Theme, Variation
by Sängerin

Alarm bells begin to ring the moment Harry tells you to meet another of Tessa's contacts. You go anyway, because Harry orders you to, and because the money is burning a hole in your wall safe.

This time the dead drop directs you to a hotel suite. It isn't fancy, but it's clean. And on the sofa Tess sits waiting.

You hover near the door, wishing you could get away. 'So, what is it this time?'

Tessa smiles, with an edge of steel that hovers behind even the most saccharine of her expressions. 'What would make you think that? Is the money not enough?'

You don't dare answer directly. Possible sentences form in your head and you discard them; you weigh each word and find each option wanting.

Finally you find an answer. It doesn't compromise you, nor does it give her too much opportunity. 'You wouldn't have left directions at the dead drop if you didn't want me to come here.'

'I had my reasons, of course,' she says. She tilts her head, and then gestures for you to sit down next to her. 'Don't stand in the doorway all day, Zoe,' she says impatiently.

Despite your unease, you sit. Tessa has always made you feel like this; inadequate and uncomfortable, even when she is praising you. She sits close, closer than you'd like, and you try to inch away imperceptibly. Tessa is trained just as you are - she was the one who trained you - and you know that she sees every movement you make. She takes advantage of it.

'Nervous? Why - what are you afraid of?'

'Nothing.' You say it even though it isn't true.

'Are you afraid of me?' She puts a hand on your thigh, high up.

'No.' Your voice is raspy, and she smiles, her eyes glinting with anticipation. She moves even closer, and you flinch.

Tessa laughs scathingly. 'Don't tell me you don't want to know what this is like. Every girl wants to know.'

And because she's right, and because it's not just a scientific interest, you keep yourself from flinching the second time. You feel her lips on yours, and she pushes you back against the arm of the sofa.

Mentally you cringe. You cringe not because it's a woman, but because it's Tess. You cringe because this is getting too close for comfort - too near your most guilty fantasies. And you cringe because you know that this isn't sex. This is Tessa getting her way.

You've admired her for years. Idolised her. Put her on a pedestal as the perfect officer. Even knowing she's corrupt - that the woman on whom you modelled yourself isn't who you thought - you still want her praise. You want her approval. So when she pushes your shirt up and unfastens your bra, you hope she likes what she sees. When she pushes your trousers down past your hips, you shift your thighs just that little bit further apart to give her access. And you both hate yourself for doing it and wonder at her eagerness.

She tells you to open your eyes, and you do. You see the triumph in hers as she stares down at you. Triumph and greed. Her eyes could swallow you up and you see that she longs to possess something within you. You know that she has been training you in her own image and you realise just how far that extends.

But her hands and fingers are in places you only imagined, and her mouth is teasing your breasts, and as the tension builds up until you almost scream, she shifts back up your body and covers your mouth with hers and the scream turns into a guttural whirr at the back of your throat. Her lips smile against yours and you know that she has won. There is going to be a price to pay, but you close your eyes again and you simply feel.


The weight above you shifts and her body leaves yours. She is still completely clothed, while your trousers have bunched around your ankles, and your shirt and bra are pushed up around your neck. She stands and looks at you, a long look, sweeping across your nudity. She brushes a strand of hair behind her ear and turns to the bathroom, while you lay still, pinned down by the glitter of triumph in her face. The scent of power lingers, mingling with the others in the air.

Tessa triumphant, washing her hands and face. She moves to the door, not a hair out of place, and raises an eyebrow as she watches you put yourself back together. You fasten your bra and pull your top back down, and she watches you. Her lips quirk in a smile of superiority as you pull your trousers back up. You feel frumpy and dazed, while she stands by the door, practically perfect.

She nods coldly as she opens the door, and you stand there in only one shoe, scanning the room for your jacket. 'I'll see you return the favour,' is all she says before she leaves.

You take your time. You repair your makeup and put yourself back together. There's a note by the sink: the room isn't paid for, she knows you have enough money to take care of it. You take a drink from the mini bar and don't care about the cost. And you remember the bottle of vodka at the flat: his pride and joy. But you were trained by the best. You were trained by someone who can reveal everything and nothing. If she can do it, so can you. You can be better than her. Nothing and no one will be safe. That vodka is yours.


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