jabbed into the door. Her eyes widened.

It was the four of spades.