II: A for Effort

The Courier shoots the last of Benny's bodyguards. She's given Benny a chance, and that no-show flees the Strip with his tail between his legs. Scramsville her ass, she's gonna find him and do what she should've done all along.

Her blood runs hot as she slips past the elevator doors and shoves her way through the smoke-filled casino floor of the Tops. She avoids Swank and bursts through the exit, revenge and bloodlust flooding her mind. Nothing can stop her now.

And thenhe comes bearing the Mark of Caesar. The lottery man.

"You again? How did you find me here?"

"I am the greatest of his Caesar's Frumentarii. It was not a challenge to find you. Nor is this my first visit to the Strip."

Lilka is strangely happy to see him again. Truth be told, she hasn't stopped thinking about him since they met in Nipton. It's ridiculous. He's a murderer, a slaver, and above all, a jerkwad. She should be terrified. She should want him dead. She shouldn't be daydreaming about him nor should she be fantasizing about that sexy voice of his. That is exactly what notto do when encountering a Legionary who had just razed a whole town. Is she so depraved of available men that she's clinging to anyone who speaks to her?

But damn if he isn't handsome. They say men of the Legion are incredibly attractive, and this one did not disappoint. The light hits his finely chiseled face just so, and his steel blue eyes bore right into her soul. And did she mention how she loves men in suits? He picked a good one too. She was sure whatever was beneath that suit would not disappoint either. Then there was his voice. It drove her mad. She could listen to him talk of profligates and degenerates all day.

Fuck, of all men, why did it have to be him?

"Caesar awaits." His haste to leave broke her out of her reverie.

"I'm Lilka," she blurts out.

He keeps walking.

Lilka follows him, "If this is a trap, I'm going to take a lot of you with me." She was only half joking.

"The mighty Caesar has bestowed upon you his Mark and guaranteed safe-conduct. If he wanted you dead, you would be dead already. Now take care, woman. He grants his mercy only once. I would hate to see woman such as yourself waste away on a cross."

She feels a sudden surge of courage, "Was that a pass at me?"

He turns back, "Hard to say. You shot my men."

"Nothing personal. They were slavers."

Lilka swears the corners of his mouth tug upwards, but this is clearly going nowhere.

She speeds her walk and blocks his way, "So what if I'm kept from seeing your Caesar? It's a long and dangerous journey. I could get hurt."

His brows furrow, clearly annoyed. "Safe passage to the Fort includes protection should it be necessary."

Heat gathers in the Courier's cheeks and she doesn't hide her smile. "We should travel together."

"If rumors about you are anything to go by, you can take care of yourself. Should you meet your demise beforehand then perhaps you're not worth Caesar's time."

With that, he vanishes into the Vegas crowd.

Lilka could sink into the concrete. That was beyond stupid. Did she really believe she could recruit a Legionary as a companion?

She looks down at the Mark of Caesar in her hands.

"I tried," she mutters pathetically.

Still, she clutches the mark to her chest. A quick trip to the Fort shouldn't be too horrid. Is it bad that she's looking forward to it?