Been awhile. Sorry about the delay. Hopefully this is up to par, and I hope you all enjoy. As per usual, I'd appreciate if you'd leave a review.


Chapter Nine:

A bead of sweat licked it's way down the side of my neck as I studied the man sitting across from me. It all fell into place. How naïve I had been. Stringing me along, lying to my face. Now I was just pissed.

My foot whipped out, slamming against his knee, and he jerked up from his previously peaceful sleep. His inky black hair was unkempt, and his bottle green eyes were wild as they flew open.

"Raven?" He asked, his tone confused. Taking in my surely angry expression, he quickly blinked himself awake. I decided to give him about thirty seconds to realize the predicament we were in.

"Oh fuck." The words fell from his lips as his eyes took in the explosives wrapped carefully around our bodies. Jason wiggled against the restraints. I nodded curtly, still unable to speak, my rage all consuming.

"Oh fuckkkkk." Once again, as he realized what he was wearing. His eyes rose slowly to meet mine. "So…now you know." I might not have, if the explosives had been placed any further down. Maybe it could have just been a kevlar suit. But instead, a large red X glared at me from the belt wrapped so snugly around his waist. Time around us seemed to be suspended.

The gray, brick walls of the room seemed to contract around us, like they were breathing. My mind floated, turning back time. I tried to scrounge up the events prior to our capture. But I couldn't. The only thing I could think of. The only thing I could remember. My eyes flashed over to Jason's lips, and I felt rage slice through me. That fucking asshole.

I had met him at the club. Well, I had been under the pretense of meeting Red X at the club. He told me he needed my help with the Russians, asked me to meet him in Russia. I owed him. I said yes.

"This is your fault." I hissed. Finally able to speak. My fingers rubbed against my wrists, tied behind my back, to the chair. My holo ring was gone, which was fine. Good riddance. Whatever they had injected me with must have been suppressing my powers though. If they hadn't injected me I would've eaten Jason alive.

He looked defeated. "I know." It was a barely audible mutter. Probably as good of an apology as I was going to get. My skin was crawling with the waiting game. There were no timers on the explosives. X must have caught me looking at his.

"I think they're remote detonation." Rolling his neck, he gave me a wary glance. His eyes scanned the room, coming to the same conclusion as me. His tongue darted out as he licked his lips, deep in thought. My mind roamed back to the club.

-o-

I was in an inky black dress that hugged all my curves just right, and a pair of heels. Starfire would've squealed in delight if she could see me. I, however, was already mentally cringing at the thought of what I was doing. I debated for hours after Jason left about whether or not I should meet X at the Duplex Club. He had saved me from whatever horrors the Joker had been planning to put me through. The least I could do was hear him out.

Shivering at the thought of what my teammates would think if they knew I was meeting with the enemy, I took a swig of vodka from the flask I kept in my purse. Making my way through the flashing lights, past the gyrating bodies of the women in the club, I made my way to the private section, nervously tapping my fingers against my leg. Several men had already approached me throughout the few minutes I'd been here. If he didn't show, I was gone in five minutes.

Uneasily, I waited in the softly lit room nestled in the back corner. The red leather of the booth was cool under my legs. A beautiful blonde opened the door, quickly taking my drink order in English. The door closed carefully behind me, the soft thud echoing around me. The vodka cranberry sat on the table in front of me, a ring of perspiration from the glass seeping into the wood. My violet eyes sifted through the small space as a shadow detached itself from the dark recesses in the corner of the room.

"You came." The synthesized voice seemed to be but a mere whisper in the organized chaos that could be heard coming from the outside of the room. My fingers tapped the edge of my glass. He continued. "I need you to come to Russia with me, and tie up some loose ends."

"Why?" It was an obvious question, but I couldn't help as it slipped past my lips. Tension was building in the room around me, though I was not sure what kind. Carefully, his fingers slipped the bottom of his mask up, and he cleared his throat.

"I like the company." My breath caught a little as he lowered himself into the booth, across the table from me. Resting his arms on the wood, he leaned forward. If I moved forward carefully, and I was quick enough, I could remove his mask. My fingers itched to rip it off of him.

My lips formed a thin line in response. I rolled my eyes and downed the rest of my drink. This game of cat and mouse, tit for tat, I owe you, you owe me. It was kind of wearing on me. I didn't like owing people. Something was building in my chest.

"Fine," I muttered. "Is that all you needed?" I stood to leave, definitely expecting him to foot the bill. Then I realized that he was probably not going to because duh, thief. What I didn't expect was for him to be there. Suddenly next to me, his hand grazing my elbow. His actual, warm flesh against my pale skin. I stumbled back, startled, hitting the wall next to the booth.

"Don't go." It was a whisper, pleading. My eyes widened in panic. What had I gotten myself into?

"Why?" Again, a stupid question. My hands reached up to push him away, hitting a wall of muscle, unintentionally running down the smooth contour of his chest. I shivered, my brain immediately going haywire. I should leave, I should be gone, it kept saying. Yet I found myself rooted to the spot. His lips loomed in front of my face, a smattering of stubble showing in the dim light. My heart was pounding in my chest as his breath hit my ear.

"Because," he leaned down, "I like the company." And then his lips were sealed to mine. All rational thoughts were out the window as his hands threaded into my hair, holding me to him. My body complied and I leaned into him, into the kiss, returning it with a fervor I didn't know I had. My hands ran up his chest, to his face, a single thought at the forefront of my mind: unmask.

They all melted away as his lips pried mine open, his tongue meeting mine in a battle for dominance. And suddenly I didn't care. I didn't care who he was, I just wanted to be lost in him, and I wanted to feel this odd safety that I felt around him, just for a moment.

The door swung open and he jumped back. The blond was back, offering more drinks. Nervously we both fidgeted as she gave us the knowing look, slowly closing the door once more.

We both stood, awkwardly, facing each other.

"Airport, tomorrow." He dropped a ticket on the table in front of me. Whatever moment had happened between us had dissipated when the blond ruined it. He opened his mouth to say something, but just nodded curtly before phasing away into the night. I sat once more, downing another drink, the burning in my throat a welcome distraction.

-o-

"Eyes on the prize, Sunshine." He muttered smugly, pulling me out of my reverie. I blushed, realizing my gaze must have fallen below his belt unintentionally. I spat towards him.

"As if." I jerked in the chair angrily. Something beeped, and my blood turned cold as I froze. Jason's eyes widened.

"If you're done with your tantrum, I can be of assistance." He carefully moved his arms around, free of restraint. My mouth dropped open. He began carefully removing the bomb with the ease of a boy scout tying a knot. My nerves were a mess as we both waited in the timeless room with the nonexistent ticking. I could hear it in my mind though. After what felt like forever, his black clad form set the apparatus on the floor next to his chair, stretching casually. This was all just a walk in the park to him. He turned, glancing down at me. And then I felt helpless. He could just leave me, if he wanted to. And I could tell he was debating it.

Bending down in front of me until we were eye level, we silently stared at each other. I felt his hands slide behind me, and small snap as he cut through my restraints, a breath I didn't realize I had been holding slowly deflating my body.

"You didn't really think I would leave you?" His voice was shockingly appalled. "What kind of monster do you think I am?" Red X began his work on the bomb strapped to my delicate frame, and I shivered under his careful touch and gaze. His fingers drifted up my side slowly, and I had to remind myself that my life was in danger and that it was not an appropriate time to be thinking lascivious thoughts about an enemy. If that's what he was, I couldn't keep track anymore.

After what seemed like decades, he carefully set the device on the floor, holding out a hand to help me up. I grabbed it, just as we heard footsteps. The door flung open. Jason's hands shot out, yanking me against him as he shielded me from a barrage of gunfire. The world grew black and fuzzy around the edges, my stomach lurching as I suddenly felt weightless.

Everything was black, and then suddenly we were tumbling down onto the dirty linoleum floor of a cheap hotel.


Thanks again for reading! Please R&R. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.