The First of Many

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Chapter 67

Aedan stared in horror at Hannah as she fell to the floor, convulsing. He wanted to kill them all, everyone who had done this to her, but whoever had tied him to the chair was inordinately good with knots.

Hannah was gasping for breath, panting and screaming as though she might die. Petrov and Nine watched over the proceedings with faintly satisfied looks on their faces.

She stopped writhing, suddenly. Her flailing limbs fell to the ground, and for a moment, Aedan thought she might be dead.

Suddenly, she rose and stood at perfect attention with feet shoulder with apart. Nine grinned at the sight.

“Welcome back, Mirage,” he said with a smile.

“Thank you, sir,” she said demurely.

That was when Aedan realized that they were all well and thoroughly fucked.

“Go change out of those... rags,” he ordered, eying her uniform disdainfully. “You'll find your things where you left them.”

She broke into a grin of absolute delight. “Yes sir,” she said, voice brimming with a hollow, twisted sort of happiness that bordered on insanity. She left the room, leaving Aedan sitting in his chair, a look of absolute shock on his face.

“What the hell did you do to her, you demented, sadistic demon?” He demanded.

“He's inventive,” Petrov said, looking mildly impressed at Aedan's word choice. “I like him.”

“Can I have him, sir?” Aquilah asked, looking at Nine pleadingly. “Does he scream?”

“No, I have plans for him. He's going to suffer.”

Aedan shivered.

Blackburn glanced at Blade out of the corner of his eye, murmuring out of the corner of his mouth quietly enough that nobody could hear: “We need to turn this around.”

“Agreed,” Blade answered.

“They're talking,” Aquilah sang gleefully, twirling the pistol on her fingertip. “Sir, can I shoot them again?”

“Don't kill them,” he ordered. “They belong to Mirage.”

“I'm here,” said a dark, throaty voice in the doorway. Aedan's eyes darted towards it, and the sight of Hannah made awe and terror rise like poison in his throat.

She wore the same catsuit as the others in the building wore, a gray IX sewn on the left shoulder. She walked towards Nine with a slow swing of her hips, stopping a few feet away from him and bowing slightly in respect. “Sir,” she said softly.

“Look at me, Mirage,” Nine ordered, a gleam in his eye making Aedan shiver.

Hannah hesitated. “Sir?”

“I said look. At. Me. I won't ask again, Darling.”

Slowly, Hannah obeyed, looking Nine carefully in the eyes.

Her green eyes were glazed with pain and rage and agony as the injection burned in her veins, but she held Nine's gaze firmly as he looked her over.

“Look at you, my Angel,” he said. “You've grown so very beautiful. So strong.” he grinned. “And you're mine now, aren't you?”

Hannah didn't react. “Yes, sir. Yours.”

Aedan let out a wordless cry of rage as he struggled against the straps that held him in his chair.

“Mirage?” Nine asked.

“Yes, sir?”

“Do you remember him?” he asked, gesturing at Aedan.

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now, kill him.”

Hannah stared at him—that seemed to be the only thing she was capable of doing in this state—and she saw the way he looked so smug and satisfied and, well, triumphant. She hadn't even shot Aedan yet, and he was rejoicing in this victory. Slowly, she reached out and took the gun from his hand.

"Hannah. Hannah, think." Aedan's calming voice came from behind her. How the fuck had she gotten herself into this? How had she managed to put herself in this situation? This was a thousand times worse than any nightmare, any memory she ever could have put herself in. Aedan and the rest of the team was about to die because of her, and she would be the one emptying the bullets into them.

And she wanted to do it.

"Hannah. Think about this for a fucking second. You said you wanted to turn yourself around. You have a fucking choice. Listen to me. Listen to me."

"Shoot him."

Hannah lifted the gun, the pain in her body barely registering. Blood still ran down her face, and she could feel the stickiness of it beginning to dry. Suddenly, she felt exhausted. Her muscles were fully and thoroughly exhausted, and her head started to spin. The world became a spin of colors, a rush of sound, and she could barely stand.

"I trust you, Hannah. I trust you to make the right choice. I trust you."

He was lying and she knew it; she could see the raw fear in his eyes. He knew that he was going to die, that she was going to kill him.

She had absolute power over him, and she loved it.

"You shouldn't trust her, American. She betrayed me, and she'll just as easily turn her loyalties on you. Let her tell you about all the things she's done. All the innocent lives she's taken," Nine said smoothly. Aedan glanced briefly over at Nine and then back at Hannah.

She was so tired. All she wanted to do was lie down, but she couldn't. She could feel Nine's eyes pressing in on her, and she couldn't breathe. Frantically, she turned to look at him, and he was just staring at her. She felt everything start to crumble down on top of her. She could barely breathe, barely think.

She looked at Aedan, and all she could see was the blood on his face from where Petrov had broken his nose downstairs just moments before.

Blood, so much blood... Power.

"Do it, Mirage. You can do it. Let me know I can trust you again." Nine was right there, and he was expecting her to do this.

"I know you,” Nine murmured. “I know how you think because I helped shape the way you think. You were born to do this. You were made to do this. You know I'm right."

Aedan was bleeding. He was hurt.

"I trust you," he pleaded again.


She cocked the pistol, tightening her grip on it as she straightened her arms out and leveled the gun to Aedan's head, and she saw the look on his face. Faster than anyone in the room could process, she drew all of her energy together, and she turned and fired a shot into Nine's head. Immediately, the Russian leader went down. There was another shot, but Hannah didn't know who had fired it. She wouldn't get to know because everything went black.

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