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 Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!

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PostSubject: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Directly after Assassination thread...

Parking her Ducati in an alley across from McGregor's Bar, Lana dismounted the bike and stood with one hand resting against the seat for balance. Even with the two makeshift bandages she had applied to the wounds, she was still losing blood and would continue to do so until she got the bullets out and the holes stitched. Lana snatched her bag from the back of the bike and exited the alley, heading directly for McGregor's.

Due to the time of day only the committed drinkers were present. The normal bee hive of noise was now nothing but an occasional spurt of conversation between the sparse patrons and the hum of a silent juke box. A woman walking in so early was cause for heads to turn, especially since the smell of smoke clung to her and she favored her right leg as she walked. Parts of her hair was singed from the fire but she had managed to escape without any major burns.

Y'look a little worse for wear, darlin', observed the man behind the bar as she approached. Lana eyed him, recognized him as McGregor and nodded an affirmation. She knew she had to look like Hell. I'm having a bad hair day, she responded loud enough for the room to hear. Then, leaning closer she whispered, I will give you one thousand dollars if you call someone for me.

Instead of eagerness there was only suspicion in his gaze as he eyed the rough looking redhead. McGregor was not a man to play games with and so when she transferred a roll of cash across to him after bending awkwardly to retrieve it from her boot, he held it below the counter to count it out. Lana waited while he did, shifting the weight of her bag on her good shoulder. Blood was trickling down her leg from her hip where she'd been shot and a small puddle formed around her foot. Finally McGregor stuffed the cash into his back pocket and looked at her expectingly.

Malik Kraver, she didn't wait for a response from him, instead turning and limping her way to the restroom where she locked the door and dropped her bag before sagging against the sink. A shaking hand turned both faucets on so that a lukewarm water ran while she began to ease her jacket off. Moving slowly so she didn't tear her damaged shoulder and again as she removed her shirt, finally exposing the open wound.

Next was her boots and pants, which she removed with the same slow ease. Gritting her teeth the entire time, with a whimper escaping every now and then. When she had finished, there was a blackness teasing the edges of her vision, threatening to take over. What stopped it was the ring of her earbud. The incessant noise making her realize she was still tagged, Lana ripped the piece out and limped to the toilet where she flushed it. The redhead watched it cyclone around the bowl and disappear before she closed the toilet lid and sat down. Waiting.

Last edited by Svetlana Kozlovski on Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:09 pm

The bar business had two precepts that justified it being open during day light hours. One, there was always someone in need of a drink. Two, being closed didn't make any money. McGregor, however, opened his doors before noon because people counted on his bar as a safe place to do business. He stood behind the counter polishing the smudges from a glass mug, before placing it in a freezer to chill. Even at this early hour there were occupants at the tables. There were nowhere near as many during the night hours, and their conversations were quieter. A few eyes turned to the red haired woman who walked in through the doors, allowing sunlight into the dimly lit room. McGregor's eyes always turned when those doors opened.

He watched the flame haired woman stride up to the bar, and couldn't help but muse about how he would have made a pass at her in his younger days. He set aside the mug that he was tending to, and walked to the end of the bar so that he could meet the woman who was obviously approaching the bar. "You look like you could use a drink." he said to her as he placed his hands on the bar. "All depends on who you want me to call and what I'm supposed to say." He eyed her suspiciously while he spoke. He wasn't the type to throw people he knew on to landmines.

The name made him raise an eyebrow. He wasn't expecting it, but a smirk curled the corner of his lips as an afterthought. The man had the damnedest luck with women. The smirk faded when the young woman limped towards the bathroom. Even with the wad of cash laying on his bar, staring him in the face, McGregor wasn't going to call him. It was the way she moved, and the small pool of blood that she left behind on the floor where she stood. "Poor girl's in trouble...." he said to himself, then motioned to one of the servers to clean up the blood. McGregor reached into his pocket, pulled out his phone, and dialed. "Mal.... It's Mac. A red head just paid me a grand to call you. Yeah, she had a Russian accent. And Mal, she's hurt. Looks pretty bad."

Malik hung up the phone, and shoved it back into his pocket. His face twisted into a grim cast, and a slight growl rumbled deep into his throat. She didn't call him directly, even though she had his number. Something was wrong, and she felt she couldn't call him, which meant she thought she was compromised. McGregor was a good play, someone not connected to her, that could get in contact with him. She was smart and careful, that one. Malik turned to the door of the Mule, and grabbed his coat and backpack on the way out.

Once outside, he locked the door behind him, and moved to the front of the transport to disengage the drive section. The rest of the Pride was out doing their own thing Divines knew where. He rarely saw them these days and they could fend for themselves. The engine roared to life and Malik floored the accelerator to tear off through the Proving Grounds. Librium's gates were in sight, so the ride there only took a few moments. It was the warren of city streets he had to travel, that made him slow his pace. In less than half an hour Malik had reached his destination.

The drive section of the Mule roared to a halt at the street curb outside the bar. Wary eyes looked around outside to make sure to see if there was anyone outside the bar watching it. Satisfied that there was no one, Malik walked inside and immediately his nose wrinkled. He knew Lana's scent very well and the smell of her blood made the beast inside roar out in rage. She was an contractor, had a dangerous occupation, and knew the risks, but she was someone Malik cared about. Her blood being spilled wasn't something he took lightly.

McGregor lifted a finger to point to the bathroom door that she was behind, but Malik was already on his way there, following his nose. What he did need was the key that McGregor threw to him, because the bar owner knew Malik would rip the door off its hinges if he found it locked. Malik snatched the key out of the air and opened the door. "It's me..." he said as he opened the door, to let her know she wasn't being attacked. "What happened?" He stood ready to be attacked, knowing how dangerous it was to find a wounded animal holed up. He knew Lana was alright as long as she drew breath, the more important question was finding out what the hell was going on.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:12 pm

Her body was at war with itself; the beast inside roaring at the pain she felt. Lana continued to grit her teeth through each movement she made, reaching back with her uninjured arm and feeling around the open wound. There was no exit wound in the front of her shoulder, so she had to dig inside of her shoulder to fish it out. Immediately sweat began to bead against her forehead as she pushed one finger into the hole, digging for the foreign object and easing it out until she held it in the palm of her hand. She hadn't the time to fully inspect it like she wanted to do, someone was approaching the restroom.

She was too far away from her bag to arm herself with anything and she would be completely useless in a fight now. Lana didn't even breathe as the movement stopped outside the door. Her senses were too clouded with the coppery scent of her own blood that she couldn't pick up Malik's as it wafted beneath the door. A strong, dominating aroma that was heightened by the thinly controlled rage kept locked beneath his fine dark skin. The redhead exhaled thankfully when it was him that cautiously eased the door open and poked his bald head around the door. She'd never been so happy to see another person in her life.

Close the door, Lana's voice was gruff and somewhat annoyed as she sat up as much as she could, though moving was becoming difficult for her. Her injured arm felt completely dead as it lay in her lap with streaks of blood running down. In the back of her hip where the bullet had entered there was a pulsing pain where the it was lodged. Haven't you ever seen a bullet wound before? Lana revealed a lop-sided grin, hoping to ease his grim appearance. They had not seen one another in some time and it was a shame that this was why they were coming together again.

The scene he stumbled upon was something that seemed more suited to a movie than a real life scenario. The floor was streaked with blood from her boots and scattered haphazardly was her clothing. She sat on the closed toilet, holding one of the bullets in her hand and wearing only a sports bra and boyshort panties; the dark color of the fabric camouflaging most of the blood. Her hair was half in, half out of a pony tail with the ends slightly singed from the fire back at Kale's house. She'd started the faucet to clean away some of the crimson from her arms and legs, but once she had sat down the will to get back up had fled her completely.

In the bag over there, she motioned with her head at the duffel, bandages and clean clothes. I already got one of the bullets out but there is another somewhere in my back. I can't get it out without damaging something else. Who knew how close it was to any vital organs. She wouldn't tell him anything else until they were far, far away from the city. Can you do it? She had already tracked blood all over restroom, what was a few more drops? The fact that the bartender had done as she requested was enough to tell her he wouldn't be reporting her to the police or calling any EMTs.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:44 am

Malik opened the bathroom door and the coppery scent of blood overwhelmed his sense of smell, drowning out everything else. There was blood everywhere, all over the sink and floor, all over her hands and body. Instinct and personal feelings made Malik want to scoop her up in his arms without hesitation, and run out of there to get her some place safe. Her cavalier remark kicked him square in the face figuratively speaking. His brow furrowed and he leveled a ‘come on, really?’ at her as rational thought prevailed. She needed help now, and this was a safe place, so he may as well take advantage of it even if it was a bathroom. At least it was clean, or had been before she got there. Looking at her, it was a wonder that she had even made it here. Yet another testament to how strong and capable Svetlana was. No wonder he found her attractive.

He slipped in through the small space that he had opened up in the door so that no one was able to look in past the width of his body, and shut the door behind him. His hand gave the dead bolt on the door a twist so that it was locked securely once again. ”You crack another joke and I won’t be gentle.“ he said sourly as he walked over to her bag. He slung his backpack off of his shoulder and placed it against the door, as yet another warning and obstruction should anyone try to enter. He had his own first aid kit in his bag, but since hers was already out he was going to use it. If he needed anything that she didn’t have, he would break out his own kit. He picked up the box and popped open the lid so that he could see what was inside. He was surprised to see that she had more than just bandages. It came complete with basic tools, pain killers, and some other goodies that any field medic would be happy with. ”Such a woman. You’ve got tools and you’re digging a bullet out with your finger,“ he grumbled.

He walked around where she sat so that he could wash his hands, and then settled on the cold tile floor right behind her. His face was stoic as always, and he was being a bit of a bastard, but her nose would be able to divine the truth that lay beneath it all. Worry laced his scent. It was strong enough that anyone who didn’t know him would mistake it for fear. He was trying to hide his concern for her with his annoyance. He pulled his belt from his pants, rolled it up, and then handed it to her to bite down on. He didn’t ask what was going on or how she got like this, but he wouldn’t give her anything to dull her senses. She was going to have to endure the pain. ”I’m gonna close this one up before I start digging any more out of you. I don’t want you bleeding out while I’m stitching you up.“ Large warm hands moved carefully about the area that she had dug the first bullet from. He gently wiped up the excess blood, and looked into the wound to make sure there was no shrapnel that broke off of the slug. Looking over her shoulder he saw the mushroomed slug, and didn’t see any breaks in it.

”That one came out clean, and you didn’t make the hole any worse fingering it.“ Malik dropped the blood soaked gauze pad to the floor and opened the pack that had a sterile needle and thread inside it. During his time as a solider during the war he was given a small amount of field medicine training, but he had picked up a good deal more since those days thanks to Kyria. She had been patient enough with him and his incessant habit of getting hurt, and taught him more about field medicine just in case he ever needed it. He’d gotten practice sewing up wounds on sedated rift beasts as well as a few of his own under her watchful eye. Those skills were coming in handy now that someone actually needed them. After pouring peroxide and iodine on it to clean the wound, a steady hand made eight neat stitches that threaded through each side of the bullet hole and pulled it shut. He then tied them off with a neat loop that wrapped in on itself then synched tight before being cut. ”Alright, one down…. How many more bullets do you have in you?“

He moved to the other bullet wound she spoke of and did the best he could to wipe the blood from it, even though it was producing more with each passing moment. Malik slowly inspected the wound with gentle fingertips touching the surrounding flesh. He could feel the hardness of her rib beneath the skin on both sides of the entry wound which meant toe bullet made contact with the rib. It was both a blessing and a curse. The hard impact would have either stopped the bullet or taken a great deal of its force. The down side was the increased risk of the bullet fragmenting and sending shards throughout her body to wreak havoc on her innards. He didn’t feel any lumps so that meant the bullet went deeper instead of staying near the surface. ”It hit your rib first then went deeper. You having any trouble breathing or coughing up blood?,“ he asked her as he leaned his head down to press an ear to her back.

He didn’t have a stethoscope, but with his acute senses he didn’t need one. He was worried about the bullet hitting her lung, because that was the only thing that was in the area, if its path stayed anywhere close to true. Thankfully he didn’t hear any gurgling or wheezing in her chest when she inhaled and exhaled. The lungs were intact, which meant the damage was only deep muscle tissue, very deep. ”You’re lung is fine. I’m gonna go in and pull the bullet out.“ Instead of using his finger to dig after the bullet, Malik reached into her first aid kit and pulled out a pair of needle nosed forceps and a scalpel. The scalpel made an incision across the bullet hole to reshape the wound. He used the long nosed tool to follow the travel path of the bullet until he felt something solid stop them. He used them to bridge the wound open, and stuck a thin pair of locking tweezers into the now gaped hole. Malik couldn’t see down into the wound so he closed his eyes and went by feel alone. Once he perceived the tweezers slipping around the sides of the bullet he pinched them tight so that they locked securely, and then pulled them back out slowly. Held firmly in their grip was a misshapen and mangled bullet. He rinsed it off with water and turned it over and over, inspecting the slug for any missing pieces. It too was intact, so Malik finally let out the breath he had been holding.

Now that the bullet was out, blood leaked freely from the wound. Since he had the scalpel incision to give better access to the damaged tissues, he held them open, poured peroxide into it to flush the wound clean. Once it was done foaming, Malik started stitching from the inside out. The stitches would dissolve and be absorbed by her tissues over time which made them perfect for keeping any sort of internal bleeding or pooling from happening. It took longer than the first bullet wound, but in time it too was closed up, and tied off. ”You’re doing good. Where else are you hurt?“ He would only listen to her if she mentioned another wound. Any protests or assurances that she was fine would be ignored completely.

Malik reached into his own backpack and pulled out a towel that he had on there, and wet it with hot water. Methodically the Lion went over every inch of Lana’s body, starting at her head, moving down over her chest and back, then along her arms and legs. He gently wiped away the blood with the soft warm towel, and checked for fresh wounds in the wet creamy flesh. Periodically he would rinse out the towel to get rid of the blood it soaked up, and make it warm again. Each time he found a wound, he would stop, tend to it, and then continue his search. ”Gods woman, it looks like you went through a meat grinder. Whatever happened, you’re lucky to be alive.“ he said as he finished stitching closed the last wound that needed more than just a bandage.

Playing doctor had never been a serious game for him until today, but he got through it, and his patient was still alive for the moment. She’d lost a lot of blood, and most of it was all over McGregor’s bathroom. He carefully bandaged the two bullet wounds, and the few deep stab wounds that she had. The rest of them were given a quick wrap of gauze and bandage, before he pulled away from her. ”Get dressed. I’ll try to clean this place up.“, he said and then started to use the towel to sop up the largest pools of blood. It was showing progress because her wounds were no longer filling them back up again. By the time she was done getting dressed Malik had cleaned up most of the blood, but there was still red streaks and tint everywhere. ”Mac’s gonna have to get someone to clean this place up. The Mule is parked out front near what I’m guessing is your Ducati. You think you can make it out of here, and into the passenger seat on your own?“ Without waiting for an answer Malik tossed her the keys to the Mule so that she could open the door and let herself in while he took care of something else.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:02 pm

So perhaps trying to lighten the mood wasn't such a good idea. The glare that Malik leveled at her told her that the lion was in no mood to make merry, at least not yet. But she would not let his sour attitude affect her. I'm a big girl, Lev. I'm pretty sure I can handle it if you got rough with me. Thus far he'd only been gentle with her on one occasion and well this wasn't the time to remember things like that. She watched as he gathered supplies; digging the emergency kit out of her bag that held all the supplies to perform on the spot surgery if needed.

When she reached back for the coiled belt Lana smiled at him as she clinched the leather between her teeth. She tried and succeeded most of the time at being still and allowing him to poke, prod and stitch. When he began digging into her back for the second bullet, Lana flinched and bit down on the belt, surely leaving a permanent imprint of her teeth behind. Beads of sweat streaked down her temples and forehead and at one point she had the urge to reach around and fight him, but that was the beast inside her warring with the pain she was subject to.

Spitting the belt out of her mouth, she jerked her head around to growl at him once he was finished. The green of her eyes mostly gone, replaced by the yellow of the werewolf. Her breathing was heavy and ragged and she watched him drag the warm, damp cloth over her to wipe away the blood. She was a wounded animal cornered and though it was him she had called for help, it was instinct that made her suspicious of his hands as they reached towards her. She never hindered or stalled him though she really wanted to, just for a reprieve from the sting.

Taking the clothing from him she eased herself into them, one body part at a time. Yeah, I think so. She looked down at her boots, sweating again from the exertion it took to dress herself and debating on going barefoot. After a bit of an internal struggle Lana decided that going barefoot wasn't such a sacrifice and that her boots would probably only track bloody footprints through the bar. Leaving Malik to the maid duties she limped over to the bathroom door, flipped the deadbolt and stuck her head out into the room. It was virtually empty save for the bartender and his helper. Mac must have cleaned the place out after the Calvary showed up.

Lana limped out of the bathroom and as she passed the man behind the bar she smiled her thanks. Thanks that he hadn't called anyone else other than Malik; thankful that he had helped her and not let her die in his bathroom. Of course a dead girl in the toilet was bad for business so he wouldn't have let her bleed out on his property. Lana didn’t immediately climb into the Mule upon exiting the bar; instead she stood beside her Ducati until Malik appeared carrying her things. I don’t want to leave this here. Can you put it up there or do I have to ride it? She pointed to the top of the Mule and waited for a reply. Now that she was stitched and the bullets were out, Lana was more confident that she wouldn’t crash or drive off a bridge or pass out.

When everything was settled and the Ducati was secured to the top of the Mule and Lana secured in the passenger seat, she sat at an angle so that her body was leaning forward and towards Malik. I need some things before we leave. Hair color and some...feminine products. Her face colored as she spoke that last to him. Malik knew her more intimately than anyone else and still she was embarrassed to speak to him about things of personal nature.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:48 am

Looking at the state of the bathroom after the repeated wiping and rinsing of the towel, he was satisfied and nodded to himself quickly. The towels were bundled up and pushed into his backpack. He didn't care if the smell of her blood got on anything of his. Divine help anyone who tracked her scent to him, it would be the last trail they ever followed. He watched Lana walk towards the door on bare feet, steadying herself more with each step, and then his eyes went to the world beyond the door. Malik searched for anyone that was out of place, or expressing too much interest in Lana, but there were fewer people than he remembered on his way in. Gaze shifted to McGregor and he mouthed the words 'Thank you' to his old friend. McGregor responded by shaking his head and tossing the wad of cash back in Malik's direction. The woman was obviously someone important to Malik, so he saw helping her as helping him. Her money was no good since it hadn't been anything that put Malik in a jam.

Malik snatched the wad out of the air with his free hand and shoved it in the pocket of his jacket. Once the hand was out and free again he touched the side of his nose and then motioned his head towards the bathroom. The two had know each other long enough for Malik to teach him about the 'Lunar' ways of life. That blood soaked stained bathroom would stand out like a bonfire to anyone tracking her by scent. The bar owner was going to have to douse it with ammonia and scrub it clean. That would end the trail and keep any trace of it from ever coming up again. McGregor was already in the motions of getting that mess properly taken care of. This was his business and his home, and he didn't want the peace disturbed if it didn't have to be.

Outside the bar Malik watched as Lana walked over to the Ducati motorcycle and stood behind it. He had pegged it as hers just by style, before he smelled her on it. It was nice to know that he knew her a little better now. When they met she had been a hard read, and even now she was still a bit of a mystery. "No, you're not riding. I can put it on the Mule." he said and walked over to the Ducati to take it by the handle bars. He titled it so that he could disengage the kickstand, and then walked it to the back of the Mule. Lana knew enough about Malik, to know that he took care in his actions to not tip off the public to what he was. He had pride in what he was, but only a fool made himself stand out needlessly. Malik was no fool, but at the moment he was a man with a mission. Leaning the bike against his leg, Malik unbuckled a heavy duty nylon strap so that it hung loose, and then turned to grab the Ducati by its substructure frame. Without so much as a grunt he lifted the performance bike off of the ground and placed it on the trailer hitch plane. A few of the people walking by turned to look at him, but the look they got in return insured they would never mind his business again.

Quick hands secured the street bike with the heavy duty nylon strap, and then fastened a tarp over it so that no one could see it while they drove. Once the bike was safely stowed away, Malik escorted Lana around to the passenger side, and opened the door. Some small part of him made the action a gentlemanly gesture, but the rest of him was just ensuring she was safe inside before he got in himself. Once inside the cabin with Lana, he eased his key into the ignition, gave it a turn, and started the engine. While it was rumbling and heating up Malik reached into his coat pocket, pulled out the wad of cash, and tossed it in Lana's lap. "Yeah, we can stop. If you're going shopping, you're gonna need that. Mac decided he didn't want your money." Malik pulled out into traffic, and made his way across Librium's warren of streets until he stopped outside a shop that would have all the things she needed. "On second thought, why don't you just give me a list. You're barefoot, and still smell like blood and antiseptic." His voice was a bit of a begrudging grumble, but any man's voice would be when he knew he was being sent into a store for 'lady things'. After Lana gave him the list, he was in and out of the store in typical male fashion. No time spent browsing.

Back in the mule, Malik had his destination in mind and he was especially quiet during the drive. Lana would know better than to talk to him because she would notice the way his eyes moved. Their travel path kept moving from the rear and side view mirrors, and then he would check side streets and roof tops. He was making sure that they were not being followed to wherever it was they were going. Their journey did have one minor pit stop. Malik stopped in an alleyway, and pulled the tarp covered Ducati off of the Mule and chained it at the end of the dead end. Once that was done, he ran back to the Mule, hopped in, and drove them to a building a block and a half away.

His safe house was a rundown apartment building in the slums. Walking the eight flights of stairs up to where the corner one bedroom apartment he rented, they saw a number of people but few of them bothered to look twice in their direction. Malik opened the triple dead bolted door, and stepped aside to let her in first. The interior of the apartment was extremely clean and tidy, which was a stark contrast to the rest of the building. Malik's military ways reigned here. "It's not as fancy as your hotel room with the armory, but it's safe and all the utilities work. It even has good lines of sight." he said to her as he went to the closet and pulled out a long hard plastic case. From the case he pulled out an already assembled .50 cal rifle with a long distance scope, and tripod stand. He set it up on the table in the middle of the room and pointed it out the window. It was a good place to shoot from cover, and if Lana looked out the window, her keen eyes would be able to see a familiar tarp just under four blocks away. Malik had set a trap with an unobstructed line of fire at anyone who tried to track her bike. Once he was done he turned his head towards Lana who was unpacking her newly purchased supplies and said, "You didn't specify color.... hope blonde is ok."
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:47 am

Waiting patiently in the Mule for Malik to do her shopping, Lana took the time to be nosy. Studying the dash panel and any compartment that she could open without the need for a key. There was nothing interesting enough to capture her attention for any lenghty period of time except for a photo. Quickly glancing out the window to make sure he wasn't coming Lana pulled the picture down from the visor and studied it closer. In the picture Malik was surrounded by three attractive women, all of them looking pleased with life. This must be his Pride, if she remembered correctly. No where in the world did a picture like this exist with her image on it. One never would. Quietly she slipped the photo back into place just as he was exiting the store and heading in her direction.

His still sour mood made her take the bag from him in silence and remain such the rest of the drive to where he was taking her. Fingering the plastic bag in her lap, Lana watched as he unloaded her covered Ducati and left it sitting in an alley while they drove away. Hopefully no one would be stupid enough to try to take it. From their he took her to an apartment. It was similar to the one she had in Bastion except it was more homey. There was more furniture and a lived-in feel to it. As he set up the scoped rifle she limped over and sighted down the view, seeing the Ducati. Huh. Impressed with the layout she opened the bag in her hand and peeked at what he bought. Blonde is fine. This is just to change appearance, not for beauty.

Venturing further into the apartment, Lana peeked into the single bedroom that the two of them would be sharing and for a woman injured her mind still managed to conjure images of another time and place. Turning away she limped into the bathroom and dropped the bag into the sink. First she removed her shirt and then dug out the hair product and set to work on that. Mixing the chemicals and then applying every drop to her hair until it was piled on top of her head in a gooey red mass. How different would she look with blond hair...and if she shifted would it stay?

As the product was settling she went to the tub and turned the faucets so that a stream of warm water filled it. Lana sat on the edge and removed her pants and underwear then her bra before easing into the water. It sloshed around her waist, well below the stitches on her backside however all the tiny cuts on her lower half stung for a while as she sat there with her knees drawn up so she could rest her chin. She felt some emotion begin to overtake her, but before she could dissect it the timer on her digital watch began to buzz and pulled her from her own mind. She rinsed the hair color from her head and applied the after treatment, leaving that for a few more minutes and then exiting the draining tub when it was finished and her hair was rinsed clean of chemical dye and after treatment.

She stood in front of the mirror, her hair wet and slicked back from the washing and very much blond. The areas around the roots being darker but still definitely no longer the fiery red they used to be. A puddle was beginning to form at her feet as the water made its way down her body since she hadn't bothered searching for a towel before getting in the tub. Leaving the bathroom she reentered the bedroom and only then remembered she had no extra clothes with her other than what she wore here and the bloodstained rags from earlier. The only consolation was that there seemed to be enough of Malik's clothes for her to find an extra t-shirt in a dresser drawer. Lana perched at the foot of the bed then and began to comb her fingers through her hair, removing the tangles while lost in thought and silently wondering what had happened to her savior.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:42 pm

After the sniper rifle was set up and the safety was off, Malik started to move through the apartment, and checked all the weapons he had hidden about. It didn't take very long because he knew ever inch and location blindfolded, and no one had been in the apartment since he left it last. Everything was in order and Svetlana had disappeared into the bathroom, so Malik went to the kitchen and started to forage for food. The best thing any sort of Moonchild could do when injured was eat and sleep. Their bodies were resilient, and taking it easy seemed to speed the process. It probably just seemed that way because he wasn't adding more injuries. Malik could never stay still, even when he was hurt.

Malik was a good cook, he had to be because no one else in the Pride was. Lis burned everything she touched, Vanessa was happy to live off of military rations and cookies, and Cyd barely seemed to eat. Unfortunately it was impossible to keep a safe house stocked with fresh ingredients. The cabinets were stocked with canned goods. He fingered through the vegetables and various meat hashes until he got to the cans of soup. Bullet wounds and wolves called for something special, beef stew. He took a pot from beneath the counter, rinsed it out, then dumped four cans into it, and set it on the burner. After a few slow stirs the soup came to a slow boil. His hand continued to stir when movement took his attention.

Cats were drawn to motion. It didn't matter whether they saw it, heard it, or felt it with that mysterious sixth sense they seemed to have. Malik was afflicted with that attraction. Over the years it had saved his life, and allowed him to see some spectacular things that otherwise would have been missed. He felt movement to the side of him and heard wet feet transition from tiled floor to soft carpet. Malik's eyes were glued to the naked alabaster skin. He knew every scar on her body, three of which were from his claws, his signature running down between her breasts. She'd have three more scars soon. Those were his too. It didn't matter that he wasn't the one who put the bullets in her. Lana had survived the attempt on her life, and he stitched them closed. Once again his name appeared in the story that was written in her skin.

One hand turned the dial to turn off of the stove while the other blindly pulled blows from an adjacent cabinet, and spoons from the drawer. The lion didn't look away while her naked form stalked around his apartment to find and steal one of his t-shirts. He hadn't seen her like this since the mountains. He liked seeing this side of her as much as he liked seeing her destroy whatever she set her sights on. He turned his eyes from Lana to make sure that he filled both bowls without spilling any of the stew. Both deep dishes were filled to the brim, leaving the pot completely empty. He set it aside in the sink, filled it with water, and then put one spoon in each. After scooping them up in his hands, Malik walked out into the living room.

By the time she was back in his sight, Lana was wearing one of his t-shirts, and sitting on the foot of the bed, tending to her hair. He was still wearing clothes that were stained with her blood, but didn't seem to mind. "Blonde looks good on you," he said as he approached. "They'll never know you were a red head as long as you keep your pants on." There was a smile on his lips and humor in his voice once again. Now that Lana was no longer bleeding, and safe in his territory, it seemed that Malik had relaxed. He set one bowl down at the head of the table, and set the other at the place just to the left. Malik pulled out both chairs, and then sat at the head of the table. The butt of the sniper rifle was just to the right of him, and his eyes could see through the split in the curtains. No doubt the Ducati was still within his range of vision, and he was ready to take up the rifle the moment he saw motion. "Beef stew alright?"

Malik knew it was. Lana was like him, an apex predator and a survivor. She ate everything to make sure she was at the top of the food chain, and she ate whatever she had to so she had the strength to survive. He took the spoon in hand and started to shovel the savory mix of meat and vegetables into his mouth. Beef stew was a personal favorite. It made a hearty meal and had all the food groups in it. Asking if it was good wasn't something that entered into his mind. There was another question on his mind. "What are we into here?" He said 'we'. There was no uncertainty in his voice. Malik was all in, and determined to kill whoever was after her. He'd given her the only thing that was better than his word, his friendship. He never threw a friend to the wolves, especially if that friend was his wolf.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:33 pm

The savory smell of the stew was enough to pause the way her fingers worked through her newly blonde locks. Beef and vegetables cooked to a delicious warmth made her stomach rumble. Lana realized then that she had not eat since yesterday, too excited about the prospect of revenge making her skip breakfast that morning. She rose up from the bed and padded on barefoot back to the kitchen where Malik had laid out two bowls of stew. Da, stew is fine. She was grateful for anything and everything he had already done and would be doing in the future. Lana was not about to turn her nose up at his offered food.

The meat was tender as she chew and the juices flavored as they landed on her palate. So her dark savior could also cook. Lana studied him across the table, smiled at his compliment about her new coloring but just as quickly frowned when he asked about this mess they were in. Because it was their mess now since Lana had dragged him into it. To be honest, Lev, I'm still trying to figure it out myself. She knew for a certainty that the assassin had been after her and had been equipped with Umbra issued weapons. But that was where it stopped. The why and who she could not even begin to guess.

Someone tried to kill me. Not the first time it has happened but this time, whoever it was almost succeeded.

It was a blessing that she has eaten the entire bowl because discussing it made Lana lose her appetite quickly. With her empty bowl in hand she took it to the sink and dropped it there while making a mental note to do the washing later. I was in the middle of a job when the assassin showed up. Wearing some kind of suit that masked scent so I didn't know he...or she was there. That part angered her to no end.

She turned back to face him, leaning against the counter with her arms crossed. The wounds still pained her though not as bad now that they had been seen to. Someone from my own organization, no less. At first I thought perhaps it was backup because I was having a little trouble on my own. That was another jab to her pride and it made the werewolf's hackles rise. But when the other still gunned for me after I separated from the target then I realized what was happening.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:00 pm

He was just as hungry as she was, so his soup didn't last long. Before he knew it, his bowl was empty and he was leaving the spoon in the empty container. He pushed it off to the side and then turned his head to make sure that he could keep the Ducati at the end of the alley in his view at all times just in case someone picked up on her trail quickly. The corners of his mouth twitched slightly when she called him Lev. He couldn't help it, he liked the name, and when she said it he acknowledged it. It was as much is name now as Malik Karver was. The corners of his mouth, however, flatted once again when she mentioned that someone was trying to kill her.

That much was obvious from the state that he had found her in when he walked into McGregor's bar. While he listened to her give an account of what happened he started to make off the mental checklist. Every tidbit of information she gave was put on the board in his mind to be shuffled around like puzzle pieces so that it could be used to their advantage. Combat was all about taking any advantage you could and finding a way to steal victory.

When she got up from the table his head shifted and he watched her walk into the kitchen before he got up himself. She looked good in his shirt. The hem was just long enough to cover the parts that needed to be covered for modesty, and leave her long legs visible. She was Russian and had the legs of a dancer. In another life he would probably have been watching her dance across stage, instead of stitching her up, and planning to kill someone in order to keep her alive.

He brought his eyes up when she turned at the sink, and stood up as well. He joined her at the sink with bowl in hand. He placed it in the sink and then moved to the counter that was across from her at an angle, and lifted himself up so he could sit on it with his legs wide. "So, he had scent lock clothing, he... just because I don't feel like saying he or she all the time, knows what you are. If they are from your organization, he's got the same deep pockets you do. That could be a problem." He looked down at his hands as he started to run down the list of possibilities until he got to a question. He looked up at her and then asked, "I don't know how Umbra's employee handbook. Are you guys allowed to fight in house, or have you done anything to piss off the suits and get yourself fired?"
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:26 pm

Could be a problem? It IS a problem! Her hair was nearly dry now; a mass of blonde curls that could use with some styling gel and mouse so that she didn't look like she just rolled out of bed. It's a problem for many reasons, I'm sure you can think of most of them. But also now Umbra will know that I went AWOL on a contract. She'd had no choice, but they wouldn't know that; whoever had been at the kill site would make sure they left that detail out of their report.

Fidgeting with the hem of the shirt she worried the fabric between her fingers as her mind raced with all the possibilities of what might have caused this predicament. It's forbidden for the merc's to fight amongst each other. Makes for hostile work environment. The 'Suits' like for us to play nicely even though some of us aren't capable of such things. But as far as I know I haven't done anything to get fired. Flynn would have warned me if he knew of any trouble.

Pushing away from the counter she moved swiftly over to the table and peered back through the scope. The Ducati remained untouched where Malik had left it. Lana felt a stab of disappointment that the masked assassin hadn't tried to pursue her. But in Umbra, there is a ranking system they have for their assassins. The better ones get the higher paying contracts. If you want a top spot then one of the existing ranks have to disappear. The quickest way for that to happen is death... she turned so that her green eyes were focused now on her dark savior. Perhaps someone thought to take my place...
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:48 pm

When Svetlana raised her voice, Mailk raised his eyes to look at her. It was very rare to see any sort of emotional outburst from her. This had to be very tough for her, akin to the world crashing down on her. From what he knew of her, Lana went from being a government killer right in to working for the private sector. There was no in between where she was without a handler, and a organization of some sort backing her. Structure was something you never thought about until it was gone. Malik felt that way when the army signed his discharge papers, and he struck out on his own. "Hey, deep pockets don't automatically make you an Ace. It helps, but I'll put my money on skill and experience any day, until someone breaks out the smart missiles and nukes." He kept his voice at that calm rumble. Lana wasn't the person you kissed on the forehead and told everything was gonna be ok. The best way to sooth her was to keep your own calm.

"I'm guessing Flynn is your handler?" he said to be certain only because he needed to lay the pieces out on the board where they needed to go. "You seem to trust that he would have your interests over the company's bottom line. Even so, I don't recommend contacting him. It might shed a lot of light on things, but whoever is coming after you may be wire tapping or watching him in hopes that he will lead them to you." Malik scrubbed his hand over his head for a moment, and enjoyed the calming feel of a hand being passed over the short stubble of hair. "Contracts can go south any time.... do you think Flynn would be able to put a spin on you ditching the job to keep the suits off your back for a while?"

One thing had been bugging him since she spoke about the ranking system. Part of him didn't want to ask because it could be seen as bad form, but impropriety was the last thing he needed to step around. "So the better your rank, the bigger the target on your back is?" he asked rhetorically. His eyes went back to her, taking the long way up. "I've seen you work so I know you're good, but I need to know how good this guy thinks he is, if it's your spot he wants." The question hung unasked for a few moments, but he went ahead as bold as a lion could. "Where are you ranked, Lana?"
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:05 pm

Flynn is...yes, I guess you could say 'handler'. But he likes to think of himself as a father figure too. And sometimes Lana felt that the old man was something close to being a paternal structure in her life. She'd never had a father (that she could remember) and so Flynn having taken up that mantle was a silent comfort to the werewolf.

I believe that Flynn would put my well being above the interest of Umbra. She said that with an unwavering conviction.

His inquiry of where she ranked made her entire being stiffen. Lana didn't often like to admit exactly how good she was at what she did. But perhaps someone should know other than those she worked for. Let's just say that my target is so big that it covers me from head to toe.

Because Malik had remained calm throughout her outburst, Lana had remembered herself and where she was in time to put a lid on her emotions. He had already pulled her out of her shell to an extent and that alone continued to make her suspicious of him. Nevermind that she had called him to help her out of this mess.

Taking me out of the equation would ensure that all top priority contracts were passed through whoever took my place. Everything Lana did, she did by choice. She was no longer handed a name and told to kill, now she was given a choice and her choices always came with the highest dollar amount.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:41 pm

Looking at her while she spoke Lana would be able to see a mixture of compassion and relief in his eyes when she spoke of Flynn. It was enough that it caused a soft bowing of his full lips. Lana was strong and capable, but the world was a very big place, with too many people to take on by herself. Whether she liked it or not, Lana had become someone that Malik had come to care about. He was actually relieved that he wasn't the only connection she had in her life. The life that was chosen for her was a lonely one, and the way she spoke about it and carried herself told him that isolation was a constant landscape.

Those same lips started to curl more strongly when an errant thought crossed his mind while he was thinking about the angles on it. Lana would know his mischievous smile very well after their time together in the mountains. He didn't think what he was about to ask would ever be a bridge that they crossed in their lives. It was a valid question but the irony wasn't lost on him. Seeing that smile spread across his lips, and seeing the playful feline quality to his gaze grow as he looked at her would be reminiscent of those times and build anticipation. It was only a few seconds before he spoke, but he had a way of making a moment last, "So, does daddy know about me, or am I your dark secret?"

He couldn't help but enjoy it, but there was a point to him asking this. "Flynn knowing to look for me as a possibility of finding you, could point your understudy in our direction." Sitting there on his countertop perch, Malik watched her carefully because he was as interested in her reaction to his playful prodding, as he was the answer for tactical reasons. "Let's just start calling this idiot number two because he is going to find out the hard way why you're number one."
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:55 pm

In the short time they had known each other; their relationship only spanning a few months, Lana would say that she could very well guess Malik's thoughts just by simply reading the expression on his face. However there were those few times when even he was a mystery to her. That mischievous grin, spreading into a full fledged smile made her eye him warily while awaiting whatever was about to come out of his mouth.

What he said though was not what she expected and it made her laugh. A genuine laugh that had her head dipping back and her eyes shut with merriment. Oh Lev, you are my dark secret. Have no doubt about it. The only time Flynn knows we had any contact was that job you helped me with.

Leaving the gun, she approached him. Her steps slow, thought out and with just the right tempo to make her hips sway in that enticing way meant to draw the eye. The only way Flynn or anyone would know to look in your direction is if they had followed us up into the mountains. And no one had known about that trip. Flynn had been furious when she had shown back up at Umbra. Raging at her about not returning his calls or checking in with him.

Speaking of dark secrets, does your Pride know about me? I can't imagine that your nest of pretty kittens would be too happy about you having a werewolf as a friend or a lover. Her hands were resting on his knees, having pushed them apart so she could stand between his legs and look up at him.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:31 pm

Malik gave a slight laugh in his baritone rumble, but he stifled it so that he could hear Lana musical laughter come from deep within her belly. It was a rare occasion that she laughed uncontrollably. She almost never dropped her walls, but she had chosen to let Malik behind them. He liked what lay behind them, and enjoyed the moments she let him see it again. For a lifelong killer carved from ice, she had the laugh of an innocent. Apparently those walls weren't just to keep the world out, they were meant to keep some things safe.

When she finally spoke, her words brought had him smiling through a bottom lip that was caught between his teeth, until it was pulled free. "I don't mind being your dark secret." he said in a low rumble. His eyes were drawn to motion as surely as any cat's were, and the alluring sway of her hips did its job efficiently. Malik's eyes were on her hips, enjoying each deliberate step when he said, "I think I like it that way. People can't stop what they don't know about." His voice grew heavier with each word the closer she got to him.

Malik sat up slightly taking his elbows from where they rested on his thighs when he saw her hands drifting towards his knees. Sitting back slightly he placed them at either side on the counter, and let her move his legs as she pleased. "No. I promised you, that I would keep your secrets." He said quietly and his dark hazel eyes met hers, and didn't look away. "People can't ask questions about things they don't know about."

His eyes finally left hers, and traced down the bow of her luscious lips, and out to the blonde locks. Malik's hand rose to finger a few of the locks, and worked their way deeper into them like a cat acquainting itself with the yarn that it was going to play with. Finally fingertips found sensitive scalp at the side of her head and he drew his fingers downward passed the jaw line before her ear, and along her slender neck instead of contesting wild curls. "They may hear about you from Mac unless I tell him to keep a lid on it, but its none of their business. I don't tell them what to do in their personal time, they don't tell me what to do with mine. Besides, they haven't been around much lately."

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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:11 am

If you weren't my dark secret, we wouldn't be here right now. Hell, Malik might have been the first person Umbra sought out if they knew what kind of relationship she had with him. However that was left up to Flynn. For a moment the merriment drained from her when she thought about what action would be taken against him for her disappearance. But with his own rank in the faction firmly placed, there weren't a whole lot of people who could touch him and get away with it.

He would remain her dark secret, until a time came when knowing him openly would not be a danger to him or his Pride if ever a situation like this one rose again. There was another within Umbra that Lana thought she might could trust, but Veles was nothing like Flynn and she would have to contact him outside the faction. Perhaps even sneaking out to his hidden cave in the forest outside Librium.

Malik though was effective at drawing her attention back to the present. His fingers sliding through her hair, making her head tilt into his hand as they caressed down from her scalp to her jaw. Well, that's a shame. And it was because she liked to think that Malik didn't live his life like she did hers. He seemed to thrive with others around him. But also the wolf inside of her preened with a triumphant howl at his admission.

Have I thanked you yet? For rescuing me? She couldn't honestly remember, though she probably hadn't since that was the case.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:50 am

A shame... He didn't know exactly what part of his words she thought were a shame, but this Pride not being around lately was certainly a shame. He missed them. There was a deep sadness in him at with their absence, but he did his best to keep those dark feelings tightly bottled up inside. Now wasn't the time to open up that world of hurt, and he wasn't sure if that day would ever come. The military made him an expert at compartmentalizing.

Malik was careful not to let his smile slip as he pushed those thoughts away, and focused on his reality. He was here, so was Lana, and there was a highly skilled assassin out there hell bent on killing her. The feel of her head tilting into his hand made him focus on his sense of touch. His finger finished their path down to the middle of her neck, and his nerves protested at the prospect of pulling away, so Malik retraced his steps. Fingers caressed back up until the pushed into the beginnings of her golden locks, and he could cup her face again.

"No....." he said absently as he was thinking, "I don't think so." Malik was breathing through his nose, taking in her scent with every breath. The thread looming outside those walls grew more distant with each passing moment, and she was dominating his senses one by one. He'd been lost in her verdant green eyes since she stepped between his legs, and addicted to the feel of her the moment they connected. Her scent was the only one his attention picked out from the world, and her accent had been music to his ears since he walked into the bathroom. "But, I wasn't listening for a thank you."
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:21 am

There was a slight shift to his scent when they spoke of his Pride. It became bittersweet for a time and Lana faltered some but quickly regained her demeanor when his attention came right back to her. Good, because I wasn't going to say it to you. She smiled up at him and lifted a hand to grab the one he had lingering at the hollow in her throat, between her two clavicles.

Actions speak louder than words. Isn't that what you Americans say?

Stepping backwards she moved from between his legs and began to draw him down from the counter. She thought about leading him back to the bedroom, but that was too far to walk and her side stitches were killing her from so much walking. Instead she lead him back to the table and turned a chair around so that she could push him into it with a hand placed just so against his chest.

She nudged his legs apart with her foot; gently touching his ankles with her toes and giving them a little shove so that he knew to part them. There was just enough room for her to stand between them. So, Lev, are you ready to be thanked? Whether he was ready or not, she would do it anyway. She'd given him enough warning to expect something.
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PostSubject: Re: Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody! (Malik) !!COMPLETE!!   Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:28 am

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