Kill ‘Em With Kindness [2K]

By: Sahara

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 17th Feb 2022

Orlando, Florida
Post Blood Money 2

Disheveled from the fallout of Blood Money 2, the blonde hadn’t paused for a moment to think about anything other than the fact she lost. The moment she was eliminated she rushed her tired and beaten ass back to the hotel her husband, Thaddeus Duke, had put her up at.

A grand suite at the Four Seasons.

Blood Money 2 was over and done with.

Needless to say, Sahara did not emerge victorious.

It didn’t matter how she lost. It didn’t matter why she lost. All that mattered was she lost. And she wasn’t allowed to lose.

Not this one.

Which meant one thing; returning home to New York for a meeting with the kinda people you don’t wanna be meeting with. Not under these circumstances. When they say jump, you don’t even ask how high, you just jump as high as you fucking can and hope it was high enough. And judging by her last run-in with them, this followup wasn’t going to go well. They’d probably be waiting for her at the airport. No passing go, no going home … proceed directly to get fucked.

Stop. For Christ sake!

She took a deep breath.

Good thoughts, Lauren. Positive thoughts…you probably got Venom coming up, think about that…

Wringing her hands out, she balled them into white knuckled fists. Over and over. But she still couldn’t keep them steady. She was jittery – combined with the lasting adrenaline rush from Blood Money – it wasn’t the greatest combination for calming down.

Fuck!

She pounded a fist against the dresser as exasperation consumed her.

Please stop. Stop worrying. Stop … every-damn-fucking-thing!

Her eyes fell on a shirt her husband had left on the dresser, and for a moment, her thoughts drifted. Somehow, his stupid shirt gave her a much needed reprieve. Picking it up, she brought it to her nose and closed her sapphire eyes.

She took the biggest, deepest breath. She could smell him. It somehow made her feel safe, if even for a moment. Opening her eyes, she gazed upon her sweat and grime covered reflection. Soot from the fire at Disney was still smeared across the side of her face, and dried blood contoured her jawline. That’s when she noticed him–

Her husband.

Thaddeus Duke.

She dropped the shirt but didn’t turn. She simply stared at his reflection.

”Why didn’t you come to me?” He took a couple of steps into the room.

”You aren’t in this alone anymore, Lauren.”

Her eyes slowly welled up with tears as Thaddeus came up behind her, placing his hands on her shoulders. His touch was reassuring. This was the side of Sahara few ever got to see, and even fewer would believe existed at all. The softer, vulnerable side. Looking in the mirror, Thaddeus knew he wasn’t looking at Sahara, but at his wife.

Lauren.

Turning toward him, she buried her face against his shoulder. She was shaking. But it wasn’t out of nervousness.

It was out of fear.

”They’re gonna kill me.” It may have been just a whisper, but he heard her loud and clear. As she continued, her speaking was riddled with tiny blubbering sobs, ”I fucked up … a while back and made some … huge bets on marker, and I’ll never … I’ll never be able to pay them off, and even if I did they told me … they told me if I don’t win Blood Money they’ll get me. I got stupid … and greedy with the wrong kinda people and I couldn’t do it. I just … couldn’t. I tried … I gave it everything I had and I still … I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t … fucking … do it–”

She pounded a fist against his chest, but there was no ill intent. It was simply raw emotion boiling over. For weeks leading up to Blood Money, the weight of the world was on her shoulders. For many, winning or losing still meant opportunity. But for Sahara, it was a fight for her very survival.

A fight she lost.

Taking her face in his hands, Thaddeus wiped the tears beneath her grimy eyes with his thumbs, smudging her eyeliner.

”Lauren, I want you to listen to me very carefully. No one’s going to kill you. I promise you that. They’re not going to fucking touch you. But I need to know why you didn’t come to me when this all started?”

Her face still in his hands, she shook her head.

”Because the moment I do, this all becomes fake.”

”What does?”

”Us.” There was a sudden sadness in her eyes as she looked back into his. ”All of it. The last few weeks of my life have been terrifying and crazy, but they’ve also been the best of my miserable little life. And the second I ask you for help … it looks like I got together with you for the money. That’s why I never asked. I’d rather face the music than know the one good thing that’s ever happened to me isn’t real…”

As Thaddeus was about to speak she continued, ”Besides, you’re twenty-fucking-three, what the hell do you know?”

”What the hell do I know? Lauren, there’s a lot of things about me that… you just don’t know yet. My grandfather is a loan shark in that world. I used to do… extensive work for him. I left because I didn’t like doing bad things to otherwise good people.

”But I have no problem… doing bad things to bad people.

”To be honest, I really don’t care what people think of why you married me. Fact is, a threat to you is a threat to me and I will not take it lightly. Not now, not ever. We can have your debt paid by morning…” he pauses as a tear wells up in his eye. ”You need to ask yourself Lauren… do you wanna play the game? Or do you wanna own it, lock stock and barrel?”

She swallowed, unable to comprehend– ”Hold up, I … I owe them like, well over a million dollars, plus the fallout from losing Blood Money–”

”And you married a fucking billionaire, Lauren.”

A bit of a laugh escaped her lips.

”Now answer the other part of my question. Do you wanna play the game, or do you wanna own the fuckin’ game?”

A slight hint of a smile came to her lips, draining all the sadness and worry away.

”I ain’t here to play. But those motherfuckers broke my ribs and then told me to go win Blood Money or they’d–” She suddenly stopped. Realization dawned.

”Son of a bitch!”

Thad smirked, ”And we have a winner! You don’t think like them, Lauren.” He somewhat bobbed his head back and forth playfully, ”You don’t think much at all, if I’m being honest–”

She smacked him on the shoulder.

”So they didn’t even want me to win?!” ”No. They were testing you, but they sure as hell didn’t think you’d win. You dont bust up a fighter and then tell them to go win a fight!” ”So what the fuck do they want then?! Betting on losers in an event like that is dogshit odds–” ”They didn’t bet against you, they want to own you. To have a capable professional fighter in their back pocket… so they gave you a task they knew you wouldn’t succeed at. Now you’ll go back to them and they’ll give you an ultimatum, and when the time is right, when the odds are good enough, they’ll tell you to take a dive. And they don’t give a fuck if it ruins your career–”

As he spoke, confusion slowly gave way to anger, and her icy sapphire eyes met with her husbands, ”Those leech motherfuckers. I wanna own every last one of ‘em…”

”I thought you’d never ask,” he says, grabbing her by the back of the neck before leaning forward to kiss her. ”When we get to the plane in the morning… I got something to show you.”

”What plane? I–I gotta get home, they’re gonna be expecting–”

”Don’t worry about them, it’ll all be taken care of. Right now, the only thing you need to do is get out of that shredded ass ring gear and hit the shower.” He smiled. ”Ya kinda smell…”

There was that half bewildered/half insulted look on her face he loved so much.

”I-I just got done fighting a fucking war that I’m pretty sure burnt Disney to the grou–” As her husband started laughing, her voice trailed. She felt like punching him right in the fucking face, but for some godforsaken reason, she laughed. Shoving him away, she turned and stormed toward the bathroom, peeling off her ring gear as she did.

~~~~~

Venom.

No rest for the weary.

A multi-person kill ‘em with kindness speed dating match?! I’m married, FIGHT! Besides, I’m not even sure how this works! And kindness isn’t really my thing! Bitchiness? Sometimes. Anger? Usually. Doctors? Always. But since this is Valentine’s Day and love is in the air, I’m gonna give it a go and pretend I just got shot in the ass with Cupid’s arrow!

As much as I love spreadin’ my love, I prefer to do it in a burrow, or the sack, but not in a promo.

Anicka Swan. Hello, I’m Lauren. I’m a married white female. I really have no interest in a girl/girl relationship. But I like video games. Not a fan of long walks on the beach, or long walks in general, since that’s what they invented cars for. I kinda like food. Sometimes. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine. You’re so pretty. Has anyone ever told you that?! I hope Bam does, cuz if not, he really should.

Ashlynn Cassidy. Sweetie. I’m not exactly sure why they put me in a speed dating thing cuz they kinda know I just got married, and didn’t you recently sleep with my husband? I’d say not cool, but I kinda told him to do it so I could bang Ricky. Again. That was a fun night at the Rabbit, right?! Oh, and you’re super pretty, I don’t care what Michelle says. I owe ya one for the Denzel thing.

Druscilla White. The Bestie. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve already heard, I’m not really on the market anymore, and you’re really not my type anyways. Since you’re not a guy and all. Oh, and I’m super sorry about that whole cruise ship thing. I hope ya can forgive me someday. Next time duck!

Apathy. Same. Just got married, check out my ring! We can make some magic. Someday, we’ll go down that rabbit hole together. Just not today. Love ya!

Todrick. Wife of Captain Insano. I still don’t like long walks. Especially off short piers. Especially in heels. You got great taste in clothes and shoes though! Still lovin’ the ones you gave me! Dinner sometime?! Cool.

Bam Miller. I’m taken, but I’d still love to talk about your sister and that Sabin guy. Isn’t that Tara’s kid?! That’s gotta be weird that he’s with your sister like … all the time, right?! I bet they like long walks on the beach. Do you think he brings her breakfast in bed?! OMG I’d love that!

Eoin O’Rourke. Love the name. Owen. It is Owen, right?! Totally not E-oh-in. Or Aon. I’m still married, sorry. But I love all the muscles. A lottabit!

Joe Montuori. In the interest of burying the hatchet, we really should get together sometime. Me. You. Mia. I don’t know, maybe we can have … coffee or something?! Tee-hee. Oh, remember when you had more monies than me?! Gotta say, I totally don’t miss those days!

Jonny Frenz. I really don’t know how to talk to you. Jury’s still out. Hey, maybe you should try mixing it up with a Danhausen voice or something, no? Send me all your monies!

I’m married!