AIB 16 "Damned If I do"
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Angelle recruits the help she needs from a source that surprises and Mal might have just said too much....


Angelle's mine, but Joss owns the rest. -----------------------------------------------

Nightmares....what most people call bad dreams or what happens when reality becomes your bad dream, which would classify my particular situation. Not that going back to Persephone was a bad thing, but not to save a woman, who had not only insulted my entire family, but had completely ignored her own captain's warnings, though I'm not quite sure she considered him that. God, I so wanted to tell her 'I told you so.'

It had been awhile since I had been to this part of town and with Mal on my left and Zoe on my right, one would think we were preparing to storm the castle. Fortunately, we had left good ole Jayne back on the ship, for fear his trigger happy ways could spell more trouble than help and there was the whole thing about the...well, I leave that as the surprise.

Now, there are only three places that I have found that truly scare me, one being inside a gator, the other staring down the barrel of my own gun, and finally, anywhere that made me feel like a woman. After you've been killing gators, sexing in the swamp, and, well, driving a vehicle that is larger than most houses, the word woman falls a might short, but all that was about to change. Welcome to number three.

As we walked up to the beautiful, ornate building, one could see that whoever lived here had money and more than probably even the great Atherton Wing. You could hear the water of a fountain trickling and the singing of a few birds as I knocked gently on the large oak door. When it opened, an older gentlemen complete with dark jacket and tie answered.

“Come in, Miss Marcs and guests,”he said and I knew the person who owned the place was expecting me. Dad had made good on his word.

“Just have a seat and I will let Mistress know you are here.”

As the butler walked off, I heard Mal whistle low in his throat. It was no wonder as the beautiful entry way did nothing for the gorgeous parlor that was off the right and the place we were now standing in. Zoe seemed a bit misplaced as she fingered the Mare's leg at her side, but I just waited and stared at the shadows I could see watching us from outside the room.

“Oh, my god, Angelle Marcs, as I live and breathe you have not changed a bit.” I turned just as long silky arms wrapped around me and I felt her sniff at my hair. “Still smell like that swamp daddy of yours.”

“Hello, Madam Blackthorn.” I smiled as the beautiful older woman just grinned at me.

“You best be calling me something else before I tell your daddy on you.” Her red hair was bound up above her head and as she chastised me, it wiggled. I couldn't help, but smile.

“Yes, Aunt Lou Lou.” Prepared to be hugged again, I braced myself and waited.

“So, who are your friends?” Relaxing, I looked back at Mal and Zoe, who could do nothing, but stare at the sexy woman standing before them.

“ my aunt, Louise Blackthorn. She's....well, she's a....” I stumbled over the words and looked at both of them.

“I am a Madam.” Lou Lou stated matter of fact, like she was just a teacher or something.

“I'm Captain Malcolm Reynolds and this is my second, Zoe Washburne.” Mal reached out to kiss her hand, but she smiled first.

“I know who you are, Mr. Reynolds and your beautiful second as you call her. My niece here never shuts up about your heroics in the war.”

“Thanks, Aunt Lou Lou. Anyone can see being brutally honest runs deep in our family.” I shook my head and wondered if this truly was the right idea.

“Can we see Angelle now?” a sing song voice echoed behind me as the heads of ten girls peered into the parlor. I smiled at them and waved as each one waved back.

“Yes, yes, come on.” Lou Lou replied and like puppies to a bone, all of them raced toward me and suddenly, I was crushed by hugs and voices of ten gorgeous and rather scantly dressed girls. Like I said, it was a damn good thing Jayne stayed on Serenity.

“Girls, girls....allow her to breathe a little.” My aunt came over and snapped her finger as finally I was able to see light. “I am so sorry, Mal and Zoe. Usually they are better behaved.”

“Oh, that's quite...alright.” The captain's face held a look that needed no interpretation as Zoe slapped his arm.

“Well, I don't allow such foolery in my house. Up...up...all of you!! You can speak to Angelle later. Besides, we have a dance to prepare for.” She shooed them like birds as each fluttered off, smiling at me and waving as I realized just how much I missed visiting. It was the only place I actually felt female.

“If you don't mind me askin'...” Zoe spoke up after the girls had all gone. “but, what is this place exactly? You're not a Companion house, are you?”

“Oh, no, are you kidding? I once was a Companion, long ago before the rules of being one became so strict. Sex is about pleasure and excitement, adventure that leaves you spellbound, and they wanted it to be an experience of the heart and soul. What has whoring come to that it must involve candlelight and oil?”

I chuckled a bit, remembering the arguments my Aunt and others like Inara had over the ideas of sex. My aunt believed that if people were willing to pay you for it, well, then by god, you gave it to them, however they wanted it and regardless how they looked. Most hated that notion, but then, maybe that's why my aunt's establishment served some of the richest in all of Persephone save one.

“I surely don't know.” Mal smiled, the look of almost laughter on his face. “So, how do you get us into that shindig Wing's gonna be at?”

“Wing? You mean Atherton Wing?” Lou Lou looked at me. “You said that you needed rescuing someone, but not that it involved Wing or that Companion he's got with him.”

“Because I knew you'd have a fit. Inara is a close friend to Mal's crew and you've wanted to show up Wing since he slapped Daisy around.”

“He did what and you knew?” Mal looked at me, a bit hurt.

“She didn't know his name, only that one of my old customer took out his frustration of being humiliated on one of my girls. I don't always trust who the Guild black list, but this time I should've.”

“Aunt Lou Lou wanted me to kill him, but I had other things to do so we waited until a better time.” I sat up in my chair and slid to the edge of my seat.

“I won't have 'Nara in the middle of a firefight between you and Atherton. We rescue her first and then you all can kill him.” He looked at my aunt first and then me as I nodded.

“Well, to answer your question before we were sidetracked, I planned on disguising your beautiful second as one of my girls and my niece as your date.”

“Not sure I'm comfortable with this, Sir.” Zoe said as I smiled broadly, seeing her look at the dress my Aunt was wearing and no doubt remembering what the girls had on.

“I've got a couple others I'd like to sneak in as well. Back up if you will.”

“Men or women?”

“One of each.”

“Well, it will be pretty easy. I know who's catering this party and I can get your man in through the waiter clause, as for the girl, she can tag along with Zoe.”

“Are you sure Atherton will even be there?” Zoe voiced her concern.

“He's the guest of honor, my dear. You could say he's being honored for earning the Second chair on the board of Trustees, or as we like to call them 'the biggest asses club', but they pay our bills so we show up.” My aunt looked down at her pearl watch. “The party is tomorrow at eight. I've made sure your bedroom is prepped and available as well as get your things out of the storage room.”

“Thank you, Aunt Lou Lou.” I smiled and stood as she hugged me, yet again. “Next time, you make sure not a month goes by that me and the girls don't see you. It breaks their hearts when you can't take time from the busy schedule of yours not to wow us with your adventures.” She spoke in my ear.

“I won't and I really appreciate this.”

“My dear girl, that's what family is for.” She grinned. “By the way, I made sure Jackson stocked up your drawers with some of our more expensive items, if you know what I mean.” Her brown eyes glistened as she winked at me.

I could hear a bit of a smirk coming from beside me as I realized just how not whispered that last bit was. Even Zoe had a bit of a warm face.

“Now, I will let you all get to it. Zoe, if you would follow me, I can show you where you will be staying.” My aunt looked back at Zoe, who cast a glance at Mal for almost help. “Dear, I'm not gonna let the girls pretty you up just yet and you'll be down the hall from your captain, I promise, though not sure I'd want to be when he finds what's in the top drawer of Angelle's...”

“Aunt Lou Lou!!”I yelled as her laughter echoed over the room.

“Just a little fun.” She smiled and motioned for Zoe. “Now, my dear, are you coming?”

Mal seemed to nod as the dark skinned beauty finally began to follow my aunt through the parlor and I knew up the marble stairs. The back of my neck tingled as I felt hot breath.

“So, this is your connections. I thought you didn't take off your clothes.” Mal stood behind me as I turned, a look on his face I couldn't quite read.

“I didn't. That's my aunt's job even though I can't say she hasn't offered me a position. My father would kill me if I took it, though and I'm not sure how I'd look at myself.”

“Girls seemed to know you quite well.”

“Most of them are from the swamp or little poor settlements that don't amount to nothing according to the Guild or the Alliance. Aunt Lou Lou sees their potential and gives them a life that would be otherwise out of their reach. I don't think there a one that don't send money home to their families.” I moved closer so that my chest and his were almost touching. “I ain't a whore, Malcolm Reynolds.”

“Never said you were. It's just how you spoke to 'Nara.”

“Woman insulted my family and I could see how you two argued about the whole 'whore' word. It was the right ammo at the right time. That's all. I don't' always agree with this kind of life, but it's helped these girls and she's family.”

“Well, I ain't arguing none. If it helps us save 'Nara, then I'm on board.” He turned away as I watched him reach for the com link on his wrist. I could hear him talking with Jayne, but it seemed to fade out a bit as I looked around the room, seeing pictures of me and dad. It was almost nice to be here.

“Talked it over with Jayne. He'll be here around noon tomorrow with Kaylee. She's got that pretty dress I bought her and she might as well get use out of it. River'll be standing by in case we need Serenity to get us out quick. Seems this group and plans going right ain't kosher at the moment.”

“Seems like a good plan anyway.”

“One thing though, you can't kill Wing until after 'Nara's safe. Bullet could stray and hit her.”

“It's funny. You're more worried about the woman who dug herself into a hole than the ones trying to get her out of it.”

“She's my crew and I'm not losing another.”

“Well, good for you.” I growled and made my way toward the door, angry that he seemed to think I would endanger Inara and that he cared almost more for her than the very ones risking their lives to save hers. I understood she was special to him, but it didn't mean I had to like it. “And, by the way, Captain Reynolds, I don't miss when I know what I'm aiming at.”

As I walked up the very large flight of stairs, I really didn't bother looking to see if he followed.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009 10:56 PM


Oh, I like Aunt Lou Lou. She's a peach, and a handy connection to have. So Atherton is Angelle's real target? Interesting. Mal is being a little odd, but I think that's mainly because a) he's a man, and b) he feels a lot more for Angelle than he will admit, and it's coming out a bit snarky. Still, can't wait to see the fireworks!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:17 AM


I also thought Mal was acting overly protective of Inara in this instance. He really didn't need to add that addendum to making sure they got Inara out in one piece. Personally, I'd be tempted to leave her there. She only listens to her own advice anyway. Hopefully Mal will reassure Angelle that she comes first with him then they can take a look at what's in that top drawer! LOL. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


You must log in to post comments.



The Bouncing Ball Ch 20
Been awhile, but we still here... Jane and I spin a yarn and bounce the ball. Cat stands back...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 19
Jane and Me.... no more needs to be said... enjoy.

Cat goes hunting....

The Bouncing Ball Ch 18
Jane 0904 and I are writing up a storm. Another chapter of universe jumpin and twisty turns... Cat sees ghosts again...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 17
Another chapter.... thanks from Jane and I for your comments and for reading... Book explains.

The Bouncing Ball Ch 16
Jane and I are at it again.... with some outside help from my other favorite co-author, Werzbowski. Thanks for lending your talents to your character, 'Ski. Anyway, Cat sees ghosts....

The Bouncing Ball Ch 15
Jane and I continue on following the bouncing ball. Thanks for joining us. Special thanks to all who read and comment... you all are awesome. Cat get dirty...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 14
Jane and I are just doing what we like so enjoy the ride... big THANKS to Ali and 'Ski who have read and commented every time. You all rock! Anyway... Cat meets Badger...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 13
Jane and I are having a blast. Frey and Cat... not so much... Cat gets caged.

The Bouncing Ball Ch 12
Jane and me are on the way again to deliver our next chapter. Cat seeks Badger...

The Bouncing Ball Ch 11
Jane and I are here again... hoping that you enjoy our next chapter. Cat argues...