The BargainBy Deirdre Hughes
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|"You think you are my prisoner," Commissioner Sleer purred to the man seated across from her in a red leather chair, "but in fact, you are my honored guest." She smiled sweetly into a mask of anger.|
"Guests come of their own free will," Avon snarled. His vision was a tunnel, seeing only the woman-creature in the sleek black gown, her hair clipped close, like fur.
"You are mine, for this short while," she replied triumphantly, "and it is for me to decide what you are. Lieutenant, bring us Monacan liqueur." The stiff figure behind her exited to fetch the drinks. "You see, Avon, I have only a friendly request for you. Once you've found the clone, I want you to tell me. There could be...rewards."
Coldness seeped in around the edges of Avon's brain. "Death being one of them."
"Oh, no, Avon, you misjudge me." The feral scarlet smile again. "I have always thought we could be satisfying...playmates."
Avon lowered his voice conspiratorially. "And what would you do with Blake's clone? Is he to be your 'playmate' as well? What value do you place on him?"
"So many questions. It wouldn't matter to you, you know. I would keep you safe and in a state of luxury."
"I would. Only give me the clone."
"Why?!" he demanded.
Servalan sighed delicately and said in an offhand tone, "There are those who believe that Blake lives yet. The clone must die."
Avon's smile was dark as a pit. "Then I agree."
Servalan masked her shock by lowering her gilded eyelashes. "Oh, really."
"Yes." All the fever of madness was in his voice as he continued, "Such an impostor must not live." He smiled. "It's a bargain."
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