Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Chapter 3 - Compound Interest

There was no pretense of drinks this time. Noel was waiting for him. This one managed to hold her gaze with barely a flicker over the rest of her. A bit strange to Noel. “Let’s get out of here,” his low voice carried a trace an accent. She tucked her arm in his, and with an imperceptible shake of her head she answered the question in the bartender’s eyes – she was okay. And she left with the man.

The silence was unbroken, except for his quick, “we’re nearly to the compound”. He kept his eyes glued to the road, not risking the dangerous curves in the seat next to him. Various checkpoints and many turns through a labryinth of nondescript buildings brought them to one just as plain as the others, but slightly wider.

The driver stopped the car, and Noel’s mind was racing. Ms. Friday was well connected, but it had been too easy to navigate the compound. She wasn’t surprised when the man yanked her from the car, “what did you do with the disk? Give it to me!” Her laugh echoed across the deserted compound, and a smile ticced the corners of his mouth. He wasn’t totally without humor, she realized. Too bad. He propelled her into the building. Three doors down from the entrance, he thrust her into a room. The quiet snick of the lock didn’t bother Noel as the man left. Her gaze swept the room: gray walls, gray metal table, unforgiving chairs. She draped herself on the table and waited.

Some time later, her escort stepped back into the room. Noel saw his barely concealed reaction to the glimpse of red lace offered underneath her microskirt. He recovered quickly, but Noel was smug. He wasn’t immune. He turned to leave, tossing over his shoulder, “the boss will be here soon.”

Noel oozed off the table, “hey Handsome, wanna play?”

His mistake was turning. His mistake was assuming that Noel was unarmed because she was half-naked and empty handed. His mistake. The credit card shaped blade sliced through his esophagus. His last gasp of surprise mingled with her sigh of regret as she lowered him to the floor – such a waste; he really was a gorgeous one.

“Never a dull moment for you, is there, Noel?” the tone was malicious and Noel’s gaze yanked to the door.

“Ms. Friday!”

Chapter 2 - Friday's Girl

Noel could feel him watching her dance. She was used to being watched, especially when she danced. Though men tended to "watch" her, even when standing there talking to her. The slow slide of their eyes over her body, beginning and ending with her chest. She didn't consider it "looking at" her unless they actually looked her in the eye. So most men watched, and it made it so easy to distract them at just the right moment.

Soon enough, she got tired of him watching and went to the bar. She was a regular, and the bartender knew her order. He also threw Noel's admirer a warning glance, but the boy was oblivious to anything but her. The bartender poured a vodka tonic, heavy on the tonic, and slid it across the bar to her. She smiled warmly and thanked him.

The boy approached, credit card at the ready. "I'll get this," he said, with a forced easy charm.

"No you won't," she said, not looking up from her drink.

"Then, uh, I'll, um, have what she's... um... having," he said, clearly knocked off his stride, to the bartender. The bartender brought him a vodka tonic, heavy on the vodka. The boy took a sip and coughed. "Whoa! You like 'em strong, don't you?"

Noel shared a smirk with the bartender. "It would appear so," she said.

"So, what's your name?" He sat at the stool next to her.

"You're not leaving, are you?"

He shrugged, trying to play it cool. He gulped too much of his drink. "Just -kaff- just trying to be friendly."

She shook her head, still staring down at her drink, and muttered, "You don't want to be friends with me, boy."

"Hey now, just a--"

She spun to face him, glaring. "Look, I realize you just turned old enough to come in here sometime yesterday, and that you very clearly don't talk to many women, but I've had a really tough day, and I want to relax. I came here to dance and drink, and to pick someone up for the night." Her smile was both gentle and cruel as she looked him up and down. "And I'm sorry Junior, but you're not that someone."

The boy's smile was not so gentle. "Well, I'm sorry too," he whispered menacingly. "Because your dance is over, you've had your last drink, and you're leaving with me. Now."

She stared at him, her eyes sharpened steel. "Oh, am I?"

He grabbed her arm, leaning in closer. "You stole something from my employer, Noel. He'd prefer to have it back, but he's willing to take you in its place." He looked at her, leering.

"I'll bet," she said, reaching over to grab the hand on her arm. With a twist, she'd broken his wrist and two fingers. A quick thrust of her fingertips, and his throat was paralyzed. His mouth moved, desperately and silently gasping for air. Noel sat him back down in his stool and calmly sipped her drink. Then, swiftly, she punched him in the chest, cracking his sternum. She punched again, and felt it splinter. Blood bubbled up out of his mouth, and he slid off the stool. The bartender walked over, and gestured for two bouncers to take the young thug's body away.

Noel smiled her thanks to them as she pulled her cellphone out of her purse. "Ms. Friday, please," she said to the voice on the other end. Then, after a brief pause, "Ms. Friday. It's Noel. No, everything is fine. The delivery went as planned. No, I'm calling because he sent one of his boys after me. Yes. No, at a dance club I frequent. No, Ms. Friday, I'm fine. Thank you, Ms. Friday."

She finished off her drink, tossing a wad of bills onto the bar and waving at the bartender as she walked away. "I'm coming in tonight," she spoke into the phone. "I need weapons and supplies and transportation to his compound." She pushed the door open, and stepped into the cool night air.

"Eventually, he's going to notice his boy is missing, and I want it to be far too late for him by the time he does."

Chapter 3

Chapter 1 ~ Pleasure after Business

Noel sat at the end of the bar where she could see everyone that entered. It was a small local bar filled with smoke and business men. Finally she saw him, the man she was waiting for. He was tall and well built with dark hair and eyes. The grey business suit he wore blended in with the other men as he took a seat in the middle of the bar. Noel ordered a another drink for herself and second one for him. She motioned for him to join her when the bartender pointed her out.

"Thanks for the drink." He said as he stared at her chest. She turned towards him and his eyes moved down to the short black skirt that showed off most of her long shapely legs.

"You're welcome. Have a seat."

After a little conversation and a few more drinks for him they decided to leave the bar. He drove them to the nearest cheap hotel and checked them in while she waited. As soon as they were in the room she pressed herself against him. As they kissed she slipped his jacket off and he began unbuttoning her deep red blouse revealing a black silk bra. She pulled him towards the bed and sat on the end. Kneeling before her he kissed her neck moving lower. She pressed his head against her breasts and reached behind her for the dagger hidden in her waistband.

He died quickly and quietly, just how she liked it. She buttoned her blouse and retrieved his keys from the jacket lying in the floor. In the backseat of the car she found his briefcase and the disc she was sent to retreive. A quick drop-off and her business would be done. Noel smiled to herself. With her business finished so early, there was plenty of time to go out for a little fun.

Charpter 2