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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6

For the Love of Deadly Nightshade - REVIEW THIS STORY

Written by CrystalWren
Last updated: 01/02/2007 02:01:11 AM

Chapter 6

At the sound of that voice Belladonna whipped around, pulling her dagger from her belt with a hand that was sticky with blood. But she couldn't see! The pain from her broken nose made her eyes tear and blur, blinding her so that she couldn't see her enemies. She slashed at the air in front of her, desperately hoping that a target would be stupid enough to walk into range, but nothing presented itself. Her movement prompted a fresh gush of blood from her nose, and with her spare hand she tried to stem the flood.

"That will never do."

Something cool and gentle touched her face, and abruptly, the pain stopped and the blood flow slowed. She scrubbed at her eyes with the back of her blood-stained hand and glared at the ages-old Sorcerer that stood before her. He was smirking faintly.

"Belladonna Bourdreux," purred the Antiquary, "I do believe you are trespassing."

She shrugged. "I won't tell if you don't," she said.

He laughed. "You are an adult now, Belladonna. You are responsible for your own actions. You father cannot save you. I would be well within the law if I demanded your head."

"Only if you want a war with the Assassin's Guild," Belladonna shot back. "They'd never allow you to kill me. My father has always believed that family is more important than honour."

"Your father is a sensible man. You are not the heir. You are not the Princess of Assassins. You are expendable. The fully trained Assassins that would be killed in another Guild war are not."

Belladonna snarled, and pointed her dagger at him in warning. "Princess or no, try to kill me and you'll regret it!"

He raised his eyebrows at that. "I believe you," he said, not sounding if he meant it at all. He absently formed a little ball of flame between his fingers and began to play with it like a desk toy. "The way I see it, my lady, there are a limited number of choices. One, I can kill you-"

"I'd like to see you try," muttered Belle. The Antiquary ignored her.

"Two," he continued, "I can hold you to ransom. But to be truthful, I already have riches, and I do not need blood either. So there can be very little your family can offer me in that regard." He twirled the ball of flame around on the tip of his forefinger. "So we come to the last and most practical of solutions: you, as people so quaintly put it these days, can 'owe me one'. You can owe me a debt of honour."

Belladonna tensed, knowing that that would be the worst of all.

"When I ask, I want you to do something for me."

"What would that be?"

"What ever I ask."

She glared at him.

"Within reason, of course."

"Of course!" said Belle sarcastically. 'What would you like? The security alarm number for my family mansion? A blowjob?"

The Antiquary sent her a reproving look. "There is no need to be so crude." He turned and walked over to where Lucien was watching him with avid, glowing eyes, and patted him on the head as if he was a particularly good pet. "I can see that my terms are not acceptable to you. Let us modify them somewhat: you must agree with me."

She blinked. "I beg your pardon?"

"When I ask you, no matter why, you must agree with me. And you must say, clearly and firmly, that you do agree, no matter what your personal opinion my be."

What would be wrong with that? How bad could it be? thought Belle. "And what is there to make me keep my word?" she said aloud.

"Your honour."

Belle could find no fault with that. "Done," she said decisively. She moved forward to shake hands to seal the deal, but at the last moment she hesitated.

"What ails you?" asked the Antiquary with a frown, his hand still outstretched to take hers.

"What happens to him?" asked Belle, gesturing towards Lucien.

"Whatever happens to Lucien is none of your business," said the Antiquary blandly. "He is mine. Make no mistake about it."

Still Belle hesitated.

"However, I probably will not punish him too badly. After all, this has turned out quite well for me…"

"Rub it in, why don't you?"

The Antiquary snorted in amusement. Before she could change her mind, Belle stepped forward grasped his hand in her own. Cold, she thought, before looking into the Antiquary's eyes. They narrowed briefly in a look of triumph, and as they began to fade before her, she could just hear the Antiquary's smooth voice ringing in her ears: "done". Belle's world shook, and magic ran chilly fingers up and down her spine. She closed her eyes to clear them, and when she opened them again she was standing ankle deep in muddy Bayou water in a dark tunnel more closely resembling a drain.

"Great," she muttered, looking at the light at the end of the tunnel. It seemed so far away…she gritted her teeth and began to hobble towards it.

The Antiquary, standing in his own paved and glowing tunnel, watched her go.

There was the barest whisper of sound and Lucien came to kneel at his side. "Master?" he asked, looking up at the white haired man with adoring eyes.

He reached down and ran his fingers through Lucien's soft, auburn hair. "You've done well," he said softly. "You have done everything I asked of you. I am proud." The boy's eyes closed in ecstasy as he leaned up into the caress. "Let us go home," said the Antiquary, as the tunnel began to fade about them.


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