Blood Red Scream

Disclaimers: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle may belong to MCA Universal but their souls live on in this uber story. No copyrights were trashed or stolen, because, besides physical characteristics, this story is all mine.

Violence, Subtext, etc etc: There is lots of violence here and strong language. This story may not be for all readers. I'd rate it an R so far because of the language. As for subtext, yes, it's actually maintext. So if this offends you or is illegal where you live please return to the Fanfic Index and choose another story.

Author's Note: Feedback is welcomed at


Part Two- "Dance of Death"

Chapter One


Darion woke suddenly, with her heart hammering in her chest. Something was wrong. Oh, God, Taylor... She sprinted off the couch and down the hall to ICU.

A startled nurse foolishly stepped into her path. "Wait. Visiting hours haven't started yet. You can't go in there!"

Darion pushed around the nurse and shoved the double doors to ICU open. She's not here. "Taylor?" She turned accusing eyes on the nurse who stumbled in frantically behind her. "Where is she?"

"Ma'am, she was moved up to a private room this morning. If you had just let me explain-" The nurse began, breathlessly.

"Which room?" The dark haired woman demanded, with a cold glance. "I was suppose to be told."

"I'm sorry you weren't informed sooner. She's in room 309, on the third floor. It's-"

"Don't worry," Darion said coolly, "I'll find it." She stormed out the way she came in. I was suppose to be told. What if one of Angel's little 'goons' decided to pay a visit? Dammit, I thought you didn't believe Taylor, a little voice scolded. Yeah? Yeah, well I do. The 'baddies' always have a way of turning up, again and again. She grinned warily as she stepped into the elevator and pushed the button for the third floor.

She found room 309 easy enough, but hesitated at the door. Taylor had expressed no real desire for her to hang around, should she?

Darion felt an inexplicable tug at her heart at the thought of abandoning Taylor now. She remembered Julie's advice about taking care of the young woman, even if she didn't want to be taken care of. And whoever Julie was, she knew Taylor...

With a smile planted firmly on her face Darion entered the private room. Her heart melted as soon as she saw the early morning sunlight glancing off the pillow and igniting Taylor's hair with flames of sun-kissed gold. God, she's beautiful.

Her footsteps took her closer and closer to the bed. She reached out a hand to touch the sunlight, to trace the line of Taylor's cheek and the curve of her lips. Soft skin met her fingertips, warm and supple.

Déjà-vu lanced through her veins, set her heart hammering once again, and brought heat to her face. I know you...

Taylor mumbled in her sleep and Darion hastily withdrew her hand as eyelids fluttered open and slowly focused on her.

"Hi." Taylor murmured.

"Hey, yourself. How do you feel this morning?" Darion's heart still beat against her ribcage. Could Taylor hear it?

"Mmmm, wonderful." She replied, sarcastically, "Like I haven't slept in months, and there's a dead something or other inside my mouth."

"An attractive thought." Darion grinned.

Taylor blinked, but didn't miss a beat. "Morning breath, gotta love it. Definitely not kiss worthy." Oh my...

The dark haired woman watched the quick play of emotions across her young companion's face. They were gone as soon as they came, unreadable. "So, are you ready to get that thing out today?" Darion changed the subject, waving absently to the chest tube.

"Oh yeah." Taylor was glad for the topic change. Even a little bit of flirting left her flustered. Flirting? Damn, I'm flirting with a woman I barely know, but liken' it. Oh yeah, definitely liken' it.


"Are you ready?" Jen asked as she set up the necessary items to remove the chest tube.

Oh God... "Not really." Taylor answered weakly.

"The easy part was passing the x-ray. This is the hard part, but it only lasts for a few minutes. First, I'm going to take the tape off the original dressing." Jen grimaced inwardly. "You ready?"

Taylor cast a frantic look to Darion. Don't wanna do this, really don't wanna do this...

Darion took Taylor's hand in hers, giving it a reassuring squeeze. "Close your eyes." The dark woman commanded gently. She placed two fingers on a pressure point, and blocked off the pain.

Taylor looked up startled.

Darion held a finger to her lips, and motioned for Taylor to close her eyes again. The young woman did as she was instructed, and felt nothing, not even the pull of the tape against her flesh.

Jen laid Vaseline gauze on top of the dry gauze in preparation. She watched Taylor's face closely for a second. "Doing alright?" She asked.

"Yeah." Taylor murmured, clutching Darion's hand, taking comfort in the strength emanating from the long, tapered fingers.

"Ok, hold really still for me now." Jen cut the sutures holding the tube in place. She then took the dry gauze and placed it over the tube insertion site. She paused for a moment to lay down some blue pads on the bed, under and over the tube to keep clotted blood from getting everywhere when she was ready to remove the tube.

"Taylor, I need you to take a deep breath and hum. Anything." Jen instructed.

"Hum?" Taylor grinned. "How about 'I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande?'"

"Works for me." Jen laughed. Taylor took a deep breath and hummed a few shaky notes. "Ok, one more time Taylor, while I take out the tube."

Taylor took another deep breath, closed her eyes, and began to hum. "I'm an cowhand from the Rio Grande, my legs ain't bowed and my cheeks ain't tanned..."

Jen grabbed the tube and yanked it out in one swift motion, slapping down the Vaseline and dry gauze over the wound.

Taylor stopped in mid hum, almost choking on the pain. She bit her lip to keep from crying out, and crushed Darion's hand.

"Shhh," Darion leaned in closer to Taylor's ear, "it's out now, it's alright." The dark haired woman was compelled to lay a reassuring kiss on Taylor's forehead. She told herself she wasn't doing it because the bandage was in the way.

Taylor opened her eyes, and saw that the tube was indeed out, and Jen was now taping the gauze down so no air would enter the wound as it healed.

"You need to leave this on for 48 hours. After that you can switch to dry gauze. I'll order another x-ray in an hour, and make sure everything's okay." The surgeon gave a reassuring smile to both Taylor and Darion. She hesitated at the doorway, watching as Darion gently brushed the silky strands of hair off Taylor's forehead. How the dark woman's gentle words lulled Taylor into a light sleep, and the affectionate, dreamy look.

Darion noticed the surgeon standing at the door as she reassured Taylor she'd be right back, just close her eyes, and rest.

"Somethin' wrong, doc?" Darion asked as she ushered them both out into the hall.

Jen stopped and looked up into the bluest eyes she'd ever seen. If your yes were truly the window to your soul, there was a great depth and love in them. For Taylor. She felt a jealous pang, but it subsided almost as soon as it came, and she searched her suddenly blank mind for what she had wanted to say.

"Jen?" Darion asked, concerned.

"Um sorry. I don't know for sure if this is important or not." Jen studied a spot beyond Darion's shoulder. "When I came on this morning, there was a young man asking about Taylor."

"What was he asking?" Darion's heart jumped into her throat. It could be nothing, it could be...

"He wanted to know if any Jane Does were brought in with severe wounds, the previous night. The nursing staff assumed he was a reporter and provided him with the information he requested. They didn't give out her room number or her name though." Jen admitted, fear growing in her heart as Darion's face paled and her eyes darkened.

I should have done this sooner... "Can you call security and have them post a guard outside of Taylor's room?" Darion asked.

"Yes." Jen replied. Darion turned abruptly to go back into Taylor's room, but Jen reached out a hand and grabbed her elbow. "Darion?"

The dark woman's face was set in stone, unreadable.

"I- shouldn't..." Jen began, "I shouldn't do this, but if there is some way I can help?"

Darion considered. "Taylor's in enough pain right now, Jen. I don't want her to have to go through anymore, but if it's possible I'd like to move her to a new room, under a different name." She studied Jen, wondering if she was making the right choice in trusting this woman.

The surgeon gave a curt nod, and lowered her voice. "I'll get her discharge papers ready, and have Taylor released. Then re-admit her under a new identity." My God, what am I doing? This could mean my career. But all she had to do was gaze one more time into those deep pools of blue and know it was the right thing... that another time, another place, she had done the same thing... risked everything for these two remarkable women... and hadn't once regretted it.

"Thank you." Darion smiled sadly, knowing what it would cost this fresh-faced young surgeon should she be caught.

Chapter Two


With a security guard posted outside of Taylor's room it meant, ultimately, that the police would have to be contacted. Darion knew many of the police she worked with where in the pockets of the wealthy. She hated it, trusted none of them, but what else could she do? Go hunt down this mysterious higher power? Something told her that she wouldn't have to go anywhere, that the danger would find Taylor.

Jen had falsified papers after the x-ray, stating that Taylor Morgan had been discharged. Now she was on the 4th floor, under a new name.

The x-ray was good news, Taylor was healing. Jen would discharge her in a few hours, as long as no complications developed. She'd been taken off the IV, put on Percocet for the pain, and Ativan for withdrawal.

Taylor had been ashamed to admit to Darion that she was an alcoholic, but it had paved the way for another painful subject that Taylor was ready to share with Darion, and Darion was curious as hell.

"I met Julie at an AA meeting." Taylor began hesitantly. She wished Darion was closer, that she could reach out and hold that warm, strong hand once again. Instead she closed her eyes and sank deep into memories, into another dark chapter in her life.

What the fuck am I doing here? I'm not like these people... not at all. Taylor listened to the man at the podium whining about some thing or another. She was totally disinterested, and as the man left the make shift stage she was ready to leave when the woman stepped up and cleared her throat.

"Hi, my name is Julie, and I'm an alcoholic." Her voice was pleasant, captivating, and Taylor momentarily seated her urge to race from the claustrophobic feeling the small room had grated into her nerves.

"Hi, Julie." The crowd responded.

"I've been clean for six months now." She waited for the applause to subside, then continued. "My first meeting I was ready to bolt out that door." She smiled, pointing to the door Taylor had wanted to run through. "But I didn't." More applause.

Julie's next few sentences went unnoticed as Taylor studied the woman. The graceful curves of her body, her high cheekbones and full pink lips, her dark brown hair and brown eyes... beautiful. Taylor felt a pang in her chest, and heat traveled across her body. Embarrassed, as if someone could read her thoughts, she focused on Julie's voice and her story.

"I was in a relationship where when things went wrong it was all my fault. My partner was furious at my drinking, so I drank more. I couldn't get up in the mornings without a drink. I couldn't go to work without a drink. I couldn't make love without a drink." The woman paused, took a hesitant breath and continued.

Taylor admired her honesty and forthright personality.

"My partner couldn't or didn't want to understand. We fought all the time. I became abusive... and hit..." The woman stumbled, looked out at the crowd and for a moment seemed to look right at Taylor, "my partner. My son... saw it, and he was terrified. I ran out of the house and hopped the bars all night long. I don't remember anything else except waking up beside my car, on the pavement. When I got back to the house my partner was gone and so was my son."

Tears clouded Julie's eyes, but she picked up courage like she use to pick up a drink. "It took me a month after that to admit I was an alcoholic. My first AA meeting was for my son and my partner, but I realized I had to do this for myself. And here I am, six months sober." She smiled, and looked out at the crowd as they clapped again. Her eyes met Taylor's for a second time, sending shivers up her back.

Taylor sat riveted, Julie's words echoing in her soul. The words had gotten through.

They unconsciously searched each other out as the crowd thinned and people left, to return home. That first exchange was awkward as hell, but from that starting point they went out for coffee the following night. They talked about anything and nothing, Taylor lying through her teeth about her 'home', her job, her life.

Things went quickly from there. Julie's partner had turned out to be a woman, who had left her, for good. Julie was heart broken that she couldn't repair the damage she had done. Her son was living with her once again, and she had started her life over.

Taylor joined Julie and Mark's lives, all the while working for Angel. She stayed over most nights, making love and talking about the future, going back to Angel in the mornings. For one strange, enjoyable month she lived a double life.

But Julie didn't want alcohol around herself or her son. She was suspicious of where Taylor went, what she did, and confronted her.

Darion sat on the edge of the bed, gently holding Taylor's hand as tears rolled under her closed eyelids. "Taylor, you don't have to talk about this if you don't want to." She said.

Taylor blinked open green eyes, realizing for the first time that her hand was in Darion's. She looked into those blue eyes, flying into something she couldn't and didn't want to stop. "I want you to know who I am, Darion." So it will be decided once and for all that I'm not worth caring about. We can get this over with and you can leave, like I know you want to.

I already know you... Darion slowly reached up her free hand and touched Taylor's cheek. She felt Taylor's body stiffen and let her hand fall quickly back to her side. "Alright, tell me who you are, Taylor Morgan."

"When Julie confronted me I was drunk. Like I always was."

"You're drunk." Julie said disgustedly and threw back the covers. She rose from the bed. Taylor reached out to the slim, naked body as it retreated and fell over the edge onto the floor. She giggled and struggled back up and after Julie, to the bathroom.

Julie was scrubbing her face at the sink, desperate to get rid of the stench of alcohol. She cursed as the door banged open. "Get the fuck out, Taylor."

Taylor swayed, caught the door frame, and made her way unsteadily over to Julie. She wrapped her arms around warm naked skin and planted hungry kisses along her shoulders.

"Stop it. Now." Julie tried to wriggle out of the embrace, but Taylor held tightly.

"Not yet," she slurred, "I'm not finished." Taylor pouted and turned Julie around. She crushed Julie's mouth with a savage kiss.

Julie sobbed, and pushed against Taylor's chest. With a grunt Taylor lost her balance and footing and crashed onto the cold linoleum. She let out a string of incomprehensible curses.

"Get out. Get out of my house and get out of my life." Julie turned. "I don't know you anymore, Taylor." She went into the bedroom and dumped out the drawer Taylor had used, and threw everything into a bag.

Taylor slumped on the bathroom floor. Her heart in chaos. Even inebriated she knew she'd lost Julie, lost the opportunity for love and a happy life. Instead of crying her face turned to stone and her heart turned to ice. Angel had always said she'd never make it without her... so true.

She staggered from the floor, dressed in a flurry of motion, and left, not once looking back or saying good-bye.

Taylor refused to look into eyes she knew would be filled with loathing and disgust. But she didn't pull her hand form Darion's either.

"That's not the end of it." Darion said, not a question.

"No, Angel found out." Taylor said simply. "My dear Angel," she said sarcastically, not looking up, "was, of course, furious. She threatened to kill Julie, and Mark. I didn't know what to do. I tried to contact Julie, but she wouldn't speak to me. Angel sent out some of her goons to finish them. I got there after them." She shrugged.

"What happened?" Darion asked, hurting for Taylor, and the pain so evident on her pale face.

"I-I... Mark was dead and Julie was shot. She was barely breathing. I was too late. I hid my little chicken ass in the closet till they left, and then I snuck out. I dragged Julie out the back, and set fire to the house." Taylor said bitterly. "I brought Julie back to the warehouse and took care of her, hiding her from Angel. She wanted nothing to do with me. I had gotten her son killed." She turned her face, trying to hide from the overwhelming emotions, trying to hide from a past she had never faced before.

Taylor's body shook with silent sobs. Pain burned in her chest and her heart was breaking. Darion couldn't stand the distance anymore and carefully gathered Taylor in her arms. "I'm not going to hurt you, sweetheart." Darion whispered as Taylor initially resisted. "Let it out. Let it all go." Taylor sagged against her chest. "You're not alone anymore."

Pain racked Taylor's body as she clung desperately to Darion's words and her solid body. Something clicked in the back of her mind, something in her tortured soul locked onto Darion and grabbed hold.

"That's right, let it go." Darion soothed and rocked the smaller woman in her arms. I love you Taylor... if I thought I could tell you that right now without scaring you away, I would. Darion fought her own tears.

An eternity passed in only moments as Taylor cried herself to sleep, safe in strong, warm arms, one weight lifted finally from shoulders that were no longer strong enough to hold the past by themselves.


Chapter Three


The two muscular men made no move to be subtle. It was not in their vocabulary. They walked down the hospital corridors as if they owned the place. Orders were to kill the girl, and leave no witnesses.

After calling the boss to tell him that Taylor had been discharged their own lives were forfeit unless they found her. He'd said the only logical thing to do would be to hide right in front of their eyes. Taylor had never let the hospital.

Between the two they had about half a brain, completely expendable, deadly accurate in their one talent. Killing.

On the fourth floor they passed the one and only security guard. At the end of the hall they ducked around the corner. One raised an eyebrow, the other smirked. They'd found her.


"Stop pacing." Taylor mumbled sleepily, "You're making me dizzy."

"Sorry." Darion answered, absently. What now? What now? Her mind screamed over and over. Taylor wasn't ready to be moved, not without risking her safety.

There was a gentle rap on the door frame and Jen entered the room. "How are you feeling?" The surgeon checked the chart and the vitals the nurse had taken only moments earlier. Doing very well, better then expected, in fact. "I picked up your prescription, so you're ready to go," Jen glanced at Darion briefly, "whenever you need to." She laid the bag on the bedside table.

"Thanks, Jen." Taylor smiled, studying the surgeon for the first time since she'd been admitted to the hospital. She realized she felt comfortable around Jen, almost as if they'd met before, but that was impossible. Taylor had always avoided going to the hospital.

"It's no problem, Taylor. Remember, no heavy lifting, no over exerting yourself either." Jen winked.

"Gotcha, doc. Wish I could say it's been... fun, but that'd be lying." Taylor smiled again, lighting up her face, warmth shining in her eyes.

"Yep, and I'd say be seeing you, but we wouldn't want that either." Jen wondered if she would see Taylor again. Hoped so, but definitely not treating her once again in the ER. "Darion," Jen spoke as she made her way to the door, "may I speak to you a moment?"

Darion gave a nonchalant shrug and a smile to Taylor as she followed the surgeon out into the hall. "What's up?" She whispered, once they were away from the security guards earshot.

"Trouble." Jen whispered as well. "I took my lunch down to the security room, to ask when their shifts changed..."

"And?" Darion prompted, dread circling her empty stomach.

"Couldn't believe what I saw." She muttered. "Two guys, just like the friggin' movies, searching up and down the hallways. They were on the second floor when I rushed out to fill the prescription and warn you."

Dammit, dammit, dammit... then... "They'd have made it up here by now?" Dammit, trouble was coming faster then Darion had expected.

"Most likely." Jen confirmed. Security guards were trained for this kind of thing, weren't they? But those two men had looked like professionals. Holy shit, what have I gotten myself mixed up in? Discreetly she looked down the hall. "There is a service elevator down that hall," she motioned slightly, "that will take you right to the ground level. Take a left and you'll be in the passenger, patient pickup and drop off area."

Darion nodded. "I owe you, Jen. For this, for everything."

"Just get Taylor out of here. I don't want to see either of you back in the ER, understand?" The surgeon left quickly, before Darion could respond, her rapidly beating heart mingling with the posse of butterflies in her stomach. Good luck, she silently wished.


Two dark suited men waited in the shadows, watching the interaction between the two woman, waiting for their opening.

The security guard posed no threat, they'd taken care of men like him before, middle aged, seeking benefits, hoping nothing would happen on THEIR shift, just praying the day would end and they could go home and rest tired, aching bodies.

One of the women left, the other returned to the room. They looked at one another with wicked smiles that said 'now or never,' quickly tightened the silencers on their Glocks and sauntered down the hall.


Chapter Four


"Taylor," Darion whispered urgently, "you're gonna have to get dressed so we can get out of here."

"They're here?" The young woman asked, looking unexpectedly fragile.

"Yes." Darion said simply.

"You should go then." Light green eyes pleaded with bright blue.

"We've been through this already. I'm not leaving you." Darion grabbed clothes from the closest, not caring they weren't Taylor's, since Taylor's had been cut to shreds in the ER.

Goddamn, stubborn as ever... Taylor dressed quickly and painfully while Darion watched the doorway. The hacker tucked the prescription pills into the oversized pants, and shrugged the worn Jean jacket into place.

They exited the hospital room, silently. Darion cocked her head almost imperceptibly to the side. "Get down," she hissed, pulling them both to the linoleum. Something whizzed past and lodged with a small hollow pop into the far wall.

"Holy shit." Taylor breathed, as pain sliced up her side.

Darion risked a glance to the shadows down the hall. They were no longer shadows as two dark suited men stepped simultaneously down the hall. Darion pulled Taylor to her feet beside her. "Run..." She gave her a small shove down the hall, "left... service elevator," then turned to face the dark men.

Taylor slipped and slid down the freshly waxed floors. A bullet lodged into the wall beside her head, causing her heart to skip a beat, and her feet to race faster. There was a thud and a stifled scream. She kept running, grabbed the corner on the left and slid into the hallway. The service elevator was at the end.

Darion... oh God, I can't leave you. She skidded to a breathless halt. Fire lanced through her chest. Shit, if I break this fuckin' rib again... I think I need a warranty on this surgery stuff. She turned and raced back around the corner.

Her world seemed to freeze for a spilt second as she saw Darion. Her long black hair was captured in a big meaty hand, her body sagging out below her. One of the men had his gun planted against Darion's temple, finger clutching the trigger.

"Noooooo!" Taylor screamed and the world raced forward once again. Three sets of eyes looked up. Darion!

The man raised his gun at Taylor. A long graceful arm swung upward, with newfound strength and knocked the gun out of his hand, sending it skidding across the floor to Taylor. She dove for it as Darion rose and disarmed the other dark man.

The rolls were now reversed as Darion and Taylor raised both stolen guns.



I want to finish this once and for all. I'm tired of running, tired of being scared. Darion doesn't deserve this kind of life. Who am I kidding? I'm not even sure why Darion is still hanging around. She poked the gun more savagely into the back of the man they were sharing an elevator with.

He drew in a sharp breath, and she smiled. I should waste this bastard right here, and right now.

Taylor glanced over at Darion's strong profile. Their eyes met for the briefest moment. Why, Darion, why are you staying with me through all this? She saw something flash beneath that pale, steady blue, and turned abruptly away.

They lead their charges out of the service elevator into the patient pickup/drop off area, and hailed a cab.


Chapter Five


"Where to?" The cabby asked cheerfully.

Taylor poked the gun unmercifully into the ribcage of the man seated next to her.

"AA Enterprises." He hissed through clenched teeth. Fucking little bitch, she'll get what's comin' to her. One way or another.

Darion and Taylor raised startled eyebrows and looked at one another simultaneously. AA Enterprises?

Shit, fucking, shit... Taylor squirmed in her seat, wishing desperately that she could stop and pop about a dozen pain pills. She was dizzy and nauseous. The race down the hallway had not been a good thing.

Darion kept a tight grip on the arm of the second man, while she gazed distractedly out the cab window. AA... Angel... fuckin' bitch keeps coming back...

Angel and Adam... For a long time the corporation had been thought to be owned by a single man, Adam Angel. Or by a group named Angel Adam. It hadn't been cleared up until AA Enterprises had started buying up every available property and business, and had come into the presses as the next multi-billion dollar company.

They had demolished abandoned buildings, brought up children's centers, clinics, and stuff, in their places. It was hard to pin a monopoly on services that helped the community, and brought in good money.

Questions did pop up, but quickly disappeared.

They looked legit on the surface, they covered greed well. Covered the fact that in less then a year they'd have bought all of NYC and it's surrounding suburbs. God knows what other stuff they held in and out of country.

This thing was bigger then Darion had expected. And Taylor probably knew all about it. She glanced over at the haggard profile. How could you? Part of her demanded. How could you not? Another part sighed. Taylor's face was pale, a light sheen of sweat building on her upper lip. She looked exhausted, and determined. The dark haired woman wanted nothing more then to throw the men that sat between them out the cab door, and wrap her arms around Taylor.

What's stopping you? A little voice demanded. I'm a cop, Goddammit. So fucking what? That point had seemed to matter little in the last couple of days. She hadn't even called in sick. Doug is gonna clean the floor with my face. Is it worth it? YES! She screamed, Taylor's worth it all.

How can you be so fucking sure? Oh, just shut the fuck up.

"Here you are." The cabby said.

Darion grumbled as she pulled her charge from the car. The second man followed, with Taylor almost kicking him out. She threw a wad of crumpled, still wet bills into his window without saying a word.

They began a slow march to the oversized glass doors of AA Enterprises as the cab driver thumbed through the soggy bills.

"Hey," he called, "don't you want your change?"

"Keep it." Taylor called back.

The cabby looked dumbly at the twenties and one hundred dollar bill. Shit, all right, if you say so. He peeled out with a squeal of tires before the woman could change her mind.

"Open it." Darion told the man, pushing him in front of a keypad, located unobtrusively in a little niche beside the door.

"Can't, " he mumbled, "don't got the code."

"Nevermind." Taylor shoved him out of the way. She punched in several numbers. "Shit." Punched in a few more. A few more muttered curses then a beep and the door clicked open. She smiled grimly. "Someone's expecting us."

The men grinned.

"Why's that?" Darion asked.

"The keycode was set to my birthday." Taylor replied quietly. And only one person knows what that is.

"Shit." Darion muttered and shoved the men into the dark interior.

"Soo glad you could make it." The rich, deep voice purred from the shadows.

They all jumped.

"If you would follow me." The voice had it's seductive charms.

But Taylor didn't move. She grabbed Darion's wrist as the two men started forward into the shadows.

"Taylor, I'm disappointed my messenger boy never gave you my message. I so wanted to hear of your reaction. But perhaps it just wasn't time. The Fates have a way of showing us our destinies, sooner or later."

The voice wrapped around her, settled into her soul, and brought forth unpleasant images of blood and death. "Who are you?" Her quiet voice carried over the plush carpets, wrapped around the luxurious chairs and bounced of the sterile walls.

"You know who I am." The two men had reached their employers side. "Come with me... and we will... discuss... an arrangement."

"An arrangement? You have nothing I want." Taylor spat bitterly.

"Oh," he chuckled softly, "I think I do."

From behind them came a shadow, and before they had time to react it was tearing Darion's hand from hers. She whirled around, raised her gun, only to have it kicked from her hand. It landed on the carpet with a dull thud.

"Payback's a bitch." Came the throaty response from the shadow that held Darion captive.

Taylor's knees buckled and she swayed dizzily. Shit... "Angel."

"Oh yes, darrrrling." Angel stepped out of the shadows, holding a pistol to Darion's head, obviously enjoying Taylor's pale, shaking form. "Didn't think you could kill lil' ol' me, did you?" She smiled, painfully twisting her marred features.

"But.." Taylor stuttered. "How-"

"Technology dear. Such amazing advances in the past year or so. Not that they've been introduced to the public... " Angel drawled to a finish.

Taylor stood, stunned. My god, is that... no fucking way did Angel have an arm you'd see in sci-fi movies. Sure, technology was advanced, but to this point and I didn't know about it? Inanely she was jealous. Taylor mentally slapped herself. It wasn't impossible, never had been... top secret government crap, fuck Angel had higher contacts then the mysterious man in the shadows... or HE had the contacts...

"Bor-r-r-ing." The deep voice called. "Let's get on with this."

Taylor desperately cleared her mind, and tried to focus. There was no choice. She followed Darion and Angel, catching a glimpse of deep blue eyes. I'm sorry Darion, her heart broke inside to what would be lost forever. Happiness, with Darion. Love... suddenly she realized what she'd seen shining in Darion's eyes earlier, and she was ashamed.

Ashamed for every rottenfuckingterrible thing she'd done in her life. If I could change it all for a chance with you Darion, I would, and I will... I'll fix this... she promised. I'll fix this, if it kills me...

To be continued...


Copyright 1999 Tragedy88

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