A/N: Short but graphic sexual situations mentioned in this chapter. The story as a whole deserves a 'T' rating, so I have flagged where there might be short but significant sexual situations. These are brief and usually only 2-3 sentences total. Disclaimers: Whatever you recognize is TNT's, but what you don't, including characters and story belong to me. This disclaimer holds true for the entire story. Reviews feed the muse and she is seriously starving at this point. Please hit that little button at the bottom and leave a review, please!
Cracking the Tower of Sin
The woman sat quietly in the almost darkness of the empty Leverage Headquarters. She spun the trinket like a top on the table, enjoying the absolute silence and the sparkling lights scattering around the walls. She knew the Leverage team would be back soon, tired, frustrated, and possibly angry at their lack of success for the evening. She never would have inserted herself into their theft, but she was desperate for their help. She could not do this on her own and she had nowhere else to turn. That was how they packaged their services, subtly but there was still marketing at work. She had spent the last month learning about each individual on the team, and running background on their jobs. When she had learned about their saving an entire orphanage in Belgrade, she knew this was the team for her. It was possible her project was too dangerous, too horrifying for them to help, and if that was the case, she would find someone else, or do it herself. She could do it herself, but she might have to sacrifice more than she was willing.
She heard the key enter the door handle, followed by a subdued group of people entering their office. She heard a couple head to the kitchen for beers and drinks, others wandered into the conference room where when they turned on the lights, they were greeted by the woman who had been waiting for them for an hour. She did not move from where she sat other than to raise her eyes to meet the part of the team that entered the conference room. She heard the woman who must have been Parker gasp as she saw the trinket sitting on the table in front of her. Sophie was quick to call out for Nate and Eliot, who came with their drinks quickly. The five member Leverage team, still dressed in their gowns and tuxedos, stood staring at the clearly unwelcome interloper.
The woman spoke first, "Hi." She stood slowly watching Eliot in particular, knowing he was the most dangerous person in the room, except perhaps herself. "My name is Beauty Veritas." She put her hand out to Nathan Ford, introducing herself, and then going around the group calling them all by their name.
"Beauty Veritas. Great name but what parent would have done that their child? Why don't we all sit?"
"My father was some sort of cosmologist with more than a little philosophy thrown in. Wait till you hear my brother's and sister's names."
"Would you like something to drink? It doesn't look like you have helped yourself to anything."
"I have touched nothing. I have explored nothing. And I would love a drink… perhaps a Belvenie Portwood on ice with water?"
"You are sure you didn't explore while you waited?"
"You have a top shelf liquor cabinet. I took a guess. If you don't have it, something comparable will be just fine."
Eliot was sitting next to Beauty and with a look to Nate stood to get her drink.
"Thank you Eliot. It's perfect. I think that before Parker starts to hyperventilate or leap over the table, I think I'll pass this little bauble over to her to enjoy."
"You stole it from us. How did you do that? We didn't even see another team working the site."
"I don't have a team. I'm just very good at some things." She looked at Nate, directly in the eyes, "I wanted to get your attention. I need a team to help me with a serious situation. It may be too horrible or too violent for you. It is not a grifting job. Once I fill you in, I will leave it to you to decide."
Nate looked at Beauty, and then at the rest of the team, with a single eyebrow raised. "I'd say you have our attention. What is it you want from us?"
She sat in her $10,000 dress, covered in jewels with her blond hair pouring down her bare back. Looking at her, no one in that room could imagine what they could help her with. She was clearly rich, sophisticated, and some of them could sense something more. She took a deep breath and started to talk. "I have done research on all of you. I'm sure that I have most if not all the information on each of you from almost the beginning. Before you get all angry that I have invaded your privacy, I will share the same information about myself. When I uncovered the orphanage rescue, I felt certain that if you would help me, you were the right team."
Beauty tossed a zip drive to Alec and asked him to load it up, but asked if she could borrow the remote. He tossed the remote to her, intentionally a little high, and she still made a perfect catch. "My reflexes are very good Alec. Thank you for the remote."
She brought up the initial pictures. She explained the pictures, introducing the team to her family. Mother and father were dead. Brother and sister, both younger, were taken from school and joined or were taken into a cult.
"A cult? Brainwashing, give all their money to the leader, kind of cult?" Asked Alec.
"A cult. Fortunately, they have no access to their money and I have revoked all right to that money. They cannot turn any of their wealth over to anyone."
"How much wealth are we talking about?" Eliot questioned.
"Coming from a 'retrieval specialist' and a team of thieves that makes me laugh. If we were publically known, we would be in the Forbes top 20. At least I would. My brother and sister were not given the same level of wealth, and when they were kidnapped I had all their accounts frozen. But the money is not the issue apparently. I have videotape that I will show next. It is graphic, cruel, and very upsetting. Prepare yourself."
The next scene showed several young teens chained to a huge marble pillar. They had on extremely limited clothing, barely anything at all. The teenagers looked like they were drugged, but not so drugged that when they were being repeatedly raped they did not know what was going on. The rapes were being done for other's amusement, and the men doing the raping were extraordinarily endowed which caused the pain for girls practically virgins and anal penetration for both the boys and girls. The screaming could be heard over the other noise, the blood from the multiple entries pooled at their feet. In the background an orgy-like environment went on. Beauty turned off the computer and looked at the faces around the room.
"How did you get the videotape, Beauty?" Nate asked in almost a whisper.
"I paid someone to insert a tiny camera. I have hours of this shit. The two teenagers in the front are my brother and sister, Eternity and Chaos. I need help to free them and the other teens. Then I plan to bring the whole marble structure down and kill everyone left inside."
Eliot looked at her and took the remote to bring up with structure pictures. "That is marble. It also must be 100 yards tall. There would have to be multiple explosive devices, and even then you would not be sure to kill everyone inside. What is your plan?"
"What I have not told you is that my family, in addition to being named rather bizarrely, has special powers. I can pass by a person without being seen, I can make a group of people be unseen, I can open a safe with a touch, I can destroy into dust with a touch. I can know trust by the scent of a person. There are others, but that is the jist of it. My brother and sister have similar skills, but keeping them drugged will nullify their skills. They will not be able to help us."
Nate looked at Beauty skeptically. "It would be crazy to believe you can do all this…this supernatural stuff. And if you could, why would you need us?"
"I need a team to get in. I could just blow a hole in the marble, get in and get the kids out, but even then I couldn't guarantee to get the bad guys. I want every single person associated with The Marble Tower dead."
"We don't kill people." Sophie spoke up, still overwhelmed by the video she had seen.
Beauty looked to her side where Eliot sat quietly. Their eyes met and she knew she had him. "I kill people Sophie. What do you think happens to all those people whose heads I knock around? Many of them never get up. Did you see that videotape, Sophie? We cannot allow this to go on. Beauty says she can take it all down once we get the top bad guys there, and we get the kids out. Nate, you and Sophie are a couple wanting to get a little piece. Flash the money and the smile and the head guy will be there. Hardison gets us all in and out, Beauty covers us. I always wanted to be the invisible man. Parker gets the kids unchained and out this door." He pointed to the lower entry door.
Nate looked at Eliot with a pleased and surprised expression. "That is a good plan. We need to work the details, but it is solid. Beauty, can you give us an example of what you can do?"
"Ok, so it's show time now? What would you like to have me dust? Perhaps Hardison's fancy 6 screen TV? Or that baseball sized pink panther diamond we stole earlier today? Or perhaps something less damaging?"
Eliot laughed, "Before Parker keels over considering the destruction of her diamond or Hardison does the same over his TV, how about I go hunt for a few things and bring them back?"
Beauty looked at Eliot with a silly grin on her face, nodded her head and got up while he went to find a few things. "Nate, would you mind if I made myself another drink?"
"Hardison can get you one."
"I know, and I appreciate that. But one of my skills, which is also a drawback, is my ability to absorb all the feelings of the people around me. I can sometimes read minds, but not always, but I always absorb everything that other people put out, their fear, their cockiness, their love, everything. I just needed an excuse to separate from everyone for a few minutes."
Nate smiled sadly at Beauty, what a horrible life it must be to face that kind of psychic pain almost constantly. "Go ahead, Beauty. Get your drink. We'll wait here for you."
Eliot found her 15 minutes later sipping her drink staring out the high rise windows. She didn't turn around but she could feel his concern. He walked up behind her, standing very close, she could feel his breath on her bare neck where her hair was pulled to the other side.
"Are you ok Beauty?"
"Yeah, I'm good. Eliot, are you afraid to touch me?"
"I think I might be. You can turn stuff to dust. What would you do to someone who touched you that you didn't welcome?"
"I would welcome your touch Eliot. You, along with your friends, have nothing to fear from me. Even if you all decide not to help me, you have nothing to fear."
Eliot reached his trembling finger up to touch her neck behind her ear, slowly with a feather touch he ran his finger down her swan like neck and across her shoulder and down her well-toned arm. He thought just that single touch was the mostly erotic touch he had ever experience.
"Can you make people feel things?"
"Well, with my special powers, no." She backed the couple of inches till she was touching Eliot. "But I think your finger touch left a feeling behind on my body as well as yours." His face softly buried in her neck, inhaling her floral scent.
"I think you might be right. I think I never want to leave this place right here." He really never wanted to leave her. But she was not a one night stand, and he wasn't sure what else he was capable of.
Beauty laughed lightly, "I think that you can leave my neck eventually for my bed someday, Eliot. One thing at a time though. Let's go back and do our little dog and pony show and prove I can turn these little items to dust. The real challenge, can I turn the marble tower to dust?"
"No doubt in my mind, baby."