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X E N A
They say when the queen is happy, there is peace in the kingdom.
Let’s get this straight.
I was not happy. At all.
“Where is he?” I demanded, glaring daggers at Marco. My right hand went down to my pistol, resting at the barrel, ready to pull the trigger at anyone who decided to fuck with me.
After all, I was not angry. Oh no.
I was fucking pissed.
I wasn’t having a bad day. Not even a bad week. Try a bad month. Or, life.
The older man visibly shrunk under my gaze, before clearing his throat. “Basement.”
Nodding in acknowledgement, I turned on my heels, making my way down the stairs.
On the bright side, I could get my revenge in blood.
Hey, at least my shrink’s positive thinking method worked. Some shit about a unicorn at the end of a tunnel. Or was it treasure? I’m pretty sure it was a rainbow shitting unicorn.
The three guards in front of the basement door immediately made haste, shuffling to the side.
“Xena,” the middle guard stepped forward, meeting my gaze levelly, a casual smirk playing at the corner of his mouth. These must be the new recruits.
Interesting. I nodded at the door, wordlessly, brow raised.
“He’s inside.” The one on the left answered my unasked question, shooting looks at the middle one. At least someone was smart here.
My lip twitched. The next moment, my pistol was in my hand, removing the safety. I watched the middle one’s reaction closely. He audibly gulped, looking at me, and then back at the gun an inch from his face.
Looking at him expectantly, I trace the cold metal with my nail. “You look like you’re new here.”
“I am.” The cocky look returned.
It’s always the new ones. Holding in a sigh, I pulled the trigger.
A shriek met my ears as the wooden frame right above exploded into dust and wood pieces.
Rolling my eyes, I smiled. “Don’t be so dramatic. You’re still alive, aren’t you?”
It was a rhetorical question.
“I don’t pay you to look at me like a bitch in heat now, do I?” My eyes flashed, as my nails tapped on the metal, irritated.
He didn’t keep me waiting. Eyes suddenly large, cocky look long gone, a stutter in place. “I-I’m sorry, Xena.”
Pleased for the time being, I raised an expectant brow at the other two newbies, who turned their eyes to the ground. I knew there was a reason why I liked them better!
Swinging open the collapsing door, I wasn’t surprised to see all eyes on me.
Besides, who didn’t love a good drama? I know I did.
Nodding at my men on the sidelines, I stood in the shadows, taking a moment to watch my little prisoner.
His form was hunched, sweat dripping down his face-- he had no expectations to leave out of this room alive. Smart man.
There was something about studying people. I wouldn’t call myself particularly observant. People were just too easy to read. We bleed emotions every second of the day.
“Hello Parker,” Poor fellow had no idea what I had in store for him. “How’s hanging life suiting you?” I asked, in reference to his tied-up frame.
A man not appreciative of good humour. Tell me something new.
I would have fun breaking him. I loved breaking the resistant moles, playing my mind games on them till they were utterly ruined and docile. I raised an arched brow, giving him another chance to reply.
“I told him,” He angled his bloody jaw towards Leo, “that I would only speak to your boss.”
I nodded understandingly, a smile lighting up my face. There was nothing smile-worthy in his words.
“Here’s the thing.” The humorous smile was long gone, leaving a full-blown, vicious smirk in its place. “You’re talking to her.”
His eyes bulged over, very comical, really, and he swore. A word was muttered, a whisper lost in the endless pool of fear in his eyes. And then that expression. The ‘I’ve-lost-all-my-hopes-please-send-my-dead-body-to-my-family’ look.
I felt his heart thudding from my place. That definitely didn’t help my ego. I repressed my pleased smile. My prey had recognized me. Now this game would be much more …ah, interesting. My pistol made a sudden appearance, finding itself on Parker’s temple. Taking pleasure in the shiver I elicited in response, I mock saluted him.
“At your service. Only, not really.”
“I-I,” He stuttered incoherently, no doubt rattling his brain for How To Calm Angry Women 101.
“You-you,” I mocked him, circling him, taking my time.
He was the cause of my post-poned drinking plans. He better fear for his life. Giving partial attention to his shaking form, my inner demon stood proud, a heinous grin on her face.
I looked behind Parker, finding Leo and Bram endowed with the shadows. Giving them a slight nod of my head to leave me and my prey alone, they walked out of the room, joining the three scandalized guards at the door.
I hummed approvingly, noting the unsteady bobbing of my kidnapee’s Adam’s apple. He was intimidated and I hadn’t even started my performance. I stored my gun inside. I wouldn’t be needing it so soon. Not yet.
My eyes zeroed in on the bead of sweat trickling down his face. Stepping near him with a look full of sympathy. The show had begun.
“You don’t need to be afraid of me,” I murmured lowly, taking another step forward. He stiffened all over, regarding me coolly.
“I’ve heard about you.” He breathed out. Hesitatingly he continued. “They call you the temptress of the night. A woman trained to kill; a weapon equipped to destroy. A murderer hidden in the skin of a seductress. They call you heartless, c-cruel, daunting and…” He stopped, taking in a harsh breath.
My hand grasped his chin, gently, yet firmly. His hands trembled uncontrollably and his eyes lowered.
“And?” I probed him further amiably.
“Insatiable for blood.” He finally whispered, clenching his fists.
Silence hung in the air like the suspended moment before a falling glass shattered on the ground. It was overbearing and poisonous, as the previous words resounded again and again.
A half grin overtook my face. “I can assure you that I’m not a vampire. Sparkling in daylight? So not my thing.” Rolling my eyes, I stepped back, allowing him just a moment to breathe.
His eyes hooded over and he examined me with a disgusting smile. “I know you won’t hurt me.”
I know he didn’t just try the ‘you’re not completely heartless’ card.
Deception is truly a predator’s disguise.
“You see, that is exactly where you’re wrong.” The next second, a knife was whipped out from the back pocket of my dress, now lodged into the shocked man’s shoulder blade.
I waited, watching him writhe in his restraints, as he tried to jerk the blade out of his body. Futile. All his gasps and groans almost tried to make me feel remorse for all the things I had in store for him.
The day I felt remorse for taking a life- well, let’s just say that that day is not today. Or any day after today.
Believe me, I would know.
In the meantime of waiting for all the regret and guilt and all the pesky emotions that came along with humanity, I could try and have some fun. “Cheers to that,” Muttering out aloud, I twisted the knife, before shoving it further inside his tendon.
“There, there,” I patted him. His pleas for mercy went unnoticed by me, contained quite snugly, by the four walls of the spacious basement. Or, in other words, my personal torture room.
Christian’s Red Room of Pain had nothing on my collection.
Parker must have read my mind, or so his widened eyes suggested. “Please!” He struggled, trying to move away as sobs wracked his body.
“And they call me dramatic.” I scoffed disbelievingly, almost amused.
Giving him a moment to breathe, because I’m very generous that way, I made my way across to where all my …ah, instruments were. His loud rasps filled the silence, as I contemplated the long-drawn way to make him bleed.
If only he hadn’t made that comment about how he would ‘only talk to my boss’. Bitch, I’m the fucking boss. Sexist pig.
I shook the heated iron tongs in front of his face merrily and mocked his previous words. “Are you ready to talk to the leader?”
His head fell back in defeat, and yet no response.
“And here I thought that I made myself perfectly clear.” I sighed. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t enjoying this part. By the time he heard the sound of me pressing the trigger, it was already too late.
A bullet impaled his leg, simultaneously, along with the continuous poking from the piping hot iron rods. A tormented howl greeted my ears, as he lost his balance. He was losing his mind. I could sense it unravel. His legs gave up beneath him, causing his knees to hit the cemented floor with a sickening thud.
He opened his mouth, but not one sound came out. His head quavered soundly, along with his tied hands that now took the strain of his body.
“Who sent you here?” I gritted out, pulling the bloody iron out of his shaking body. He was facing towards me but it felt as if his eyes saw nothing- blank emptiness. His mouth was open in an eternally silenced scream, as his lips shook to form words.
This was not good. The only reason his mouth was still sealed shut with information was because he was scared of the answer himself. Or whoever he was protecting. It was a shame that he was scared of the other person more than me. A bruise to my ego.
Well maybe, all I had to do was prove to him that he wasn’t leaving this room alive. Not that he ever stood a chance.
“You are not the first person to attack me in the past week, Parker. I’ll repeat my words for your incompetent brain to catch up. But make no mistake,” My eyes flashed. “I’ll get the answers from your mouth, even if I have to empty each and every one of my pistols into your body. So, I’ll fucking ask again.” I waited for my words to have their desired effect. His half sob of a response didn’t disappoint me.
“I said,” My hands found his grimy hair and pulled his head toward mine. “Who. Sent. You. Here?” I pushed down hard on the knife still lodged in his shoulder.
Waterworks broke down his face, and his screeching, finally sound, resonated in the basement.
“Capo Dei Capi,” He grunted out with great difficulty. “He sent me here!” His shrieking continued. Each word was louder than the last, making my ears throb.
“And he wants Xena dead.”