Where Fury! Ends, Mayhem Begins

There was an intoxicating pulse in the city tonight, it seemed to reach out and caress Salandra, begging her to succumb to it's allure.  Something about this night in Chicago reminded her of the City of Angels, whispering and beckoning to her, that it had been too long since she'd frolicked in the seedy nightlife of a big city.  The novelty of being alone and unrecognized fueled her quest for adventure, a small piece of her wanting to return to the wilder days of her vigilante existence.
Just last week she had promised her best friend, Ludmella, that they would abandon her vigilante identity known as Fury!.  The sexy crime fighter had become more a burden of late than was comfortable, and the lady behind the mask finally relented, reluctantly, to put her costume away.  It was not a unanimous decision to relocate, but after a few promises, polished and ready to be broken, were made, she had convinced her friend to give her another chance in another city to make a better name for herself. 
Already though, Salandra was fraught with boredom and on the prowl for something to feed her adventurous spirit.  The night was hot as she walked down the sidewalk trying to decide which bar or club she would enjoy, looking for the longest line that would indicate the hottest party and best entertainment.  She had a sixth sense for excitement and was in no hurry to choose.  Tonight wasn't about flirting with disaster at least it wasn't suppose to be about that, tonight was suppose to be about challenging her resolve and proving to herself that she could break free of the taint that Fury! had instilled within her.
Her innocent, if somewhat colorful intentions, for the evening came to an abrupt halt as she strutted down the crowded sidewalk and heard a voice call to her from behind.  Her body tensed and froze, her heart raced and goose bumps chased the shivers down her body.  She didn't need to turn around, no other voice could clutch her heart with such a cold embrace while making her blood burn with desire.  She knew who it was and she knew that this was not a chance encounter.  It was the Puzzler.

It really didn't come as a surprise when fate twisted her night into a scene from hell, because Salandra was used to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It was a precarious and all together unwanted fact, but it was a fact none the less.  If there was trouble to be found she would fall face first in it every time.  Unfortunately, the particular type of trouble that found her tonight, came in package that couldn’t be avoided, and she knew that she was in a situation that couldn’t be won. 
"Go away Brody."  Salandra didn't turn around she couldn't let herself turn around because this was a game far too dangerous for her to play.
Salandra felt a strong but gentle hand on her arm as she was turned around into Brody Brock's smiling gaze.  "No, I won't go away."  He let go of her, only to trace both of his hands lightly down the length of her arms and short dress, a devilishly handsome smile stealing onto his face when he felt the bumps on her arm.  With one hand he held hers, absent the engagement ring he had once given her.  His other hand moved with a familiar ease tracing her delicate face, it took only his index finger to pull her into his kiss.
She just couldn't help herself, seeing him had left her so off guard that she couldn't think straight.  His familiar touch was so enticing that she welcomed it without wanting to.  His sweet tender kiss brought with it memories, some that she wanted to forget and some that she couldn't.  The first thought was the singular feeling of excitement that only a forbidden romance could bring.
Her free hand snaked around his shoulders as she leaned into him heavily basking in the bliss of remembered passion.  A street lamp cast an eerie light over the couple as the crowded walk parted of it's own volition as people made way for the captivating couple.  A little voice inside of Salandra fought hard to be heard over the pounding of her heart and the heat of her passion.
Dropping her hand as if she had touched a hot stove she let it fall from her ex-lovers shoulder and broke away from his tantalizing kiss.  The little voice had finally broken through and Salandra wiped her mouth viscously with her hand.  The voice had brought with it the more vivid memory of the grief and betrayal that her relationship with Brody had caused.  Her ultimate betrayal and his jump back into villainy.
"Go away Brody."  Salandra hissed the words at him.  "Go away…or."  Her voice held less venom as she failed to think of any consequence that she could make him face, or any threat that would hold a hint of truth.
Brody laughed and stepped in towards her again, not for a kiss this time but to intimidate her with his demanding presence.  "Or what Love?  What will you have done with me?  Will you call your super hero friends…or the police?"  His smile stayed in tact as she felt his words close to her neck, his sweet breath further distracting her resolve.
Salandra stepped backwards again trying to keep her distance from him; she knew his game and fought back the memory of some of their exquisite arguments.  His gaze was locked with hers and her knees were still too weak from his kiss to trust.  So she stood spellbound by his look her legs wavering nearly useless beneath her.
His smile turned soft as he caressed her cheek, "No Salina.  Don't you bait me with your idle threats.  We both know that you would have taken care of me long ago if you could." 
The night was hot but not hot enough to keep Salandra from shivering.  "What do you want Brody?"  Nobody made her feel more vulnerable than he did.  He had seduced her long ago and she'd never fully broken free of his spell.
"Now that's a silly question Love.  I want you.  Come with me."  His eyes were intense and Salandra had no doubt of his sincerity.
It was a forced laugh that came out of Salandra's mouth, one so skilled in the ways of conversation and subterfuge, but with him only the truth didn't seem forced.  "I can't do that.  You're being ridiculous.  I have a duty to protect the streets from Villains like you, not play as their mistress."
Brody's gaze hardened at her refusal.  "Well if you think so much of this duty of yours why haven't you called me in?  I'll tell you right now Salina that if you do not come with me you will forever live to regret this choice.  I will make your life as miserable as you have made mine."  She could see a flicker of pain in his eyes for a moment, "I know that you're planning to leave Chicago.  Don't think for one foolish second that I won't find you."
Swallowing hard Salandra could barely meet his gaze with her own, she who was normally so challenging.  "Anything that you do is your own choice.  You will not blame any misdeeds that you choose to do on me!" 
The calm exterior melted away from Brody as he grabbed hold of her hair roughly twisting her neck at an almost painful angle, their noses nearly touching.  His voice was cold and accusatory as he forced her to look at him.  "NO SALANDRA!  You made that choice for me long ago.  I turned my life around for you!  I became a respectable citizen for you!  I burned every bridge that I had for you!"  His voice was bleeding with betrayal as he bit the words out one by one, each word crisp and clear so that a small child could follow.
Tears flowed down Salandra's beautiful face.  She couldn't deny his words they were all true…they made her remember what an irresponsible hellion she had been.  She deserved this hate but at the same time she still tried to fight off the blame.
At the sight of her tears, Brody's grip became a little less firm and he tenderly brushed away some of her tears with his other hand, now cradling her face in both of his.  His look was no less harsh as he continued.  "Don't you cry Salandra.  You don't deserve to cry.  I did everything you wanted…every thing you asked.  You were my world.  The novelty of it excited you until I was just like every other boring man you knew.  And then what did you do to repay me for my love…my dedication to you?!"  Brody's words stung and demanded a reply with another curt shake of her hair.
Salandra didn't say anything she just stared at him with regret as her mind made her remember how true his words were.  How she was the villain of this story, or was at the time.
Her silence was not met with patience as Brody shook her again this time with even more anger.  "Salandra!  Answer me.  How did you repay me?  How did you reward my transformation into a good man?"
Salandra's voice was broken as she stuttered her reply.  "I…I…cheated on you.  You bastard!"
Brody's satisfied smile returned, at Salandra's admission, and he let go of her hair finally.  He pulled her cradled head to his lips and kissed her forehead before letting go of her completely.  "No Salandra, you did much more than that.  You destroyed me."  His voice was without malice as he answered her but his eyes were alive with pain.
There wasn't a lot for her to say, nothing that she could say in her defense.  "I didn't mean to hurt you."  Her voice was meek and hinted with a smile, amused at her own pathetic reply.
"Well Love, you did.  Now you have a choice.  You can come with me tonight and we can disappear.  You know that I would make you happy."  He paused discouraged by her unchanging look.  "Or…you can leave and I will destroy everything that you hold dear until you return to me."  He smiled one of his cocky smiles and lifted his finger to touch her lightly under the chin.  "It seems only fitting."
His touch sent a shiver down her spine as she looked into the mesmerizing blue eyes of her ex-lover.  The yearning of her body repulsed Salandra.  His proposal was true, they could just disappear, between the two of them they easily had the resources and contacts but it was wrong. 
Brody was still as he watched the indecision sweep over his soul mate’s face before she spoke.  He spoke truly when he promised her that he would again abandon his life of crime for her but he also meant every word if she chose to deny him.  He had always been a criminal mastermind with exacting precision, rarely had his plans been foiled or casualties been wrought by any mistake on his part.  But he had found himself obsessing more and more over her betrayal to the point that only having her again would satisfy him.  He knew he was much smarter than she was, he knew what she would do and where she would go before it even occurred to her.  There was no question that he would have her back at any cost and her refusal tonight would lead their future down a path of destruction.
Brody's steady blue eyes never left hers as she struggled begging her normal temper to seize a hold of her and rescue her.   She knew that all she had to do was activate her comm and he would go away but a part of her couldn't do that to him.  Swallowing past the painful lump in her throat, Salandra managed to finally reply.  "Go away Puzzler.  Leave me alone.  I am not going to be in your life anymore."
Even though her words were barely more than a whisper, a visible wince of pain seared over Brody's handsome features at her cold words.  His stricken look almost made her want to take the words back.  He dropped his hand away from her face and it fell to his side, there was hurt in his eyes but they were far from surrender.  "Very well, my dear.  Just remember that the choice was yours and when you can't bear it anymore you know how to reach me.  You do remember don't you?"  His words reverted back to the demeaning manner he used to talk to her when she made him angry.  It was the same tone and care a kindergarten teacher would use with her five-year-olds.
Of it's own volition Salandra's head nodded, Brody's deadly presence washing over her with a spell binding effect.  "Brody."  Salandra said softly in a pleading voice.  "Please don't, just go…."
Her words were hushed with a gentle finger over her lips.  "You know the rules darling.  Let the games begin."  With a soft kiss he turned and walked away leaving Salandra standing there vulnerable and alone.  After he crossed the street he turned to her and tipped his fedora, the street light casting a captivating light upon his features before he melted into the shadows.
And then as usual with these occasional encounters, feeling returned to her limbs and sense returned to her head.  There was nothing to be done, this was a consequence of her irresponsible past and now she was going to have to suffer the mayhem.  Salandra knew deep down inside that she couldn't protect Brody forever, even if she <i>was</i> responsible for turning him into the monster that he was.  If he pursued this game it would end very ugly for one or both of them.

Great to read about vigilante superheroes!

This is turning very hard-boiled - is it based upon a rpg? These superheroes are very human, but at the same time, there's a sinister undercurrent of sexual tension and violence between Salandra and Brody[I am assuming they have history]. I really like that: the ultimate blur between good and evil beyond the law; it's very interesting.

Ultimate Blur

I love that phrase, the ultimate blur between good and evil. :) I too love the idea of how love can trump the blurry lines of morality.

Yes, she's another of my characters from a role playing game, and they have a history. He did time for petty villainous things, he was the Puzzler (Riddler type of villain).

Anyways, they met after he got out when he helped them with a case. They hit it off, she was very excited about his edgy side. ...but then they got into a relationship and it got boring, just like all the other men, in her life. She cheated on him, and it turned him back to his life of crime, but worse.

I'm currently not playing her in a campaign, I'm hoping to one day revive her.


Nice Work...

Interesting tale with (as the other comment noted) a generically familiar background and a classic choice.

A slight problem, IMO, is that use of the Puzzler -- I doubt that anyone with even a slight knowledge of the genre wouldn't think immediately of the Riddler -- and a not-quite-good girl that he calls Salina (seemingly invoking Catwoman Selina Kyle) brings us a bit closer to Gotham City than I'd like. I'm guessing that both names are Brody's "tributes" to characters who are as fictional in his world as they are in ours. But I think if that's the case it ought to be stated somewhere or more clearly implied.


BTW, the code for italics here is bracket em rather than bracket i.

Thanks for the comment

Thanks for the comment Eric.

I see where you're coming from, the similarities as you lay them out, do exist. Oddly enough, I wasn't aware of the Salina one until you just mentioned it. ...I've never been a comic book reader, so I miss a lot of obvious connections that others make.

It's very frustrating for me when I make these super heroic characters and am all proud of them, and then someone says, Oh yeah! That's just like so and so. *grin*

So, even though my favorite genre to write for is the Super Hero genre, I'm not as versed as I should be, in the other material out there. Most of my writing is more soap opera + Super hero stuff - a real heavy real life feel to it. Regardless, it would do me a world of good to get myself an education in it.

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