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A Beauty Rush To The Head
Just Say No...

Bitingly bone chilling cold would only be an understatement to the weather surrounding the seemingly solitare being trudging through the snow, and by no means did the wind help in any way. He stuck out like a sore thumb, a rhapsody in black as the lean, but muscular man urged through the contrasting flurry of snow, the only trace of colour that could have been seen being the chocolate brown eyes that narrowed through slits of a black scarf that had been wrapped tightly against defenseless facial skin. A grunt came involuntarily as he glanced behind him, arms held above his head at his shoulders to keep the barely warm body covered in fur steady. There was no time to be able to check if anyone was following him, and he hadn't even been able to cover up his tracks on the way back to the enclosed cave that he and his companion had settled into in a hurry. Yeah, he would probably have his throat slit in his sleep once he returned and relayed all information from his 'hunt'.

It didn't take long before through his makeshift headgear, not only he could see the slow ascent of a hill and halfway up, a small light through a narrow opening of stone that was sure to promise a meager, yet warm fire, but the sky turning darker at the arrival of twilight. Furrowing his brow, he began the climb, securing the spirit upon his shoulders, and allowed his mind to wander. He'd have to mention that the fire would have to be dimmed, or at the very least, they'd have to find a way to hide the glow of elusive flame. By the time that he reached the opening, his forehead had tiny little beads of sweat that had nearly froze had they not been soaked up by his scarf, but he could not relish the feeling of being overheated for the moment his face (or rather, mask) came into view, as quick as a shadow, a lithe form came at him, a small yet dangerously sharp glint of steel weilded.

No thoughts registered, but his body moved quicker than his mind due to years of intensive training, for in that instant, the carcass came flying off of his shoulders, and two hands shot out to take the tiny form's wrists and fling her to the side into the stone walls, only to follow through by keeping a tight hold upon her appendages. The follow through was very much what would have saved his sanity had a foot not come up out of nowhere, followed by her other leg to wrap tightly around his neck, and with a twist, aimed to take him to the ground in nothing more than a cumpled sack of muscle and rage. The movement was true, but the end result was far from desired and as he roared loudly, reaching up to claw at the thighs that tightened their grip around his neck, he saw that her head didn't even come close to scraping the ceiling of the mini cave. Only then did cognizant thought return, and he came to realize that the only way to get the demon off of him was to take her to the ground, and use brute strength.

She was quick, and almost as if their minds were linked, she unbound her legs and pushed off of him, landing upon the ground with one leg bent, nostrils flaring, and golden eyes locked tightly upon his. Her chest heaved though from anger or adrenaline was unbeknownst to her. The knife that had somehow made it's way to the other side of the cave lay abandoned from all thought and consciousness as the two of them, breathless and warm rested, locked in a staredown. As the woman left his throat, then did his strong hands reach up with inhuman speed to rip his scarf away from his face to show to the woman chisled features, naturally tanned skin, and not only a set of very full lips that were currently pursed tightly in a display of obscene rage, but his dark eyes that moved naught an inch from hers. Without realizing it, his hand reached up to touch his neck, subconsciously thankful for the wave of fresh air. The rage however did not subside, and the man started towards her, feet pounding the ground and bent down as if to jerk her up, but settled for clenching her shoulder when she stood up on her own.

"What is your problem," he hissed, pushing her back to pin her against the wall, his nostrils flaring, and lips curled back. "If you wanted me dead--" but was cut off by a wayward hand shooting out to shove his that kept her against the wall away, knuckles cracking. "Get your hand off of me. You know we can never be too careful," she drawled, her own eyes just as aflame as his. "I'd expect nothing less from you if I returned from a scout." The words did not sink in, but instead, much like dollar lotion, rested upon the surface before he brushed them off and stepped back, allowing her the peace of mind of not being cornered in a small cave with the smell of fresh kill and crackling wood.

In almost an instant, as well as against his better judgement, the man turned on his heels so that his back was to her to make towards the kill he had dropped, his hand extending out behind him right before he knelt down. The scuffle between partners had left him relatively breathless, and the prior hike up the hill to their little... Nest had left him sweating. Needless to say, to have his partner nearly take his throat out with her talons had left him in a more than foul mood and that was only enhanced when he spoke bitterly, "I hadn't time to cover my tracks." Silence was the only noise that passed between them, and the only thing he could see was the shadow of the woman shooting upward once more. The oaths spoken under her breath with venom directed at him was the only thing that he could hear when as quickly as she had stood up, the woman had grabbed a hold of the knife she'd had flung away from her body in the scuffle and disappeared into the vast darkness. Good. That would keep her busy for the time it took him to begin skinning the animal below him, as well as allowing him the time to soothe his fiery anger.

The lady of the house hadn't been gone for longer than forty five minutes when she came back, snowflakes and a thin layer of ice had clung angrily to her own makeshift mask, her own animosity having been cooled down, but not by much. The moment she reached her own side of the small cave, it was apparent by the puddle of animal blood on the ground that he had gotten far enough along in carving up the beast below where they would soon feast like runaways. Her cold French rang out as she shook out her snow, careful to keep it away from the fire, growling, "Your mistakes are taken care of... Again." Once more, silence became the dominant sound between male and female, save for the constant sawing of fur, and breathing of humans as well as the screaming psychic sound of someone with golden eyes glaring down at the man with the dark eyes.

Before too long, he finally slammed his own knife down into the animal's flesh, and turned around, the muscles in his arms flexing in movement. "I understand that you are mad at me," he growled, the American accent a surprise to her ears as she merely glanced up at him carelessly, "but Saphina," he started once more, taking methodical steps towards her and kneeling down, hand shooting out by her head to slam against the rock wall once more, leaning in, his eyes burrowing into hers sternly, "this silent treatment has got to stop. We are partners, and for better or worse, we are all one another has for any chance of survival." In his free hand that was currently covered in blood, he pointed at her, the tip drawing dangerously near to her lips. "I am your partner. I will give my life for you, as you nearly had for me this morning. When we get out of this," he emphasized the first word, shaking his head, "only then will I allow you to disappear and remain mad until we get called again. Until then, we are all we have. Forget your niece. Forget your brother. Forget your sister and your brother. It's you. And it's me."

Had she been of sane mind and right spirit, a swipe of the hand would have been all it would have taken to shut him up, but as she could only sit there, golden eyes locked tightly into his, the words went practically unheard on the surface. Boredly with hints of her anger beginning to bubble up to the surface, especially at the offhand mention of her family, Saphina inhaled, glancing down briefly at the finger pointed at her lips and then back up at his eyes, resisting the urge to jerk forward and bash his head with the frontal lobe of her own. He had quite the nerve, making his presence known as closely as he was, even if she had been working with him for years. Slowly, methodically, she reached up to place her five fingertips against his pectorals, and painstakingly eased him backward away from her.

"Tavyn," she started, nudging his hand away from the wall when he proved he hadn't any notion of budging, "you're causing a scene. You broke protocall. And your folly has landed us in this predicament. Do not tell me to just forget my niece. It is her birthday. And I promised. And I'm stuck here," Saphina leaned in just as dangerously as he had, "in Gods be dammed Russia, with you. Not home. not with her. Not with Daddy Two. And not with Maman One. With you." The cool poison in her words was apparent, but Tavyn made no move to flinch. They had been butting heads since the first day she had met him, which was one day that neither of them would ever forget, and it seemed they would almost never seem to stop. It worked for them. Made them grow as humans, and as Gods with the power to say who lived or died.

"You ruined my life Tav. Singlehandedly, you've ruined my life."

"You could have said no," he countered defensively, standing upright and tilting his head, the long strands of his hair making a soft swishing noise that was lost over the cackling of the fire. Hands bloodied, he stood there, towering over the woman, his protegee, eyes daring her to continue with what she was sure to say, because as he had to face it, she never knew when to keep her trap shut.

"You pushed the buttons you knew to push to get me to say yes. You watched me for months Tav. You waited until I was at a standstill to attack. With carefully chosen words, and jabs, you ensnared me."

They stood there, and blinking, he wondered at what point she had stood up to challenge him in this less than cozy encampment. Tavyn reached up to run a hand through his hair with an exasperated sigh, his eyes closing but heart rate remaining steady as he methodically chose the words that would do the most damage. "You'll never change," he muttered, opening his eyes once more to look the woman up and down. "I broke protocall, yes. I can admit to this. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Suits have a bounty on my head for that as we speak." A moment of silence to let that sink into her petty brain. "But you? You can never take responsibility for your own actions. You said yes. To the slip. To the job. To me. You said yes. You could have fought back, Saphina. But you didn't. You said yes. You always say yes."

It was lucky for the both of them that the cave was enclosed as it was because this was recieved with nothing short of a woman flinging her body at him, arms wrapped tightly around his waist as if to take him to the ground. Unlike earlier when he had been caught off guard as he walked into the encampment, Tavyn was ready for it. He intercepted the woman with his own arms and twisted as he fell, making damn sure to pin her heavily to the ground. "You can't beat me Saphina. You didn't beat me before, and you can't beat me now. Let your anger go." Quick as a flash, Tavyn reached to grab her wrists and with one hand, clamped them tightly above her head and gave her one good shake as he sat upon her lower body, staring down as she squirmed. "This is why you lose. This is why you have something to prove. This is why you couldn't tell them no."

"Dammit Tavyn, you're a sneaky son of a b***h! You never face someone head on. You're sly, evasive, elusive! If I could, I'd kill you. I hate you. I would rid you from me like the parasite you are."

Just as bored as she had been before, Tavyn merely shook his head, and kept her clamped, and raised his free, bloodied hand to his temple. "Look who's causing a scene now. You Frenchwomen are far too melodramatic for me." The threat went unnoticed as he slowly got up off of her, but continued to hold tightly to the woman's wrists, tightening to render her powerless, his browns running up and down her face, lips pursed. "If I let you go, are you going to attack me again?"


That was good enough for him. Giving her nothing more than one silent nod of his head, he yanked her up to her feet, walking to the other side of the cavern, and tossing her as easily as if she were a rag doll. He watched as she tumbled down, following her arc of inertia and knelt down on one knee, his elbows folded neatly over. "You let me know when you're done with your temper tantrum. You are a grown adult Saphina. A grown assassin. I am not much older than you, but I will not hesitate to put you in your place by any means necessary. So sit down, keep the fire tended, and not one peep out of you."

The man made his way back to the animal he had stabbed in his anger, and knelt back down, sighing to himself. She was so damn infuriating but that was what he got when he was given a pick of whether or not he wanted her to train beside him and eventually be partners in the neverending cycle of slip, kill, and reward. He couldn't blame her though. He had his bouts of aggrivating attitudes and she was reminded of it only almost every single time they had a job to do for nearly every single time they did, eventually, the two of them ended up rolling around on the ground in anger with one trying to kill the other.

"Why did you do it?"

She just wouldn't shut up would she? Figures. He had actually disillusioned himself into beliving she would be compliant, even though their track record proved otherwise. Turning around, over his shoulder, he glanced back at the woman who had once more, stood up, and as silently as a ghost, knelt down beside him causing the man's heart to jerk. "Do what? Break protocall?" Tavyn turned back to the animal, slicing the meat open to grasp at its insides and pull it apart. Those he'd save for later.

"No, jackass," she flicked his ear. "Choose me. For this job. After the fights, when you and the other Suits approached after the win."

A smile spread over his normally serious mouth before he could catch it and waved his bloody hand in her face. "Go away. We're not talking about this right no--" but was interrupted by a slap away of his hand, and another ear flick, to which his arm jerked out to shove her forcefully to the side, snapping his fingers and pointing at her when she made to do it again. "Look at us. Two grown killers acting like children. Tut. Your mother would be so ashamed." When her hand jabbed forward to hit him, he grabbed her fist with his entire hand, and squeezed, rendering her once more powerless, a lesson in humility, and vincibility that she often lacked--and needed. "Hit me again, and the next time you will not walk away from it." Throwing her hand away, he snapped his fingers, pointing down for her to sit next to him. "You want to know why I, as you so aptly put, ruined your life?" The silence was enough for him to answer.

"You are so broken, Saphina. Anyone can see it. I wanted to fix you."

Recieved with silence, Tavyn turned over his shoulder to make sure she was still there, listening and alive. The cold was beginning to penetrate the small cavern, and even the fire couldn't keep the small bites of frost away that began to litter the blood stained floor. A shiver from both parties lead to two sets of raised eyes and with a sigh at the inevitable, the two of them scooted closer to one another, one feminine arm reaching over to wrap around a masculine waist tightly and rubbed, focusing on his stomach while he worked away at the meat. She said nothing, for her brain was whirring with many things she could say, positive, negative, offensive, defensive. Finally, she settled on a soft, "You didn't ruin my life. I don't hate you. I want to kill you, more often than I don't, but I don't hate you. I just have so much... So much anger."

"I know. That's what's ruining your life. That's why I chose you. I was given your file, and heh," he commented, unable to half cough incredulously, half shudder, "you are so very broken. But, I've learned from our many hours together that it's also why you couldn't say no. You can't ever say no." The hand on his waist was welcomed from the cold, and it gave him the focus he needed to strip the animal clean, beginning to saw the meat into strips that would soon be placed and cooked over the fire. Tavyn was thankful for her, even if she had it out for her life though he could hardly blame her. If anyone was going to kill either of them, it would be one of the two people sitting next to one another. "I can too say no."

A snort came out once more before he could stop it, breaking his concentration and he turned to look at her, setting the bloody knife to the ground, an eyebrow cocked maliciously. "Oh yeah?" He leaned in dangerously, his eyes solidifying that everything he spoke was true. "Kiss me then." If she was taken aback, Saphina sure didn't show it with more than a raise of her eyes and glance down and back up from his lips and a slow shake of her head. "I'm not kissing you." She paused. "Again."

The brown eyes stood firm on her gold, even when she pulled away to look at his own lips then back up, and he could feel her animosity towards the question. Never before had he shown any attraction to her that wasn't strictly platonic and for the job, and try as she might, he could tell the off-handed dare had thrown her off. "I figured you wouldn't. I had a bet with the boys that you were a bad kisser." The joke was there, and completely false, but she didn't have to know that.

A pinch to his abs was enough to make Tavyn jerk, a wicked smile spreading over his lips when she didn't remove her arm from his torso in favor of the warmth that the both of them would sooner need in the later hours of the night. "It's okay if you're scared of me," he drawled, knowing the buttons to push especially in such a small, enclosed space. "I won't tell anyone. I promise. I just want to know what I'm missing. What your harem of boys and men are talking about." Saphina could only roll her eyes and shake her head, opting to keep quiet before turning to look him up and down, eyes dancing with mischeif.

"Tavyn, you know damn well that I'm a good kisser. We have had to pose on missions before." Saphina began to turn her head, confident that she had made her point when a bloodied hand came up to grasp her chin and lock her in place, his voice low and stern, yet with just enough rasp that she could tell that the cold was getting to him. His words were chosen even more carefully as he leaned in, and she could see the flecks of greens and ambers strewn about the dark browns. "You misunderstand me. I don't want you to kiss me like we're on a mission." Lowering his voice just a notch more, he glanced down at her lips, making sure that she saw the movement, and finished, "I want you to kiss me like you're mine. Only mine."

Unlike the previous statement, where he had demanded to kiss her, Saphina couldn't not show the surprise as it raced across her eyes, and followed down to the subconscious lick of her bottom lip. The action brought Tavyn satisfaction that he had, in fact, hit the assassin right where he needed to, and the results were about to be exactly as he had calculated. He knew her, probably better than any of her prior lovers save for the favored few whose names she was adamant about not dropping, and the way he had her wrapped tightly around his fingers that kept her chin in place only solidified that fact. He knew her. They were partners and whether or not she chose to admit it, she was that part of his soul that he couldn't live with or without and when they died, it would be by, and not without the other.

"You promise you won't tell anyone?" Her voice was soft, face moving closer to his. He caught the miniscule movement, and nodded having dropped his hand from her chin, already planning ahead to anticipate how she would react to the next chain of events and how he'd have to tame the fiery beast before him. "I told you I wouldn't."

Saphina leaned in closer to him, golden eyes studying the deep, enriched browns that only seemed bigger the closer she got. Almost like a daring game of stare, neither of them closed their eyes, watching, waiting, wondering if the other would firmly shut as most lovers had a tendancy to do when kissing. Right when the space between sure to be velvety soft lips, Tavyn pulled away gently, raising a finger up to delicately place upon her lips, his brown eyes never once leaving her golden suns. Confusion ripped through her like wildfire, and breaking the gaze, she crossed her eyes to look at the appendage resting upon her lips and back up to his eyes which hadn't broken from hers.

"You were going to do it."

The silence was enough for him, and slowly he dropped his finger from her lips, watching as the flame began to spread over her face, her nostrils flaring in realization of the embarrassing situation he had just placed her in. Cutting the Frenchwoman off before she could even start, he shook his finger warningly. "Don't speak." With a sigh, and a shiver, Tavyn turned over his shoulder to steal a glance at the embers that had begun to dim. "You can't say no Saphina. You're broken. And as hard as you try to deny it, as strong as you make yourself seem, you are a woman seduced by words, and by strength." As if to prove this statement, his hand found her wrist, and laid claim right before he squeezed. "You are a woman, Saphina. One of the deadliest women I know, but a woman all the same. If you could learn to just say no..." Tavyn trailed off, letting go of her wrist in the process.

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