Disclaimers: See Part I

You're Mine Lassiter

Part III



June 18, 2001

Chapter 7: With Just Enough Rope...

Clanton sat, tied in a chair, unconscious. His head hung limply down on his chest. The obvious cuts and bruises covering his face did nothing to improve his looks. It hadn't taken long, under the onslaught of leather encased fists, before Clanton spilled his guts.

"All right, I'll tell you what you want to know," the slug of a man whined, "just don't hit me anymore."

De leaned languidly against the wall in front of him. She was dressed frrom head to toe in black leather. She pushed herself away from the wall gracefully. Her long legs carried her purposefully across the room, her heavy biker boots thumped ominously on the hardwood floor. She held up her hand and nonchalontly waved it catching Clay's attention.

"That's enough," the dark angel snarled, "we want him to live long enough so the authorities can execute him."

De paused for effect.

"But then again," she mused, to no one in particular, "we could always leak word to Lassiter we have Clanton, and he betrayed him. Just how do you suppose Lassiter would react, hmm?"

De had Clanton's complete attention and had he been able, he would have dropped to the floor begging for mercy.

"God no!" the man wailed, "you can't let Lassiter have me. Please, you can't."

Clanton wept like a baby. De was unimpressed and remained unmoved.

"Why shouldn't I?" the dark woman asked, "you've never cared one little bit about the hundreds of people you've tortured and murdered at Lassiter's slightest whim. Why should I feel the tiniest bit of compassion for you? Tell me Martin," De purred, "just give me one good reason why I should spare your miserable life."

Clanton saw a glimmer of hope.

"Because I'm sorry about all that," Clanton blubbered, "I was just following orders. Lassiter would have killed me if I didn't do what he said."

Clanton paused hoping De would be moved to spare him, then continued.

"You, of all people, should know what he was like."

With that, Martin Clanton broke down and wept again. De just shook her head.

"Tsk, tsk. Martin, Martin, Martin." De cooed, "I'm truly ashamed of you. I would have thought a big, tough man like you would never have acted like this. After all, you've dished out this kind of treatment often enough. Certainly you should be able to take a little slap or two, hmm?"

De motioned to Clay to untie the babbling man. De grabbed him by the shirt front and hauled him roughly to his feet. She slapped him, first on one cheek, then hard on the other. Clanton tried futilely to cover his face to protect himself from the painfully hard blows. Abject fear had caused him to lose all control of his bodily functions. Mike had never seen De, or anyone else for that matter, abuse another human being like this. He'd had just about enough; he wouldn't, couldn't let this continue.

"De, that's all," Mike warned in a low, but booming voice, "you've got the information you need. I won't allow you to brutalize this man any longer."

Surprisingly, De let loose of the man and he crumbled bonelessly to the ground. But the tall, dark woman couldn't resist one last kick to the man's soft, bloated belly.

"Clanton, you are the poorest excuse for a human being I've ever had the misfortune to cross paths with. You make me sick."

De looked pointedly at Mike.

"All right, Mountie." De said sarcastically. "Get this sorry piece of shit out of my sight before I kill him, just for the hell of it."

De moved around her desk and sat down nonchalontly in her plush leather chair. Mike motioned for Clay and Bart, another undercover Mountie, to carry the beaten man out of the room.

"Was that necessary?" Mike asked softly. "You didn't have to beat him like that. He would have told you everything you wanted to know with merely the threat of violence. The man's a coward; eventually he would have told you what you wanted to know. You never even gave him a chance to talk. I think..."

Mike stopped suddenly and took a close look at De.

"...you...you enjoyed watching him beaten like that. You did, didn't you?"

De never said a word, but the sheer, evil joy was apparent in her eyes.

"Yes," De growled, "I did. Everything I suffered...everything the hundreds of other people suffered at the hands of that bastard...yes I enjoyed seeing him suffer. I loved watching him beg the way I...the way I...begged...it's payback time. And if you haven't the stomach for this, then get the hell out!"

Mike was in no way intimidated by the tall, dangerous woman.

"I don't think that's what you want; I'll not leave until this thing is finished. You'd better get used to having me around."

De's icey glare softened slightly and she whispered.

"I want Lassiter, and I'll do whatever I have to to get him. Now, let's get moving. We've just only started, and we have a lot more to do before Lassiter gets here."

Mike thought for a moment before he spoke again. When he did, the words he spoke hit De like the kick of a mule.

"De, just remember one thing," Mike spoke softly, affectionately, "Cody is waiting for you. Don't lose yourself to the old De, because if you do, you'll kill Cody for sure."

Without another word, Mike turn, walked silently to the door, and closed it softly behind him. He never heard De's muted reply.

"I know."

Chapter 8: Come and Get Some...

In truth, I had never minded being alone in the past; quite the contrary, in fact. I rather enjoyed the solitude, the peacefulness that came with being by myself. Now that had all changed; I hated being separated from De. She had become such a part of me I scarcely knew where I stopped and she began, and the same was true for De. Her absence was so profound, I was afraid I'd lose my mind.

I sat there in the growing darkness, the tall pines were silhouetted against the night sky by the fading light. On some distant peak, a solitary wolf howled his lonely lament into the night filling me with a cold melancholy. A lone bald eagle soared overhead and alighted silently onto a tall, naked snag. The denizens of the night were beginning to stir, which served only to deepen my depression. God, I wanted to cry, but I didn't have the strength even for that.

"Oh De, my love," I moaned, "where are you? How are you? If only I knew you were all right, I could bear this miserable separation. If only..."

I was so lost in my fear for De, I didn't hear, or feel the approach of a lone intruder. By the time I sensed his presence, it was too late and I felt myself lose consciousness. A black shroud of darkness overwhelmed me as I sank down into an empty void. The last thing I remember was the feeling of impending dread. It was as though I was in the presence of death itself, cold, unfeeling, inhuman...Lassiter.


"What do you mean you don't know where Cody is?"

De was screaming into the phone.

"How could you have lost her. She wasn't supposed to leave the ranch!"

Unc was holding the receiver at arm's length to save what was left of the hearing in his right ear.

"De...Deee...De shut the hell up and listen!" Unc commanded.

The sudden silence on the other end of the line gave witness to the fact that his order had been obeyed.

"Now, that's better," Unc continued, "screamin' like a banshee ain't gonna help nuthin'. Cody went out to the north pasture to sit by the lake after supper. I reckon she needed some time to herself to think. Anyway, when she didn't come back after a while, I sent Stan and Hank out to look for her. All they found was Cody's coffee cup turned upside down."

The silence on the other end of the line by now was deafening.

"Lassiter," De hissed, "that bastard has her. If he so much as puts a scratch on her, I'll rip his heart out of his chest with my bare hands and feed it to him."

Unc had heard this tone of voice before and he knew De meant every word she said and was more than capable of carrying out her threat. No...not a threat...a promise.

"De I got every hand on the place out lookin' for her. Believe me, if Lassiter's no good scum still have her on the place, we'll find her. That's the truth! You can bet your last dollar on it; we'll find her."

De knew what Lassiter would do, if he did indeed have Cody.

"You won't have to Doan," the club owner replied, "Lassiter wants me, and he'll want to trade Cody for me. He'll come to me sooner or later..."

De's tone was murderous.

"...and when he does, I'll have him right where I want him...on my turf...on my terms. It'll be me and him for the whole deal... one-on-one. I won't make the same mistakes I did before; I won't run, and I won't compromise. I'll play just as dirty as he does, and he won't know what hit him."

Unc was worried De would lose too much in this mess. He was afraid she'd fall back into her old life. In an effort to kill Lassiter, she could lose herself...and this time, for her, there'd be no coming back...this time the game was for her very soul.

"De," Unc whispered, "...De are you sure you know what you're doin'? Gettin' Lassiter isn't worth Cody's life...or yours. For God's sake, don't get in over your head."

De had to chuckle inspite of the grim situation. Doan had no earthly idea the horrible things she was capable of doing. He hadn't a clue how comfortable she was in these sets of circumstances...no one did.

"Don't worry Doan," De assured him, "I know exactly what I'm doing. I promise I'll get Cody back unharmed, or die trying."

Unc was sure that was true.

"I know, De." Unc replied. "That's what's aworryin' me."


De stood before the mirror looking at herself the way a jeweler appraises a brillant gem, and liked what she saw. She was dressed for a certain effect. She knew what her father expected to see, and she wouldn't disappoint him. He called earlier requesting a meeting. She still felt the icy chills run up and down her spine at the sound of his cold, calculatingly evil voice...

"My dear Dena," Lassiter ground out sarcastically, "it has been such a long time since we've last talked. I must say I am more than a little disappointed that my only child never once contacted me during my unfortunate incarceration. I mean, after all I've done for you over the years, the least you could do would be to call your loving father."

De wanted this to be over as soon as possible.

"Cut the false sentimentality, daddy," De replied scornfully, "let's get down to business. You called me; what do you want."

Lassiter hated the De could care less about how he felt about anything. What was more infuriating was that she no longer seemed intimidated by him. Undaunted, he pressed on. He'd always knew how to push the right buttons to put her slightly off-balance. There was no reason to think that still wasn't the case.

"Very well," Dominic sneered, "I have a little something I'm willing to bet you want back. She's now a bit mussed, but essentially unharmed. She's perhaps a little wiser about...shall we say...relationships. I'm willing to make a trade; are you agreeable?"

Just as Lassiter thought, De became instantly angry. What he didn't count on was the cold, cool, murderously malevolent voice that replied to his threat. De knew she had to maintain her composure if she had any chance of the sting she had planned for Lassiter to be successful.

"I'm not interested in used or damaged goods, Lassiter. What makes you think you'd have anything I'd want?" De replied cooly.

It was Lassiter who was caught off-guard, but he quickly recovered.

Mmmm, she's very good; I have to give her that much. But we'll see who wins in the end.

"Dena, my darling," the crime boss gushed, "I remember a time when I had everything you wanted, everything you needed."

The reference to her youth wasn't lost on De. She did remember when Lassiter provided what she wanted and needed...drugs...wealth...power...sex. The tall beauty shook her head to rid herself of the sordid memory.

"That was then, this is now. I've learned to depend solely on myself for my...needs. I don't need you or your...goods." De purred.

She had Lassiter where she wanted him. She had him convinced she wasn't interested in the merchandise he had for trade. It was time to set the hook, deep.

"Listen, Lassiter, I'm a busy woman," De commented off hand.

"I don't have time for child's play. Either tell me what you've got, or hang up, I haven't got all day."

The bored tone in her voice was not lost on her father.

"Really Dena," Lassiter droned, "I thought I taught you better manners than to nod off in the middle of a conversation, remember?"

De had had enough.

"Evidently the lesson has worn off," De replied, "...and I have better things to do than take a stroll down memory lane with you!"

A thick, suffocating silence enveloped her as De slammed down the receiver. It was the same feeling she always had after a session with Lassiter and his goons. She felt invaded, used, and dirty. No! Not this time...no way was she going to fall back into that slimy pit.

Usually, after Lassiter had watched his goons take De again and again, she was filled with tremendous self loathing and hatred. The only way to assuage this feeling was to kill, to destroy something, anything. He used De's incredible battle lust to his own advantage. He had no doubt she really wanted to destroy was him, but that was a moot point. As long as he controlled her with drugs, power and sex, he could channel her rage in the right direction, and away from him.

Well, that was years ago, and De felt no need to take her rage out on the innocent. She would go after Lassiter hard and fast. She would destroy him, take everything he had, and leave him a broken, whimpering shell. Then, if there was anything left to try, she'd turn him over to the authorities and let them deal with garbage disposal. Now she'd wait for the bastard to call back; she knew he would, of that she was certain. And for Lassiter's sake, Cody had better not be harmed in any way. For as surely as there was a God in Heaven, if Cody was hurt, Lassiter would pay with his life, slowly and painfully. De's dire thoughts were disrupted by the persistent ringing of the phone.

Let him wait she thought; don't appear too anxious. Just play this cool; you've been here before. You know what you're doing, right? Let one of the boys answer the damn thing.

After the sixth ring, Mike came into the office.

"Lassiter is on your private line. Surveillance traced the call to the Embassy Hotel, Suite 1066. You ready to talk to him? He's madder than hell to be put on hold."

De couldn't help but smirk.

"I imagine so; he always expected, and received immediate attention. No, let him stew just a bit longer; it'll do him good. Doan says things like this build character. Lassiter could stand some character building."

De crossed her long, shapely, leather encased legs. Her movements were not unlike a graceful feline, and Mike gulped audibly. A demure smile crossed De's lips.

"Really Mike," De joked, "calm yourself. I'm not really a predator."

Mike chuckled, feeling a little more at ease. Shoot, De didn't appear to be worried, so why should he be?

"Huh," the big man replied, "that's not what Cody told me. She said..."

De stopped him with an abrupt gesture.

"Never you mind what Cody said," she warned, "now, let's get to it. I think our boy should be just about boiled to perfection by now. Put him on speaker. Let's have some fun. Oh, by the way, you may want to plug you ears at first. Lassiter tends to get loud when he's upset. As a matter of fact, he almost shrieks; his voice cracks like an adolescent."

True to form, Lassiter's tirade began in earnest the minute De said hello.

"Dena, just what the god damn hell do you mean hanging up on me, then leaving me out to dry like some snot nosed street punk. You know the things I'm capable of; don't make me angry." Lassiter fumed.

Ain't this just like old times?

De was beginning to feel the old thrill she'd get when she was dealing with a drug tzar or some other scum bag Lassiter sent her to deal with.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," De yawned, "you know the trouble with you Lassiter is you just don't know when to quit. You're through, but you can't seem to get it through that over inflated ego of yours."

Lassiter was enraged. De just winked at Mike and Clay who had come into the room when he heard Lassiter's ranting.

"How dare you talk to be that way, you ungrateful bitch! Where do you think you'd be now if it weren't for me? I made you who you are now! You'd be nothing but a two-bit whore if it weren't for me. You owe me for everything!" Lassiter howled.

De's low contralto voice reverberated throughout the room dropping the ambient air temperature several degress.

"Oh, I know exactly what I owe you, you bastard, and I'm going to give you everything you have coming to you and more. I'm coming for you, you son of a bitch. You're right; you do have something I want...your cold, lifeless heart, ripped from your chest by my hand. Oh yeah Lassiter, I'm coming. So get ready; you'll never know where or when. I'll be there when you least expect it; you'll never see or feel me coming until it's too late." De growled.

The crime boss was truly shaken. He knew what De was capable of; he'd seen her in action. He made her; he knew her all too well, and she would indeed come after him, he habored no illusions about that. Yet, he'd hang on to his false bravado to the bitter end; his family pride demanded no less.

"Dena," Dominic bluffed, "there is no reason we can't settle this in a civilized fashion. Why don't we sit down together like family and discuss our differences quietly and calmly, hmm? What do you say? I'd hate to see our relationship disintegrate into needless violence."

Lassiter's implied threat wasn't lost on De by a long shot.

"Oh daddy dear," De crooned, "I sooner sit down with a viper than sit down with you."

Lassiter started to protest, but De continued.

"...and as for the your lame threat of violence. Don't even think about it; you, of all people, should know I don't respond well to threats." De's murderous tone made her meaning clear.

Lassiter fingered the long, thin scar which ran down the length of his left cheek. It was a present from De for the last time he threatened her. She'd have cut his throat had not Clanton slam De in the head with the butt of his 45.

"I understand you quite clearly," De's father replied, his rage clearly evident. "Now, you understand me. I have someone here, who I gather is very close to you. So unless you want me to send her back to you in pieces, you agree to meet with me, immediately!"

Although, her outward demeanor appeared cool and calm, inside De was terrified at the thought of her lover being in the clutches of that animal.

"Ohhh Daddy, Daddy, Daddy," De said is a sing-song fashion. "You just don't get it, do you? I'm immune to you pittiful threats. I don't know where you're getting your information, your goons must be slipping. Oh, I know! It has to have something to do with their shallow gene pool, ya think? I'm sorry to disappoint, but that...person...means absolutely nothing to me."

Lassiter tried to call her bluff.

"Then, I guess you won't care if I give her to my men, before I kill her. She looks like she could be a good fuck. Maybe I'll have her myself first. What do you say,hmmm?"

Go ahead Lassiter you bastard, take enough rope to hang yourself.

"Suit yourself, daddy," De replied sarcastically, "You never could have a woman without resorting to rape. But then, that's your style isn't it? In the meantime, I'll be here at 'The Spke' if you want to have a family chat. Now, gotta goooo." De severed the connection without giving Lassiter a chance to respond.

Mike and Clay were beside themselves at De's behavior.

"What in the hell do you think you are doing?" Mike shouted. "My God De, that's Cody you're talking about! How can you just blow her off like that?"

Mike never knew what hit him. He never saw the fist connect with his jaw. Nor did he see the tall, incensed woman flying over the desk and literally picking up his immense bulk and throwing him hard against the far wall of the office. He never felt the dark avenger pick him up and shake him senseless, for by that time he was out cold. De turned to Clay and ordered.

"Throw some water on him; we've got things to do before Lassiter gets here with Cody."

Clay stood where he was almost frozen mute. A sharp slap to his face brought him around.

"Lassiter...coming here...with C...Co...Cody? But...but...you said you didn't care...I...I don't..." Clay stammered.

De didn't have time to explain, but she did anyway. She was crouching over Mike's still form, gently slapping him to consciousness.

"C'mon Mike, wakey wakey," De purred as Mike slowly regained his senses. "I should have thought you would have taken a punch much better than that."

Mike shook his head to clear the cobwebs.

"Yeah well, maybe so, but I've never been hit by a freight train before. What did you hit me with, a lead pipe?" Mike groaned.

De helped the tall Mountie to his feet.

"Didn't need that," De jabbed. "C'mon, let's get moving, Lassiter will be here soon. We need to be ready."

Chapter 9: It All Ends Here

I felt like I had been drug through a knot hole backwards. Since I had been abducted, I lost track of time. I had no earthly idea how long it had been since I'd been taken. I have been pretty much trussed up like the Christmas goose, and drugged. I didn't know how long it had been since I had eaten anything, but the way my stomach was growling, it had evidently been a while. At least I was pretty much in one piece, I think. All my limbs seemed to function reasonably well. And except for the screaming headache I had, all-in-all I was pretty much okay, so far. I wasn't willing to bet my last dollar on how long I'd stay okay, however.

I decided to would try to move around a bit to see if I could get the circulation in my legs and arms moving a might faster than a snail's pace. I was in the middle of a yoga like move when I heard someone approaching. The sound of heavy booted feet instantly eliminated the man as my abductor. I could have heard him coming a mile away.

"Well, well, well, sleepin' beauty is finally awake," the man crowed. "See Mel, I told you you didn't kill her. You were worryin' over nuthin'."

After that pronouncement, Mel promptly slapped his companion soundly up side the head.

"I told you, moron," Mel growled, "don't use our names."

If the other guy is a moron, you must be the head idiot.

"C'mon, let's get with it," Mel barked, "the boss wants her ready to leave within the hour, and if there's so much as a scratch on her, he'll have our hides."

I tried not to wonder why my condition mattered to Lassiter. I was still assuming Lassiter was my unwanted host. I supposed, if I were being bought and sold, damaged merchandised would be harder to move. So, even though my natural curiosity was roused to the breaking point, I kept silent. Fortunately, the moron mollified my inqusitive nature...accidently of course.

"Why the hell should we be concerned with that Lassiter bitch. She ain't the one who signs our paychecks. What's it to her if this broad is scratched up anyway," the moron groused.

Another dead brain cell was dislodged in the moron's skull by the back of Mel's hand as he slapped moron senseless.

That should be a fairly simple thing to do.

"Jesus H. Christ, idiot," Mel whined, "where the hell did you leave your brain?"

Moron just continued to wear the same blank expression, unphased by Mel's insult.

"Have you ever seen De Lassiter?"

Moron nodded.

"Yeah, so what," moron answered, "she just looks like another bimbo to me."

Yeah, just like a Mercedes is just another car...idiot.

I was ready to slap this guy myself.

"Jesus you're a stupid bastard," Mel griped. "I don't mean that. I mean have you ever seen her in a fight?"

Moron shook his head.

"I've seen her take on five guys at once, and rip them to pieces; not one of them survived. Christ, there was blood and guts everywhere, and none of it was hers. Buy a clue moron, she's deadly."

Evidently this guy was broke; he still didn't get it.

"So?" clueless intones.

Taking Lassiter down will be child's play if these two are any example of the kind of people he's got working for him.

"Look, according to Lassiter, De has a thing for this chick, get it?"

Mel waited for a minute to see if the light bulb went on.

"Oh," moron replied and nodded.

You could almost hear rattling noises emminating from his head caused by the simple movement.



"...you mean these two are queer? Dykes? Shit, that figures. Two good looking broads like that. Damn, I would have liked a good fuck with either one of them."

In your dreams buster.

"Hey," the moron mused, "maybe that's all they need."

Mel looked quizzically at moron.

"Yeah, you know." moron was on a roll now. "My old man used to say that's all them lesbos needed was a good fuck from a real man. Straighten 'em right out he'd say."


Mel just shook his head.

"C'mon idiot," Mel directed, "let's get the woman and get her cleaned up. We ain't got all damn day."

Oh, this should be fun.


De, and the undecover Mounties, had been working feverishly for the past three hours getting 'The Golden Spike' ready for her special guest. She was completing the last finishing touches on her attire when Mike and Clay knocked on the door of her suite.

"Well," she asked, "is everything ready for our visitor?"

The two men nodded silently.

Damn, I don't need this, De thought.

"All right," the goregous dark woman sighed, "what's wrong with you two?"

The tall, dark man spoke first.

"We...I mean...well...oh hell...I don't like this, not one damn bit." Mike fumed.

De shook her head in frustration.

"You don't like what?" the club owner demanded.

Men could be such a pain.

"The fact that you're hanging yourself out on a damn flimsy limb all alone," Mike returned hotly, "that's what I don't like."

He is kinda sweet, in a bit dumb lummox sort of way.

De looked from one man to the other.

"Do you feel the same way, Clay?" De inquired.

Suddenly, Clay found the peice of lint on his coat sleeve very interesting.

"Well?" De snapped.

Clay could only nod sheepishly.

"Great, that's just great!" De stormed. "Listen, the both of you. If you can't stop worrying about me, you can't do your jobs. And if you can't do your jobs, I can't depend on you. And if I can't depend on you, then I sure as hell don't want or need you around me!"

De paused to let her words sink in, then continued a little more gently.

"Look, there's too much at stake here to be wondering when you two are going to be distracted and blow this whole operation. Trust me when I tell you I know Lassiter and I know what I'm doing, and believe me, I can take care of myself. Understood?"

The two men nodded. Clay finally found his voice.

"It's just that we know how important you are to a lot of people around here, and if we, Mike and me, can do anything to protect you, we will."

God are both of these two in love with me? How does this always happen?

"I appreciate your concern, but you should be more concerned with Cody and getting her back from that filthy piece of slim. I'll die if I have to, to make sure she's safe. I love her that much. Okay, let's get moving."

God, please don't let me get these two killed.


Lassiter's silver stretch limo pulled up along side the curb, and came to a stop. The chauffeur opened the car door, while the doorman extended a hand to assist me out of the car. I had to admit, even though the company left a lot to be desired, I could get used to arriving at fancy nightclubs like this. I reminded myself to ask De about getting one of these things, equipped with all the niceties of course.

Lassiter was decked out appropriately in a custom made tux. I wondered how such a refined looking older man could be such a monster. The old saying is true, looks certainly are deceiving. I had even cleaned up pretty well. I was wearing a gray, silk Armani double breasted suit, with matching gray leather pumps. I wore a gold Rolex watch and a single gold chain around my neck. I was given a pair of diamon studs for my ears. What I wasn't wearing unnerved me just more than a little. I wasn't given any underwear, a fact that had me wondering why all throughout the ride over here. I was hoping it was just a minor oversight. It made me feel more than a little uncomfortable. I remembered what De had once told me about Lassiter...

"He was always doing little innocuous things to put me off guard. They didn't seem like much at the time, but they were all a part of his plan to keep me under his control."

...well I'd worry about it later, if there was a later; now was definitely not the time.

We entered 'The Golden Spike' surrounded by Lassiter's entourage. I had never been in a place quite like this before. The understated, yet refined opulence was everywhere. De's hand in the decorations was hard to miss. Anyone who knew De commented on her striking beauty and elegance. And she could be downright charming when she put her mind to it. It took someone with a refined eye to decorate this place. I expected to walk into just another saloon, but I should have known better, knowing De. My mind was suddenly ripped from admiring the decorations when I spotted De at the top of the circular staircase, and I wasn't the only one who was riveted to the vision that was De. I thought Lassiter was going to swallow his tongue.

Easy boy, that's your daughter you're ogling.

A well-placed heel in his instep brought him back to earth.

"Oh, pardon me," I apologized, "I'm not used to wearing heels."

Lassiter's murderous glare nearly did me in.

"Do try to be more careful, my dear," Lassiter hissed, "I'd hate to see you suffer an unfortunate...accident."

Yeah, I'll just bet...bastard.

I returned my gazed to De and her phalanx of bodyguards. It seemed as though each of the Lassiters was trying to out do the other in terms of sheer bulk. Flanked on either side of her, stood Mike and Clay. Behind them, were seven more big, burly underrcover Mounties. They all looked like they should have been in prison, doing life, instead of in the employ of Canada's finest law enforcement agency. But De stole the show; Lassiter was all but drooling. De was dressed in a skin tight, red leather jumpsuit, complete with matching boots. The front of the outfit was open to her navel revealing just the right amount of cleavage. By now, Lassiter wasn't the only one drooling. De's bodyguards were dressed in black Wranglers, boots, and full length dusters.

These guys looked liked poster boys for Johnny Cash.

My dark lover took her time descending the stairs. Anticipation was building; the room was electric; everyone seemed to sense something monumental was about to happen. De tugged gently on Clay's sleeve and he leaned in to listen to what De wanted him to do. While she was whispering, she was running her hand seductively up and down Clay's arm, and over and across his well muscled hairy chest. An uncontrolled gasp escaped me as she took Clay's mouth with hers and kissed him sensuously. Lassiter immediately picked up on my discomfort.

"De never was one for monogomous relationships," Dominic gloated, "but of course, I'm sure, a smart girl such as yourself obviously knows about De's...shall we say...perclivities, hmm?"

I wanted to wipe that smirk off Lassiter's face with a club, but I didn't have one handy.

During our little exchange, Clay had moved through a door that led into the back gaming rooms. Mike had moved up close to De, with one, large, beefy arm protectively encircling her waist. For her part, and she was playing her part well, De had snuggled in close to Mike's rather sexy body, no doubt enjoying the warmth it provided. De whispered to Mike, and I swore to myself if she kissed him too, I wouldn't be responsible for my actions.

"Make sure you get close to Cody," De murmured. "The first chance you get, make sure she gets free of Lassiter and his scum. Be certain of one thing, Lassiter is mine, remember that."

Mike dipped his head and kissed De's sensuous lips., then walked away.

What is it with all this kissing? It reeeeaaalllly is beginning to get on my nerves!

At last, De was next to me, and face to face with Lassiter. The tension between the two was palpable. I seriously wondered why either one, or both, didn't just spontaneously combust.

"Ahhh, my darling daughter," Dominic sighed, "at last, we are together again."

He leaned in to kiss De's cheek, and at the same time, reached out to embrace her, but De stopped the gesture quickly. And from the look of utter, total pain on Lassiter's face, she did so effectively.

"You ever try that again, you'll pull back a bloody stub," De warned, "understand, daddy?"

The term of endearment was anything but; it was spoken with such venom, my blood ran cold.

"Really, Dena," the older man gasped, "you needn't be so defensive. After all, we're all family here."

He emphasized the statement by holding me tighter around the waist, then kissing me full on the mouth. I retaliated with a well-placed knee to his groin causing a clear and distinct grunt from Lassiter's mouth. Abruptly, the scum bag released his grasp on me.

"I wouldn't be too sure about that, were I you," De smirked, "I don't think everyone would agree with that assessment."

Dominic Lassiter didn't enjoy being toyed with. He was used to people being intiminated by his mere presence. But here were two women apparently audacious enough to not be intimidated, and go as far as to try to humiliate him in front of his men.

"I think you are forgetting your place Dena," Lassiter sneered, "and as for you, Ms. Fleming, lest you forget, you are...shall we say...my guest. I suggest you be very, very careful how you treat me."

De just snorted, blatant derision was evident in her voice.

"Dominic, don't you dare threaten me." De snarled. "Look around you little man, tell me what you see."

Lassiter turned around in a complete circle surveying the room. Everywhere he looked he saw tall, burly men dressed in long black dusters. Each one sported the distinctive bulge associated with a shoulder holster containing an 45 millimeter automatic handgun. Conspicuous by their abscence were his own men. Much to his chagrin, Lassiter realized Clay and his men had queitly and unobtrusively taken out each man, one by one. He was totally alone, his men in custody, in De's lair, ensnared in her ever entangling web. Panic gripped the crime boss. At once, he tried to pull out his revolver and grab me at the same time. The futile gesture of a dead man. Mike held the frightened man's wrist in a death grip. The unrestrained pressure of the hold crushed bone. At the sound of Lassiter's breaking bones, and the hideous combination of fear and pain on his face, De's evil smirk broadened to a full ear to ear beaming smile of complete ecstasy. The only other time she felt this good was when she would cum while we were making love. The next sound that issued forth was a loud shriek of pleaseure.

"Yes!!!, Oh God yes!!!"De screamed.


If I didn't know better, I'd say she did cum, right there on the spot.

"Oh daddy," my dark lover beamed, "you have no idea how long I've waited for this moment. Oh yeah, you're mine Lassiter; at long last you're mine."

Without even acknowledging my presence, De turned on her heel, waved her hand curtly and walked away.

"Mike, bring our guest to my...private office...where we won't be disturbed. Clay, have our other guests been dealt with?" she asked offhandedly.

Clay replied enthusiastically.

"Yes ma'am, they have. Just as you ordered."

My God, don't lay it on too thick.

"Good," De said.

Finally, my partner addressed me. She held out her hand like a regeant granting an audience to one of her subjects. I guess that would be appropriate. I worshipped the ground she walked on.

"Shall we?" my lover asked softly.

Are you kidding? You have to ask?

We walked through the celebrating crowd who were totally oblivious to the life-threatening drama being played out right in their midst. De worked the crowd like a trainer calming and settling a skittish colt. She was simply amazing. By the time we reached the door to her office, the whimpering former crime boss was being half carried, half dragged along.

"Well now," De announced, "since it's been such a long time since we've seen each other, and there are people here you haven't yet met, I think it's only right that we all get to know each other a little better. Sit down Lassiter. Oh and don't move a muscle, hmm?"

Lassiter was sweating profusely. In part because of fear, and partly from the excrutiating pain in his crushed wrist, of which De took note. She immediately 'patted' the offending limb harshly.

"There, there daddy," De crooned viciously, "you needed worry...yet. After all, wasn't it you who said we'll are family here?

Lassiter was all but passed out as De continued.

'So, let's get down to business. Dominic, I believe you said you had something I wanted," De said flatly, indicating my presence beside her.

Lassiter shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

"Oh wait! That's not exactly true is it? I mean..." she paused as she took my hand and kissed it softly, tenderly, "...I have all I want right here, so I guess there really isn't anything more I care to hear from you. Mike, please take care of our..."

Lassiter was all but sobbing. The normal fear anyone would feel in the presence of this dangerous woman had turned to total wretched, miserable inescapable panic.

"No please, Dena, for God's sake, I'm your father. Have pitty; I beg of you, don't kill me." Lassiter's woeful plea was falling on deaf ears.

De vaulted from her chair and litterally hauled Lassiter up by his ears until his feet no longer touched the ground.

"You groveling, piddling, pathetic little pissant." De hissed. "How dare you ask for pitty, and how dare you call yourself a father?"

De was beginning to lose control of herself rapidly, and by now Lassiter had lost all control of his bodily functions. No one in the room dared to breathe; no one moved.

"What kind of father gets his rocks off while he watches his men fuck his daughter? What kind of father uses drugs on his daughter to control every moment of her life? What kind of father teaches his daughter to doing his killing for him? Huh? You tell me that would you? Tell me!!" De shouted hysterically, while tears streamed down her face.

The force of De's fingers holding onto Lassiter's ears was beginning to do real damage. Blood was steadily flowing down both sides of his face, streaming onto Lassiter's fancy ruffled silk shirt. Suddenly, De flung the hapless man clear across the room. He landed with bone crunching force against the wall and slid bonelessly, silently to the floor.

"You bastard, you owe big time, the bills are due, and I'm the bill collector. Get ready to pay up."

Lassiter tried to stumble to his feet, but instead fell back down as he howled from the pain caused by his broken wrist.

"Pay?" the blubbering man gasped. "Yes, I can pay. Anything...anything at all. Just name it; what do you want. No price is too high. Tell me, please."

Lassiter had managed to get to his knees, cradling his injured hand gingerly against his chest. He was gasping for breath. De, on the other hand, had regained her composure and was advancing slowly, silently like a predator toward its prey. De's voice sounded murderously cold, and evil.

"Anything, father," she asked carefully. "You'll pay anything?"

Lassiter was blathering like an idiot.

"Yes, Dena, my daughter," he begged, "as God as my witness, I'll give you anything you want."

De sneered maniacly.

"Good, I want your heart in my hand."

Lassiter's face went white, and he immediately began to convulse from fear. He tried to scramble away, but he was no match for De's lightning quick kicks and blows that repeatedly rained down on the cowering, quivering man. Lassiter was a mass of blood and gore as De continued her onslaught. Then, just as suddenly as she had begun, she stopped, but only for an instant. From out of nowhere, a long thin, razor sharp stilleto appeared in her hand.

"You're time has come Lassiter; how does it feel to know the exact time and place of your death?"

De raised the blade high above her head, then hesitated.

"I promised you Spike, I'd avenge your death; now I'm making good on that promise."

Before De could make the killing thrust, I screamed.

"No, De you can't do this!"

I threw myself across the room and landed with a thump atop of Lassiter's prone, bloody form.

"De, don't do this, please." I implored. "Come back to me; don't throw us away. Please, I'm begging you. If you kill him, he'll win; you'll become the monster he is now."

Something I said must have penetrated De's blood lust haze for the killing blow never came. The knife clattered harmlessly to the floor, and De crumpled lifelessly down next to it.

I scrambled to my feet and flew to my love's side. We was weeping quietly, softly. I held her to me and whispered nonsensical words of love and comfort in her ear. Mike and Clay moved in quickly to take Lassiter into custody. It was over, finally it was over.


"Damn, Maggie," Unc praised, "that's a right fine meal. You sure do know your way 'round a piece of beef. Is there any more coffee?"

Maggie immediately produced a fulll pot of the steaming liquid and filled Unc's cup.

"Here you are Doan," Maggie replied. "Is there anything else I can get for you? I'm sure the boys could find the hide and hooves off that animal if you're still hungry."

I couldn't help but laugh, even at Unc's expense. It felt good to laugh. There had been precious little of that in the past couple of months, but things were getting better. I looked out onto the patio where De had disappeared to a few minutes previously. Unc followed my gaze with his keen eyes.

"G'wan," Unc chided, "I'll help Maggie with the dishes. De needs you more than we do right now."

Maggie wasn't so sure.

"Like hell you will!" Maggie declared.

I wasn't sure what she was referring to until she explained further.

"Now don't worry yourself Cody. You go ahead and go after De. As for you old man, I don't want or need your help in my kitchen. The last time you 'helped', I was cleaning up broken glass for a week."

Unc was clearly insulted.

"What the hell are you talkin' about woman? I've been cleaning up dishes for most of my life, and never broke a blessed thing."

I couldn't resist putting in my two cents.

"That's true Maggie, Unc never broke so much as one saucer."

Unc nodded in agreement and puffed up his chest accordingly.

"Course," I continued, "his dishes were all metal."

Unc nearly choked. I took the opportunity to run out the door.

"That's what I thought," Maggie laughed. "C'mon old man, you can come and keep me company...if you promise not to touch anything."

It didn't take long for me to find De out by our favorite spot by the lake. She was sitting under our tree skipping flat stones across the clear, calm surface of the water. I paused to watch her for a moment. Her long black hair, her dazzling blue eyes, and her chiseled acquiline features were truly exquisite. She clearly was a goddess so beautiful she nearly stopped my heart.

I thought about the events of the last couple of months since Lassiter was taken to jail. He couldn't talk loudly or fast enough. He told the authorities everything they wanted to know, and then some. He wanted to turn state's evidence to save his miserable hide, but Mike and Ian would have none of that. They told him to just spill his guts or they'd turn him back over to De and let her finish him off. The last we heard, he was still talking right up until the time they pulled the switch on the chair. The prison warden asked De if she wanted to be a witness at his excecution. Since she was the only living relative, it was her right. She asked if she could pull the switch, and when they said no that wasn't possible, she declined their offer.

Mike and Clay found they rather enjoyed the nightclub business, so Unc signed the deed over to them and they resigned their positions in the Mounted Police. They have made quite a success out of the place. Clay says Mike has to beat all the women off with sticks; Mike just blushes, and runs for cover. The rest of the undercover people, who worked for us, are still working on the force.

Unc and Maggie have been spending a great deal of time together. Stan and the boys seem to think there might be a weddin' in the near future. Any excuse for a cowboy to party... Unc and Maggie, for their part, haven't said a word one way or the other.

As for De and I, well we're still together. We've moved off the ranch and onto De's place on the reservation. We've had a tough couple months. This business with Lassiter brought back the pain and agony she suffered for those many years. De wakes up in the night screaming, and all I can do is hold her, comfort her, love her until they pass. After about a month of nightmares, she consented to see a doctor. It's helped some, although De will never admit it. Lately, we've begun to talk about our future, our hopes, and dreams...little talks, but at least it's a beginning. De felt my presence and stopped throwing rocks.

"Are you going to stand there the whole damn night, or are you gonna come over here and cuddle?"

Cuddle? Who is this woman, and where has De gotten to?

"Cuddle?" I asked in surprise, "You want to cuddle?"

De cleared her throat.

"I didn't say cuddle," she remarked flatly, "I said talk."

Oh sure you did.

"Like hell you did," I exclaimed. "I distinctly heard you say cuddle. Now, fess up!"

De was caught and she knew it. The least she could do was admit defeat gracefully.

"What if I did," De asked sheepishly, "would that be so bad?"


"Not at all!" I shouted, and flung myself into my lover's waiting arms.

The force of my body weight slamming into hers caused us both to go tumbling over and over until we stopped within inches of the water's edge. We had stopped with me on top, my body pressed firmly into De's.

"Are you okay like this?" I asked quietly.

De nodded.

"Forever," she breathed as her warm, soft lips claimed mine.

Damn...works for me!

This is the end of 'The Real Dreams Series'. Thank you to all of you who have written me with your comments. I truly appreciate each and every one of you, truly. As always, you can contact me with your comments; I look forward to hearing from you. Watch for my next story Elan.

The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive