A/N: Thank you for all the reviews, favorites & alerts for this story. Also an extra big thank you to Jedi Skysinger for finding time to BETA this and all my other stories.
There is a WARNING attached to this chapter due to the subject matter which I have tried to keep within a T- rating.
Chapter Forty Six
Larry Sizemore shifted as much as the ropes binding him to the chair allowed, his narrowed hate-filled blue eyes focused on the departing figure of his protege's psychotic little girlfriend as she sashayed out of the storage room where he was being held.
For such a tiny thing, Fiona Glenanne certainly had a penchant for mayhem and violence.
Though he would never publicly admit it, in the privacy of his own thoughts he was impressed by the tiny terrorist's skills. She had managed to free herself from the restraints in the clinic, then had disarmed his necklace bomb from about Pilar Zedillo's throat and done it all while recovering from the blow he had delivered to her temple and what he suspected from the bandaged hand was a dislocated thumb.
If things had been different, if he'd had the resources back when his protege had first met the youngest Glenanne sibling, he could have used her to keep Michael in line. The assassin smiled at the thought.
It was unfortunate that by the time he had truly got to know all about the Irish colleen and her family, it had been too late for him to drop in and take control of the situation. In his own defense, he had only been dead for a year and hadn't had the time to build up the network he now controlled. Instead he had been forced to use a variety of methods to pass a rumor along to a certain CIA training officer that his one-time star pupil was about to go native and become tarnished beyond repair.
The growing pain radiating from his mangled bicep reminded the injured assassin of how he had ended up in his present predicament. Michael Westen, the man he had at great personal expense come to protect from the very powerful people his former protege had somehow pissed off, had repaid his kindness with a bullet.
Larry pushed down both the emotional pain of the betrayal and the physical discomfort of his injuries. Because over riding all the pain and the vindictive fury flowing through his veins was conclusive evidence that he had been right to come to the aid to his ex-junior partner, as finally, finally his kid had quit hiding behind the façade of good little boy scout and had reverted back to his true self, acting on his instincts.
Yes, Michael had shot him, but the younger man hadn't killed him. All in all, Larry took it as a good sign and, in time after a certain about pain and suffering had been inflicted, he would forgive the kid for his rashness.
Though it went against his natural inclination, the assassin was willing to accept partial blame for his situation. He should have steered clear of any comments about Axe and the girlfriend. He had read all of Viktor Markov's reports to Oscar Strauss and knew the interrogator had tried to convince Michael that he was broken and totally alone in the world: that Glenanne, upon losing her American lover, had become a hardcore radical capable of killing children to further her cause and that Axe, instead of being a bleeding heart nursemaid, had in fact been a by-the-book SEAL commander who had reported his young CIA contact numerous times for his unconventional approach to their shared missions.
It was thinking about the wet rag and how often the military man had interfered for real in his own intelligence operations which reminded the cold-hearted killer that Sam Axe was still in the room and had apparently been talking to him for some time.
" - what's right."
The assassin barred his teeth in a confident smile. "Sorry, Sam, I have a habit of tuning out irritating noises. What did you say?"
"Just keep up that attitude, fella, and you'll make Fiona's day - well, week actually. She's been a might tense ever since we got Mikey back. You shoulda seen what she did to Markov..." Mr. Axe laughed mirthlessly. "Then again, I think you're in for an up close and personal repeat performance. She really doesn't like you, Larry, so I think she might have something special planned for ya."
"We'll have to see, won't we, Sam? Because so far I'm not impressed. Michael needs me if he wants to live. Let's face it, everybody knows you don't have the - necessary capacity for bloodshed."
"What can I say, Lare? Unlike you, I don't need to randomly sacrifice innocent lives just to get the job done and feel good about myself." Sam paused and took a deep breath before taking a more conciliatory approach. "Look, if you care about Mike as much as you claim, why keep playing this game? Just tell us what you know... We all want the same thing here."
The assassin snorted in disbelief. "Oh please, we've never wanted the same thing, Sam."
"You think killing -"
"Yes, Sam, and so will Michael, once he's feeling better."
"Oh, I think Mike has already come to his senses – he shot you."
"This? This is nothing, little more than a graze. That was just his way of warning me to back off. He'll come around to my way of thinking... He always does," Mr. Sizemore smirked.
"Mikey isn't the same guy you worked with Larry. He got his soul back years ago."
"Keep telling yourself that, Axe. We both know exactly what Michael is capable of doing when he sets his mind to it."
The former SEAL moved to stand in front of his prisoner. Larry Sizemore had been a like an itch he couldn't scratch from that first assignment together in Bolivia and had only worsened over the years.
On their second meeting, which occurred in another country just over a year after their first mission, the spy had delivered the news of a gathering taking place involving several high ranking terrorists. The killer's intel had been good; however, what he had failed to mention before the missiles were launched and the ground force of SEALs had been sent in to mop up any survivors was that the meeting was being held during a birthday celebration for one their target's youngest son.
It had been another occasion where the mission had been deemed a success by some, as two high ranking dangerous terrorists had been neutralized, but a total and utter failure by those who had been there to witness the massacre which had included so many small children. And that was all before the bloodthirsty ghoul had become known as the CIA's premier wet work specialist.
Without conscious effort, former Commander Axe's hands formed meaty fists. The desire to pound on the grinning devil before him was becoming almost too much to resist.
"Aww, what's the matter, Sammy? That boy scout honor of yours getting in the way of what you really want to do?" The soulless former spy goaded his captor. "Why don't you go and find yourself a bottle of cheap alcohol to crawl into... Or, I know, take a drive into town. There were plenty of rich widows on that boat I came over on. Go mooch off one of them."
Much to the ex-operative's annoyance, the former SEAL suddenly relaxed and took several steps back, a smile coming to the younger man's face as he wagged a finger.
"Oh no, Lare, you're not drawing me into your little game. Not when Fiona is gonna be back in here soon with her little bag of tricks... See, I'm not quite the boy scout you think I am, cuz getting the answers we need to protect our friend is far more important than my weak stomach."
"And what makes you think spilling my blood is gonna make me tell you anything useful?" Larry's blue eyes narrowed as the lazy, drink-sodden former Navy man and all round boy scout backed out of the room.
"You know, you're right... Keep your mouth shut, show us all how brave and tough you are." Sam paused as the door swung open and a small redhead carrying a surgeons bag stepped through. "Oh, look who's here... Fi, I'm gonna wait outside. Larry, I'd like to say it's been great knowing you. But we both know that would be a lie."
Ms. Glenanne walked confidently into the shack carrying her bag of surgical implements gingerly in her bandaged hand and gripping a small folding table in the other. She had taken her time preparing for this moment, not only making sure she had all the tools she needed and something to display them on, but also with her appearance. Her long auburn hair was tied up out of the way and she had borrowed a set of dark colored overalls to protect her limited supply of clothes.
Humming tunelessly, she set up the table next to the prisoner and then began to take great care laying out the contents of the bag. A selection of scalpels, forceps, clamps, several curettes, a bone saw, a bone mallet and, of course, a bone cutter were laid out in neat rows. The redhead pursed her lips as she ran her fingers lightly over the equipment she had taken from the Zedillo's clinic.
Selecting one of the scalpels, the one with the longest blade, she held it up, letting the sunlight creeping in through the gaps in the wooden walls to dance off the shiny device designed to slice through flesh. Could she do it? Slice open a man in cold blood? An involuntary shiver ran down the Irishwoman's spine as a long hidden memory sprung into her mind, playing out in techicolor and surround sound.
She was back there, twenty five years old filled with impatience and a burning need for revenge. Her baby sister had been in her grave for a whole month and they still hadn't gotten around to making the soldiers responsible pay. She could feel the cold, the cloying smell of decay which had filled her nostrils, the dust and the mold in the air which had caught in the back of her throat, making her want to cough. But mostly she remembered the sounds coming through the partially opened door to the room where her brother worked to get her the answers she had demanded.
Liam's soft conversational tones, talking about death and mutilation in the same way most people discussed the weather. The harsh incomprehensible moans of the army captain they had kidnapped and the rattling of the chains holding him and then a sharp high pitched shriek following by a wet slithering sound and a heavy splat.
That was the day that she had learned all the rumors that she'd heard about what her brother did were true.
"Really, Fiona, I think this act of yours has gone quite far enough. Admittedly, you've got a strong stomach for violence which is quite impressive in a woman, but torture – no, I don't think so, sweetheart."
At his words, she placed the cutting tool back amongst its friends and turned her attention to the man tied in the chair. Letting her gaze travel slowly over his frame, making a mental note of his injuries, she smiled sweetly.
"Ya don't think women have what's necessary ta hurt another?... You're a lucky man, never to have come across me Auntie Claire. Now there's a woman who knows her way around a car battery and a set of jump leads."
He laughed at her, a cold callous sound filled with spite. "Oh, you don't have to tell me about your family. I make a point of knowing my enemies and you, my dear, for all your talent for ending lives, are not known for getting up close and personal when doing the deed... You like to stay detached from your targets, don't you? Bombs or shooting from a distance is more your line of expertise isn't it, little girl? How often have you gotten your hands well and truly bloody?"
A lightening fast punch mashed the former spy's lips against his teeth, destroying his million dollar smile in an instant, and a fraction of a second later, the heel of a heavy boot stamped down on the top of his foot, breaking several small bones in the process.
Fiona's renown fiery temper was blazing more fiercely than it had done for years. Reaching out, her hand closed about the same scalpel that she had held up to the light earlier and, in a continuation of the move, she took hold of the spy's head with the other hand and pressed the tip of the blade under the bleeding man's left eye socket.
"Is this bloody enough fer yar?" she snarled. "Or d'ya want me ta carry on wit' me demonstration?"
Larry gagged and swallowed. "You think you can make me talk before you kill me?"
"No, Larry..." She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. "I couldnae care less if ya talk or nae. When I wa' gettin' ready fer our chat, I realized whot a gift ya've handed me. I'm gonna kill ya slow, cuz ya deserve it, and then am gonna tell Sam am terribly sorry, but I couldnae break ya and it would be fer tha best if we take Michael inta hiding a long, long way away from har."
Watching the older man pale and seeing tiny beads of sweat mingle with the blood dripping from the under the point of the blade warmed the heart of the auburn haired woman no end.
She ran her tongue over her lips before giving her victim the rest of the bad news in a soft sultry tone.
"I wanta thank ya... Ya'll never get tha chance ta pour yar poison in Michael's ear ever again. I'll keep him safe wit' me forever."
"Stop! Wait, a god damn second," he gasped. "You think he'll thank you for that? Treating him like a child."
She cocked her head to the side, and removed the blade from under his eye. "Only 'til he is fully recovered and then we'll be the ones hunting down every single one o' the bastards while you - you'll just be nothin' but ashes floating on the breeze..." Then, tapping the flat of the blade on the tip of her prisoner's nose, she spoke again. "O' course thot's only after I get ta have me fun."
"You have no idea what you're doing." The bloody and beaten spy barred his shattered teeth in a painful grin.
"Yer right. I have no idea what am doing. I'm nae tha expert ya ar'. I nae – "
The words trailed off and Fiona backed off a step as she remembered all the things Sam had told her about Michael's old mentor and father figure. The blade sliced through the buttons on his bloodied garment, exposing his white undershirt.
"But you'll discover I'm a real fast learner."
"- . Bombs or shooting from a distance is more your line of expertise isn't it, little girl? How often have you gotten your hands well and truly bloody?"
Sam stopped his pacing back and forth between the shack and Trini's chicken run, wincing at the words which were coming out of the assassin's mouth. Larry was just begging for a ...
The sound of fist landing on flesh told the former SEAL that his best friend's girl was just getting started on dealing with her issues regarding undead spies attempting to corrupt her vulnerable boyfriend.
"Is this bloody enough fer ya? Or d'ya want me ta carry on wit' me demonstration?"
"You think you can make me talk before you kill me?"
Sam sighed and stared down at the hard packed dirt beneath his feet. He had never been fond of torture as an interrogation method, regardless of how much the person deserved it.
He cocked his head to the side as it went quiet inside the shack. Had she already killed him?
"You have no idea what you're doing."
Oh no, now he was just taunting her, not a good idea... Shaking his head, Sam reached for the door his hand closing on the handle. Maybe he should stop it, before Tinkerbell got too carried away.
"Yer right. I have no idea what am doing. I'm nae tha expert ya ar'. I nae –- But you'll discover I'm a real fast learner." Fiona's voice filtered through the broken down walls of the dilapidated out building.
"How about when I get free, I pay a visit to your old homeland and -" Whatever Larry had been about to say was cut off mid sentence, as the sound of bone crunching was followed by a growl of pain forced out through clenched teeth.
The former SEAL's hand dropped back to his side. After the undead spy's threat to Ms. Glenanne's family, there was no way apart from physically picking up the Irishwoman and carrying her out of the hovel kicking and screaming that he would be able to bring a halt to what was happening inside.
"I'd like ta see ya try it, especially on thot leg."
Commander Axe decided he had heard enough, turning away from the shack and the sounds coming from inside he walked away, strolling towards the edge of the Delaney's property. Reaching the waist high stone wall which marked the perimeter, Sam stopped to stare out at the dark ocean below letting the sound of the waves lapping on the shore soothe his nerves while he tried to come up with a better strategy than the one that they were using now.
Larry Sizemore was basically a self-centered psychopath, who only ever thought of himself. He would never succumb to any of the conventional means of interrogation. The older man was too well trained and, while he believed he held some sort of advantage by not talking, he would keep his mouth closed.
The ex-commander let his thoughts run through everything he knew about how the older spy worked. There had to be a clue hidden in the past which would lead to something they could use in the present to their own advantage. He just had to figure out what it was that Larry desired more than getting his control back over his injured protege.
A loud cursed filled shriek drifted across the open space from the shanty along with the startled protests of Trini's chickens caused Sam to tense and his features to harden. He needed to come up with something fast because it sounded like Tinkerbell had been serious about her plans for Mikey's former partner.
It was a shame he didn't know which members of the KGB old guard were hiding out in Cuba. Because there had to be a long line of former soviets who would like a piece of Mr. Sizemore, even if at first they didn't recognize the name of the American agent who had been working against them. The wily former SEAL smiled and turned away from the sea as an idea began form.
Anonymity! That was what Larry valued more than anything else in the world. All spies moved in the shadows, they weren't supposed to be seen. The best ones could sneak in to a location, blending seamlessly into the background while they committed a little bit of sabotage or stole secrets.
Larry though had always taken his anonymity to the next level. He had faked his death and managed to remain a ghost for more than ten years and he had done it by killing everybody he saw as a threat. Yet, by the law of averages, there had to be someone the paranoid assassin had missed. There had to be somebody still alive who would be happy to have the former spy turned assassin delivered gift wrapped.
Sam reached the steps leading up to the house, eager to debrief the best source of information on which soviet intelligence officer's name would guarantee the assassin's cooperation when he came to an abrupt halt. Mikey was in no condition to help anybody. The younger man had been sedated in an effort to keep him quiet and far away from his old mentor.
Closing his eyes, Sam let his mind drift. Just for once why couldn't something go their way?
Without Michael's help he was going to have to come up with something on his own. Maybe it didn't have to be somebody who had had direct contact with the Lord of the Undead. Maybe he just needed someone high up in the KGB or GRU who could have possibly have retired to the Island of Cuba who would be interested in the kudos of capturing a former high level American spy.
The smile came back; he had a name: Colonel Ivan Prokov. He didn't know if Larry had had any direct dealings with the disgraced Russian officer, but Prokov had at one time been high up in the KGB until he and Mike had made the man look a fool during an extraction mission which at first had gone completely sideways and had almost gotten the ex-SEAL killed.
There was a good chance the assassin would know of the man as, until he had been made to look like an unreliable drunken fool, Prokov had held a high ranking post in the Russian counter intelligence organization. If he could convince Larry that Prokov was in Cuba and they were going to sell him to the Russian... Commander Axe left the thought hanging as he rushed swiftly towards the shack and threw open the door.
The sight which greeted his eyes nearly caused him to back straight out of the door.
He had worked closely with Ms. Glenanne for three years. He had glanced through her Interpol file before Mike had gone to Ireland and then read through it completely when he had discovered exactly how attached his best friend was to the female terrorist. He knew the Irishwoman had an upbringing marred by blood and violence as well as a mean streak a mile wide... but he had never suspected this.
Blood... there was a lot of blood... and not only on the prisoner. He had seen some really ugly things in his lifetime, but he never thought...The former SEAL blinked and when he opened his eyes again, he swallowed and studied the scene before him. The spy turned assassin had taken one hell of a beating: two black eyes, a broken nose, split lips, a trickle of blood was leaking from the older man's left ear. But those injuries were obviously just the warm up as far as Michael's psycho girlfriend was concerned. She had set to work with the surgical tools...
"Jesus, Fi!" Sam exclaimed. "What the blue blazes-?"
"Get out!" the Irishwoman snarled. "This is between me and this - animal."
Her blue-green eyes narrowed and were filled with a burning hate such as he had never seen before, even during the early days of their collaboration when he had been sure she'd been plotting his demise. As much as Larry deserved to meet his end at the hands of someone well capable of delivering the suffering he had earned, they needed his intel more.
You owe me, Mikey...Sam thought as he prepared to face down the blood thirsty banshee.
Larry tried to raise his head, but the effort involved was too much for the undead assassin. A possible broken jaw... he was definitely going to require a lot of dental work after he killed the Irish bitch and the drunken lush.
The sight of Michael's wet nurse entering the room cheered the beaten killer up no end. Who knew that that wisp of a girl packed a punch like a construction worker? But now Sam had made an appearance, he was pretty sure the former SEAL's bleeding heart would put an end to the redhead's assault... Oh, he was going to make the cunt suffer for what she'd done. The ex-spy comforted himself with his plans for Ms. Glenanne. He'd make her beg for death.
"Enough, Fi... We need him able to talk, remember?"
Larry dragged his thoughts from his plans for the future to what was happening in the present. Axe was doing just what he expected. The self righteous tones of the Boy Scout filled the small room.
"Need him? D'ya really think he's gonna tell us anything useful? Yer an idiot, Sam!"
"I think you've managed to soften him up enough." Sam avoided wincing looking over the carnage she had committed, but just barely. "Dead men tell no tales. We need to know who's coming after Mikey and I'm sure Larry's feeling more cooperative now, aren't you, Lare?"
"I've got a better idea..." and the bloodied surgical knife began to move towards him again.
"Back off, Tinkerbell, and let me try."
"Fine!" the psycho pixie spat, burying the blade into the broad muscle across his thigh as pain burned through Mr. Sizemore's body. "But when ya get nowhere, yer gonna let me finish it."
With his vision fading in and out and his ability to think clearly almost gone, the wet work specialist barely heard the door to the shack slam shut.
"Hey, Lare, you still awake there, fella?"
The scent of the wet rag's aftershave invading his disfigured nasal cavities caused the battered assassin to force his swollen eyelids to open and as he tried to focus on the face of his captor. The slight groan which escaped between his lips as the knife was removed from his leg and returned to the table, obviously satisfied the Boy Scout that his prisoner was paying attention.
"I've been thinking things through and you're right. I really don't have the stomach for all this torture business. But that doesn't mean Fiona isn't gonna touch you again, so don't think this lets you off the hook, fella. You see, I figure it's gonna take a lot of money for the three of us to go on the run permanently, especially as we don't know whose coming after us... Sooo, I've put out the word to a coupla Russians I know who are cooling their heels over in Cuba that I have somebody they might be interested in."
The former spy's blood ran cold and he pushed away all the pain and tiredness to concentrate fully on what the cowardly sonuvabitch was saying.
"I don't know if the name Colonel Ivan Prokov means anything to you, but the old guy is real interested in getting his hands on you... Something about turning in Larry Sizemore to his old masters will return his reputation? You get the idea? Add a few more rubles to his pension."
For the first time, Larry was thankful that the bitch had beaten his features into a bloody mess as he was sure that the boy scout would be unable to read his expression.
What the hell had made the nurse maid pull that name out of the air? Did he know? Larry felt the return of ice to his veins. If Axe did know the truth, it was all over. There was no way even that lily-livered wet rag would let bygones be bygones, not after what he did that time.
Using the last reserves of his strength, Larry willed himself to pay attention. If Axe was aware that when his last assignment in Russia failed it was because a voice reaching out from a supposed grave to inform the GRU that a SEAL and a CIA agent were about to steal valuable intel and a turncoat aide from right under the nose of one of their top colonels, then he would end his days in the vengeful clutches of Fiona Glenanne... But if Axe didn't know... Not yet...
Ignoring the pain it caused, Larry lifted his chin off his chest and looked his old enemy in the eye. His plan to have Lieutenant Commander Axe meet a grisly end at the hands of the Russian military intelligence had come very close to succeeding. The CIA drone the SEAL had been working with was dead, and his foe had been running out of room to hide when the unexpected arrival of Michael Westen on the scene had changed everything. Mr. Sizemore had no idea how they did it, but over the space of a few weeks the pair had managed to convince the GRU that the Colonel was a drunk suffering from alcohol induced hallucinations.
"Wha' d'ya wan'?" he managed to slur the question out from his torn lips.
This was about survival... He would do whatever he had to to avoid being handed over like a prize to a country which he had spent a good part of his life fighting a cold war. Even if it meant for the time being he had to make this drunken fool believe he had won.
"We want everything you have on the man who is gunning for Mike. You try any tricks and I'll give you back to Fi and, when she's done with you, I will hand you over to Prokov."
"Deal," the bloodied assassin agreed.
He'd tell them it all, dragging it out as long as he could... until he was back to his old self and then, when he was ready to strike, he would make every... single... one of them pay dearly.