Chapter 13 – Bargain with the Devil

A/N: It's a short one, but necessary to the plot. I figured you'd rather me update more quickly than wait for a longer chapter. DON'T KILL ME OR YOU'LL NEVER FIND OUT HOW IT ENDS! MWAHAHAHHAHA! PLEASE READ THIS: Itt's come to my attention that there's an M-rated story out there that's seemingly lifted a couple of details directly from my own story. While the similarities are a bit irritating, I'm not sure what I should do about it. If you read it and concur that some of the story seems strangely like mine, let me know as I may decide to take action. Also, due to some feedback, I was thinking of changing the title of this story, what do you guys think?**

As always, thanks for reviewing: Kattzia (I think it's a bit cheesy too, but a necessary evil, LOL), ColinatorGX (I find I'm more honest when I'm drunk, so why not Cloud?), anonymous (I have plans for another, but only when this one is complete), arj4y, cloudlover2989, beaucoup riant (love the name, no idea what it means…),and a very special thanks to Phoebz, Mizame, POOnCHOCO, CLOUDxTIFAforever, momcalling who always review or in the case of mom calling, review back to back. Thanks guys!

Reno scowled. He was not having a good night. Why the fuck did Strife have to come and bust up his flow? His presence alone was distracting Tifa and even from where the Turk stood at the bar waiting for his drinks to be served, he could tell that something unlikely to bring him luck with her was happening. He had caught Cloud's comment about Tifa's smile just as he was leaving the table, but when she had started away, he thought his position with her was safe enough for the moment. Now that Cloud was pulling his banging date closer to him, Reno felt he might be losing a battle before he knew he was fighting one.

The bartender placed two glasses of champagne on the counter before him and Reno hurriedly spun around with them in his hand to go and rescue his date. "Why, thank you, Reno. Such a gentleman." The silky smooth voice greeted him exactly as the blonde woman hijacked one of the glasses and pressed her red lips to the rim, partaking of a gift not meant for her. "Scarlet." Reno said curtly, grimacing as she sipped. "You'll excuse me," he muttered, attempting to make a quick get away with the remaining glass.

"Tifa's, I presume?" The edge in her voice halted him. He looked at her over his shoulder, cursing his own curiosity. Judging by the glint in her steely eyes, there was something Scarlet knew that she was willing to share with him if he was willing to make a trade. He glanced across the room in Tifa's direction and cut to the chase, "What do you want?"

"You know, judging from the state Cloud is in tonight, he'll need a room to stay in. All I want is to negotiate a room change. " She sipped at her glass.

"You want me to give up my room to Cloud? What for?" Reno asked quizzically. "Technically I want you to give up your room to me. I'll handle the rest of the details," Scarlet replied in clipped tones. Reno sensed he was not allowed to pry and since his attention – still cast in Tifa's direction – was cut necessarily short, he only asked, "What do you know?"

"Mr. Strife has had scandalous relations with a certain woman that he'd rather not let his old childhood friend know about. Namely, me." Reno's eyes were ripped from Tifa's sight as he gaped at the older woman. Her blonde hair was tied up in a knot at the back of her neck, her blue eyes and red lips mimicking fire and ice, and her svelte figure was curved and flaunted in all the right places beneath a tight red dress with a slit dangerously high up the leg. She was about ten years older than Cloud, but quite the middle-aged beauty and Reno could believe that most men would want to sleep with her despite her shrewdness. She continued with a quiet smile, "You can imagine why he wouldn't want her to find out."

Reno nodded, lifting his keycard from his pocket and holding it out to her. She took it between her gloved fingers and smiling, slinked away. He caught sight of Cloud pulling Tifa even closer to him and decided it was high time he go and considerably improve his chances with the lady Lockheart.

She could remember Cloud's performance in bed vividly and was sure he remembered her. No one really ever forgot their first time, but his was a little more interesting than most. He was 17, she was an older woman, and he was her subordinate. Scarlet had always had an eye out for the sweet young things that came through the doors of SOLDIER, full of dreams and courage and naivety. They were also all rigorously trained, which made their bodies hard and their endurance surpassed that of most men. She also had a thing for virgins.

But when she laid eyes on Cloud, his golden hair, soft aqua eyes, full of shyness yet built like a machine, she felt that she must have him. She had planned to dominate him, just as she did all the virgins she seduced, but his aptitude was suprising. Cloud learned very quickly, adjusting to her desires and needs with the simplest of commands, almost predicting what she wanted. It was the first time a virgin had made her come first, screaming for more, and he became the only virgin she'd allow to fuck her after she'd devirginized him.

Having Cloud fuck her became almost like an addiction; she's sneak off whenever she could to have just a little bit more. She knew it was dangerous. Whenever he touched her, she felt herself lose control completely and he could make her come two or even three times before he came at all. She began to feel as if no one else could sate her, his vibrancy and experimental nature ended up dominating her. He was the best she ever had.

It was purely sexual, but sometimes it was so fantastic that she screamed out that she loved him while in the convulsions of the pleasure he wrought on her. So it was with obvious displeasure that SOLDIER eventually dispatched him to Nibelheim, and the task to find a new lovers to temporarily take his place fell upon her. When he did not return, she was deeply displeased and perhaps even a little sad. He had been more than an excellent lover, he had been a sweet and gentle boy who she had come to a fondness of.

So when he came back to Junon years later, in the prescence of a brunette beauty looking as if she'd been made for sex, her jealousy did not completely take her by surprise. Scarlet was satisfied only by the knowledge that the bitch would soon die. However, Cloud had rescued the beauty from the gas chamber, and Scarlet could not contain her hatred any longer.

She chased the girl down like a madman, and to this day the most satisfying smack she'd ever delivered had been that one she'd given Tifa. Her stomach still turned bitter when she recalled the moment, for a series of slaps to her own face had followed. But more than that, what turned her stomach was the look of stony anger etched into Cloud's expression, the only look he had greeted her with after their long separation. It was as if he'd never known her. A far cry from the affectionate, post-coital gazes he'd gifted her with.

She had never suspected Cloud to love her, but she did feel that his affection for her was genuine, and the pure fury in his hard blue eyes that day made her long for him to look at her with affection again.

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