Author: Guede Mazaka
It's white hell, and she's blind. Shouldn't matter, should it? Except the world doesn't go black like they say-it goes bright and white and brilliant as the rod cells explode into shrivels. That's why people see dancing spots when they're stupid enough to look at the sun. That's the scientific reason for how the sun can wheel and dance at the call of the Virgin Mary.
Stupid bitch. Her and her damn kid-and it's the same old story, all over again. Except this time, when B comes by the room where they've got Elle all wrapped up like a pretty little blonde fuckhole, she's not dragging along any chirpy mini-person. Maybe the daughter's in the car. Elle hopes so. She only ever put up with the damn fluffhead for Bill's sake, and if B is here…then Bill ain't on this earth anymore, is he?
Elle got a good, close look at B, just before her plucked-out eye backlashed incineration light into her mind. And she didn't see anything resembling reconciliation. No, it was to the death.
"I didn't kill you. Or Budd." B sounds like she's lounging. Something's clinking-damn her, she's got the keys and dangling them like bones before a hungry dog. Well, watch your back, bitch.
"You would've gotten Budd. I just got there first, sweetie." It's been a long, long time since Elle's smiled like she's trying to now, and it hurts. Sharp, scissoring on either side of her mouth. "But me…yeah, that was a surprise. So what're you doing here? Get lonely for some grown-up company? Or just nostalgic?"
B laughs at that, low and sweet-raw like she used to, walking off arm-in-arm with Bill while Elle just had to bite down and take it. "I had a dream, you know. While I was in that coma. I dreamed you were talking about respect and a kind death."
Elle's lips curl back. "Well, well, what fantasies we little girls have."
"Yeah." The other woman's still laughing at Elle, only the amusement's turned dark and bitter like two-day-old coffee dripping down the desk to mingle with the blood. It's obvious she doesn't believe Elle's half-disavowal. "Can you walk?"
They're on a boat, some kind of ferry full of cars and motorcycles oozing the rich stink of newness, but empty of life at this time of night. Still no sign of the kid. Elle's perched on the hood of what she thinks is some kind of Jaguar-even blind, can't miss those headlights, that kind of curve beneath the palm-and she's rubbing the phantom chafing off her wrists. It's almost like she'd gotten used to the straps.
"$75 a fuck." B's somewhere across from Elle, but not directly; it's hard to tell because Elle's gotten used to muffled noises and thudding echoes, and the wide shining reverberations here throw her. So does the conversation.
"That's what they charged for me." There's a sword-smile in B's voice, and the memory of delicious revenge. Between her and Bill, Elle's thinking that that angel-faced little darling doesn't have a chance. Be screwing by thirteen, and screwing over by fourteen. "You?"
Ell shakes her head, resisting the urge to scratch at her nice clothes-real clothes, and not those flimsy hospital rags. "Honey, they tried once and that was that. Believe me, if you can take a prick into it, then you can break a prick with it."
"Lucky. You knew what you were doing." Swish. Swish. B's playing with her swords again, feeling her testosterone. "I made some more friends. Put my girl to bed with them and came back here."
"And that was your problem, B. You never had the slightest clue what you were doing. You just thought it felt right." Elle snorts, getting off the car. "Please. Your pet's going to be slicing their throats in a few years, and there's not one of us left to blame for that."
Something clatters across the floor, silver sparking in Elle's head. Her feet automatically twist, lift to stop the sword and scabbard. She picks it up and slides out just enough steel to feel for the maker's imprint. "This one yours, or Bill's?"
"Bill's." B is quiet, clothes barely rustling, shoes padding almost without sound around the floor. "Maybe I didn't calculate everything down like you did, but tell me this, Elle: were you ever happy?"
"Maybe you should be asking: did I ever feel the need to be?" And that's that. Elle's been a good little adaptable soldier, and she's been listening to those echoes as they rock through her head. She knows they're on the edge of a nice big clear space, and she knows that blind or not, she can still move enough to die on her feet.
Not part of B's plan to kill Elle. Again. It's starting to get on Elle's nerves.
"Look, if you won't cut my throat, then I'll do it for you. Just get. The. Fuck. Off!" She twists, plants her feet down and shoves back. Whips sideways as far as she can go, trying to hook an ankle around B's and throw the other woman. Except B sees it coming, damn the blue-eyed princess bitch, and instead does her own countermove. Pins Elle's leg to the side of the motorcycle, and yanks Elle's wrists up a little higher so Elle either can get herself a pair of dislocations, or she can lean forward and squash her breasts on the seat. Shove her ass back into B's leather-covered cunt.
If they were men, this would've done something by now. As they're both lacking dicks, it just makes Elle rip her teeth into the seat and want to die. Badly. Right Now. Like she hasn't felt since kindergarten and the absolute last time anyone ever talked down to her and went home to a nice life.
"I'm tired of killing." B's breath whiffles down Elle's collar, and hot sweat plunks onto Elle's nape. The boat's rocking, and they're writhing crosswise to it. It's making Elle dizzy.
"Bullshit." Elle tries to remember where they'd thrown the swords, after those first few exchanges. She really needed to stop giving in to the cat-fight reflex when it came to B. Except the bitch just had this way of getting under Elle's skin. Like flaying, only from inside-out. "You took out my damn eye and left me. Left me! I would've killed you like a horse with a broken leg, so the least you can do is give me a little goddamn honesty."
That chuckle again. "Fine. I'm tired of killing the only people that ever saw me for what I am, and didn't mind. Too bad you all had to piss me off."
"Am I pissing you off now?" Elle's too close to begging for her tastes, and it just makes her want to get this over with as soon as possible.
The teeth in her throat say no, not in the right way. And she bucks, trying to get that goddamn hell-bitch off of her, but B just rides it, straddles one leg and-and grinds. Shoves Elle back down, forces her into a splay while her elbows and shoulders scream and the crotch of her pants starts to get wet. She'd make a joke about the weirder reflexes assassins pick up, but she's kind of losing her breath and she wants to save that so she can bitch out B. "Oh, you fucking whore, you trailer-trash samurai wannabe-you're resorting to rape?"
"Now who's bullshitting?" B grunts, throwing her weight down so Elle's thighs crank apart, so pain slams up through her middle. No balls, but it's still a sensitive spot. She thrashes, left-right-left, and B just moves with it. Glides a hand down between Elle's breasts, occasionally dipping up to fondle them till they're heavy and tender and aching.
There are scars all over, some red and some white and some just bleeding in the landscape of Elle's mind. She rips at B's hand the next time it comes into striking range, licking off the hot metallic fluid from her lips and feeling it spray warm down her throat, awakening inflammation all the way. "Bitch."
"Hi, Elle. Nice to see you again, sis." And that hand's smacking Elle beneath the chin, just short of the spot needed to cut off breath. It rubs down the choking agony, claws apart the flimsy shirt and then dives further, squeezes down and flicks against Elle's folds, against her pussy till she's damn near creaming. And it's embarrassing, and it's hot, and yes, it does kind of explain why Bill chose this death-whore: 'cause she's ruthless and brutal and still knows enough about playing human to lay a heaven-light kiss on the back of Elle's neck as her fingers plunge in.
Elle's legs snap even further apart, if that's possible, and she falls forward. Eats leather while the bike starts to give in an entirely shitty way, but B yanks them back on track. Somehow. Blind, remember? So not so good noting the mechanics of everything. The feeling, though-wrenchpull, burnpush, and then Elle's suddenly, unexpectedly, unwillingly snapping into freefall. She's vaguely feeling her arms being let down, vaguely feeling two hands slap to her ass to hold her steady while she spasms and spits and hollers like an alley cat because well, dress up the roots how you will, they're still there and only a fool would forget that.
So that's why it's not surprising when B finally lets her fall. What is the surprise is B waiting around for Elle to catch her breath. "Why?"
"Because…I got about halfway into planning a new life, and then I remembered I still had some unfinished business." The other woman squats down, not flinching away when Elle lifts shaking hands to feel her face. Elle could gouge out both B's eyes right now, and it'd just be her fair due-but somehow, it… "Didn't feel right to kill you."
"You're a fool." Elle's shivering. It's cold here, and she's covered in sweat so she's losing heat even faster.
"You don't have anything left except me. So you're probably right." B's still not moving.
And if Elle could kill B-which deep down, she always knew she couldn't quite hit that mark-she'd have…what? She didn't have something noble to go back to afterward, like trying to raise the heir of two of the greatest warriors as a normal child. She didn't even have something nasty and little to return to, given the lack of eyes and of ties to anything, now that Bill was dead. Except this dead-walking woman. Who was still panting, and feverish to touch.
"Watch your back." Elle smiles, and bends down to nuzzle along one long lean thigh. Turnabout's fair play, after all. And if she does it right, she might just be able to deal. "You going to take me home to meet daughter?"
"Hell, no. But--" respectful, like "--I won't leave you behind again. Still reserving the right to kill you."
"We'll see about that." And Elle presses her lips to the first scar she finds.