02 - The Void

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There weren't many occasions where Shades took off his sunglasses. Seeing Cage's lifeless body however absolutely was one. He'd moved heaven and earth, and put aside a significant amount of Mariah's money, but he'd managed to buy a few adamantium bullets. They were so sharp and so hot when they were fired that even Cage's bulletproof skin could be penetrated with them. 

Shades smiled



His little moment of euphoria watered down when he noticed someone was staring at him. He put on his shades and turned to the girl, who waited on her reward with a pale face. In exchange for a humble sum of money she'd sweet-talked Cage and taken him to this remote place as her "date".

Shades reached for his inside pocket and handed her the envelop. With trembling fingers she took it from him. 

Too bad, he thought, internally sighing. As soon as she turned around, he pulled his gun out of his holster and shot her through the head. He didn't like to gun down such a pretty young thing, but she should have known how this would end. To achieve important results, sacrifices had to be made. And risks had to be taken, but as little as possible. Someone who had already shaking hands, would suffer from guilt later. 

It was better this way. 

Not everybody was made to kill. 

But he was. 

He was forced to become a killer, he always told himself, but deep down he knew that wasn't true. There had always been a darkness inside him, one that could have been suppressed by only one person. And the moment she was gone, he'd completely surrendered himself to it. 

He turned to the body of Luke Cage and watched it for a while with his head slightly tilted. Yes, he was dead. This time for real. 

. . .

Shades watched how Mariah topped off the bottle of whisky and poured the drink into two glasses. She handed him one and they clinked their glasses. 

"We finally got rid of that troublemaker." Her lips bent into a smile. 

Shades wished that smile made him feel something, but there was nothing but that ever-present void. The elimination of Luke Cage had been more than just the removal of a rival. The world was freed from one more freak. He did this for her, everything he did was for her. It had been people like Cage that had taken her away from him. 

His fingers tensed around the glass when he thought back to that fateful day, to that man who stabbed his forked hand right through her back and stomach, to the other who'd created the distracting smoke, to...

He took a deep breath and sipped from the glass, feigning a smile. "It's done."

"Yes." Mariah put her glass on the table, stepped closer to him and looked up to him. She laid a forefinger against his cheek and slowly pulled it to his chin. He held her glance for a moment, that was filled with more joy than he'd ever seen. With a hand he raked through her dark hair, before he roughly pushed his lips against hers. She bit his bottom lip. Her hands glided underneath his shirt and she pushed him backwards, until his back hit the wall. 

He desperately tried to feel something. This moment should have filled him with warmth, but the void was eating every feeling away. He grabbed her hips and turned her around, pinning her against the wall of the living room. Her fingers unbuttoned his pants and their kisses became more severe while he pulled up her dress and entered her roughly. She moaned, flinging her arms around his neck as he lifted her. She wrapped her legs around his waist. Again he slammed inside her, again and again, without feeling a glimmer of the warmth he missed so much and that had been so naturally ten years ago. 

"Oh Hernan," Mariah panted in his ear. "You're such an animal." She bit his ear and buried her nails in his neck.

He grunted by way of an answer and squeezed his eyes when he saw her face. Her beautiful smile made him gasp for breath. 


His throat was squeezed. His hand glided across Mariah's thigh, which wasn't as soft and smooth as Norah's had been, and her moaning wasn't mixed with quiet chuckles, like Norah had sounded. 

With a whimper he came, which was luckily disguised by his moaning. He trailed kisses down Mariah's neck to hide his watery eyes, slowly helping her to her climax so he would be fully himself again when she was finished. 

Cold and ruthless, with a soul that only knew love as a remnant of a time long past.

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