As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence. It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam. This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started. Each one is 99 cents!
Rubbing at the bandage on her arm, Cassidy stands in the doorway of the room until Luca shoves her through. The two women are still flushed and achy from being trapped in the sauna for over an hour. They slump against opposite walls and slide down to the floor before crawling the rest of the way inside. With groans and whimpers, they drag themselves across the floor and claim the first chair they can reach. Neither seat is very comfortable, but the soreness that is gradually fading away leaves them too tired to complain. Even in her weakened state, Cassidy cannot stop glaring at Luca, who returns the expression with matching middle fingers raised above her head. The tension nearly drives them to stand and start arguing until Katie enters with a dining cart carrying a bucket of ice and two pitchers of water.
“You two are bloody lucky I had business with Bart and walked through the gym before you died,” the warlord declares while putting cubes in some glasses. Remembering who her patients are, she ends up tossing a handful of ice into each pitcher and hands them to the women. “You’re still a little dehydrated, but the cool bathes and I.V. drips have taken you out of danger. The doctor wants you to stay in Luca’s room because it’s closer to his office and he doesn’t want to waste time checking two places. The bed is big enough for both of you and I’m assuming you don’t have the energy to fight.”
“We wouldn’t be in this mess if you weren’t such a bitch,” Luca growls, her lips on the edge of her pitcher. She takes a tiny sip of the water and shivers at a shock of pain that ripples through her stomach. “If you had waited until I’d taken the Lone Horseman down then we could have settled this like mature adults. That would be with our fists, which is something that goes in my favor.”
“You need to be able to land a hit and I’ve got you beat on speed,” Cassidy retorts, taking a long pull of her water. She gasps and nearly drops the pitcher when her empty gut twists in response to the cold drink. “Give me an hour and I’ll be functional. Betting something else will go wrong with this trip before we reach Portland, so I refuse to be sidelined. Hell, Lloyd didn’t let a gaping wound slow him down. Where is he anyway?”
“I think I’m going to confiscate all your weapons,” Katie mentions as she takes a duffle off the cart’s bottom shelf. She goes about removing every hidden weapon, including a knife that has been duct taped to the outside of the train. “Lloyd is cleaning up the water tank room since he made a pretty big mess. Seems the Lone Horseman’s goal was to take on my darling beast and put him out of his domesticated misery. That cocky fucker deserved to get dissected and torn apart like a . . . can’t think of a good comparison considering the brutality. I mean, we’re not even sure all the pieces can be found. Anyway, nobody has the stomach to go in there, so Lloyd is on the job. Now, I have my meeting with Bart, so I trust you two will behave. At the very least, keep the fighting in the verbal arena. Oh, and no alcohol.”
Putting the dining cart in a corner, Katie leaves the two women to recover from their frustrating ordeal. Neither one wants to claim the bed out of fear of the other starting a fight that they lack the energy for. Instead, Cassidy puts her feet on the table and Luca slumps in the hopes of getting comfortable. After a few minutes of shifting and muttering, they realize that the barely cushioned chairs are not doing their conditions any favors. Still refusing to look at each other, they focus on their drinks and move their limbs in an effort to rid themselves of the muscle stiffness and dull aches. With matching grunts, the women manage to stand, but they are not sure what to do next.
“I’m pouring myself a drink from the bar,” Luca finally blurts out as she heads for the small cabinet. Pulling out a few bottles, she pours herself a glass of tequila and takes a sip. “That brings the energy back, but I’ll pay for it in the morning. Figure the doctor will come with another I.V. bag later, which is fine. Unlike you, I don’t have anything else to do for the rest of this trip. Technically, you don’t either, except you’re obviously paranoid. Want some since this is the good stuff?”
“I’ll get one myself,” Cassidy replies with a scowl. Claiming an unopened bottle of rum, she takes a sip from the container before pouring herself a glass. “Tequila and I don’t get along. One shot and I get . . . weird. Depending on the situation, I can go violent or very horny. Better at controlling the second one than the first, but neither would be a good idea here. Neither of us are in a condition to fight and you already think I’m trying to fuck you. I’d think by now you’d realize I have standards.”
“I’m going to leave that opening alone,” the bounty hunter says as she takes a seat at a small table. Putting down her drink, she rubs her shoulder tattoos and groans as she feels a knot tighten in her back and pop. “Let’s put all of our cards on the table. I don’t like you and you don’t like me. Not enough to kill, but we’re not going to be picking furniture together. So, sharing the bed isn’t going to happen. This is my room, so I should get it by default. There’s a sleeping bag in the closet that you can use.”
The mercenary sits at the table and takes a quick drink before leaning forward. “I’m going to politely argue your points. Katie gave you this room, so technically it’s under her name. Also, and I hate admitting this, you’re physically tougher than me. Sleeping on the floor will make me feel like crap, but you’ll be fine. After all, you shrugged off a baseball bat to the head. Not to mention the time you got hit by a car and suffered no permanent damage. Besides, it’s kind of gross to use someone else’s sleeping bag. How do I know you’ve ever cleaned it?”
“In that case, there’s only one way to solve this,” Luca answers with a grin. Putting her elbow on the table, she holds up her arm and nods for Cassidy to do the same. “Both of us got sapped in the sauna, but you seem to be recovering quicker than me. That should put us on even ground. Up for an arm-wrestling contest to see who gets the bed?”
Pushing both drinks out of the way, Cassidy puts her arm on the table and tightly grips Luca’s hand. They pause to catch their breath and make sure they are ready for something that could be fairly grueling. A wiggle of the table causes them to grip the edge and do their best to keep it level. Nodding to each other, they tap their feet at the same time and start to push at the count of three. A twinge in her shoulder causes Luca to start losing early on, but she grits her teeth and pushes back into the middle. The sudden pressure sends a jolt of pain down Cassidy’s arm, the sensation threatening to make her fingers go numb. Refusing to give in to their bodies’ complaints, the determined women continue going back and forth until tears are streaming down their faces. It finally ends when Luca lets Cassidy gain an inch and immediately pushes back to win the contest.
“Don’t worry. I cleaned the sleeping bag before I got on the train,” the bounty hunter says with a chuckle. Grabbing one of the drinks, she waits for Cassidy to do the same and they clink glasses before chugging. “That didn’t taste like tequila. Shit, did we just get our drinks mixed up? Maybe the pain is messing with my taste buds. It’s happened before. Please tell me you tasted rum.”
“Nope, that was definitely tequila,” Cassidy replies, her fingers delicately tapping on the glass. She sniffs at the strong alcohol and considers finishing it off, but goes for her water pitcher instead. “I’ll just lock myself in the bathroom to avoid a problem. Unless you have handcuffs and then we can use those, which sounds like a terrible idea when I say it out loud. Why do you look so nervous? Afraid the big bad lesbian is going to either kick your ass or have her way with you?”
“You know how you said you get violent or horny with tequila?”
“I better since I said it less than ten minutes ago.”
“Well, that happens to me when I have rum.”
“Oh . . . Oh! Uh-oh.”
“Should we stop drinking and get away from each other?”
“Eh, what’s the worst that can happen?”