Mouse Tango

He was horny. This wasn’t new; part of his nature and biological makeup had him prowling nearly all the time, and Victor Creed took it as a matter of course. He ate; he shat; he killed; he fucked. Simple life, on the surface, tied to the basics and a no-brainer for most people looking at him.

So far he’d had three drinks, nice and strong. His next little excursion for Stryker wouldn’t be for two days, and now it was time to get laid; now, in the lull between the alcohol and the bloodlust, while he could take his time in selecting just the right woman to . . . enjoy.

At least, he’d enjoy it. She probably wouldn’t, given his tendencies and dimensions, but then again, Victor had never been one for foreplay, and in any case, it wasn’t as if he’d be seeing her again. Truthfully, she might not be seeing anyone again.

Sometimes that happened.

“You need another one, handsome?” a voice with a hint of an accent interrupted his musings, and Victor turned to glance at the speaker behind the bar, taking her in for the first time that night.

Short. Chubby. Long brown hair in two braids, and freckles across the bridge of her nose. Green-brown eyes looking back at him, and something in that glance made him stare a moment longer.

He shifted on the stool; let his upper lip pull up enough to show a tip of fang. “Yeah.” That would spook her, he knew. Even other mutants flinched when he did that.

She didn’t seem to notice. “The same, or something stronger?”

“The same,” he rumbled, feeling a hint of annoyance. “I thought Isaac ran the bar.”

“Isaac does,” the girl replied, pulling down a bottle and pouring a double shot neatly in a clean glass. “I’m just the help.”

Victor took the drink with a grunt, and downed it, using it as an excuse to look at her again. The accent was Russian, he realized. Just the smallest hint. He took a breath, catching her scent as she turned to put the bottle away. Bourbon. Chocolate. Musk. She jiggled, and he liked that, watching the luscious ripple of her chest. No bra.

Definitely horny.

She reminded him of women from his first and second decade; short round women with padding in all the right places, women who smelt and tasted like what they were without hiding behind perfume and deodorant. Women who wore corsets and bloomers and fancy combs in their long hair.

Then she turned and caught him staring. She blushed, and Victor was amused by that. She should have been terrified, because he wasn’t a damned bit subtle in his leer, both fangs visible now.

“So, help. Gotta name?”

This time she stammered a little. “N-no. I’m just the help, Mr. Creed.” With that she bounced her way to the other end of the bar, making a fuss over a tub of dirty glasses while he watched her ass quiver in a sweetly beckoning way.

Damn he was horny. Victor licked the rim of the glass and cocked his head. It dawned on him that the girl had called him by name, so she knew who he was, and certainly what he was. She wouldn’t have that advantage for long though. With a slow slide, he turned to mutter to the man on the stool next to him.

“Who’s the girl at the bar?”

“The girl?” Dukes echoed blearily. He’d downed the better part of a keg already, and his rabbity eyes were pink. “Oh. She works for Isaac.”

“Yeah, I kind of figured that part out, dick-wipe,” Victor muttered impatiently. “Considering she’s standing on the other side of the bar pouring booze and taking money.” Dukes was solid in a fight, dependable, but the man was no brain trust, especially after he’d started chugging his suds.

“Yeah,” Dukes agreed. “Kinda hefty though.”

Privately,Victor disagreed. Women nowadays were too angular; too focused on showing bone structure instead of curves. The girl behind the bar was a nice jiggly package with more than enough sweet flesh for a man to bounce on.

“See, I like’em whippier than that. Teeny.”

“I,” Victor announced, “don’t give a fuck what you like. She have a name?”

“Something that begins with a D,” Dukes replied, not the least bit bothered by his team mate’s snarl. “Dora, Dotty . . . someth’n like that.”

“Thanks,” came Victor’s sarcastic grumble.

“Dolly,” Dukes blurted. “That was it. Dolly.”

“Dolly,” Victor echoed, turning to watch her again. The name fit, he realized. She looked the part in her flowered peasant dress and black velvet vest, braids swinging as she worked on what seemed to be a pair of vodka tonics. The light of the bar wasn’t that great, but he could make out the way the fabric of her dress clung to her curves.

Victor bet her hair was pretty, out of the braids and loose, halfway to her round ass. It was a sight, he realized, that he wanted to see. Personally, and up close.

A hand landed on his shoulder, and even before he turned, he smelled Stryker; that Old Spice and antiseptic odor. “Victor. Mission’s been moved up by twenty-four hours. I trust you can handle that?”

“What’s the rush?” he growled, annoyed. Normally news like that didn’t bother Victor, but at this moment, it cut into other possible plans.

“Not something you need to worry your pretty little head about,” Stryker replied evenly. “Be at the airfield in twenty-four hours, ready for a sub-tropical climate.”

“Rumble in the jungle,” came the sour observation. Victor preferred the cold, himself. Fewer bugs, less stench, less griping from the rest of the team.

Stryker neither denied nor confirmed, which pretty much confirmed it, as far as Victor could smell. He waited until the man moved off, then Victor stalked along the nearly empty bar, coming to a stop just on the other side of the woman wiping it.

They looked up at each other, and Victor realized her eyes were hazel; the green-brown of mossy stones in a stream and flecked here and there with gold.

“Hello, Dolly,” he rumbled.

Her eyes held his, and Victor dimly realized there was something missing in her expression, something he was used to seeing in every other woman’s face when she stared at him, but he couldn’t quite pin it down.

Then Dolly gave a sigh. “At least you didn’t sing it. Something I can do for you, Mr. Creed?”

“Not now,” he replied in a softly mocking tone as he turned away, “but soon.”

It was nearly a week later, in the middle of a bloody hand-to-claw fight with the mutant recruits of a tribal warlord in some desert nation that Victor realized what had been missing from Dolly’s eyes.


*** *** ***

Three weeks later before Victor made it back to the bar, and the weather outside did nothing to make the return any sweeter. A dull, steady rain poured down, making everything wet and grey. The humidity at the bar, combined with the smells of alcohol, sweat, varnish and faint hints of blood and vomit were enough to raise Victor’s hackles.

The mission had been a success. Bloody of course, and there had been moments when he’d lost control a little, but overall Stryker was pleased, and the resulting pay reflected that. Not that Victor much cared; a duffle bag of cash was just another hassle to deal with. He shifted it between his shoulders and looked over towards the bar, searching out faces.

Isaac was there; his grizzled face and leather eye patch a familiar sight. There were a few customers around; shady characters who sullenly nursed their drinks. Not much talking, just the drizzle of the rain all around them.

Victor pushed his way forward; wiser folk moved aside, avoiding his gaze. He nodded at bartender, who poured a drink without missing a beat. “Isaac.”

“Stranger.” Isaac addressed everyone that way; it kept him as neutral as possible in a bar too often under the scrutiny of authorities.

Victor drained the draft, letting the smooth smoky burn flow down to his throat. He swallowed, and then set the heavy glass back down on the bar with that ‘thunk.’ “Where’s Dolly?”

Isaac looked up, his one remaining eye narrowing. “Not her night. Another?”

Victor nodded, taking the offered drink and fishing out a few bills that he tossed down. “When is her night?”

There was a pause, and for a moment it seemed the entire room was quiet, except for the distant hiss of the rain. Isaac leaned forward a bit, his gaze hard and slightly regretful. “Stranger, you don’t want to deal with that one. Only warning. She’s on tomorrow and Friday.”

Victor let his fangs show, even though the bartender’s words intrigued him. Isaac wasn’t a coward, or a fool; if he’d given a warning there had to be a reason.

The problem was that as far as Victor could see, Dolly sure as hell didn’t warrant one. Not the chubby girl with the braids and bouncy tits.

“Why? She got the clap?” Victor rumbled, half in jest, and hoping to get more information.

Isaac glowered and hesitated in pouring another shot, but did it anyway. “No.”

“She a dyke?” Victor baited again, amused at seeing if he could get a rise out of the old man.

“No,” came the sour reply. “I tipped you off; you’ll learn.” With that, Isaac scooped up the money and moved down, serving another customer, and leaving the bottle in front of Victor.

He drained it, drowning the minor disappointment of not seeing Dolly, and wondered what it was about the girl that had a tough old bird like Isaac warning people off. Victor suspected she was probably a mutant of some sort herself; maybe she had a tail, or could turn into mist or something.

Whatever it was, he’d find out, Victor promised himself.

*** *** ***

Dolly Maranova Meesh checked the grilled leg of lamb one last time, and turned to the kitchen sink, washing her hands and wondering if she had any red wine left. The entire house was fragrant with the scent, and it made for a lovely atmosphere. She glanced out the window to the street, hoping the rain had stopped, but it hadn’t, and the runoff down the hill was heavy.

The house was the last in the row; a 1915 Victorian townhouse at the end of Pine Street. Dolly had bought the long, narrow and ancient property nearly fifty years earlier as a derelict on auction, and spent her meager salaries over the years in putting it back to its former glory.

The Italianate terrace house was still a long, long way from glory, but it was habitable and quiet. The house on the right was frequently unoccupied, and the left side held a small stand of Eucalyptus and thick thorny hedge that blocked any possible view of the ocean from the one bathroom window that faced that way.

Dolly glanced up at the Russian mantle clock on the shelf over the window and when her gaze went back to the window she bit back a scream as the leering face, ghostly and menacing, stared back at her. She knew that face, even wet and pale in the reflected light of her kitchen, and even as she backed away, Dolly clenched her teeth.

She knew about Victor Creed.

Working at a bar frequented by mutants had given Dolly a chance to hear things, and nothing whispered about the man was ever good. Even among the hard-eyed group that worked for the colonel he was not so much a comrade as a distant member of the team. Tolerated and feared; never liked and certainly not admired.

And now that same man was on her front steps, ramming a fist with enough force to make the door rattle on its hinges, demanding entrance. Any other woman would be calling 911, or running for her life. Dolly sighed, smoothed her braid back and walked to the front door, taking a deep breath.

She undid the bolts and chains, pulling the door open to look up into Victor’s face; it was looming over her by nearly a foot, and rain dripped from it onto her. Dolly stared at him, looking for something in that sardonic, fearsome face, and he drew in a deep breath.

“Something smells good,” he announced, and stepped forward, crossing the threshold, forcing her to step back. Dolly let him in, moving to close the door behind Victor and minimize the rain coming in. She debated whether to mop up the little puddles and opted not to; time enough for that later. Maybe.

“Sit. Eat,” Dolly told him, moving past Victor towards the kitchen. She made it a point not to run; not to give him any reason to pounce. His weight made the floorboards creak a little, and she could feel his gaze along her back.

She tried to ignore that stare, and stepped into the kitchen, gesturing to the table. Dolly pulled on mitts, opened the oven and lifted the roasting pan out; the scent of rosemary and grilled lamb flooded the small kitchen and steamed up the windows. Victor was already seated when she brought it to the table, and he shifted his gaze from her to the meat. Dolly could see his mental debate, and she wanted to laugh about the battle of urges so nakedly apparent before her.

Casually, she reached into the cutlery drawer and tossed the carving knife down in front of him, the point sticking into the table. “Eat,” Dolly repeated more softly this time, and Victor didn’t hesitate. He pulled the knife out, and began to carve the leg, pinning it down in the pan with his long claws. Dolly dropped into the seat at the other end of the table and said nothing, watching him.

Twenty minutes later, she realized the man had eaten the entire three pound roast right down to the long bone, and her annoyance battled with her pride. Dolly tried not to let her stomach growl too loudly as she leaned forward, and watched Victor use the knife to spear hunks of meat and eat them off the point.

“That was supposed to last me all week,” she commented finally. “Three dinners and three lunches, with soup for Sunday.”

“You said to eat,” Victor pointed out, a mild gloat in his tone. “You never said ‘stop.’”

“When was the last time you ate?” The question slipped out before she could stop it. Victor gave an insouciant shrug and wolfed down one of the last hunks of lamb, chewing it quickly.

“Yesterday morning, I think. Some slop out of a MRE can. It doesn’t matter.” He finished the meat and began to pick his fangs with the knife. Dolly looked away, annoyed. She was aware of what would happen next, and wondered if she could at least move them to the bedroom, where there were fewer breakables and windows.

“You’re right,” she agreed softly. “It doesn’t matter.” Standing, Dolly picked up the pan and took it to the sink, running hot water into it. She heard Victor rise, his heavy steps, and then he was there behind her, pressing her up against the sink, his weight and heat squeezing her there, hard and strong and scented with lamb.

“We both know what comes next,” he purred, voice low and smug. “Don’t we?”

It was a delicate moment, and she tried to look scared as she turned her head to meet his gaze. “Not at the window,” Dolly murmured. “Someone might see you. Might call the police.”

“Why aren’t you afraid of me?” Victor asked her, the gloating tone gone for a moment; his expression a scowl of curiosity.
“I am,” she lied. It had been a long time since she’d had to pretend. She shuddered when he pressed harder, the blatant ridge of his erection against one cheek of her ass.

“You’re lying,” Victor surmised, and his tone was almost thoughtful now. “I could rip you to pieces right here at your pretty Susie Homemaker kitchen sink and make your blood fountain all over the damn walls. You know it too, but you’re not scared. Why is that?”

Dolly took a breath and turned, squeezing to do so, and faced Victor. This close left her slightly breathless, but she kept her voice even. “Let’s just get it over with. The bedroom’s in the back, away from the street.”

He reached down with one hand outspread, claws delicately touching her cheek, scraping it lightly. “You don’t want me.”

“No,” Dolly muttered. That one was only half a lie; it had been a very long time since any man had been in her bed, and the musk of Victor Creed was making her body react.

“Good,” came his growl, and he bent down dropping his mouth on hers in a hard, wet parody of a kiss. His fangs clacked against her teeth, and the hard slide of his big tongue into her mouth took her breath away. Dolly’s hands came up; Victor caught her wrists, moved to pin them behind her, and she let him, their mouths still locked together.

Nothing gentle or tender, and yet Dolly relaxed, savoring the taste of lamb along with his own wilder flavor. The sweep of his tongue along hers was possessive, and there was a rasp to it; a roughness, like a cat’s lick. She moaned a little, and Victor pulled back, eyes narrowing, but a smirk on his face. He let go of one wrist and moved quickly, his long claws slicing down the front of her dress, shredding the material and slicing through the bra easily. Her generous breasts bounced freely. “Dessert,” came his husky tone.

“Bedroom,” Dolly murmured her voice slightly dazed. He moved, scooping her up roughly over one shoulder and turning, moving out of the kitchen and down the hall further, turning into an open doorway and throwing her onto the bed there.

Dolly tried to catch her breath, but he dropped on her, making the ancient four poster creak under the added weight. More angry kissing; he was biting now, something halfway between lust and fury, fangs piercing her lower lip. She should be bleeding, she knew, but it was dark, and Victor’s attention was elsewhere along her body, his growls low and hungry.

She felt his claws snagging at the remains of her dress, and his knees pushing her own apart. Dolly lay back quietly, watching him undo his belt and open his fly. The surge of his big cock from his jeans startled her though; sent a traitorous surge of heat through her pale, round belly at the sight of it angry and thick. “Jesus--!”

Victor laughed at her reaction, and lowered himself onto her, tugging her knees apart. “Ooh, furry. Nice to see bush coming back into style. Afraid yet?”

Sprawled, waiting, Dolly looked up at him poised over her, and lightly laughed. “No. My cunt? It’s hungry, Mr. Creed. It’s got teeth.”

*** *** ***

Victor paused, caught between needing to drive himself balls deep into her and holding back. He’d hunted down this bitch, made his way into her home, stolen her dinner and now--the girl’s words hung in the air, and he gave a snarl of frustration because the ripe sweet smell of her pussy had him throbbing, dripping, and yet . . .

She was lying, Victor decided.

He grunted, thrust forward hard, and her wet heat clenched at him slickly, smooth and hot and SO fucking good. Victor growled, pinning Dolly down with his body, hips pistoning hard, building satisfaction with every deep stroke.

Tight. The girl was damned tight.

Then, unexpectedly there was a . . . squeeze, rippling up the length of his cock, stroking it harder, making him grunt with pleasure. Victor thrust forward again, and as he pulled back, the squeeze rolled up his prick once more, a sensual stroke that made him shiver hard, wanting more, oh SO much more of that, Chrrrist, yeah—

No thinking now, just the quick solid smack of flesh, thrust and thrust; Victor groaned when he felt that inner squeeze repeatedly, the wicked, anaconda-like tension roll up his turgid cock, milking him hard and slow. The girl was shaking, a long sweet howl rising out of her throat. He tried to hold out as long as he could, but finally with a growl, Victor came in long, endless spurts, shuddering, his fangs deep in the girl’s shoulder as his body slumped on hers.

He felt drained, sleepy, but not ready to roll off her. She lay under him, making a strange sound, not like anything he’d heard before. Not crying; he was used to that. Not screaming either, another familiar reaction. Both of those were easy excuses to twist a neck or slash a throat.

This was . . . humming. Victor felt her hands moving up along his back, touching him.

He snarled, and pulled away, sliding free of her with a wet sound, dropping onto the mattress next to her hard enough to make it bounce. “What the fuck was that?” Victor licked her blood off his fangs.

“My manda,” she murmured sleepily. “That’s quite a pole you’ve got, Mr. Creed. I think you slammed a few ribs, from the inside.”

Victor rose up on one elbow, temper rising. He had never liked being played for a fool, much less by a female. Grabbing one rounded breast, he let his claws puncture the soft, smooth flesh, waiting for her to cry out.

Dolly gave a little sigh. “No teeth . . . this time. Mmmmm, give me about twenty minutes and we can do it again.”

Victor stared; his claws had gone deep in a ring of gashes in her beautiful bare breast, and threads of blood were spilling down, only to be quickly reabsorbed. He pulled his nails out and the gashes healed under his hard gaze. “Mutant.”

She made a soft sound of agreement, reaching to touch his hand; his claws. “Da.”

“Fuck,” came his growl. “You fucking bitch.”

Dolly pursed her lips and turned her gaze to him. “Now comes the part where you slash me up. Go on—I know you need to do that.”

He did. Rising to his knees, Victor raked his claws over her, cutting furrows down her breasts and belly, slashing crisscross marks along her cheeks. As fast as he ripped, she healed, the skin returning to its unblemished smoothness, the blood rising and sinking back under the flesh in quick succession. He snarled, dropping onto the girl again, fangs sinking into the side of her throat. The heat of her blood welled and subsided in his mouth, and even as he chewed, her skin knit under his teeth.

It was fucking infuriating, and as he growled, Victor felt himself grow hard again, rubbing between her damp, bare thighs.

“Yes, oohhhhhhh,” she murmured, “Oh yes, you are a beast.”

Victor caught her, rolled with her until she was over him, braid swinging. One rip to the flimsy ribbon on the end and her hair began to undo, tumbling out along her shoulders. He roughly thrust up into her, hips lifting them both up off the mattress.

He hissed; like oiled velvet, this cunt of hers, hot and slick and . . . again, the long, hard roll of muscle contraction, stroking his prick from root to tip in a lewdly strong caress. The girl had her hands on his chest, pulling his shirt open, sliding her little palms along his bare skin, brushing his nipples, adding sparks of pleasure to the long, slow ride.

Victor sank his claws into her jiggly ass and pumped himself into her, breathing hard now, sweating and blind to anything other than the fucking. He fought the urge to come; drew out the pleasure, panting defiantly, pulling the girl forward to nip at her swaying breasts, tasting her big stiff nipples in the dark.

She was making low cries and howls, but not of pain, and for some reason the sound of her voice calling his name was enough to send him rocketing over the edge again; that and the clench of that slick, searing cunt of hers wracked Victor hard as he gushed into her.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to go, he realized, even as the urge to sleep began to wash through him. Victor breathed into Dolly’s face, pinning her down against his damp chest, one muscled arm wrapping around the small of her back, the other tangling in her long hair.

“Don’t move,” he muttered, baring his fangs. “We’re going to have a little nap now. Try to get up, and I’ll spear your damn eyes out.”

She gave a small, satisfied yawn, and kissed his bristly chin, then settled against his chest, spreading herself across him like butter on toast, warm and soft. Victor stayed tense, but after a while, the even sound of her breathing told him the girl had fallen asleep, and gradually, he did too, chin resting on the top of her head.

*** *** ***

He snored. Not loudly; just a low rumble, like a purr, deep and steady. Dolly thought he sounded like Uri a bit, although she’d never slept on her second husband’s chest. Uri had been too lean for that.

The slow trickle of semen between her legs was still dripping a bit and left her smelling like spilled beer, sharp and sour. Dolly knew she’d have to wash the sheets soon, if they weren’t too badly shredded. She sighed, feeling torn herself between the warm comfort of Victor Creed’s body under hers, and the nagging annoyance that he’d keep trying to murder her, just to see if he could.

Still, asleep, the man was quiet, and she took a moment to enjoy the feel of his chest, hot and furry. There was a scent to him she liked; had liked the first time she’d smelled him at the bar. Something like ancient moss, and pine. A wilderness smell that took her back through the decades and across the continents, to places she hadn’t seen in over a century. Dolly shifted a little, and Victor’s arm around her tightened. He nuzzled the part in her hair, making a small, almost contented sound and she relaxed, letting herself drop off to sleep, lulled by his low snore.

In the morning he was gone.

She got up cautiously, feeling aches along her thighs and between them as she padded barefoot from room to room, finding each one empty, although there were signs he’d wandered through. In the bathroom, the unraised seat and unflushed toilet made her grimace; clearly he’d intended she should find his splatter and accept that her territory was now marked by him.

In the kitchen, most of the refrigerator was empty, with cans and containers everywhere; the gallon jug of milk had been drained and tossed into the sink, on top of the greasy lamb pan.

Dolly sighed, and began to clean up. The dishes took no time, and mopping the bathroom gave her a minor sense of satisfaction; she was an old hand at dealing with arrogant males. But the sight of the rumpled bed; the fading scent of sex and sweat made her blink a little, and acknowledge a tiny moment of regret deep inside her.

She’d meant to hurt him; teach him a lesson about underestimating her, but somehow, that hadn’t . . . happened. Maybe it was because he’d kissed her, Dolly considered. Or maybe it was because he’d held out long enough each time so that she had come. Whatever it was, Dolly didn’t really know, and tried hard to put it out of mind.

After getting her house back in order, she took a long bath, carefully washing away the last traces of Victor Creed, and letting her sore body soak for a while. Dolly was fairly sure she wouldn’t get pregnant; she was in one of her non-fertile years, and wouldn’t come into season until sometime in mid-summer, thank God.

Dolly sighed, and let the water drain out of the tub, taking the last traces of the night’s passion with it.

As she stepped out of the house a few hours later, something nagged at her; turning, Dolly stared at the front door, thinking hard. Finally, it came to her, and her eyes widened in surprise.

He’d locked the door behind him. The man hadn’t left it hanging open, or off the hinges. Victor had locked it from the inside, and closed it behind him. After all the mess he’d left in the house, this odd little civilized action seemed . . . bizarre. Shaking her head, Dolly gave the house one last lingering glance, and headed out, hoisting her tuning tool bag.

Four pianos at two hundred dollars each. Not too bad, and given the damp air of the city, a fairly steady line of work. Dolly enjoyed putting the instruments right, and pocketed the checks with a sense of satisfaction. There was enough to replace the roast, and donate to St. Casmir’s and even a bit left over to add to the bank.

She caught the trolley and walked from the stop to home, getting ready for her shift at Isaac’s, and when Dolly caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror, she smiled, knowing Isaac would comment.

And he did.

“You look . . . rested,” he muttered suspiciously when she came on duty, tying one of the semi-clean aprons around her waist. The bar was filling up, and the beginnings of an argument had Isaac’s attention divided.

Dolly nodded. “Got to bed early,” she offered neutrally. “Slept in.”

“Yeah?” came Isaac’s slightly wary tone. He might have probed further, but the voices at the far end of the room had gotten louder, and a glass broke; first fight of the night. Isaac sailed off, baseball bat in hand to restore order, and Dolly manned the taps, glad of the rush of orders.

It stayed busy. She knew Isaac had her work nights like this because he understood that she was as asset in more ways than one, and a girl behind the bar was always more attractive than he was. Dolly didn’t flirt, wasn’t high-strung or unreliable, and kept her hands out of the till. She kept her head down in fights, and spoke only Russian when the cops showed up.

The night rolled on, and the ebb and flow of customers moved through. Dolly eyed the door every time it opened, her shoulders tensed and she realized she was waiting.

That annoyed her. The man was a sadistic animal, with the ethics of a sociopath and the manners of wild boar. He’d stalked her, raped her and . . . left her house a mess, Dolly thought sourly, wondering which of the three annoyed her most. By rights it should be the rapes, although in the heat of the night, she couldn’t lie to herself that they’d been non-consensual couplings.

Her preoccupation left her distracted, and the next time she looked up, a familiar figure stood in the semidarkness near the back wall. Big shoulders, sardonic smirk, dark, watchful eyes.

Dolly shivered, and looked away.

*** *** ***

He’d spent the day killing. It was the only way to keep from gnawing at the puzzle, and Victor hated puzzles. To his way of thinking, all of life boiled down to the basics, and anything that got in the way of those was unnecessary and should be eliminated.

Killing was easy, and familiar and put his focus back where it needed to be. Victor breathed in damp, foggy air for most of the day, and tried to keep his mind from wandering back to thoughts of Dolly.

The girl, he corrected himself harshly. She wasn’t worth a name; just a fat little bartender. A nobody. He’d gotten fed and laid; not a big deal.

Victor looked down, and noticed he was standing in a cold stream, the water leaking into his boots. He bared his fangs in a quick grin, aware that his scent was nicely obscured now, and looked up the hill, to the stand of trees there. The hills of Mt. Tamalpias were shrouded in wisps of cloud, grey and obscuring.

Helpful to the hunter.

He spotted prey and took off, not hesitating, his low wild snarl echoing through the hiking trails, lingering over the long grass, making everything that heard it run.

By the time darkness fell, he was cold and fatigued; but Victor felt better. He stank of old copper, and the bloodstains over his shirt and sleeves would alarm anyone seeing him, but after dark, no one would notice. He walked the hills into the city, and against his will, his boots turned towards Isaac’s, down near the waterfront.

Outside the door, Victor hesitated. He’d left just after dawn, not waking the girl, who slipped out of his arms with only a single sleepy murmur of protest before settling against the pillow. He’d liked the spill of her hair across it; the jiggle of her breasts with every breath, and had damned near woken her for one last goodbye fuck.

He hadn’t though, and at the moment regretted it, because whatever else her faults, that pussy of hers . . . damn. Victor shook his head in wry memory and pushed his way into the bar, gaze straight ahead.

Dolly was there, pouring a shot of single malt for someone. Victor stared at her full hips, her long braids, the soft slope of her shoulders. Different dress; tighter, with a lot of pink cleavage showing up top. For some reason that irritated him, and he moved in, staying along the walls. The crowds were a mixed group: some mutants, the rest normals, and their smells were as varied as they were. Victor didn’t recognize anyone, although he caught the odor of blood on a few other figures in the dark.

He kept his gaze on her, knowing she’d feel his presence sooner or later. When she looked up and locked eyes with him, Victor smiled at Dolly’s shiver, feeling something feral rising from that look. He slowly made his way forward until he was at the bar, close enough to smell her.

“I thought you were long gone,” she murmured in a voice pitched only for his ears. Dolly set a glass in front of him, and poured. “Gotten what you wanted and left.”

“You thought wrong,” Victor replied roughly. He took the glass and gulped it, barely registering the drink. “Another.”

She poured again, and then someone called to her from the down the bar. Dolly glided away, towards the smiling customer who held out a fifty, his eyes on her cleavage. Victor shifted his cold gaze, letting it rest heavily on the other man. When the patron glanced his way, his good-natured expression drained away.

Dolly swiftly made change, murmuring something just under earshot; the man grimaced and made his way from the bar quickly, not looking back at either her or Victor.

When she returned to his end of the bar, Victor smelt her fury, and it made him grin to see her mutinous pout.

“Go away, Mr. Creed.”

“What time does the bar close?” he demanded carelessly, basking in her annoyance. It was . . . cute, Victor realized. Almost funny.

“Two,” she told him through tight lips. “You’ve had all the free . . . food you’re going to get. Go. Away.”

“I’ll be back,” Victor murmured, and reached out, long nails lifting her rounded chin. “To tuck you in.” He dropped a hundred-dollar bill on the bar and turned away, letting his gaze sweep over the other patrons. Only a few stared back; Isaac’s brows lowered, but he said nothing.

Victor stepped out and slipped into the nearest alley, wondering dourly what the hell had come over him. He gritted his teeth, fangs clacking for a moment as he considered the situation.

The truth of it was that girl had been a good fuck. She cooked okay too; it had been a hell of a long time since he’d torn into roasted lamb. Not in thirty years, easily; nobody cooked it much anymore, and some of the shit they passed off as food nowadays left him disgusted.

But she was like him, clearly. Old-school. A woman from another generation, and Victor appreciated that. A woman who remembered what life was like before electricity and medicine and machinery: who understood the way the world really worked, even now.

Victor listened to the scrabble of rats in the alley, and started walking to kill time.

*** *** ***

She knew he was there, behind her, playing cat and mouse all the way up the dark, quiet hill. Dolly tried to keep to the streetlights, striding from one pale circle on the wet sidewalk to the next. She had a heavy scarf around her head, and moved slowly, determined to appear as just an old lady to anyone seeing her.

Dolly fretted. She’d been so sure; so confident that Victor Creed would be gone, or at the very least, ignore her from this point on, and while she knew what was going to happen in the next few hours, she was torn, wondering why he’d returned.

Still, if he was with her, then other women, other people in the city were safe, and that was some consolation. Dolly knew she wasn’t a noble person, but there were still a few things she knew only she could do, and satisfying Victor’s dangerous tendencies--if only for a while--qualified.

She fought a laugh at the realization she was for the moment, a living cat toy; destined to distract a very large and dangerous animal from terrorizing San Francisco. The idea amused her, and she quickened her pace up Pine Street, reaching the door to her house within a few minutes. Dolly worked her key in the lock, listening for sounds behind her.

Nothing. He was dangerously good, she realized, and opened the door, tensing.

Then Victor was there, hard and big, pressing behind her and herding her into the dark of the front hall. “Boo.”

She glared at him over her shoulder, about to say something, but a rush of a coppery, slightly oily scent hit her nose, and Dolly drew in a breath. “What is . . . that?

“Food,” Victor muttered, his big paws on her shoulders pushing her forward. Dolly reluctantly trotted forward, the smell getting stronger now. She reached for the light switch for the kitchen and flicked it on, then bit back a gasp at the sight of the slaughter sitting on ice in her kitchen sink.

Venison dark and wet; ten pounds of it easily, with kidneys, heart, liver and lungs piled up in one of her ceramic bowls. She stood for a moment, staring at the deer remains, saying nothing, her thoughts a blur as she took in the largess.

“Doe, older one,” Victor muttered. “Not much of a chase. I figured you’d be able to cook it, right?”

“Yeah,” Dolly murmured absently. She reached for an apron and took a deep breath. “You . . . dressed this?”

Victor moved past her and dropped his big frame into one of the kitchen chairs, making it creak under his bulk. He yawned, fangs showing. “Been doing that for a century; no problem. Figured you probably didn’t want the hide or the rest of her, so I left the guts up in the hills.”

Dolly tied the apron on, and began to move around the kitchen. “Damn good thing you weren’t caught taking her down.”

“Like I give a shit about hunting licenses,” he shrugged, watching her. Dolly pulled the kidneys out of the bowl, inspected them and set them in another bowl, this one filled with cold water and salt. Victor propped his boots up on the other chair.

“What about coyotes, or mountain lions?”

“Crappy eating,” he replied with a straight face, “don’t like them as much.”

Dolly laughed, the giggles rising out of her in a mingle of amusement and nervousness; she still wasn’t sure exactly why he’d done this, but the meat was welcome. It had been a long time since she’d had fresh kidney, and as for the steaks—

“Are you hungry right now?” she asked over her shoulder while she laid out the liver and washed it down, wondering if she had onions.

“Not for food,” came his rumble. Dolly turned, shooting Victor a dry look, and he held that gaze, eyes glittering.

“Give me,” she replied evenly, “Twenty minutes. That’s all I need to get the meat cleaned and processed. You could . . . go take a bath while I do this.”

Victor looked slightly sullen, but after a moment his boots hit the floor and he rose with panther grace, sneering. “Fifteen. Any longer, and I’ll drag you out of here by your hair.”

“All right,” Dolly agreed, adding in a softer voice. “You did well, dorogoi.”

He stared at her a moment longer, and turned away, moving out the door and to the bathroom. Dolly went back to cutting up the venison, humming a bit as she did so. There was enough here for three weeks worth of meals easily, and she worked quickly, slicing and bagging up steaks and chops. The liver and kidneys went into the refrigerator for tomorrow, the rest into the freezer. Dolly washed her hands and checked the clock, pleased to see she still had five minutes left.

Slowly, she stepped out of the kitchen and flicked off the light before making her way down the hall. There was light under the bathroom door, along with a few puddles. Dolly winced.

There were things she didn’t miss about living with a man; the extra housework for one. Still, Dolly pushed the door open with a sense of anticipation, looking towards the tub. Victor lolled there in the faintly pink water, absently rubbing soap along one hairy armpit. He glanced up at her, managing a faint curl of lips. “Just in time.”

“Give,” Dolly ordered lightly, holding out a hand for the soap. He tossed it to her, and moved to rise, but she shook her head and came closer, kneeling at the side of the tub on the damp rug there.. “Your shoulders,” came her explanation, and she started to run the soap over them.

He tensed a little, and his dog tags twinkled in the yellow light of the two wall lamps, but gradually Victor relaxed and let her scrub his spine. For a while neither of them spoke, but finally Dolly set the soap down and cupped her hands, scooping water to rinse the hard wet muscles. “Why did you come back?”

Creed moved; one hand reaching for her wrist, pulling her off the mat, over the edge and into the tub. Water sloshed high, flooded the floor and Dolly coughed, fighting him for a moment, but Victor pinned her against his bare, wet chest and glared down at her, nostrils flaring. “Shut up.”

Dolly said nothing, letting him stare, and trying to keep her breathing slow and even. It was unnerving how fast the man was; how strong. He held her for a moment longer, then slowly brought a claw up to trace the rounded rise of one breast above her wet neckline. “Lose the clothes.”

“Sweet talker,” she muttered, but began to use her free hand to undo the buttons along the front. It wasn’t easy to do while straddling Victor in the tub, but Dolly managed, undoing her bra as well.

No point in having him rip anything further to shreds if she could avoid it, she reasoned sourly to herself. The only gratifying moment was seeing the expression of hot-eyed lust shift over his face in reaction to her fumbling striptease. He rumbled; she could feel it through his chest, and when Victor reached down to lightly pinch one nipple with his claws, the mingled pain and pleasure of it made her gasp.

“You can take more than that,” he murmured in a husky voice. “I know you can, little Dolly.”

“Not here,” she moaned, shifting on his lap. The water was cooling around them. “The bed.”

He started to sneer, but Dolly lunged forward and kissed him. It was clumsy at first, but after a second Victor kissed back, mouth hard against hers, tongue slithering out. Dolly opened her lips under his, and found herself hungry for the taste of him as she pressed up close against his chest.

More kisses followed, not gentle as they fought for dominance. Dolly squirmed, nipping Victor’s lips, sucking on his raspy tongue being as utterly pushy as possible. He seemed amused by it; aroused if she was any judge of the matter, and he scraped his fangs along her lower lip in a slow caress before rising up out of the tub and pulling her along with him.

It took only a moment to let the sodden dress drop to the soaked bathroom rug; Dolly clung to him, letting him spin her from wall to wall, their slamming bodies making the pictures shake with each hit. His breath was hot against her face, and the grind of his naked frame on hers had her dizzy, the friction between them a hard tease of fur and muscle.

*** *** ***

He wanted her. He’d wanted her for hours, held back only by setting and time, but now both were right, and Victor grunted, pulling the girl with him down on the bed. It creaked, but he ignored it, more intent on pinning the rounded curves down under him. Tits, big and bouncy drew him down and he rubbed his face over them, enjoying the satiny feel of her chest.

Under him, she laughed, and the sound startled Victor; he looked up, and she flicked her tongue at him in a show of defiance. “Your beard. It tickles.”

For a moment Victor froze, but she slid her hands along his bare flanks, her own nails raking lightly. He growled, liking the sensation, and turned his mouth back to her tits, working over the nipples one at a time, savoring the soft little cries this brought from the woman under him.

He wanted to draw things out—something he hadn’t done in years, Victor realized. Taking a woman quick and fiercely had become his norm, and while that blunted the edge off his ever-present lust, it never quite sated it completely, even with more than one encounter. Victor hadn’t known the women he’d bedded in the past decades, but this one—
Dolly wriggled under him shifting her mouth to his ear, her breath hot and damp. “Fuck me hard, dorogoi, make me scream--”

He stopped thinking and simply moved, shifting from one damp delight to another, riding the rising lust between his legs. Nips and kisses down her rounded stomach, and along each hip. Nose buried deep in the tangle of wet fur between her legs; the scent of Dolly musky and enticing. Victor raked his fangs lightly in the bushy curls there, breathing in that maddening perfume and rubbing his face along her inner thighs.

She was muttering in Russian, now, and although he didn’t speak a word of it, Victor was fairly sure of the content simply from Dolly’s breathless tone. It pleased him to have her so aroused, and he pushed her knees further apart, eyeing the lovely thicket and warm pink lips of her sex with cynical delight. “I don’t see teeth.”

Then came her slow laugh. Dolly propped herself up against a mound of pillows at her back, and managed a smile that held a glint of sorrow. “If I frighten you away, I won’t get fucked.”

“I’m not scared,” he growled back.

She sighed. “Males. Always so arrogant. Very well, Mr. Creed, if you must meet my manda, you must. Make a knuckle of your finger.”

Curious, he did, folding over his index finger and holding up the thickness to her for approval. Dolly pointed with her rounded chin, a smirk on her face. “Now push it in. Rub a wall. Any wall.”

Victor drove his knuckle deeply between her legs, gliding on the slickness. He bit back a groan, concentrating instead on the heat, and squeeze, knowing that his cock was throbbing now, dribbling a bit in frustration.
Then he blinked as his knuckle touched . . . something. Scraped against it. Victor looked up at Dolly, who had her hands behind her head, her gaze on him. She nodded, her expression a bit more concentrated.

He felt more of the sharp edges now, each one flanked by another, and they seemed to press down against his knuckle. Remembering the power of her squeeze, Victor pulled back, and when he looked down, there were definite indentations along his finger, visible and deep. Dolly sighed, letting one of her hands slide along one round thigh. “And now they are retracted, back deep into the muscles, and out of the way. Still not scared?”

Victor leaned forward, planting his palms on the mattress over her hips. “Open wide,” he snarled, and thrust into her, hard.

Dolly gave a gasp as he ploughed into her, but it changed to a groan quickly as Victor slowed his stroke with deliberation, his hot breath in her face. Breathless, she reached up her hands, cupping his furry cheeks, and nipped his lower lip; from the answering throb of his thick cock inside her, he seemed to like that.

“From behind, Mr. Crrrreed,” Dolly hissed. “Yes?”

Victor gave a sharp nod and pulled away; Dolly swung a leg over and scrambled to her hands and knees, wet hair hanging across her back. Behind her, Victor scooted up until his hairy thighs were pressed up against the back of hers, and the nudge of his wet hot prick prodded between her cheeks.

The sight of her heavy silky ass and tufted cleft made him growl.

Dolly reached under, guiding him, and as she did so, Victor impatiently rocked forward, his hands around her waist. He thrust hard, and as he buried himself, she cried out in pleasure.
Victor grunted, eyes half-closed as he mounted her, the sweet synchronicity of muscles and movement well-slickened with lust, and creating bed music in creaks and moaning. He panted, claws raking Dolly’s waist as he gripped her more tightly, pounding into her for long minutes and feeling the sweet ripple of her clenching pussy around his prick.

There was something savagely urgent about taking a woman this way, all thrust and pull with the juicy sounds squelching faster and faster that made Victor want to bay. The rising surge between his thighs was unstoppable and fiery. With a howl of pleasure, he ploughed deeper, his achingly stiff cock erupting in thick endless spurts squeezed out by the slick walls of Dolly’s hot, hungry cunt.

Victor slumped onto her sweaty back, grazing his fangs along one of her shoulders, his claws sliding around to cup her swinging breasts. The ripe smell of her; the slippery heat of her skin under his chest were good. Victor’s weight carried them both to the mattress, and Dolly brushed her damp hair away from her face, giving a gusty sigh. In profile her plump cheek and long eyelashes looked pretty.

Victor stretched up and licked her neck, savoring the salt there.

*** *** ***

They curled up together after that, and Dolly found that she fit quite well against Victor’s chest. He held her with a possessive affection, and she kept quiet, content to have it. When she thought he’d dropped off to sleep, Dolly tried to get up, but Victor woke instantly. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going to use the toilet and wash up.”

“No washing,” came his growly order. “Piss if you need to, then get back here.”

“I’m not running away, you know,” she groused, shivering when her feet touched the wooden floor. Seeing her do that, Victor laughed, and the sound was genuinely amused for once.

“Just remember--it’s cold in this house and I’m warm. Very, very warm.”

Dolly turned to look at him, her arms crossed over her bare chest, her hair hanging long and loose in the dim light from the back window. “Da. Must be all that lovely fur and muscle of yours, Mr. Creed. I’ll be right back.”

She hurried into the freezing bathroom and took care of her needs, then headed back, whimpering at the chill of the wet floor. San Francisco was cold, even in summer, and in a house this close to the waterfront, with the wind coming off the Pacific added to the drop in temperature.

Her steps sped up as she returned, and with a squeak she slipped under the quilt, burrowing up against Victor’s side, savoring the man’s body heat as he slid an arm around her. “Freezing!”

“This? This isn’t cold. You’re Russian; you ought to know that,” Victor murmured, eyes closed. “So what part of Russia are you from?”

“Krasnoyarsk, Krai,” Dolly murmured quietly. “Near Tunguska. I was born shortly after the blast.”

For a long time Victor said nothing, and she thought he’d fallen asleep, but finally he turned to brush his nose against her hair. “That makes me sixty-three years older than you.”

Dolly gave a little sigh, smothered against his chest. “You have a lot of stamina for a man nearly a century and a half old, dorogoi.”

“And you have a lotta bounce for a little old lady,” Victor muttered back. “Mutant or not. How’d you end up working at a dive like Isaac’s?”

Dolly gave a patient smile. “Came here a little over fifty years ago, after my fourth husband died. I couldn’t risk any job that required anything more than a cursory physical, and mine aren’t the sorts of gifts I wanted people to know about. Isaac had a help wanted sign in the window some time ago and I applied. Not a very interesting story.” She yawned.

Victor growled softly. “Four husbands?”

“Da. Leo, Uri, Thomas and the last one,” Dolly replied, her tone short. “Only the middle two counted.”

“How did they . . . die?” Victor grunted, a sardonic note in his question.

Dolly tried to pull away, but he held her firmly, and with a sigh, she spoke again. “Leo was my first; an arranged marriage. He died on our wedding night. As a virgin, I had no control of my manda, so our consummation was . . . unfortunate, quick and bloody. He died before he could tell anyone what happened, and I was condemned as a man-hating murderess and shot. I dug my way out of my grave and left Russia.”

“Tough break,” Victor murmured in a low voice.

“Yes,” Dolly admitted. “Uri was a piano teacher in Poland. A good man, who helped me tame . . . myself. Consumption took him before the First World War We had a son, for a while.”

She stopped speaking, and Victor said nothing either, but he tightened his arm around her for a brief moment. Dolly made a resigned sound, and continued. “Was in a forced labor camp for most of the Second World War—Krupp it was. Afterwards I caught a ship going to England. Got work at a music shop; married the owner, Thomas, who wasn’t young. Bad heart, one son.”

“That kid still alive?”

“Yes. Teaches music theory on the East Coast, I believe. I had to walk out of his life when he was still a youth. Very hard to do.”

More silence as Victor digested this. To change the mood, he shifted to look at her. “And the nameless one?” he prodded, curiously.

Dolly turned and spat towards the floor; the gesture startled Victor with its vehemence. “A pig-fucking bastard, may he rot in the bowels of hell!” The accompanying hand gestures were crude and required no translation.

Victor laughed, half in amusement, half in cynical admiration. “Not your favorite, huh?”

“Never! A sly one. He wanted to whore me out for money, figured I’d be perfect at it. After all, a woman who cannot be hurt or killed; a woman with a cunt that can defend itself—what else should she be but a whore, right?”

Victor wisely said nothing, but his gaze held a degree of bleak understanding. Dolly drew in a long, hard sigh. “He was cunning. My body could take his abuse, but not my heart. Not my soul. When he threatened to turn me in to the authorities and talked about how they’d do medical experiments on me, I resisted. When he lied about selling me to a brothel in Asia, I resisted. But in the end, his threat to have my son tracked down and murdered—”

Dolly sat up, and fished in the nightstand drawer, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and lighting one with a vicious snap of an old metal lighter. She inhaled heavily and glanced over at Victor, who reached for one as well. Dolly lit it for him and they smoked together silently, leaning together up against the headboard of the old bed.

Then she pulled the cigarette from her lips and blew out a long stream of smoke, laughing softly. “Shit. I gave this up ten years ago.”

“Did you kill him?” Victor asked.

“Yes. Oh yes, I killed him.”

“Good,” was the gruff response. Victor drew in a last long drag on the cigarette and stubbed it out against the headboard of the bed, then rolled to Dolly, one hand sliding across her chubby belly. “Come here.”

*** *** ***

He wanted to taste Dolly; a luxury he hadn’t had much of a chance to indulge in since most of his previous conquests were less than cooperative, and the stench of terror overwhelmed those occasions. Victor was pragmatic enough to accept that rape was the default for him, and that Dolly was an intriguing exception to his experience.

Not that mattered so much, he reasoned, tugging her to him and nuzzling her. Tonight was a rarity and wouldn’t be repeated anytime soon. Staying in any one place longer than a night or two was dangerous, and Victor hadn’t stayed alive as long as he had by becoming complacent.

Still, there was time for enjoying the girl, who was nobody’s damn fool, certainly. A survivor; he respected that, even if she was full of that Russian sentimentality. Victor remembered drinking with a few renegades from the Red Army back in ’45, and fuck, they’d been a tearful, savage, melancholy band of Eastern Front veterans; as prone to shooting themselves as the enemy.

He pulled Dolly’s sweet bulk across his chest, nipping various places on her body as he turned her, amused at the gasps and squeaks that she emitted.

When it became clear what he intended to do, she protested loudly, as she looked over her shoulder at him. “No!”

“Yes,” Victor rumbled back. “Gonna show the beast in there who’s boss.”

“You’re crazy,” Dolly grumbled. “And it’s not a pretty view.”

Victor disagreed. The curly thicket between her straddling thighs held the rich mingling of both their scents, and her slick pink cleft beckoned him on. With a happy growl, he pulled her down to his mouth, and let his tongue slide along the juiciness there.

She squirmed, gasping a bit, and Victor liked that; he slurped and licked, aware of how aroused she was becoming with each slow stroke of his tongue. When she leaned down and put her hands around his stiffening cock, he grunted happily.

Then her warm little mouth slid over the head of his prick and Victor growled, the pleasure intense and immediate. His hips rocked up in response, and he pressed an open-mouthed kiss deep between her thighs, muffling his enthusiasm there.

It was good. Animal and wild; a time of tasting and sucking and growling. Victor buried his face between Dolly’s legs, driven by the musk and heat there, the tart sugar glaze of her cunt as it dripped under his questing tongue. When she came, he gloated, savagely proud to feel her quake in his grip, savoring her cries as his rightful due.

Victor nipped the inside of one thigh, and Dolly wriggled, her hands and lips moving in strong, sensual strokes along his prick. He panted a little, concentrating on the exquisite sensations she was creating, hips moving to pump himself into her teasing mouth. Her little pleased sounds, and slippery tongue added to the torment as she would build him up and slow down, deliberately. When Victor couldn’t stand it anymore, he sank his fangs harder along the inside of her knee, and Dolly laughed with her mouth full.

Moving with playful finesse, she tightened her grip, urging the molten pleasure to rise through his turgid cock, and Victor panted heavily as searing sprays jolted out of him between her lips.

They slept after that, tangled together in the remains of the sheets.

*** *** ***

In the morning they spoke little. Dolly sliced up the kidneys and fried them, adding fluffy scrambled eggs onto their plates as well. Victor ate everything, washing it down with mug after mug of black, bitter coffee from the little samovar on the counter.

Dolly had washed his clothes, mostly to get the blood off of them. She moved quietly around in the house, aware that Vincent was leaving and probably not coming back. It would be hard to see him go, she acknowledged to herself. The man had used her hard, but he’d listened to her talk about things she hadn’t shared with anyone in decades.

It wasn’t anything beyond compatibility, she told herself. They were both victims, both freaks. Victor Creed was the vicious product of too many random factors; she was the result of too many variables to count.

They were survivors.

She expected him to stride out without looking back, but he herded her to the door and threw a coat at her. Victor’s fingers encircled her wrist, and he tugged her outside. The morning was foggy and cold, with a scent of seawater in the air.

He pulled her onto the porch and looked down towards the bottom of Pine Street before turning back to her and speaking. “If I ever smell another man on you, I’ll rip you apart and eat the pieces. I’ll string your cunt teeth and wear them with my tags.”

Dolly glared up at him, but he smiled, fangs peeping out. Moving quickly, Victor raised his claws and slashed his lower lip, the blood oozing out. He cupped the back of Dolly’s head and pulled her to him, kissing her hard, smearing his hot blood against her mouth possessively.

She licked the coppery flavor up, growling a little herself, and when she pulled back reluctantly to breathe, her chest heaved.

Dolly’s mouth was dark red, and her smile was sweetly feral.

He vaulted over the porch rail, and with his gaze locked in the direction of the distant ocean, Victor added, “Buy a freezer. A big one.”


“When you find it full; I’m back.”

With that he strode off, a tall dark figure moving into the thick grey of the morning, vanishing into the shadowy distance, leaving Dolly to cross her arms and shudder in anticipation and happy dread.


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