Chapter 18: Princess of the Shadows
“Can you reproduce?” the question is mind-boggling and it had to be asked.
“Yes, I assume so… I haven’t impregnated any female yet, however,” Dale’s eyes have returned to normal and he is now looking at me with undeniable interest, “You are the first female I have told about my true upbringing. Do you feel special?” he stands, smirking to himself as he turns and walks towards the self-serving bar.
In truth, I do feel special. However, he seems full of arrogance and mocking smiles once more. So, I just glare after him as he sorts through the alcoholic beverages.
“More alcohol?” I ask, jumping to my feet. I cross my arms over my chest as I see him bring out a few different flavors and liquors.
“This is for you, kitten,” he pours in a rainbow of liquids and a sparkle of sweet red powder for the top.
“How are you not affected by alcohol?” I ask, slowly approaching the counter, naked and brave. At least I liked to think so.
“Less so, but it doesn’t mean I’m not affected, I still enjoy some,” he seems slightly more relaxed now as he places the drink in front of me. I watch the ice in the glass bob to the top, separating some of the red sweet powder.
“I appreciate it but I…” I glance up to witness the warning glare Dale is giving me, so I shut my mouth.
His purple eyes are focused on me and now all I can think is that they are his big cat eyes. A reflection of his true intentions and tampered-with soul.
What did a big cat crave?
I watch as he prowls around the bar to come up behind me. I stay where I am, leaning with two elbows on the counter and the drink under my chin. I haven’t picked up the glass yet.
“Do you all always drink before you go out on missions?” I ask, quietly. I face the bar and try not to cringe in fright as his body heat nears my naked back. He doesn’t grab me, but I watch as he places his elbows either side of mine, pressing in a bit further, to dwarf me against the bar.
“It helps, we see some pretty nasty things sometimes, Alyssa…” he drawls my name, his hand reaches over to pick up the glass for me. I didn’t expect his answer, either. He now slowly brings the glass to my mouth and I move my head back. The glass presses against my bottom lip and I automatically pry them both apart, “Drink, kitten…” he tilts the glass at a perfect angle so I can sip it slowly, “…good, kitten.”
Eventually he puts the empty glass down on the bar and abruptly steps away from me again.
I’m surprised by the sudden distance and I turn to face him with narrowed eyes.
“What?” I ask, looking him up and down, “Why do I feel like you’re deciding something?”
“I am, sweet pea,” he murmurs, his gaze running over me, from top to bottom and back up to my eyes again.
“You like what you see, I get it,” I snap, getting impatient.
“Careful, sweet cherry,” he looks up and winks at me, making a direct hint to my virginity, “I’m tempted to thrust you fully into the life of a Submissive pet. However… it may be a waste.”
He likes to speak in riddles but I’m catching his drift. It’s different.
“Oh?” I try not to sound too hopeful.
“You want to run on the streets, sweety?” he asks, crossing his arms over his chest, he ends up grabbing his chin with one hand while appraising my worth.
I wait, patiently, for his verdict.
Please say yes, please.
However, he is interrupted by a vibration and a low ring tone from his pocket. He simply puts a hand into his suit and brings out his high-tech new phone.
“Dog?” he answers, clearly a code name for one of his own, “Swing back around then… yes, she is… yes, she does,” Dale looks at me as he says these things, his eyes sparkling because he knows I have no idea what he is referring to, “Alyssa and I will join. Make it quick, ladies,” Dale hangs up and puts his phone back in his pocket, “Put on your clothes, kitten,” he takes a step back, allowing me room to walk my way back to my outfit which was still on the floor.
“Really?” I ask. I can’t contain my grin as I skip around the couch.
“Yes, you can come with us on the streets, hey,” he scolds me as I roughly pick up my clothes, “Give them to me.”
I turn and as he approaches, fast, I simply hold out my outfit.
“What?” I ask, offended.
“Lift your arms,” he says, snatching the clothes from my outstretched hands, “So careless, kitten… I will dress you before you rip the material to useless shreds.”
“Oh… thanks?” I raise my arms and I watch him stretch out the tube top so it doesn’t touch my hands nor my braid as he brings it down.
“Next,” he murmurs, helping me into the black ripped jeans, “Diamond Spy… welcome to the Gang of Shadows,” he steps back once I’m dressed and looks me up and down, “I’ll advise you as we go and I only have one rule, sweety,” he raises a brow.
“Don’t disobey, ever,” I guess, quickly.
“A smart kitten, indeed,” Dale looks like he is ready to leave with me, however he clearly pauses and decides to approach me instead. He reaches out a hand, slowly running it across my face and back into my hair. He repositions my braid so it is more comfortable and tugs on it a bit, “How does it feel… to have never had a hand on you… the way I can handle you?”
I bite my bottom lip, trying to remember to breathe.
“Honestly,” I whisper, “It’s… it’s… ah…comforting.”
I wanted to say amazing.
But I was too much of a pussy.
Dale’s eyes seem to read me too well and he knows I feel uncomfortable answering his question. I could only assume he’d use it against me in future.
“Let’s go, kitten,” he decides to dismiss the topic for now.
I am grateful, so I nod and I follow.
STRIKE picks us up from the carpark. I’m sitting in the back with Serge and Dale. Jose is driving, Ace is wiggling his eyebrows at me from the rear view mirror.
“Excited?” Ace asks while stroking his sniper.
No; I don’t mean anything sexual by that. He was just literally stroking his gun. Damn it –
“The Five Reds are guarding the perimeter unexpectedly,” Serge interrupts, glaring at Ace and speaking with a monotone. Any moment, and he’d shock him without warning. Ace just rolls his eyes.
“What’s the situation look like from my satellite?” Dale asks.
“Too smoky to tell. There was a fire next door,” Jose explains, “What we think is the Five Reds aren’t expecting us. We think there is a rogue group of kids looking to steal the vaccines and sell them separately.”
“Do some people still over-vaccinate… seriously?” I ask, confused. It was more common back in the day, perhaps there was a resurgence in the activity.
“100% doll,” Serge explains, “How was she, Dale?” Serge asks the next question, avoiding my gaze and catching onto his boss instead.
“Impressive,” Dale squeezes my knee, making me jerk my other one into Serge nervously.
“We didn’t do anything,” I complain, glaring at Serge, angry about his question.
“I was just curious, doll,” Serge narrows his eyes, smirking, “I didn’t ask to fuck you… yet.”
“None of that now,” Dale snarls, “She’s one of the team. Let’s give our kitten a chance to enhance our activities –”
“How so?” Serge snorts and questions Dale, and his boss is not impressed.
“I’ve already thought of a use for our kitten; distraction,” he grabs my hand, forcing me to stick out a nail. I watch as he makes me bring it up and rip a small line down the centre of my tube top.
“What the fuck?” I ask as he frees my hand and I have to look down at my boobs, almost spilling out of the top now, “Was that really necessary?”
“You either listen and accept what I’m saying, or I’m taking you back to our lair right now to fuck you into unconsciousness, sweet pea,” Dale leans back into his seat, speaking this so simply and so easily, with no unnatural tone.
Silence descends upon the gang, as they all wait for my reaction.
Perhaps they thought I would rebel? Or scream my fury?
However, I do not question Dale. I sit still, close my mouth and try very hard to think of the positives.
I was on the streets; this was my chance to be more than just a sex-toy for them all. I liked their banter, despite their occasional condescending chit-chat. But to be fair, I was yet to prove myself and gain respect. Male or female, new members into gangs of any kind never walked in with people bowing at their feet.
I had to prove I was worth keeping around.
Dale, besides thinking I was gorgeous… also seemed to have a keen eye for my quick mind.
He had faith in me to prove my worth.
I was going to do so.
“They won’t be expecting a direct hit from us,” Dale murmurs, quietly impressed by my silence, “I sent out Karla and Mishka to be the infiltrators of vaccine departments… perhaps they were exposed?”
“Invisible sisters, exposed?” Jose asks, dryly from the front, “Do I have to teach them a lesson or two?”
“We’ll discuss that later,” Dale reaches into his back pocket and he takes out a gun, passing it to me, “Take this, sweet thing.”
“No,” I shake my head.
“Take it,” Serge snaps, sticking up for Dale in the face of my defiance.
“I appreciate your concern but I am better as a distraction with just my claws and hair, okay?” I speak slowly, “Let me prove it.”
“We’re nearly there, boss,” Jose speaks up and Dale taps the gun on my leg.
“Don’t forget where I had this shoved up deep inside you, kitten,” he warns me lightly, obviously not too angry just yet.
I hoped I didn’t piss him off further.
“If she becomes more of a liability –” Serge begins but Dale quickly cuts him off.
“Don’t bring her down before she’s even begun, lightening… you’re going to be her backup.”
“Excuse me?” Serge growls.
“Just take the advice, lightening,” I rub it in, glancing up at him with defiant eyes.
“I’ll watch your back, doll, but don’t expect me to save you if the Five Reds captain wants to rub you up the wrong way. I’m only stepping in if your life is in danger,” Serge also warns me and I decide to be brave as I slowly raise my arm, turning to face him. I have to bluff confidence as I place my palm, over his jaw, lightly.
It was my first time daring to touch the fury-filled, short-tempered man.
“I’m not your enemy,” I say, quietly, “I’m here to help… and comfort you… remember that,” I say the last part slyly and with a drawl of my own I didn’t know existed until now. Three nails run lightly against his skin, not cutting, but enough to remind him of my at-hand weapons.
Literally at hand.
“Oooo, baby,” Ace whistles from the front, “Ain’t no other… where did you find this girl, Dale?”
“By accident, apparently,” Dale chuckles and Serge slowly moves back out of my touch, gazing at my hand suspiciously.
“Just don’t fuck up,” Serge growls, trying to be kinder and giving it his best shot.
“No worries, lightening, if I fuck up I’m happy to fall on my own sword. However… I need more details,” I turn to Dale, “What exactly do you want me to do?”
I notice Jose is slowing down STRIKE outside an industrial suburb with warehouses everywhere. The Quarter Gate Factory Line is close, just a few blocks down. A massive sign points to its existence next to the port.
“The Reds are scouting the ground, they don’t seem too hyperaware. It’s as if they don’t expect someone to appear… but to run, instead, at the sight of them,” Ace mentions.
“Noted. Alyssa,” Dale opens the door to STRIKE as the car rumbles to a stop. He unbuckles my seatbelt and puts a hand around my hip and down onto my ass. He helps me over his lap, to get me out of the car. However, before he does, he keeps me on his lap to grab my face and hold it close to his, “Sweet thing, you’re going to walk down, and beg for their forgiveness. Make a scene… if you know what I mean… we’ll go in from the back and burn the building to the ground. Serge will follow you from close behind, you won’t see him but he’ll be there, you can count on that.”
“Don’t you need Serge to start the fire?” I ask.
“Lightening is loud, sweet pea,” Dale explains, like it’s obvious.
I try to get off his lap but he quickly tightens his grip on my braid that he has sneakily threaded through his fingers.
“What else?” I ask, curious for any more details.
“They told you if you completed your mission you would be called, The Diamond Spy,” Dale guesses correctly, “If you complete this mission… perhaps you’ll also be known as something memorable to us.”
“Princess of the Shadows,” Ace instantly raises his hand with his suggestion.
“A Princess?” I ask, raising a brow mocking.
“Perfect,” Dale’s purple eyes do not blink as he leans in and presses a kiss to my forehead.
I’ve forgotten how to breathe and co-ordinate my body as he shoves me out the door onto the side walk. I turn around, hearing muffled masculine chuckles as the door slams shut and they all drive off.
I had been excited and now I felt… threatened by their laughter.
Did they think this was funny?
I spit on the ground as I push my braid behind a shoulder.
“Watch me,” I exhale and turn.
It was time to make a statement.