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Road Trip Part 2/?
damien listening guitar
Title: Road Trip Part 2/?
Rating: R (language and sexual situations)
Author: morgan72uk and rogoblue
Summary: Laurence Dominic, Adelle DeWitt and Topher Brink have found a place to hide until a more prudent time to be wandering about LA. Unfortunately, that isn’t all they have found.

Laurence Dominic prowled around the living room of the ground floor, two bedroom apartment he’d chosen for him, Adelle and Topher to wait out the morning. He paused at each window, checking sight lines, looking for blind spots an enemy might use to approach undetected. Topher sat quietly on the couch—an action figure clutched in each hand. Despite himself, Dominic wondered what the combination of Yoda and a stormtrooper meant to the neuroscientist. Adelle had commandeered the first cold shower. Dominic didn’t begrudge her that. He knew he was far more accustomed to bloody clothing and having things he’d rather not think too much about in his hair.

Taking the smaller bedroom first, Dominic repeated his program. The adrenaline rush of getting to shelter before it got too light had faded. Leaning against the wall of the larger bedroom next to the door, Dominic closed his eyes. A sense of unreality swept over him and he felt as though he was observing himself from afar. Can’t afford this, Dom. Not now. Without even opening his eyes—an ability he’d discovered a few months back when his straits had been dire indeed, Dominic took another red pill. The features of the large bedroom came into focus in his mind’s eye with crystal clarity. He opened his eyes to a view that was a perfect match to his memory.

On a whim, he stepped to the closet and opened the door. The array of menswear within hit him like a blow to the head. Whoever had lived in this apartment had a wardrobe worthy of Laurence Dominic, Chief of Security. Before he thought better of it, Dominic chose a subtle, two tone blue pinstripe shirt and held it up. Since it looked to be not far from the right size and his own shirt was covered in blood and gore, he took it. A quick glance in the chest of drawers revealed a couple of pairs of jeans that might fit, a sweater that looked warm and sturdy and some high quality T-shirts. I can cram these and another button down or two in my pack. The only benefit of using too much ammunition to get here.

Topher was nowhere in sight when Dominic retrieved his pack from the living area. Gun in hand, Dominic was about to conduct a search when he heard Topher’s and Adelle’s voices. They’re in the bathroom. She’s probably cleaning him up. Packing all of the clothes other than a pair of jeans and the blue shirt, Dominic felt stiffness beginning to form in one knee. “Great,” he muttered, standing, flexing his right knee, wincing in pain. His jeans were torn and his knee looked swollen. Testing, Dominic put all of his body weight on his injured leg. It held.

Adelle and Topher emerged from the bathroom just as he’d concluded his experiment. Feeling the need to continue to be alone, Dominic moved around them and into the bathroom. First order of business is the jacket. He did the best he could for his leather jacket, working it over slowly, diligently and thoroughly with a damp washcloth. Taking off his bloodied shirt, Dominic stuck his head under the tap and cleaned his hair face and neck. His hands were last on the list, other than his knee. While cleaning the latter, Dominic decided his jeans weren’t too bad. Mentally determining how to fit the other pair of jeans into his backpack, Dominic pulled on the crisp, lightly starched button down shirt. Damn, I’d forgotten how good this feels.

“You always did favor freshly pressed shirts, Mr. Dominic,” Adelle DeWitt said, leaning against the bathroom door.

“I don’t recall you being termed dowdy on a routine basis, Ms. DeWitt,” he muttered.

“No,” she said, tone somehow taunting. “Not ever, in fact, and look at me now.”

She didn’t look anywhere near dowdy, but Dominic was going to be damned if he said that. “I guess that’s proof positive that the world has ended,” he muttered.

“In case all of the mayhem in the streets escaped your notice.”

“If my memory was that bad, all I had to do was look in the mirror,” Dominic said.

“Before you washed and donned a stolen shirt, that is,” Adelle said.

Dominic shrugged. “Whoever lived here wasn’t using it and I needed a new one.”

“That’s not the point—.”

“That’s exactly the point. You’re not in your underground safe zone anymore, Ms. DeWitt. You’re on the surface now and, up here, there’s no two ways about the situation. If you need something, you take it if you can. If you can’t, you do without or die. You dodge imprint bursts and avoid tech-heads. You kill with more brutality than you ever imagined yourself capable.” Breathing hard, barely able to remain still, he said. “You survive or you don’t. That’s the world we live in. The world the three of us did our part to create.”

“Topher couldn’t have known how the tech would be—.”

“Topher didn’t care!”

“I did my best to stop—.”

“Did you really?” he asked. “Do you actually think you played another bad hand well, just not well enough? Or are you willing to admit you played a decent one badly?”

“You have no idea what I went through in an effort to prevent this,” Adelle said, voice low, controlled, perfectly modulated and clearly enraged.

“Why don’t you explain it to me then?” he challenged.

She turned on her heel. “I would if I thought you would listen and make the effort to understand, rather than fit everything I say into your preconceived notion that I am to blame for all that has befallen the world.”

Following her into the living area, he snarled, “I won’t give you credit for all of that. Just for most of what’s happened to me.”

Adelle whirled to face him, expression closed, impossible to read. “I hardly think …” She glanced around. “Where is Topher?” she asked.

“He probably went to bed,” Dominic muttered, not welcoming the change of subject.

“Not without those,” she said, pointing. Yoda and the stormtrooper lay discarded on the coffee table.

“Damn,” Dominic muttered. Drawing his sidearm, he said, “I’ll have a look outside and elsewhere in the building. Make sure he isn’t in here. Assuming he isn’t, take up a position just inside the door and make sure I can get back with him.”

“This is our fault,” Adelle murmured, catching Dominic by the bicep.

“Topher going AWOL?” he asked.

Nodding, she said, “He can’t tolerate conflict.”

“That wasn’t conflict,” Dominic said. “That was … um … heated conversation.”

“I invite you to explain the difference to Topher when we find him.”

“Fine,” Dominic murmured, picking up two spare clips for his 9mm, heading for the door. “Three fast knocks, pause, two slow.”

“We need to find him,” Adelle said, raising a hand to her head.

“We will.” Pounding heart and elevated body temperature were common side effects to taking boosters. Dominic hardly noticed them anymore. Heeding his instinct to search outside first, he turned to the left.

“You smell nice.”

Topher’s voice spun Dominic around.

“Thank you, honey.”

Topher was half way up the flight of stairs to the next floor, staring at a woman Dominic couldn’t see well in the dim morning light.

“I smell nicer than I did,” Topher said. “I just got washed.”

“Where did you come from?” the woman asked.

“Underground,” Topher said. “The Dollhouse.”

“An underground dollhouse,” said the woman. “You don’t say.”

“Yes, I do,” Topher said, expression somewhere between puzzled and rapt.

“Ah, two new arrivals,” she said as Dominic reached Topher on the stairs. “Cameron, you need to see this. Bring your A game, sweet thing.”

“C’mon, Topher,” Dominic said, grasping him gently by the upper arm, not surprised by Topher’s fascination with the woman closer to Dominic’s age above them on the stairs—she had an indulgent way about her and long, somewhat wild red hair. “We need to get back,” Dominic muttered. “Ms. DeWitt’s worried about you.”

“She is?”

“Yeah,” Dominic muttered, keeping one eye on the woman as he urged Topher down four stairs. “We … ah … we’re sorry we had a … another disagreement.”

“Don’t you want to come up and see me, Topher,” the woman said.

“Yes,” Topher replied, halting abruptly. “You smell nice.”

“What have we here, Mia?” asked a second feminine voice.

“Our main course,” Mia said. “I’ll be right back, after I top off my tank and check on the … appetizers.” Her words notwithstanding, Mia didn’t move to go.

Dominic glanced up and his focus narrowed immediately to a medium height woman with dark wavy hair and amused blue eyes. Christ, she’s gorgeous. Cameron smiled at him and his heart kicked into an even higher gear.

“Hey,” Topher said, poking Dominic in the shoulder hard.

Blinking as though he’d just awoken, Dominic said, “What?”

“You said she was worried,” Topher said, frowning at Dominic, then smiling up at Mia. “I have to go now.”

“I’ll see you later, honey,” Mia said, laughing, returning to the room from which Cameron had emerged.

Cameron untied the belt of her short silk robe. Dominic swallowed hard as it fell open to reveal minimalist lingerie that drew attention to her pale skin. “See anything you like, blue eyes?” Cameron asked, smiling slyly.

A wave of heat slammed into Dominic. “I … ah … yeah.”

“You can touch if you want. I don’t mind.”

An image of Cameron splayed naked beneath him flew into his head and Dominic couldn’t get it out. Her eyes held his captive. Cameron’s body called to his. And, oh Christ, she smells fantastic. Fuck. There are pheromonals in this building. Nice pick, Dom. Jesus.

Topher stomped on Dominic’s foot. “She’s worried,” he said.

“Right,” Dominic muttered, allowing Topher to draw him down the stairs.

“I’m back, honey,” Mia said, “and smelling better than ever.”

Dominic caught Topher near the top of the stairs. “Let go,” Topher insisted. “I want to smell her.”

I hear you, Topher, but that’s a monumentally bad idea.

A bruised and bloodied man burst from the room, pulling on a tattered shirt. “Where do you think you’re going, Matthew?” Cameron demanded.

As the man shrunk away from her, Dominic manhandled Topher down the stairs. “That’s what’s going to happen to us if we don’t get the hell out of here,” he hissed.

“That man is hurt,” Topher said.

“Those women hurt him,” Dominic said. “Them and probably a few more inside. Pheromonals often travel in packs.”

“Why would they hurt him?” Topher said.

“For the same reason, you used to invent things,” Dominic said. “Because they can.” The door opened immediately to three fast and two slow knocks. Dominic pushed Topher forward.

A surge of pure lust pulsed through Dominic. Against his will, he turned and faced the stairs. “I will have you, blue eyes,” Cameron said, blowing him a kiss. “You’ll like everything I do to you. I promise. We’ve had a slow night and I have several doses in the bank.” She smiled and Dominic’s knees buckled. “I’m saving them all for you.”

Hand on the door jamb, Dominic stared up the stairs, body ready for the hard use Cameron promised. Pain flared in three of his fingers when Topher closed the door on them. Spell broken, Dominic ducked inside the door. “Change in plan,” he said, flexing his injured fingers, hoping none of them was broken. “We need to get the hell out of here.”

“What’s wrong?” Adelle asked, looking Topher over. “What has happened to make you consider exposing us to a morning about town?”

Dominic crossed the room to the large window facing the street, lifted the blind slightly and peered out. Dumb shows abounded, wandering aimlessly. In the midst of mentally plotting a route to the closest manned NSA site, Dominic refocused on the street when the dumb shows scattered to the four winds. A group of people in matching gray jumpsuits moved down the street in a concerted fashion. A patrol? He stared as they passed the window. Each had a patch on their arm—a dark tower illuminated by a full moon. I’ve never seen that symbol before. Who in the hell are they, are they pro- or anti-actual and how often do they sweep this street?

“Mia smells nice,” Topher explained to Adelle. “I want to smell her again. She said I could. Later.”

“Mr. Dominic?” Under other circumstances, the confusion on Adelle’s face would be amusing, maybe even a trifle endearing. “What is Topher talking about?”

“A problem we don’t have a ready answer to,” he said, looking out from behind the blind again. I need to know how often the moonlit tower people patrol this area.

“Explain, please.”

“There are—.” The desire for sexual release flooding his system staggered Dominic. Topher made for the door. Dominic tackled him just shy of his goal. “We need to restrain him,” Dominic said, willing Adelle to table questions until they had the deed done. “There’s some rope in my pack.”

Blessedly, Adelle didn’t comment or complain about him dragging Topher to an uncomfortable looking kitchen chair. She brought the rope and watched while he trussed the neuroscientist to the best of his ability. The flood of pheromones continued from the floor above. The instant he had Topher secure, Dominic sank to the floor, drew his knees up to his chest and lowered his head. Want was rapidly becoming need and Dominic wasn’t sure what to do. He’d never been this close to a pack of pheromonals without the ability to run. Topher’s needy whimpers did little to better the situation.

“Mr. Dominic, status report.”

The command in her tone raised Dominic’s head. “There’s a pack of pheromonals on the second floor.”

“Pheromonals?” Adelle prompted.

“In this case, women who’ve taken a drug that releases their natural pheromones.” He took a deep breath and focused on explaining to Adelle in an effort to keep the urges at bay. “One on one, it’s allegedly amazing. The sex, I mean. Travelling in packs, pheromonals enslave their victims and abuse them every which way. Two of them focused on Topher and me, which makes us screwed to a serious degree, but we can’t leave because of the moonlit tower patrols.”

Adelle sat down on the floor next to him. “Stay with me, Mr. Dominic. What do you mean by moonlit tower patrols?”

“I don’t know who or what they are,” he muttered. “But anything unknown is dangerous. By definition.” Dominic had no idea what the pheromonals were doing to their victim upstairs, but what they were releasing into the air made him long to take Matthew or whoever else’s place. The energy surge from the booster pushed Dominic toward action and the pheromones were dictating the actions he wanted to take. “Christ almighty, we have to get out of here, Adelle. They’re occupied upstairs for the moment, but they’ll come for us before too long. The guy Topher and I saw didn’t look like he had much left to give.”

* * *

She watched Dominic carefully – ready to intercept him should he try to break for the door. It was a miracle that he'd managed to hold on for this long and she was as impressed by his control as she was concerned by what he appeared to be going through to maintain it.

Topher whimpered, his sleep restless and only the fact that he was exhausted and without rest he wouldn't be able to move when they needed him to had persuaded Dominic to permit her to untie him. At the moment Topher wasn't the person she was worried about.

Dominic muttered to himself as he tried to keep track of the patrols outside and she knew that he was seeking a space for them to slip through. Or at least he was trying to look for one until he was distracted by the sounds from upstairs, or something else entirely she thought darkly.

He fell to his knees with a low cry reminiscent of a wounded animal. His hands shook as he reached for the gun he'd already cleaned twice in what had clearly been a futile effort to distract himself, as had moving bedding into the main room of the apartment, calisthenics and pounding the wall with his fist periodically.

“Enough!” She snapped, stepping across the room and dropping to her knees beside him. “Tell me about the woman, Mr. Dominic.” His eyes weren't entirely focused and up close she could feel the tension that radiated from him. She sucked in a breath and pushed the sudden flash of heat away.

Why’s she so close? She’s too damn close!

He'd instinctively shied away from her and she cupped his chin, turning his face back towards her. She speared him with her gaze, summoning every ounce of the power and command she had once used to control the Dollhouse and its denizens. Her voice was low and clipped; her tone made it clear this was not a request. “Tell me about the woman,” she repeated.

“Dark hair,” he gasped, “tall, curves and she had blue eyes – very blue.”

“That's good,” she told him, “I'm sure she's quite lovely – and what was her name?” He struggled to answer – she could see that particular piece of information was hard for him to retrieve.

“Uh, Cameron. I think her name was Cameron.”

“So, Cameron has blue eyes, dark hair and curves – what else?”

“I don't know.” Thumping from upstairs threatened to distract him, but she persisted.

“Laurence, look at me – listen to what I am saying, I'm going to help you – but you have to focus on me.”

“I'm trying,” she could hear the struggle in his voice and she shifted closer still. God, I want to give in. How bad can it fucking be? How much will they really hurt me? “I can't think of anything else but her.”

“Nonsense,” their faces were level now – noses almost touching. She moistened her lips and felt him move into her a little more.

Is thinking about Adelle DeWitt's lips any safer?

“I want you to think about women in your past; your first love, the woman who broke your heart, the one who got away.”

Carmen. Carmen. Carmen. Is that pathetic or what?

“Now, think about their eyes, the way they looked when you were with them.”

Brown. Amused.

“Think about the feel of their skin beneath your fingertips, about the sound of their voices.”

Soft. Lyrical.

“Physical attraction is more than just a matter of chemicals Laurence, you know this – what Cameron is doing to you is a deception – it isn't real. Now, tell me – what colour eyes do you favour in a woman?”

After Carmen, not brown. After today, not blue. “Green!” He gasped and she permitted herself a small smile. “An excellent choice. You're fighting the pheromones now Laurence – you refuse to be deceived, you know you would never be attracted to someone who enslaves other people, who enjoys causing pain.”

Just for a moment she couldn't speak, her throat closed and though she fought for the next words, they eluded her. But silence worked just as well – he wasn't resisting her hold, his eyes were fixed on hers and she'd gladly let herself and her crimes be the anchor in this storm if it meant he could hold on.

Pain is ok sometimes. So is submission. But not like this. Not without a choice about who will be dealing the pain and how much is all right. Not without trust.

His eyes flickered closed and she waited, poised to move if he lost even this fragile amount of control but when he opened them again she could see the lucidity had returned, though his laboured breathing meant he was struggling still.

Holy shit, Adelle has green eyes.

“Welcome back,” she told him – not moving. “Just hold on.” He nodded, “keep looking at me Laurence – you've almost beaten it.”

Incredible green eyes.

She feathered her fingertips across his cheek – her touch careful, before her palm slipped around to cradle the back of his head. Her thumb moved rhythmically on the base of his skull, their breathing slipped into sync as they maintained a connection that had suddenly become essential.

God, that feels good … in a good way. That’s bad, isn’t it? That this feels good. Or is it good that the other feels bad somehow? Both? Neither?

She gazed into eyes that were bloodshot, full of conflict but blessedly familiar. The edge of vulnerability she sensed wasn't a surprise – he'd had his control stripped away by something they couldn't easily fight. It was every bit as brutal as what she'd condemned him to in the Attic. It must be his worst nightmare all over again.

* * *

Breathing got easier, becoming a natural automatic process again. Dominic’s heart rate slipped back to the slightly elevated normal associated with taking boosters. Adelle’s part caress-part massage of the back of his neck lulled him into relaxing his shoulders a bit. He could feel the pull of the pheromones, the sexual tension desirous of release, but something in those green eyes of hers settled him in a way that rote processes like cleaning his gun and counting backward from ten thousand hadn’t.

Without the permission of his brain, his hand came to rest on her shoulder, just to the right of her neck. Movement slow, tentative, he moved just his thumb lightly on her throat. Dominic stopped when he felt her pulse beneath his finger. Adelle’s eyes widened slightly and her heart rate accelerated, but she didn’t retreat in any way. “Is …,” he began, voice hoarse, as though he’d been screaming. “Is this ok with you?”

“Is it helping?” Adelle murmured. “The proximity?”

“I don’t know what’s helping,” he admitted, “but something is.”

“Then we shouldn’t change a thing,” she said, smiling.

Dominic sensed she’d tried to speak in the placating manner she’d employed with skittish clients but, if so, her attempt failed. There was a softer, less certain quality to her words. “Could we maybe move this to the couch?” he asked, getting a chuckle for his trouble.

“I suppose that would be a bit more comfortable than kneeling on the floor,” Adelle said, watching Dominic as he stood, taking the hand he offered to rise. He didn’t relinquish her hand. Nor did she attempt to extricate it from his grasp. They settled on the couch quite close together, thighs just touching.

‘I think maybe we could … Christ.” Lust felt like a living thing looking for a weak point through which to infiltrate his body and finding several.

“What is it?” Adelle whispered directly into his ear, squeezing the hand she held lightly. “Mr. Dominic?”

“Jesus Christ!” He could hear Cameron whispering the litany of what she planned to do to him in his ear. “How many freaking pills did she have in the bank?”

Adelle framed his face with her hands, forcing Dominic to look at her. “What’s happening?” she asked, tone urgent.

“They’re coming,” he groaned, swearing he could feel more than two hands on his body. “Armed for fucking bear.”

“This is intolerable,” she announced – clearly angered that all of her hard work was at risk of being undone.

“They'll probably have the men they just used try to break the door down,” he snarled through gritted teeth. “Damn. We should’ve risked it outside. We don’t have many options here, if we have any at all.” Releasing her hand, Dominic said, “I should go to them. Maybe they’ll settle for just me and leave Topher alone.”

“Take off your shirt,” she said briskly.


“It is a simple enough request, Mr. Dominic.” Adelle held out her hand for the garment in question.

Knowing the management of sexual stimuli was easier if his mind was engaged, Dominic asked, “Why?”

“To set a proper stage for extricating ourselves from this mess.”

Dubious yet able to offer no other option, Dominic unbuttoned his shirt with trembling hands. He offered it to Adelle. “What are you going to do?” he asked, watching her remove her socks and shoes, admiring the look of fierce determination on her face a bit too much.

A sharp knock sounded on the door. They both looked to it for a moment.

“I am going to undress, put on this shirt and answer the door,” she said, stating her plan with eerily familiar calm implacability. “But first …” She stepped into Dominic’s personal space. “It’s for a good cause, Mr. Dominic,” Adelle said as she pressed her hands on his shoulders. “Bend down slightly, if you would.” Keeping his eyes on hers, Dominic bent at the waist until his upper body was at about a 45 degree angle. “Thank you,” she murmured, running her hands over his shoulders to his upper back. Dominic bit back a groan. He shuddered when she scraped her nails lightly along his back.

“Ms. DeWitt, what are—ouch.” Pain cut through the sensual haze from the increasing concentration of pheromones. “What the hell?” Dominic looked over his shoulder at the twin sets of scratches Adelle had made on his back.

“I suspect this goes against all of your training, but I want you to arrange yourself as though napping after a long bout of satisfying sex with your back to the door.”

It most certainly did not go against his training to turn his back on a stripping Adelle DeWitt. Averting his eyes from that visual was most definitely prudent.

* * *

The shirt was possibly the nicest thing that she had donned for some time. The scent of the cloth made her think of pine forests and fresh, clean air. She was almost distracted by the surreal reason for wearing it but the sounds on the other side of the door were a reminder how desperate their situation had become.

A glance back across the room showed that Dominic had followed her instructions and was lying with his upper body bare on top of the bedding. The livid scratches across his naked back made him look ravished and she admired the effect for a second longer than was perhaps strictly necessary.

“Can I help you?” She asked, opening the door wide enough to give the group a glimpse into the room beyond her. Dominic had been right – two beaten and exhausted looking men cowered in the shadows beside their captors.

Adelle, I hope you know what you’re doing.

Her gun was within reach – but neither of the women who faced her was armed. She was sure that the effect of the pheromones was stronger than ever and she hoped that Topher didn't wake and that Dominic had enough control to continue to feign sleep.

The taller woman, Cameron if Dominic's description was anything to go by, stepped forward. “You have something we want.” Adelle didn't bother to pretend not to know what they were referring to.

Don’t let her touch me. Please, don’t. I have no defense to that.

“I don't believe they'll be much use to you at present,” she responded, eyebrow raised in a clear challenge. “They're both exhausted, poor darlings.”

Exhausted. You bet. In a serious, totally … um … exhausted way.

“Why don't you let us see if we can, rouse them.” The other woman, the red head, smiled sweetly.

“I doubt you have anything they need,” she looked from one woman to the other as she added, “they both belong to me and I've never been very good at sharing.”

Mistress of the freaking understatement. Adelle DeWitt and sharing do not mix.

“They didn't seem, satisfied earlier.” Cameron purred, “maybe you aren't enough for them. You should let us take over.”

Adelle’s smile was indulgent, supremely unconcerned and impossibly superior. “I don't need chemicals to keep my men happy.”

I think all you need is a little bit of atmosphere and those damn green eyes. And that is more than a little … disturbing to contemplate.

Both women bristled, but she didn't give them a chance to respond. The nature of their activities inspired her. “I know you believe this is a simple matter of taking what you want from me, but you really have no idea who you're dealing with. I collect souls – I've dealt in more than you can possibly comprehend; buying, selling, destroying – all those lives, each one just another commodity. I look at someone and see their fears, their doubts and then I use them.”

No, Adelle. Most of the people you refer to gave you their souls. As you used to be fond of saying, “There is a distinction.”

She fixed her gaze on Cameron, “the drug isn't working, is it?” The question was rhetorical and she didn't wait for an answer. “It isn't giving you what you want, what you need. It's barely taking the edge off and you can't let yourself think what that means.”

How in the hell did she know that? I guess in the same way she picked up similar vibes from clients. And her insight disrupted the flow of Cameron’s pheromones. Thank Christ.

Barely a beat passed before she turned her gaze to the redhead, “I can see the jealousy, the fear of growing old – of having to take what others leave behind.”


She leant towards them. “If you're wise you'll leave us in peace. I'm no threat to you, I have no interest in your possessions,” her gaze flicked dismissively over the two men. “I'm not here to take over your territory. We're passing through – in a few hours we'll be gone, less than a figment of your imagination. But, if you try to take what is not yours I will wrap my hands around your tawdry, pathetic lives and squeeze until the only breaths you dare to take are the ones I permit you. Your entire existence will be subject to my whims and you will fall on your knees to kiss the path I tread and be grateful that I even acknowledge your miserable existence.”

Wow. She hasn’t lost her touch.

* * *

“You hurt him,” Cameron said, voice a breathy whisper, both petulant and dangerous. “You’re no different from us.”

“The difference is that he enjoyed it,” Adelle said.

I might’ve if I’d guessed what was coming.

“Those pretty blue eyes closed in pleasure because of the pheromones we were kicking out,” Cameron insisted and Dominic barely resisted the urge to look over his shoulder. “You owe us a sample.”

“I owe you nothing of the kind,” Adelle said, boredom in every syllable.

“Four against one says you do,” Cameron said.

“Don’t worry,” Mia said. “We’ll let you watch.”

Willing Adelle to understand, Dominic sighed, mumbled something incomprehensible and rolled over on the bedding.

“Go now and I won’t use this gun,” Adelle said.

Excellent use of a minor distraction, Adelle. We’ll make a soldier out of you yet. Even though his eyes were closed, Dominic felt sure Adelle was smiling in that annoyingly superior way she could dial up at will.

“Or tell him how you practically drooled while watching him sleep,” Adelle continued. “That sort of thing gives a man your power. You do realize that, don’t you, Cameron?”

“Shut up!”

“Gladly,” Adelle said, closing the door with just shy of slamming force, not bothering to lock it.

Adelle leaned against the door, head lowered, gun wavering as her hands shook. Not pausing to calculate the risk, Dominic was at her side in seconds. “Ms. DeWitt,” he murmured. “Are you all right?”

“I’m not sure,” she said.

Movements slow, careful, Dominic took the gun from her hands and put it back on the small table. Reaching around her, he locked the door.

“They won’t try again,” she whispered, still not looking up. “They’ll huddle out there for a time, trying to build each other up enough to do something, but in the end they’ll take out their frustration on their lapdogs.”

“How can you be certain?”

Abruptly, she met his eyes. “Am I correct in that they’re still out there?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said, his body responding readily to the huge concentration of pheromones, but the effect seemed to be blunted by the mystery surrounding Adelle’s state of mind.

Adelle shrugged. “If they didn’t try to force the door immediately, they won’t. Both of those women react. Neither plans.”

“They’re reacting,” Dominic muttered, banging his injured knee into the edge of the table to dull the pheromone rush with pain. “They’re definitely reacting. Can we move away from the door?”

“Of course,” Adelle said. “I’m sorry, Mr. Dominic. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”

“Evidently not, if you aren’t feeling smug about slapping down the bitch twins.”

“That was no great achievement,” she muttered, falling into step with Dominic, anticipating his destination to be the couch.

“Forgive me, if I don’t see it that way.” Dominic winced as his back impacted the fabric of the furniture. “Where are you going?” he asked, wondering why Adelle immediately rose from her seat beside him.

“Not far,” she said, her forced smile holding no small amount of bitterness.

Why in the hell is she upset?

Adelle returned in less than a minute brandishing a small tube. “Lean forward,” she said as she settled in next to him on the couch. “I have some salve for your back.”

Adelle DeWitt is sitting next to me wearing nothing but a man’s button down shirt. How fucking surreal is this? He did as she asked and she applied the salve with slow, gentle movements. Dominic watched her work. Just to center myself again. That’s all.

She met his eyes and their breathing slipped into synch once more. Her hand froze on his back. His body hummed with sexual tension. Adelle’s lips parted slightly. Dominic turned his upper body toward her. “I am just like them,” she whispered.

“No you’re not.” Reaching blindly, his hand found hers. Adelle’s eyes closed briefly then opened wide, as his thumb stroked the inside of her wrist. Her other hand meandered up to the back of his neck. She exerted no pressure but he lowered his head a few inches toward hers. Heart pounding, body primed, he awaited her verdict. Her movement was slight, but it was forward.

“The nice smell is gone!” Topher nearly shouted. “I want it back.”

The moment shattered into so many pieces Dominic couldn't be sure there had been a moment in the first place. “You … you most certainly do not, Topher,” Adelle said, rising with something less than her usual grace and going to the neuroscientist.

“Nice shirt,” Topher said.

I second that motion. Dominic’s effort not to notice her legs did not meet with success.

“Oh, well, yes.” Adelle said, looking down at her attire. “Topher, do go and fetch me my brush from my backpack. I need to return this shirt to its rightful new owner.” She glanced at Dominic as Topher obeyed with good humor. The moment Topher left the room Adelle moved toward the clothing she’d discarded with a purpose, unbuttoning buttons as she went.

Dominic leapt to his feet and turned his back from what was very soon to be a fully naked rear view of Adelle DeWitt. Several moments later, he forced himself to move to the window to resume his effort to determine the patrol pattern of the moonlit tower brigade as though that had been his intention all along.

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(Deleted comment)
Thanks - glad you're enjoying it.

Good to know that part two lived up to the potential of part one. Thanks.

Wonderful sexual tension! Nice job :)

There was definitely a lot of sexual tension in this bit, flowing in all kinds of directions. The idea of pheremonals was fun to realize.

The idea of the pheremonals was all Rogoblue's and it just worked so well in terms of exposing some of their issues. That won't be the last time Topher intervenes either.

I love it! (and I was very happy to see that you posted again so soon).

I loved the Pheromonals and how Adelle idenitified with them (and used that to bring them down with words alone). Excellent chapter!

Glad you're still pleased with it. As to speed, it's easier to post quickly when editing the completed project rather than wending through a WIP. Which makes me think I should get busy on my final edit of part 3.

I liked that Adelle was able to use her skills to bail the boys out. Makes a nice counterpoint to depending on Dominic to get them to safety.

In one hand there's a blue pill, in the other is the red.

Oh I get it, the red pill is like the wake up pill (matrix reference?). I wonder if the blue pill will make an appearance? :P

Gotta love the pheromonals. Here I am, thinking that lack of clothing and strong desire wont be around for chapters to come, yet here it is in chapter 2, very hot and very plausible.

I love it when Adelle get's all HBIC on anyone threatening her territory, nice. And Dom fighting temptation, poor guy. At this rate I don't think he'll last another offering. lol.

This chapter was even more exceptional. I couldn't distinguish who wrote what part, you two combined your styles into one amazing voice. Awesome job, keep it up!

In one hand there's a blue pill, in the other is the red.

Oh I get it, the red pill is like the wake up pill (matrix reference?). I wonder if the blue pill will make an appearance? :P

Gotta love the pheromonals. Here I am, thinking that lack of clothing and strong desire wont be around for chapters to come, yet here it is in chapter 2, very hot and very plausible.

I love it when Adelle get's all HBIC on anyone threatening her territory, nice. And Dom fighting temptation, poor guy. At this rate I don't think he'll last another offering. lol.

This chapter was even more exceptional. I couldn't distinguish who wrote what part, you two combined your styles into one amazing voice. Awesome job, keep it up!

PS: Please forgive my double posting, that should be fixed by the next review.

Re: In one hand there's a blue pill, in the other is the red.

I doubt we'll need the blue pill.

Can't always leave lack of clothing and desire to later chapters. How predictable would that be?

Adelle needed a chance to be HBIC, I think. She wasn't liking being along for the ride. As to Dom, he does what needs doing. That's kind of his deal (to my mind at least).

Thanks for reading!

Re: In one hand there's a blue pill, in the other is the red.

I concur about her needing to contribute - we'll come back to that and to do doing what needs to be done. As to our styles meshing I'm glad you think it works.

(Deleted comment)
Thanks so much for the postive feedback. It's nice to know that people are still reading this pairing. Who knows how long that will persist.

Glad you're excited enough to use all caps!

That was both scary, sexy and sad. I even feel sorry for Topher...or at least, I did before he interrupted the Hot Moment of Hotness.

Adelle in Dom's shirt = love.

Topher is something of a pest as time goes on but in ways that surprised me at times.

The Hot Moment of Hotness. I like that!

Adelle in Dom's shirt is indeed a very pleasant visual image. As is Dom w/o a shirt with a scratched back. This was a fun bit to write early on in the story.

What I like is that we are able to make the case that there is meaningful characterisation going on with the scratches and the shirt wearing. Imagine if it actually became a theme?

That would be one awesomely messed up theme...when can we get the draft? ;)

Er - you may want to keep on reading. There is serious character development honest... but also other stuff.

I love your Topher; I cannot get over my love of him, lol. I realize that he's not supposed to be the main focus, but I feel the need to just pinch his cheeks every time he makes a statement.

Also, I am most pleased at Dominic being back in jeans and a nice shirt!

Also, the Pheremonals are an interesting concept! It's nice to see what other sort of factions could've/did arise during the thoughtpocalypse!

On to the next part! :D

Topher was interesting to write in this. So childlike yet still kind of dangerous.

Nice shirts are key! I had to replenish Dominic's wardrobe at least a little bit. Had to have a battered leather jacket, though. Just seemed right.

The Pheremonals serve to bring Dom and Adelle more in balance. For the most part, the nature of the story dictates that he should be in charge but this allowed Adelle to take over a little. Balance is kind of important to me in a story with 2 strong characters.

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