Disclaimer: I do not own Sanctuary or any of its corresponding characters. I will, however, claim the OC female that dabbles with Johnny.

A/N: Well considering the recent new episodes of Sanctuary, as well as the flood of new John Druitt related fan fictions; I have come to dabble in the dark and dangerous nature of Jack the Ripper. Please be aware that this story is both dark and at times can become gory. This displays a very POWERFUL John Druitt that people may NOT agree with. So read at your own risk.

We all know that Magnus will do anything, and I do mean anything, to protect the lives of both abnormal and humans alike. But how far will she go to protect that life? This story is a dissection of that character when plagued with a conundrum of choices between someone who has the urge to save everyone and someone who does not wish to be saved.

Not a fluffy story.

Prickling sensations darted along the back of his neck. Skin tingling in that scintillating notion of being watched from afar. John Druitt cocked his head to the side, reaching over the small circular table to grasp the smooth porcelain cup that held his espresso. Finishing the aromatic drink, he snapped the wrist of his free hand, allowing the Le Figaro newspaper to fold in half in supplication to the move. Reaching into the breast pocket of his tailored suit, he withdrew the necessary compensation for his order along with a very generous tip to his waitress. John rarely enjoyed being ostentatious in this manner, however, years of running and avoiding the authorities taught him several "neat tricks" to avoid suspicion. Waiters, especially ones who were currently struggling to pay for college, would always be discrete when a patron offered a healthy tip. And it always ensured that the service in the next visit would be quick and efficient.

He had only uncrossed his legs before his waitress was already at his side, smiling graciously. "Will you require anything else before you leave, Monsieur Druitt?" she asked in broken English. John could have easily responded in fluent French, however, he had learned that this young woman was currently taking a English course in her University and capitulated to her unspoken request at practicing her English with an Englishman.

"No, Amelia. I require nothing else. And thank you, once again, for the excellent service," John flashed his warmest smile, noting the way the girl flushed at the compliment. 'Poor lass,' he thought in a detached manner, 'most likely unused to being paid compliments by many people. Well…considering her propensity to allow men to use her in any manner in the false idea that it would foster a healthy future relationship. No. Most definitely not used to such things. I wonder if she will flush in that same manner as I strangle her with my bare hands.' He allowed the sinister thoughts to linger in his mind, the pleasant glow in his eyes turning into a smoldering mixture of heat and lust as the beast within him purred and writhed at the prospect of breaking the young girl. The pink tinge on the young woman's cheeks turned into a fully fledged crimson blush as she misinterpreted the look in his eyes for desire.

"It's no problem at all, monsieur. So far, you are one of my best customers and very kind too," her head bowed down, eyes staring at her shiny black work shoes. She did not know where to look. Staring into his gorgeous blue eyes had her stuttering like a school girl, and she wished to only look refined and worldly for him. Amelia had been working at this café for only six months, and she had come to meet very rude and boorish men and women. Locals were brusque and tourists rarely chatted with her for they were annoyed at her inability to speak English perfectly. Yet this man, Monsieur Druitt, had been patient. At their first meeting, he was talking with another man and although his counterpart held an obvious French accent, the two were speaking in English. Instantly, she had been wrenched with fear at another customer berating her for her broken accented responses. However, her experience that day was unlike her fears. She did not want to be rude and welcome both men in French and had opted for English instead. She saw the flash of annoyance in the local's eyes and he responded to her in quick clipped French for his order.

Fear had once again gripped her heart, but the bald, blue-eyed gentleman had smiled congenially at her. It was as if he had been grateful that she had taken his position into consideration when she had greeted both of them. He had asked her for her name and she replied with little to no hesitation. After a few more snippets of conversation with him questioning her, and her replying with her limited knowledge of English, she had grown too really like Monsieur Druitt. He was patient and encouraged her to speak, even nodding his head and helping her with words to complete her sentences. She had hesitated only once, when his business partner had snorted at her attempts. She was ready to turn tail and run inside the café when the smooth baritones of Monsieur Druitt had spoken sharply and reprimanded the man for his attitude. It resulted in an apology given to her by the rude man and another sincere apology from Monsieur Druitt himself. Shock had consumed her frame. Again, he just smiled and asked her to surprise him with anything. She brought him an espresso, the specialty of their barista, and since then he ordered it every morning when he stopped by the café.

"I'm delighted that I can make your job more pleasant with my little stops," he retorted smoothly as he pocketed his wallet, "and I must say your English has improved quite brilliantly in the past week."

He liked how she bowed her head rather than look him in the eye. She had never done so, always bold in her conversation with him, never once wavering from looking at him directly. Even when she was a demure young woman with her silken blonde curls fashioned atop her head, she would look away but never in submission as young Amelia was currently doing. But, those were of memories of a past that should have been long since forgotten. 'Yes, my little girl. Bow your head to me, submit to my will.'

Once again, he felt the churning desire of the beast within him. Aching for him to lead her on, take her back to one of the apartments and press the cold metal of his blade currently hidden in the cuffs of his sleeves into her neck and feel the warm sensation of blood flowing as her life ebbed away. He knew that if his blade nicked her carotid artery at the perfect angle, her blood would explode and spurt from the wound and bless him with its crimson glory. John could not help it; he licked his lips in anticipation.

"Thanks to you, Monsieur Druitt. You have helped me improve greatly with conversations," Amelia hesitated, her eyes closing on his tongue peaking out to trace his lips. She swallowed hard as a rush of desire shot down to pool between her legs, making her womb ache and her sex tingle. This was not a side she had ever seen of Monsieur Druitt, but she had guessed at this hidden nature. The man radiated confidence, elegance, a hint of danger, and such powerful sexual electricity that Amelia felt as if her knees would buckle.

Cocking his head to the side, John inhaled deeply. It came as no surprise when the scent of Amelia's arousal flitted across his nostrils. Ever since he accepted the creature within him, John had found all his senses intensifying. His reactions, his power, his instincts had all sharpened to such a fine precision he still shivered in excitement at the new prospects he was now capable of doing. Even better, the final merging, a reaction that he thought would bode unwell for him had in fact turned for the better. His control was now absolute. The creature no longer rallied or fought for full control of his mind, no. Instead, they worked in unison, in compromise. The creature was his instinct, his predator. But John controlled the mind, the logic, and the body.

"You have nothing to thank me for, dear child," he murmured softly. He reached over and lifted her hand to his lips and planted a chaste kiss upon a soft knuckle. In that quick span, John inhaled her scent, memorizing the uniqueness of it; letting it linger at the back of his throat. 'Thoroughly aroused. There is nothing you would not allow me to do to you with only a slight coercion on my end is there ma petite?' In a fraction of a second, he contemplated rescheduling his plans to accommodate the creature's bloodlust, but curbed the urge. He had not managed to slip these past few months and it would not do to slip now. With this new found control, John was finally able to pick and choose the targets of his bloodlust. His recent dealings were aimed towards the more scrupulous people of society. Abnormal hunters who wanted to trade and enslave abnormals against their will were his only targets so far. He knew that Helen was currently having issues with containing hunters and traders in Old City and even more so with traders around the world.

Her plate was currently full with all the tasks she was currently in charge of as well as her responsibility with other Sanctuaries around the world. Along with the recent rise of abnormal exposure due to the doddering fools known as the government, her rate of relaxation had dropped to nonexistent levels. And so, he had taken it upon himself to help dispose of the more unseemly types that he came across on his travels. This system kept him busy enough, who knew the underground market for abnormal trading was as illustriously large as he had come to find? And the kills helped keep the creature satisfied. Although she had stated empathetically her desire for him to never shadow her doorstep again some 113 odd years ago, John still held the desire to protect and serve her in any fashion that he could without violating the terms of their exchange. Somehow, this seemed to be the most logical way in doing so. Morbidly poetic that his murderous antics, something she had stated clearly as something she abhorred, be the penance in which he redeemed himself to her unseeing eyes.

Dropping the young woman's hand, John gathered his bearings, the mask of lust securely locked away and the pleasant smile once again returned. "Now, don't let me keep you from your job Amelia. I shall hopefully see you tomorrow."

At his goodbye, Amelia's face fell, but she tried to recover quickly by smiling in return. When he turned to leave, she immediately reached out and grasped his arm, relishing the feeling of well toned muscles beneath expensive dark fabric, finally remembering the reason why she had stopped by earlier before he could leave.

"Monsieur Druitt!" John turned and arched a light brow, pausing and waiting for her to explain herself. Amelia instantly moved closer, forced to step on her tip toes in a futile attempt to reach his ears, she barely made it past his shoulders. "There's been a woman who's been staring you down for the past 3 days. She's come again, looking at you."

John nodded his head in understanding and brushed a whisper of a kiss along her temple as a thank you. At the contact, Amelia shuddered in delight, the pang of carnal pleasure ripping through her guts like a red hot poker. John smirked when he felt the vibrations of her body against his own. 'Not even a lover's brush and your body flowers open like a well paid whore.' Tucking the folded newspaper under his arm, John pivoted on his heel, his eyes casting around the faces of the patrons residing outside the café in an innocuous cursory glance. That was when he saw her. His waitress was right, it was the same woman who had come to sit in the same location, and precisely two tables diagonally form his own, every day for the past 3 days. But it was not the first time he had seen her. No, this woman had been persistently following him for several weeks in fact.

She was beautiful, even to an untrained eye. Her features were soft, classical almost with their refined curves and angles. Her nose was small and eloquent, lips flush and pink. This woman, John noted mentally, bore no make-up. 'What a unique woman you are; living in the city where the height of fashion thrives, and yet you sit there with no desire to accentuate your femininity. Who are you trying to hide from so plainly, my mysterious girl?'

She had shockingly red hair. Not bright, that would leave high school girls to snigger and taunt. No. Her hair was a dark red, burnished in their silken waves and looked soft to touch. Her hair fell down in open trails to rest at her waist, curling at the edges like a lover's hand brushing across her hip. Her eyes, the brightest shade of emerald surrounded by dark lashes, did not hold the look of a forlorn miser, they were sharp, intelligent. Not the level of intelligence her eyes held, but there held potential in those orbs that John could almost drown in the prospects of what he could teach the young woman.

Mentally scoffing at the idea, his lips twisted into a scowl for a brief second. An annoyance to no end. Druitt did not enjoy being pursued; it was not in his nature to play the role of victim. Sighing at the tediousness of it all, he walked onto the busy Parisian streets, knowing full well that he was going to be followed quickly.

'With the trouble you have gone to maintain my pace, I acquiesce that it is time that we are formally introduced. Let's see who the predator is in this cat and mouse game, my dear.'

What a peculiar man. He had to be the one. Montague John Druitt. Even his name held a level of strength and respect that was garnered through age, history, and prestige. Regality seemed to pour from every inch of his body as he smiled and conversed with his waitress. Months. She had been searching for months for him. And when she was a hair's breadth away from finally approaching him, finally claiming her dream, he would disappear from her very presence. Off to find a new niche in which he could claim his solitude once more. This man. He was the answer to all her problems. Only he could offer her the release she had ached for all of her life.

Because of this man, she had seen the world. Travelled to countries she would never have dreamed of seeing. But the experiences had fallen on blind eyes. She could not revel in the joy of seeing the streets of Berlin, or the imposing towers of Tokyo, and now the bustling streets of Paris. She could not revel in such beauty; no joy would be expressed in her dead eyes. Only the goal mattered. It exhilarated her to be exposed to the horror in which he lived. Never had she seen such suffering imposed upon another human being until she had seen the after affects of his hobbies. Killing. That was his skill. His gift. His art. It was what she needed.

Through the entire exchange, she kept her eyes glued to the scene before her. For days she had watched him interact with the waitress. Their conversations pleasant, but even she could tell that his server's body language and tone exuded flirtatious connotations. She was disgusted at how that girl could parade around a being like him with the airs of a common strumpet. Someone of that lesser quality had no right to try to beguile him. He would not fall for such an obvious offer. She held down the bile that formed in her throat.

'You're so close. Don't back down now. So close,' she mentally chided herself. When the waitress gestured in her direction in an attempt of a discrete manner, the red-haired woman knew she had been found. 'Foolish. He already knew that you were there. His instincts have never failed him whenever you were near. Don't let him see fear.'

Squaring her shoulders, she lifted her head to gaze directly at Druitt. For a moment she was shaken at his hard cold gaze penetrating through her as he planted a small kiss on the waitress' temple. It was a taunt. As if he knew that showing the strumpet affection would make her burn hot and cold simultaneously in her seat. No longer able to keep the gaze linked, the redhead turned her face away, ashamed that such a gesture on his end to that thing, could make her feel anything. She believed she was long past feeling, no longer capable of such basic human emotions. But as she had learned from their first accidental encounter, only he seemed capable of driving her into expressing something. Like a pestle to a mortar, she was crushed, squeezed, and grinded until the only thing left was dust. It was a sensation she had never felt before.

Courage funneled her next move, twisting her head up to try and regain some semblance of dignity after shamefully turning away. She could not lose; everything she wanted was quintessentially tied to this very moment. But he was already moving, long legs clad in dark Armani pants were slicing across the streets. In the grip of panic, the woman stood, hurling a 20 euro onto the small metal table before rushing to her feet. She could not afford to lose track of him, she did not know how long she could handle clinging to this life. As it was, life was unbearable and to further the hours was torturous.

With no grace in her movements, the young woman barreled her way through the Parisian crowds, making sure her eyes were locked on the tall, bald frame clad in black. Whether she hit passerby's or shoved her way through groups of tourists, she did not care. When he turned the corner of a street, the panic in her movements mutated into sheer terror. He could disappear at any moment and it would take her longer days to track him down once more. And time was no longer a luxury she could endure. Breaking out of the crowd, she slipped into an alleyway; hoping and praying that it would exit into the street in which he had turned to. Perhaps then she would have a chance of confronting him.

Boot clad feet thumped along the dirty alleyways, spraying water upon her clothes as well as the surrounding walls. Again, no worries for her image or her bearing was considered as she twisted and turned, looking at every corner in the hopes of finding an exit. Heart thumping faster than the sound of her feet colliding with the ground, she turned the widest corner she had encountered so far and was met with a concrete wall. Disgusting images and messages painted across the dismal surface brought no relief to the sudden crushed feeling in her chest. Her walls were collapsing and it offered no reprieve for her, no escape, no freedom; just a crushing sense of defeat spiraling into depression.

With a holler akin to a pathetic tortured animal, she slammed her gloved fists against the barrier that prevented her from finding her release. Clawing and mewling her pain, the young woman fell to her knees, not sensing the sudden shift in the air.

John Druitt turned the corner, his overcoat bellowing with the sudden shift like an omen. Despite the surrounding people, he could still smell the fragrance of the young red-headed female from the café. After months of being pursued by this woman he had grown accustomed to her scent, easily detecting the unique oils that clung to her body. 'No perfumes or lotions; just cheap soap. If you're tastes are anything to go by, my little one, the brand name was not even considered upon purchase. Will any little thing do for you?'

He turned the question in his head, savoring different answers and thoughts as one would test a new wine, slowly contemplating the subtle changes in taste as the liquid rolls around the tongue.

When he heard her shuffle into the alleyway, a smile bordering on the edge of evil overtook his features. With ease he avoided oncoming bodies and slipped into the nearest alleyway himself. Not much had changed in Paris the last few years, a few additions here, slight changes there; but Paris was still Paris. Effectively hidden in the shadows of the alley, John centered his mind on a destination. He felt that pull in his chest, the disorientation of molecules being ripped apart before coalescing in an infinite swirl and suddenly solidifying on solid ground. Opening his eyes, the sight of rooftops met his gaze and he smiled serenely at the view. In broad daylight, Paris was not much to look at, but the scenery, depending on where you chose to look, was still quite breathtaking. Mentally bookmarking his next destination to visit while still within this city, he looked over the edge of the roof he occupied. There, rushing along the narrow passages like a rat in the maze was his mysterious little woman. Smirking, he inhaled deeply and was not surprised to smell her panic. It rolled off of her in tidal waves.

The beast within him roared in pleasure at the feel of panic, hunger rising to gnaw at Druitt's stomach like a starving animal. Inhaling deeply once more, he dropped into a crouch and with a burst of speed, ran fluidly across the rooftop. He swiftly reached the edge and with no hesitation, pushed one of his legs off the ledge and leapt across to the neighboring rooftop. Landing with barely a sound, John's grin turned into a feral glint as adrenaline rushed into his system, feeding both him and the beast. Easily bounding the next building, Druitt kept pace with the younger woman, even forced to slow down in order to maintain equal footing with her withering speed.

He was struck speechless at the flood of sensations flowing through his lithe frame. Like a hunter, his senses keen on his prey. Shadowing every move and predicting every decision with ease of experience. His little one was bordering on the edge of hysteria, her movements becoming jerky – one of the first outward signs of panic. He lavished in it. The excitement bubbled within his chest, churning into a wonderful heady mixture. But then, the chase ended. She had reached the end of her destination and the panic spiraled into depression, thickening the air with its morbid fingers like death creeping in at night.

He paused, frustrated that his hunt was cut shorter, right before the apex of his excitement, leaving bitter resentment in its wake. John hated being denied the rush, the thrill of the hunt. When there was no finish to the chase, the dissatisfaction would gnaw at his consciousness like hyenas forced to satiate their hunger on sun-dried bones. Disgusting.

'Hm, what's this?' he cocked his head to the side as screams of what he could only categorize as agony flitted towards his ears. 'Crying as if you are in pain…intriguing, my little one.'

Druitt's tongue darted out, as if the action itself would be able to taste the intensity of the young woman's agony within the air. He idly pondered what the flavor of such an emotion would be.

'Bitter, perhaps…strained with just a tinge of sourness to add that delightfully morbid edge…,' he thought briefly, the sinister grin returning. The continuous peal of cries brought him back to the reality of the situation unfolding before him. Gathering his thoughts, Druitt forced his mind to calm and imagine the location he wished to transport to. Within moments, he felt the rush against his body before ebbing away as solid ground met his leather clad feet once more. His little one had crumpled upon herself, head pressed against the dirt stained floor, gloved fingers gripping the wall above her like a lifeline, legs tucked haphazardly beneath her body, and red hair tossed about in tangles across the mud caked floor. 'Like a fallen angel. How poetic.' Even his mental tone held more than a hint of sarcasm.

The tall, imposing figure could not help but take in the girl's attire. She wore long brown pants, edges tucked into the calf-high black boots she wore. Her body was covered in a very tasteful light brown, heavily knitted sweater. 'Quite fetching, if a bit anachronistic amongst tank-top clad tourists and scantily clad locals. And gloves? In this weather? What are you forced to hide, my little one?' His curiosity now piqued. His eyes took an effervescent glow in the dim lighting of the alley. Sapphire orbs taking in the sight of fingers formed into claws, futilely trying to scratch through concrete. Druitt was easily mesmerized by those gloves. The leather appeared to be supple kidskin. 'You do not wear perfumes of any kind. Nor do you take the time to enhance your physical features with cosmetics. And yet, you have spent time purchasing clothes of extremely high quality. Kudos to you, my dear, you have effectively baffled me.' His fingers itched to touch those gloves, body already knowing that it would feel like soft butter. However, he was left with no sensory confirmation.

"Quite a place to grieve, mademoiselle," he stated gently with arms tucked behind his back. The woman on the floor swiftly raised her head at the sound of the unexpected voice. The shock was so evident upon her face that he had to chuckle at the expression. When she offered no response, Druitt reiterated his statement in French.

"One grieves in the belief that they've lost all they've worked to accomplish," the mysterious woman responded in perfect English with only a slight accent that was not French in nature. Her voice - shaky at first soon melted into a confident tone as the shock slowly faded. Druitt cocked his head to the side; enjoying the trill of her voice. It sounded like bells, soft and light.

"Italian?" he questioned, interested more with the effectiveness of his skills and assumptions rather than her background. The past never held much interest for him in nearly a century, not as it once used to.

"Yes," she whispered, surprised that he had easily detected her place of birth considering she had spent a majority of her life in America after she was taken away from her home country at a very young age, "how did you know?"

Druitt did not respond, merely smiled in her direction before moving. His strides, the woman noted, were long and measured. Each movement powerful and menacing. She knew her heart should have been beating erratically, but being in his presence did not instill any fear, just acceptance and even happiness that it would all finally end. When he stopped in front of her form and kneeled she had expected him to reach out and grip her throat; to crush her esophagus and force her to struggle against his iron like grip. But no such action came and her disappointment was evidently plastered upon her face.

He smirked at the crestfallen image she presented. 'So my little one, I smell no fear in you but you exude disappointment. That flash in your eyes…you know who I am and what I am. How rare for someone like you to desire my presence, fully knowing what I am capable of. You concluded the possibility that I could kill you with such ease here and you welcomed it. My, my, my. You are a curious little one, aren't you?' Never had Druitt felt such excitement. This woman was an enigma and he wanted to unravel it. His eyes absorbed the sight of her vibrant red hair, now flaccid from the mud and clinging to her skin and clothes. Dirt and grime smeared across her face and cheeks. 'Do you know how glorious you look in a state of such disgrace, my dear? The heavens could weep at how far their little angel has fallen and right into my clutches.'

With a serene air, Druitt reached forward and gently brushed a finger across her cheek before tugging the mud lined hairs plastered there back behind her delicate ear. The sight of her pale neck, completely unmarred by dirt, urged him to lean forward and take one bite; however, he resisted.

If his actions did not confuse her, his next words certainly did, "may I be of any assistance?"

The smile he presented was deceivingly gentle as he proffered a well-manicured hand. Moving automatically, the woman grasped the offered appendage, blushing as she noticed how considerably larger his hand was compared to hers. As the long fingers wrapped around her slender digits, she felt herself tugged to her feet. Had the force of the tug been slightly stronger, her shoulder could have been easily dislocated. Right then and there she was forced to understand and see the menace behind the mask of congeniality he wore. It was a message, that she could easily be dispatched at his chosen time and pace. She felt the fear.

Druitt smirked; he could now smell the terror born from understanding, not panic, emanating from her body as he exerted a microscopic level of strength. He purposely posed the boundaries of their exchange and efficiently took the position of dominant and was pleased when the red headed woman turned her head away and placed her gaze upon the floor. 'Yes my little one, submit to my dominance. Your mind and body already knows who its Master is.' He could feel the beast writhe in pleasure at the submissive nature of the female. 'You want to play with her, but not now.' He felt the responding ire at that comment. 'No! We shall see what she wants. However, do NOT touch her.' The creature recoiled and snapped at the command. John mentally growled and the beast shriveled before submitting.

"Well, I shall assume from your lack of an answer that assistance is not required on my part. I bid you good day, madam," Druitt theatrically bent forward and lifted her gloved hand to his lips, planting a chaste kiss upon the slender appendage. He noted, with silent thrill, that the leather was as soft as he had imagined it earlier. 'And the leather smells even more enchanting than it feels. Lovely. Such quality craftsmanship should be applauded.' Relinquishing her hand, he turned to leave.

"Please! Wait…" her voice trails off, leaving him to pause as he considered her outburst for a second. When he did not turn to face her, she continued, "…please…sir. I really need a moment of your time."

'Sir…the word falling from your lips laced with such pleading is thrilling. It is not a title of formality you are using, but a term to present your supplication. Good. You know your place.' John cocked his head to the side, "I'm sorry, madam. I fear you have mistaken me for someone else," Druitt replied smoothly, still his back presented towards her.

"You're John Druitt…right?"

"Are you asking me to confirm your assumptions or are you informing me of whom I am? Please, make an effort to be concise in your statements, madam."

"You're John…Montague John Druitt," her voice quaked, the tremble blatantly obvious as she reiterated his name. Druitt's eyes narrowing when she emphasized his Christian name. "Also…known as… Jack the Ripper…" This time, he turned completely to face this bold woman, his face an impassive mask. It had been quite some time since anyone had ever called him by that particular moniker.

'Bold my little one. Underneath that small slip of a girl is a warrior. I shall enjoy tearing apart those pathetic damaged layers and breaking that strength.'

"And the advantage, I believe, is yours," he quipped, his voice like steel laced with venom.

"Eloisa Fiammetta," again her voice quivered and she mentally cursed the weakness of her demeanor.

"Miss Fiammetta," Druitt bowed his head slightly, "pleasure to finally associate a name with the face that has been following me for quite some time." His comment made her blush; a shameful smear across her features. Suddenly, his demeanor changed, the aggressive stance melting into a welcoming posture. "Fiammetta… Italian in origin meaning 'little fire' is it not?" his tone was light, almost playful.

"Yes…yes it is. My ancestors were known for blacksmithing. The ability to 'mould fire'…"

"Ah, I see. Quite intriguing. And Eloisa? Correct me if I am wrong, but the name is derived from the Latin term Elwisia, meaning healthy and sound?"

"I wouldn't know. I…um…was never quite good at languages," she explained rather poorly, her voice soft and complacent.

He continued to speak as if she had never spoken, ignoring her weak explanation, "in essence, your name can be translated to a 'healthy fire'." Druitt seemed quite pleased at his deriving abilities. "Tell me, does a 'healthy fire' burn within you, Miss Fiammetta?"

At the words 'burn', Eloisa chanced a look into his eyes. The glow that seemed to form around the iris made them appear like pinwheels in the shadows. She felt flames consume her entire body, pooling into her belly. It was a sensation that she had only experienced once and it was with him at their first chance encounter. 'Is this desire? Is this what it feels like to be consumed entirely?' She felt trapped, like a rodent captured by the intensity of the gaze from the snake ready to strike. When the smile, bordering on the edge of evil, took over his face; she could only think of one word. 'Devil.'

"No. I am no devil," he stated dismissively.

Eloisa was shocked. 'Can he read minds?'

"And no, I have not adapted the ability to read your thoughts either," the cruel smirk continued to linger upon his face. When no answer was forthcoming on her part he embellished upon his perceptions. "Miss Fiammetta you wear your very thoughts on your face. When your mind assessed the possibility of lusting after me, the look that crossed your face is a look I am quite familiar with," he tucked his hands into his pockets, effectively opening his overcoat and blazer, exposing his trim form, "it is the same look my female victims - from a rather sordid past - had before I murdered them. And they all whispered 'devil' before making peace with the world."

His statement, so casual in their delivery, gave her pause. The word murder seemed to slip from his mouth with such ease as if he were commenting upon the cloudiness of the weather. Seasoned and unperturbed, this was a man born from the coals of misery and strengthened through time and acceptance. She gulped, her throat suddenly dry as her confidence ebbed like the waters lapping at the shores. Forever doomed to infinitely rise and fall in a vicious cycle.

"Given the viciousness of their deaths, I don't see how it's possible for them to have made 'peace with the world'."

"Death is a reprieve for those who have tired of the monotonous routines of life. At the cusp of death, human beings thrash and rally against the inevitable, but over time…when the shock dissipates, they learn to accept what has happened. In the end, every woman made peace with the world." There was no hesitation on his end, his delivery confident and smooth like molten chocolate.

Eloisa's body shook, the explanation shocking her in its simplicity. 'He understands the intricacies of death…' Clearing her throat, she lifted her head and locked gazes with him, a silent prayer escaping her mind to strengthen her resolve longer than just a few seconds. "And what does the name Druitt mean?"

'Odd, my little one. Here we are speaking of death and you change the topic back to names. Very slippery, I should watch my words around you, my dear.'

"Interesting you should ask about that particular name. The history truly is very intriguing," Druitt began, his expression scholarly his tone formal, "the name was introduced into the English vernacular by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 from the Old French forms of 'Driu' and 'Dreu'. The Normans adopted the name from the Old German derivative of 'drogo'. And it is believed that particular term was taken from the Old Saxon language from the word 'drog'," he paused once more, his gaze intensifying as a smirk flitted across his stern features, "which means ghost or phantom." His grin was unmistakably feral.

"So…is that what you are, Mr. Druitt?" her voice was starting to solidify but unfortunately, the intensity of his gaze shattered what little was left of her crumbling resolve. She was forced to look away. Staring demurely at the floor, she idly wondered if her boots were always that dirty. "A phantom?"

The two words were practically whispered and Druitt knew that if his hearing were normal, he would have strained to have even caught any of the syllables spoken. But luck and a bit of talent, it seemed, was shining brightly upon him. "Well I have been called far worse than a phantom, madam."

'He's toying with me…he's not taking me seriously…,' at that thought, Eloisa felt rejection, her body beginning to tremble. 'Not another one! No! I can't let this chance slip by!'

"Miss Fiammetta, you are trembling," his words were spoken solemnly, almost sympathetically, but the young red-head knew he was far from sympathetic. When Druitt withdrew one hand from his pocket and reached out towards her, she flinched. Her head snapping to the side as her eyes closed reflexively. 'You have the acquired flinch of a dog that has been struck on numerous occasions. Mhm…I'm tempted to backhand one of your rosy cheeks just to see the reaction.' Druitt suppressed the urge, forcing his body to calm down and allow his rationality to assume control of his thoughts. If he wanted to keep her, he would have to take this a step at a time, as it was, he did not know what this impromptu confrontation entailed. 'In due time, I will find what makes this little one whimper.'

"I'm sorry…I suddenly got a chill…must be the weather," her excuse was as pathetic as her shaking form.

"Funny, the weather is quite pleasant. Considering that it is the middle of July, the weather is far from…chilly. Don't you agree?" He swiftly cut her down to size causing her to stiffen perceptibly in his presence. 'You don't enjoy being caught in your web of lies, my little one. You are visibly shaken when the truths are exposed so blatantly in front of you. I shall have to keep that information at the forefront of my mind.'

"Then it must have been your demeanor that left me in chills," she bit back sharply, annoyance coloring her words.

'Saucy bitch,' his thoughts purred. 'I knew there was a reason you intrigued me. Hm…however, that attitude must be dealt with.' With calculated movements, Druitt closed the distance between their bodies, his hand moving to wrap around her throat. However, he did not choke her as she had expected him to. Instead, that hand moved to the side of her neck, bracing his palm against the smooth skin as his thumb pressed against the pressure point just underneath her jaw. Eloisa felt the wall against her back, the strength trapped in the lithe body shocked her. She had not even blinked and within a fraction of a second she found herself pinned immobile against the concrete mass behind her.

Druitt pressed into the sensitive point, forcing her had back against the block with a sickening crack. The pain that shot through her skull was unbearable, but she did not feel the tell-tale warmth of blood oozing from an open head wound matting into her hair. 'He's in complete control of his body. He could have killed me, but he is chooses not to…why?'

"If my demeanor at the moment has left you chilled, then my future company will leave much to be desired. You have not even come close to becoming acquainted with the true aspects of my persona, Miss Fiammetta. If you wish to continue this endeavor, then I will leave you with this one and simple warning," he hissed in her ear. The usually smooth baritones of his voice had dropped to a metallic edge. He felt her relax completely under his threat. The trembling that had claimed her body earlier dissipated. 'Pain is the only stimuli you respond to positively. Curiouser and curiouser.'

"I understand," the sound of her voice is soft, yet confident. Her eyes connecting with his, green irises unmistakably looking at him with such confidence, "please forgive me for my earlier comment…it was…uncalled for. I still wish to speak to you about a particular matter."

Druitt released her neck, pleased at how she easily caught upon her slip of the tongue and fell into that submissive role once more. 'This could be fun…'

"Of course, I was about to partake in a little stroll, would you care to join me Miss Fiammetta?"

"No, I was thinking of a place a bit more private. If that was alright with you."

'Again with such boldness. Willing to be present in the same room as I, and with no witnesses either. You are quite sterner than I anticipated.' Druitt cocked his head, stepping back to allow her room to gather her bearings. "I am currently staying in a private residence in the country. Is that amenable to your plans?"

"It sounds…perfect…"

"Very good," Druitt offered her the crook of his arm, an amiable smile plastering across his face, "shall we then?"

"Yes, we shall," she hooked her own arm around his, expecting to be walked back to the streets. Instead she felt the ground pull beneath her as her molecules were torn apart.

A/N: So what do you guys think of dark Johnny? I know it's a bit…intense, but I wanted John to become what his character should have always been, absolutely dark and dangerous with no remorse or regard. Do you like the story so far? Is it a yes or no?

I look forward to the comments, flames – although they burn, are welcome. Read and review!

-two finger salute-

Entrenched out.