Princess of the Shadows ➺ [FC Series Bk.2]

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Chapter 16: A Game of Kitten and Beast 1/2

I can barely comprehend that I’m alive and back in the safety of the Avalon Shadow Lair. I’m dizzy as soon as the stolen car enters the multilevel garage because I know I am now within reach of all my friends. I think it’s the combined drop of adrenaline and steady loss of blood. By the time I stop the car by the inconspicuous staff door, Blue is waiting for me here on her own, her blue hair in ringlets while she wears jeans and a white top.

I remember her teleporting in next to me - I don’t even have to open the car door. Blue smiles and takes my trembling hand while I hold my bleeding hip with my other, feeling sick at the sight of so much blood pooling everywhere... it just reminded me of the carnage Hacksaw left behind back at that strange military based skyscraper.

Blue blinks and my whole world is disoriented to the point that I must black out momentarily. One moment I am shifting to another room with her, our hands clasped together, the next, I’m lying down naked on a hospital bed.

Faces surround me while Dale holds a pair of tongs to get the bullet out of my hip. I’m blinking multiple times, confused about the murmuring voices as everyone seems to speak at once. My Brownie Squad and my beasts were all around me.

I hear a distinct click of the fingers and I turn my head up to see Serge above my head, smiling down at me, waving.

“Up here, doll, yeah, right here,” Serge’s deep soothing grumble is the last thing I hear as Dale dives in to grab the bullet.

I don’t know why I feel so much pain as I assume I should have some sort of pain killer by this stage, perhaps through a drip or something, but what I feel is absolutely blinding. It’s probably one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. I scream while someone gives me a cloth to bite into.

The messed up thing is I’m not sure in my painful delirium if it’s more for help or more of a joke about being gagged.

I guess it could be both, if I was giving my beasts the benefit of the doubt.

What makes it worse is I pass out with the gag in my mouth, and I remember that fact when I wake up a few minutes later.

I’m set upright on my feet as my eyes peel open and I see my skin bloody... but healed, with all the traumatic pain gone. I hear running water. I am no longer in the hospital, but an apartment bathroom. I seem to be on my own briefly, until I feel two arms slide under my own and lift me up before abruptly dropping me back down into steaming hot water.

This jolts me straight out of my confused and cloudy senses.

I make a husky noise of complaint as I look around frantically, feeling a little on edge. The water temperature is almost unbearable and as I look around the shadows, they all turn out to be nothing of importance.

“Boo,” a voice teases behind my ear and I spin around to see Ace smiling happily from behind the standalone tub while passing me a wink, “You still scared, doll? You’re all healed up, relax.”

“She awake?” I hear Dale ask casually from outside the bathroom while I breathe out a rattled breath and relax against the smooth bath tub, right before Dale waltzes in with Jose and Serge.

Jose and Serge have their tops off, their skin a bit bloody. Dale is fully suited up but even his clothes are stained crimson.

Ace is behind me also wearing his suit, his gaze running over me while he flicks off a fleck of dirt on my shoulder.

“Better,” Ace murmurs soothingly, “It’s time to soak up and get nice and clean again, doll.”

“How are you feeling, kitten?” Dale asks kindly as he closes the distance to the tub. Jose cracks his knuckles nervously while taking in my worried gaze. Serge just scowls at my fretful disposition as I remain silent.

“Let me guess,” Serge drawls, “You saw some blood and your whole life is changed – beyond reason and beyond repair.”

“Lumen, I saw Lumen,” I murmur, “And then… as far as I’m aware, a massacre of an entire building. Blood is a light word. You see blood if you scrape a knee or floss too hard… what I saw, was unlike what you’d assume war to be. It was more than simple revenge or with a purpose. It wasn’t for fun… it was just Hacksaw’s logic. I have no other way to put it. He has no idea he is a monster – he is just totally insane,” I whisper all of this as images still fresh from my experience, flash through my mind.

“Whatever you saw, we’ve seen worse,” Jose leans down and sits by the middle of the bath and leans a muscled and inked arm across the rim as if he’s protecting me with that one gesture, “And you know us, we’re perfectly fine, reasonable gentlemen,” Jose smiles with his little joke, “You’re born to survive just like us – keep that in mind, kitten.”

“You mentioned Lumen,” Dale adds before I can reply. My eyes flick to him as he pulls over a stool and leans his elbows on the end of the tub, his arms crossed over as his tyrian purple eyes don’t break from my gaze, “Tell me everything you know.”

“He’s a prisoner with the Avalon military – he helped me escape. Wherever you escaped from ten months ago, are the same people Lumen is with presently,” I explain, “You should take off those stained clothes... boss – more so than the blood stains… I can’t stand the smell of iron.”

“That’s why we’re here, doll,” Serge answers for me while Dale just slowly smirks with a dangerous smile, showing sharp leopard canines as my other beasts all focus in on my chosen words.

Serge and Jose reach into the water to clean off their red stains while Ace chuckles, his hands rubbing down my arms and cleaning off specks of blood.

“That’s why you’re all here? To clean up in my bath water?” I ask dryly as I half heartedly glare at Serge.

“To pamper you, princess,” Ace explains from just behind me, while his hands dip into the water, his sleeves rolled up at this stage.

As his hands leave my arms and smooth over my stomach next, such an inconspicuous area, I forget to breathe – in a rush of delight with the warm and firm touch of his rough and wide hands.

“Relax, kitten,” Dale reaches down to grab my feet while Jose and Serge dunk their arms into the water. I assume they are going to clean off their arms a bit more – but they both reach for my pussy together.

Their hands collide at the same time and both beasts raise their heads, glaring at one another.

“Back off,” Serge snarls.

“I’m her favourite, Lightning… you’re just a dumb brute to Alyssa – all snarl, no brain,” as Jose provoked Serge, we all get a sudden and brutal electric shock through the conductive water. I yelp out as the electricity jolts me right up.

“Asshole,” Jose growls at Serge, who keeps his hand in the water and now on my pussy. He caresses what’s his while Dale, Ace and Jose have backed off for a brief two seconds.

“Sharing is caring,” Dale smirks at Serge’s smug look, while pretending to mock him for being selfish. In the mean time, I raise my hand out of the water and slap Serge across the face while no one is expecting me to do so.

It’s sudden and it’s hard. I strike him with force – I admit, I do aim to hurt him. It’s more a sudden reflex as my combined thoughts meet my instincts and my newest heart’s desire. I no longer wanted to roll over and play nice.

“Don’t shock me right now, not after what I barely just escaped from!” I snarl at Serge as his hand pauses stroking my pussy while his eyes still to meet mine. While he is speechless from my slap – and the four red marks across his cheek… all my other beasts are also silent.

For a total of four seconds.

“…doll,” Dale warns me with a quiet tone while Jose is the only one to smirk – at Serge.

“How cute,” Serge takes his hand from my pussy and slowly brings it up to my throat, where I let him clasp his hand around my neck – for now, “The kitten thinks she’s grown up into a leopard,” Serge continues, but without humour, “Are you asking for a reminder about how you serve our needs, Alyssa?”

“As far as I’m concerned, I serve the people of FC. As far as STRIKE is a team of deadly concern… on the contrary, I think you’re all here to serve my needs,” I use as much sass as I can muster, while I lean into his hand and smile as he tightens his hold on my neck slightly. I like that feeling, “Thanks for the bath, Lightning.”

“Boss,” Ace asks with a cough as he stands and I look up to see him raise a hand, and an eyebrow, “Permission to gag our kitten?”

“Permission granted,” Dale responds with a slow blink, like a typical panther in the shadows, watching me with lazy all-knowing deadly grace, knowing that he will win.

“You got a big mouth sometimes, doll,” Jose warns me.

“Ultima,” I say it just as Serge’s hand is coming off my throat to grab the edge of the tub.

“You just want to get punished real hard, don’t you, doll?” Serge asks me, hardly fazed, “To get your mind off the blood and the murder… although I can’t promise you won’t be bleeding again soon.”

“Actually, as confident as you all are,” I murmur as Ace rounds the tub to leave the room in preparation for my defiling. He pauses and spins to hear what I have to say, “I’m baiting you all on purpose. I need you all angry.”

“Now I’m curious,” Jose growls low.

“Please don’t tell me your newest kink is getting beat up – because we’re not going to hurt you, we’d rather fuck you to near death, Alyssa – a far more fun way to go,” Serge chooses a dark joke, however this time he sounds a bit shocked and unsure of where I’m going with this.

I focus my gaze on Dale – his Ultimate assessment of me is laced with true curiosity.

“We’re not going to fuck,” I say, while holding Dale’s eyes, “We’re going to fight.”

Dale glances at all his beasts. Ace scratches the back of his ear while looking at me like I’m an insane lil’ kitten, Serge still looks confused and Jose is likewise unsure of my suggestion.

“Uh…” Jose coughs to clear his throat, “Why is that, doll?” he grumbles the question with concern.

“Let me spell it out more plainly then,” I stand and hop out of the bath, naked and proud as I swipe up a towel from a rack on the wall about ten feet away. As I wrap it around my middle, I smile as they all frown in disappointment now that I’m covered up, “This is a game… of beast and kitten,” I grab another towel, completely at ease to show them my confidence. I dry my hair.

Little did they know my current show was entirely bluff.

But it served a purpose.

“Go on, kitten,” Dale nods at me, his inquisitive gaze is pleased, as if he’s suddenly worked it out.

“I want to be a warrior more than a whore,” I state, boldly and proudly, “I was born to be both and you know me as one thing, and barely the other. I trust you all to know you can no longer fuck me with my submission – consent is not an issue, you’ll always have it and I’ll always trust you. What I’m talking about is a game. If you want to fuck me – take me. However – I’m no longer a submissive… unless you make me, unless you can catch me. If you want me for sex, here I am, come get me. However, your cocks entering me are no longer my priority. Being a warrior is. Training in a controlled environment with a fighter who’s never been in a real fight and believes in playing by the rules, won’t help me stop Hacksaw or save FC inhabitants from slavery. I need you to be unpredictable. All of you. Because I’m going to fight you.”

As my brave speech is over, all my beasts look at me with first neutrality, then brief shock, then shared all-round amusement as their eye brows slowly rise up in unison.

And then they all burst out laughing.

“Doll,” Serge can’t contain himself as he roars with laughter while Jose pisses himself chuckling and Ace joins in.

“Kitten… kitten,” Dale keeps it together – barely – while I blush as bright red as a ripened apple. Dale turns and sits on the edge of the bathtub, putting an ankle on his knee and clasping his hands together, seemingly at ease, “You have a deal, we’re more than happy to help in your… training.”

“Spit it out,” I growl, seeing all the more words swimming in Dale’s arrogant glare. He wasn’t telling me every evil thought he was having, that was for sure.

“At the end of it, I’m sure you’ll either be trained into a perfect whore or the perfect warrior, fate only knows what the outcome could possibly be,” Dale shrugs, speaking with a forced casual tone and clear sarcasm, “How many lessons are involved is irrelevant, kitten… everyone breaks sooner or later.”

“Yeah, and three of your beast’s skin isn’t immune to my sharper than diamond nails… or my hair,” I smile and raise a hand to show off my claws while Serge’s cheek is healing but still bleeding slowly. He does not appreciate the reference of the blow to his ego so soon, “So, regardless of that, I’m glad we can all agree to my terms and conditions,” as I emphasise this, a twitch in Dale’s cheek exposes his imminent irritation, “I’m going to get some shut eye, feel free to be gentlemen and share the couch together.”

“Sure kitten, you can sleep soundly,” Dale jumps to his feet the moment I finish my speech.

“Oh, really?” I ask, knowing there’s a punchline.

“Really,” Dale nods, motioning to the apartment beyond the bathroom, “You just have to make it out that door way, sweet pea.”

My heart beat kicks up as my four beasts all face me from separate areas of a confined space.

Their gazes are focused – I am the target.

Dale had indirectly set out the order for my defeat.

And now – my bluff was somehow turning into strategy.

My heart wasn’t just beating faster… but my sight is clear, my limbs feel light and my mind is racing.

I had found a way to turn on my instincts – and that was the prospect of a dangerous and real threat.

They were with me in this room and I knew they were all ready to strike me down, but it wasn’t my distrust of their hands that had my instincts spiking.

I had set up the unpredictable game; kitten and beast.

I had boldly proclaimed no rules were necessary.


It was not having any idea what their actions would be that was making me ready. It’s as if my genes were lighting up in delight of the coming prospect of danger and unpredictability.

My potential was hardly known, even to myself.

That had to change.

Yet despite what I felt, this would end up one of two ways.

Them, whining over alcohol in complaint after I whoop all their asses.

Or me, embarrassed, humiliated but thoroughly and deeply, deeply pleasured.

Either option wasn’t too bad, but I had explored the latter far too much already and far too willingly.

Now, it was time to be a warrior.

All I had to do was make it past the bathroom door.

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