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This page last viewed: 2017-06-19 and has been viewed 6247 times
Warnings: Graphic Sex, some violence, some language, some death.
Summary: On a hot August night, Face escapes from the Langley compound and makes a critical decision about his future. But when things don't go as planned and Stockwell has other ideas for the team, will Hannibal decide to follow orders and leave Face to his face? Will Murdock be caught in the crossfire? And where do BA's and Frankie's loyalties lie? What other surprises does Face's mystery abductor have in store, and what do they mean about the team's future . . . and, for some, their past.
Author's Explanation from Reckless:
This started as a response to the ATSB's Melting Heat challenge, which was start a fic with the lines “He wiped the sweat from his brow. It was so hot, he thought he was melting.” In response, I wrote the first part as a silly PWP, though I couldn't resist tossing in a little twist. Face's New Flame then suggested turning the fic into a round robin, but we eventually agreed to collaborate, taking turns writing the scenes. Over time, as the story involved into a much longer piece, we moved from writing a “tag team” fic to planning the story, discussing the plot and eventually collaborating on individual scenes. Because the final story is much more of a collaboration than a “tag team” story, we will not identify the original author of each scene.
MERCURY RISING: Prologue
He wiped the sweat from his brow. It was so hot, he thought he was melting. Even at 10:30, the August heat and humidity had not let up.
Just another reminder why he hated the East Coast. He hated Langley. He hated D.C. He just wanted to be home. He wanted to be free. Free of Stockwell. Free of the team. Just free.
Face pushed past the bouncer and through the doors of the club, hoping that, inside, he would find some relief. The heavy bass thumped in his ears, nearly overwhelming him with the noise. The weaving, waving lights were no better. Red and blue beams of light flashed through the room, illuminating the crowd massed on the dance floor. Bobbing and weaving to the heavy beat, the bodies pressed close together. The temperature in the room was no cooler than outside.
He loosened his tie and tried to breathe. He should have left his coat at home.
Somebody shoved him from behind. He turned angrily, but realized that it was just another guy trying to get inside the crowded club. Face had not even realized he had stopped in the entryway. Their eyes met momentarily and the other man, much larger than Face, sneered.
For a second, Face debated letting loose. He felt months of pent-up anger straining to escape. It would just be a bar fight. Nobody would really pay attention. Two guys going mano on mano. Face would make quick work of the other man and be gone before the cops arrived.
Face turned away from the man and headed toward the bar. If he started a fight, Stockwell would find out. His Ables were outside; maybe even inside. Face had made no secret about leaving the compound. He had been so furious with Hannibal when he stalked out, nobody could have missed it. Hell, BA or Frankie or Murdock was probably somewhere outside too. Just keeping an eye on him.
“I don't need a babysitter,” he growled to himself as he stalked shoved his way through the mass of people. The air was thick with the stench of sweat and cheap perfume. He wiped his forehead again and brushed his hair back. It slicked back easily.
He didn't need a babysitter. None of them did. Why couldn't Hannibal see it? They'd been running Stockwell's “errands” for nearly two years and Face could see no end in sight. Tonight had been round 33 in the never-ending battle over should they stay or should they go. Face had urged Hannibal to get them out of there before they died on some other stupid, reckless mission. But his pleas had continued to fall on deaf ears. All he got was another round of “Stockwell will come through”and “Just give it time, Face.”
Face decided he had given it enough time.
“Tomorrow, I'm gone.”
That was it. A simple declaration. Tomorrow, he would go. He'd slip out through the woods surrounding the compound. He didn't need any bags and he had enough fake IDs to keep Stockwell from finding him for awhile. There was money in L.A. and St. Croix.
Yes, tomorrow he would go.
Tonight, he would say farewell to D.C.
He reached the bar and ordered a whiskey. It was cheap, but he downed it in a single gulp. It burned as it went down his throat and the heat of the alcohol hit his gut. His pulse increased as he gasped in the humid air.
He let the music take over. The heavy drums echoed inside his head. His body began to move to the beat and he turned to scan the crowd.
There were a lot of options. Blonds, brunettes, redheads. Right now, Face could take them all.
His eyes crossed the bar and he saw her. Long, dark hair and a low cut, strapless red dress. Their eyes met and she curled her lips in a seductive smile.
That was all the invitation Face needed.
He sauntered through the crowd and pushed his way to the spot next to her. He caught the attention of the bartender and ordered two drinks – one of whatever she was drinking and another whiskey for himself. She smiled as their drinks arrived.
Face raised his glass. “A toast,” he said over the din.
She raised her glass and leaned forward so he could hear her. “What are we drinking to?”
He smiled. “Freedom.”
She smiled back. He felt her dark eyes roam his body as she lifted the glass and drank. She reached into the glass and removed a cube of ice. She placed it between her lips and sucked it gently. Then she lowered it and ran it along the side of her neck. In the heat, it melted quickly. Small rivulets of water ran down her chest, disappearing under the red fabric that rested just above her breasts.
Face felt the temperature rise.
She leaned forward again. “Are you going to set me free?”
Face reached forward and placed a hand on her arm. Her skin was baby soft. “How free do you want to be?”
She laughed and stood up from her seat, but she did not pull away. She was taller than he had realized and they stood nearly eye to eye. The red dress reached just about mid-thigh, leaving her long legs exposed. She raised her free hand and touched his cheek. Her index finger traced the line of his jaw.
It felt like she had struck a nerve that ran directly to his groin. Face thought he was on fire. He took his drink and gulped it down.
“Dance with me,” she said. As he set his drink down, she grasped both of his hands and pulled him onto the dance floor.
He followed willingly. His knew this last night in D.C. would be a night to remember.
Reaching a small space on the floor, she turned to face him. There was little room to move, so they were pressed close together. He could feel the heat of her body next to his. She moved from side to side, twisting effortlessly to the thumping beat of the music. A sheen of perspiration caused the creamy skin over her breasts to shine in the flashing lights.
He moved with her. Face had no idea how long they danced. The songs could have changed, but he did not notice. One of his hands settled on her waist and he ran his other along the soft skin exposed by her backless dress. He pulled her even closer. Their bodies now touched, pressed tight together, as they continued to move to the throbbing beat.
She took his hand from her waist and moved it lower. Her other hand ran under his jacket, down his soaking wet dress shirt to the growing bulge in his pants. She brought her head close to his and her words echoed his thoughts.
“I want you.”
He nodded breathlessly. This was what he needed. He didn't need Stockwell. He didn't need Hannibal. He didn't need the team. He just needed her.
She took his hands again and pulled him through the swaying throng. The lack of air and the thumping music caused his head to reel. They crossed the dance floor and she pushed past a crowd that filled a hallway.
“Where are we going?” he called out.
She laughed. “Freedom.”
At the end of the hallway was a door. She pushed it open and pulled him in behind her. The light from the hallway illuminated the boxes and shelves of a storeroom. Once he was inside enough, she shoved the door closed. The room plunged into near-darkness; the only light came from a window high above some shelves.
That was more than enough for him to see what he was doing.
He turned her around and pressed his palms against the door, which continued to shudder from the pulsating music. Pinned there, she could not escape his mouth, which pressed hungrily against hers. She did not protest. She kissed back just as greedily. She needed him as much as he needed her. That need was plain as they dueled for dominance.
Face felt her hands slide his jacket off his shoulders. He pulled his hands off the wall, giving the jacket enough room to fall to the floor. She pulled his shirt out of his waistband. He felt the buttons give way, but he didn't care. Right now, all he wanted was to be inside her. To find release.
He slid down the top of her dress. The movement freed her breasts from the confining red fabric. Face leaned down and kissed them, tasting salt and some lingering alcohol spread by the ice cube. He continued to suck greedily, eliciting moans of pleasure from his partner.
*That's just the beginning, baby. You want freedom. I'm gonna take you places you've only imagined.*
Her hands roamed his chest and his back. Long fingernails raked his shoulders. He groaned. His erection pressed hard against his pants. He needed her now. He didn't know how long he could hold out.
She must have sensed his need because her hands ran lower, down his back and to his belt. She clutched his ass. He rose with her hands. Once again, his head was level with hers. Their eyes met and she seared him with a look of desperate need. Their lips met again. Their tongues warred with one another. Her hands tightened their grip and she pulled him even closer and ground her body against his.
He almost came right there.
The music continued to send a throbbing beat through the room that seemed to match his pulse. The heat and humidity pressed down against them. Her heady aroma, a mix of musk and exotic spices, left his head spinning. Dizzying.
His hands squeezed her breasts once more as she moaned into his mouth. He could feel her breath along the back of his throat. She broke the kiss, gasping.
“God . . . Please . . .” she begged. Her hands fumbled with his belt.
He kissed her again and pressed her even harder against the door. His hands slid down to her thighs and he lifted her right leg so that it wrapped around him. He ran his hand under the hem of her dress, along the soft skin of her thigh which was already slick from the damp heat.
His hand met no resistance, no barrier.
Face grinned as he broke the kiss again. He looked deep into her eyes. This was a girl who knew what she wanted.
His fingers found their goal and she moaned loudly as he slid two inside her. She cried out as he stroked. Her hands, no longer struggling with his belt, grasped his shoulders. He thought she might have fallen if she had not been gripping him.
“Don't stop,” she gasped.
*No. Not a chance of that.*
He pulled out his fingers and reached for his belt. Their eyes met again as he deftly undid the buckle and unbuttoned his pants.
Her look was unmistakable.
Now. She wanted him. She needed him. Now.
His erection broke free as he lowered his pants. His need was as strong as hers. Freedom. Relief. Release.
He entered her effortlessly. With a single push he pressed into her completely.
“Ahhhhhh,” she cried as she felt his first hard thrust. Her fingernails dug into his back.
He pulled out most of the way and thrust back even more strongly. He could tell. She liked it rough.
“You like it this way,” he growled.
“Oh, yes,” she hissed back. She grabbed his head and pulled it forward. She ground her mouth against his, an attempt to take control of the top while he controlled the bottom.
Face fought back. The anger that had led him into the bar fueled his passion. He pushed deep inside her, pulled out and pounded even deeper.
It worked. She broke her lock on his mouth and screamed. “Yes. Oh, yes.”
Now Face was in full control. Forget Hannibal. Forget Stockwell. This was freedom.
His hands roamed her body and he began to find a rhythm in his thrusts. Each hard push lifted her from the ground, but she loved it. Impaled on his cock, she wrapped both legs around his waist. Her head swayed from side to side and she moaned ever more loudly.
The friction against his cock sent fire through his veins. He could feel the tightness growing in his balls. He knew he was getting close. His breath came forth in uneven bursts, short gasps followed by longer moans. Sweat coated his neck and back, but now it was welcome.
“Yeeeesssss,” she cried again. Face felt her tense and then let go. Her body spasmed from the thunderous orgasm that enveloped her.
He did not let up. All the pent-up anger came flooding forth. The speed of his thrusts quickened. Slick with sweat, their bodies slid together.
He was nearly there. Just a few more strokes. Faster and faster. Harder and harder. He pounded deep. His own groans mixed with the girl's moans and the pounding music that sounded ever louder to his ears.
His head reared back as he pressed hard against her.
Every muscle in his body constricted and then released with sudden fury. He came hard, a furious wave flooding deep inside her. His hips jerked, a few short, hard thrusts with each successive wave. Over and over.
He collapsed against her, gasping for breath. Her gasps echoed simultaneously in his ears. Her arms had wrapped around his neck and her legs still remained wrapped around him. He held her like that until their pulses returned to normal. Then he pulled out of her and lowered her legs to the floor.
With her arms still wrapped around his neck, her dark eyes locked on his. “Did you find it?”
Face did not understand. “What?”
She leaned closer. Her face, soaked with perspiration, shone in the light. “Freedom.”
He grinned. It was pretty damn close.
She smiled back, a smile even more seductive than any she had given before. “I can give you true freedom.”
He placed his hands on his waist. Was she seriously ready for another round. He might take a while to recover, but he had plenty of stamina to make it through the night. He grinned lasciviously. “Why don't we head back to your place and you can show me?”
Her lips spread even wider. “That's not exactly what I had in mind, Mr. Peck.”
The alarm bells barely registered before Face felt something stab along the side of his neck. He pulled away instinctively and his hand jerked toward the spot between his clavicle and deltoid. He could not see the spot, but his hands felt a hypodermic needle.
“Wh-what?” he blurted out in surprise.
She gave him a predatory smile. “Goodnight, Mr. Peck.”
Whatever was inside the hypodermic was strong. Face felt the drug coursing through his body. The music, which had seemed to grow softer, stormed back loudly. The throbbing bass pounded in his head. The boxes and shelves of the room began to spin madly. The red of the woman's dress became a red fog.
No, his mind screamed. Not when he was this close.
He staggered forward, but his knees buckled and he fell to the ground. He hit the floor with a heavy thud. His hands scraped along the cement floor as he fought to remain conscious.
Face knew it was a futile effort. Though he struggled to keep his eyes open, they could not focus. He saw something move in front of his face, then realized it was a fuzzy vision of an open-toed red shoe. He heard movement around him. A door had opened and other people were inside the room, but he could not tell how many there were.
The red blur that was her shoe stopped in front of his face. Face tried to raise his head to look at her, but his field of vision had narrowed almost to pinpricks. As he plunged into darkness, he barely made out her last words.
“Very good, Mr. Peck. My boss has plans for you.”
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