Something Wicked - Under the Covers by wuyunqing

VIEWS: 18 PAGES: 218

TIME LINE: Around Season 7. Requiem never happened.
DISCLAIMER: All characters from the show, The X-Files are the
property of Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and Fox
Broadcasting. No copyright infringement intended. We're just
taking them out to play.

Use of the site:,
Shaving Private Ryan, or, 'Honoré de Balzac reinterpreted' By James
Whittall was made without permission of the owner. No infringement

SUMMARY: Once again Mulder's hidden talents get them an undercover
assignment. They are assigned to expose a serial killer after
several drug land-style executions. But, are things really as they
seem? Mulder and Scully hope to figure it out before it's too late.

AUTHORS' NOTE: WARNING: This fic touches on scenes of extreme
violence, foul language and non-con (rape) sex, underage sex, and
incest between original, secondary characters. It is not graphic,
but can be upsetting. If this sort of thing upsets you, or you have
personal experience with abuse, we suggest you go read something
else. We do not wish to upset, disgust, or frighten anyone who may
find this unpalatable. There is also loving, consensual sex between
our dynamic duo.

You have been WARNED.

Thanks to Mimic117, our beta and criminology advisor.   She who
shreds is to be obeyed. Thanks, Mims.

Thanks also to Audu for a final look-see.   Thanks for the eagle-eyed
beta, Aud.

PART 1 (PG-13)
MAY 10, 2000

I wound through the hallways of the Hoover Building on my way to the
lab. I'd spent the morning in the office with Mulder, arguing over
the final report and travel expense documentation for the Franklin
case. I was glad to get away for a while. I'd received a call from
the lab; the test results we were waiting for were back. If I was
right, my report could stand as written and the case would be
considered not only closed, but solved.

Then I could go home and take a cold shower.

I stopped at the water fountain and gulped down a couple mouthfuls
of water. I'd been having problems lately with Mulder. Well, to be
truthful, Mulder was no worse than normal. The real problem was me.
I've found myself contemplating my partner in a most unprofessional
manner several times an hour recently.

He'd almost died just a few months ago. I still had nightmares
about vacuuming tobacco larvae from his lungs. His recovery had
been hard. He'd stopped breathing several times while we worked on
him and his lungs were badly damaged from the equipment used during
the process.

His body was extremely resistant to our best efforts to bring him
back up to the level needed for active duty re-certification.
Mulder was very determined in his rehabilitation, going the extra
mile and hiring a personal trainer to assist in his recovery. He'd
worked hard and succeeded. Brother, had he succeeded.

Our first case back was the Franklin murder. Mulder was positive
that Herbert Franklin had been murdered by the ghost of his ex-wife,
Beatrice. Mr. Franklin had married his secretary shortly after his
wife's untimely death and stated on several occasions that he felt
Beatrice was punishing him for his speedy marriage and perceived

I was sure that Mr. Franklin was a victim of his second wife, Verna.
I felt she had not only slowly poisoned him but was responsible for
the death of Beatrice Franklin. The test results of the tissue
samples taken from both Herbert Franklin and the exhumed body of
Beatrice were back; and from the preliminary information given to me
on the phone, my theory was now fact.

One of the reasons I'd worked so hard to prove the guilt of the
second wife, Verna Gerard Franklin, was my immediate dislike for the
woman. No, dislike was too mild a word. Intense distrust?

'Let's be truthful, Dana,' I thought. 'I hated Verna Franklin from
the moment she first laid eyes on Mulder.' During our initial
interview of the bereaved widow, she had made a play for my partner.
I saw through it right away. The batting eyelashes, the fake
weakness, the tears were all a ploy to get Mulder close enough so
that the harpy could get her claws on his body; his new and improved

I knew that Mulder had bulked up a good deal during his
rehabilitation. I knew he was running again, and swimming. I knew
that his trainer had developed an intricate schedule of exercises
designed to improve his lung capacity and to build his upper body
strength, while helping him tone every muscle. Mulder had been
unwilling to share the details of his workouts with me, but he was
committed to the program. He even changed some of his poor eating
habits to augment the exercise.

When I went looking for him one night, I'd spotted him in the hotel
fitness room, working out. I stood there, watching him through the
window, speechless.

He was beautiful. He'd always been in shape. When I'd worked on
his lungs in the hospital in Raleigh, I'd noticed he had maintained
his toned chest and abs through the years. Currently, he was beyond
'in shape'. He was even past beautiful. Adjectives like
magnificent, fantastic and do-able flitted through my mind as I
stood there gaping. Weight training had obviously been added to his
routine and he was nothing short of totally buff.

His pecs and lats   were bulked up and well defined. His once well-
toned abdomen was   a rippling six-pack. He noticed me watching him
and such a sweet,   embarrassed grin lit up his face that I'd had to
return his smile.    Even the reason I'd been searching for him
couldn't upset me   anymore. 'Verna' had called and asked to see
'Fox' right away,   that night, with new information on the case.

Mulder merely shrugged and said he would call her the next morning.
Perhaps he hadn't been as unaware of the widow Franklin's attention
as I'd thought.

I gathered the results of the tests and practically ran back to our
office. The look on my face relayed the news to Mulder the moment I
stepped back through the door.

"I see that you're looking very smug, Scully.   Test results are
back, I take it?"

"Yes, and the report stands as I wrote it. You need to call Sheriff
Morgan and have him pick up Verna Franklin for the murder of her
husband and the previous Mrs. Franklin."

"I need to? What are you going to be doing?" he asked, swinging his
feet down from the corner of his desk.

I fought the urge to gloat as I said, "I'm going home, Mulder. I'm
tired and need to recharge my batteries. Besides, I already solved
this case. I should be the one that gets to rest now."

I packed up my briefcase and pulled on my raincoat. "See you
Monday, Mulder," I said as I opened the door. I came to an
immediate halt. A.D. Skinner and Deputy Director Kersh were
standing in the hallway. Skinner had his hand outstretched towards
the door. We all startled in surprise.

"Agent Scully," Skinner said.   "Leaving for the day?"

"I was, Sir, unless you wanted to speak to me."
"We wanted to speak with Agent Mulder, specifically, but it might be
best if you were involved," Kersh said.

I stepped back and placed my briefcase down on my desk.

"What do you need?" Mulder asked.

"Actually, Agent Mulder," Skinner said after he shot a quick look
towards D.D. Kersh, "we wanted to ask you both to accompany us to a

"Sir? It's after 6:00 PM on a Friday night. What kind of meeting
are you talking about?" Mulder's interest was piqued; I could tell
his 'spidey sense' was tingling.

"It's actually more of a cocktail party that we've been invited to,
Mulder, and your presence has been requested," Skinner said. He
glanced at the light fixture and the smoke detector and rapidly back
to Mulder. Those two places were where the last listening devices
had been found on our weekly sweep of the office.

Mulder nodded and looked toward me, making sure I understood what
was going on. I nodded back at him as he stood and pulled on his

"What a coincidence. Just a few minutes ago, I had a yearning for
some cocktail weenies," Mulder said.

Kersh frowned and glared at Mulder. Skinner grimaced and said, "Why
don't you and Agent Scully follow us in your cars? That way you'll
have your own way home later."

All three men waited for me to exit first, and then followed me out
of the office. Mulder locked the door and joined us at the

Kersh and Skinner were acting very strange. I knew Mulder was glad
that I was going with him. He wasn't thrilled with the smug look
Kersh had given him as we parted in the parking garage. Something
was up and I was sure we weren't going to like it.

7:30 PM

"No!   Not just no, Hell NO!" I bellowed.

"Am I to take it, Agent Mulder, that you are disobeying a direct
order from not only your immediate supervisor, but from the Deputy
Director as well?" SAC Thornton Rose interjected. Kersh's grin was
almost human as he considered his options and my supposed
"Damn straight!" I growled as I moved to leave. Scully placed a
hand on my forearm and squeezed gently. I sagged back down into my
chair and let her talk.

"What Agent Mulder means, Agent Rose, is that going undercover has
not worked out well for us in the past. Not to mention that the
roles you're asking us to assume are beyond the boundaries of any
reasonable job description for a Special Agent not assigned to the
Organized Crime Department's undercover team."

"I fully understand, Agent Scully. However, I am not asking you to
go undercover as a team. Only Agent Mulder's 'talents' will be
needed for this operation. I wouldn't be asking him now if all our
operatives hadn't already been used and rejected. This is a high-
class operation that not only requires their employees to be
skilled, but extremely attractive." Rose gestured to Skinner and
Kersh. "We have been apprised that Mulder is the only available
agent who can be utilized for this operation."

"Just who informed you of Agent Mulder's 'acceptability'?" Scully
asked stonily.

"We have an undercover agent in place who has been employed by the
Club as a talent coordinator. She has previous dance and
choreography experience. Prior to her decision to join the FBI, she
was a dance major at Julliard."

"And she quit the stage for law enforcement?" Scully asked

"Actually ..." Skinner spoke up. "She    injured her foot and was told
that she most likely would never fully   regain use of it. By the
time she had healed she'd discovered a   new passion in law
enforcement." He turned toward me and    said, "She's a fine agent,
Mulder. You can trust her."

I could almost hear Scully say, 'I'll just bet' as she flashed a
look at me before continuing. "That's all fine and well, A.D.
Skinner, but what does that have to do with Mulder? Unless he's
hiding a sordid past, he's never been a male stripper. He's not a
professional dancer nor has he ever had dance lessons. Why Mulder?"

Suddenly, all the pieces fell into place.    "You talked to Mark
didn't you?" I glared at Rose.

"Actually, Agent Mulder, Mark Saunders is our inside agent's
fiancée. He is the one that suggested your involvement," SAC Rose

"Mulder?" Scully asked.

"Mark Saunders is the personal trainer that I've been using to get
back into shape," I said by way of explanation.

I turned towards her and said, "I know you noticed that I had to
work really hard to re-certify, Scully. I used Mark because he
takes a whole-body approach that seemed to fit my needs. I've been
able to bring my physical condition back to where I was when I was
in my twenties. He's a hard taskmaster, but it's been worth it."

"And?" she coaxed.

I could see she was losing her patience. I said, "Not only have I
been doing weight training, swimming, running, and a spin class;
I've been doing some aerobic exercises." I shrugged, hoping to
downplay the true nature of those 'exercises'.

"Aerobic dancing, to be exact, Agent Scully," Kersh interjected.
"Agent Mulder's natural ability to pick up the dance steps and
memorize them quickly was impressive enough for Mark to suggest
Mulder as a plant. He'll only have ten days to get his routine down
and audition. Mark has assured us that our Agent Mulder is more
than up to the task; in fact, he's half-way there already."

My grunt of disgust made several of the other agents grin.
Skinner's glare stopped them cold. "Could I have a moment with my
agents, please?"

Kersh looked like he was going to object as SAC Rose stood up, and
motioned for everyone to clear the room. When the final man had
left and the door was securely shut, Skinner spoke.

"Mulder, I know this assignment isn't something that you want to do.
I'm sure that if you had a choice between this stint undercover and
the last one, you would choose having your finger broken over
dancing nearly nude in a high-class club," he said with a chuckle.

I laughed with him and nodded.

Skinner got up and started pacing. "I understand your reservations
but I want to make sure you understand what your involvement in this
operation entails. You will be one agent, joining several agents
already in place, trying to halt an intercontinental drug war.
Several excellent men and women have died trying to stop this war,
good officers from various organizations. They're only the tip of
the iceberg."

He stopped and pinned us with his gaze before he continued. "I
don't know if you've heard about the rash of murders in motels
around the area?" he asked. At my nod, he continued. "These hits
were done by one killer, Mulder. He's murdered fourteen low to mid-
level drug dealers from every major crime family on the east coast
except the Bonanno Family. People are dying every day in
retaliation. The various factions have begun random drive-by
shootings; shootings that have increased exponentially as the body
count has risen. No one knows who's behind these hits so everyone
involved in the drug scene from here to Boston is running scared.
Innocent men, women, and even children are dying in these

"Now, it's gone intercontinental. We've been contacted by Interpol
and Scotland Yard with information that three of the shootings done
right here in Washington were against couriers for the three major
drug lords in Europe."

"Why stake out a strip club?   This particular club?" I asked.

"Every man the UNSUB has assassinated was seen in this bar within
two weeks of his death. For years, Organized Crime has suspected
that the owner was laundering money for the Family. They've never
been able to prove a thing. They've tried to close him down
multiple times, but whoever is backing this guy is extremely
powerful and very, very careful. SAC Rose and his team have gone
over the information carefully. It all points to the bar. They
need people on the inside. All their surveillance work has turned
up nothing. The body count is rising, Mulder. They need you."

"Shit." I stood up and walked over to the window, starting out at
the neighborhood. I was surprised when we followed Skinner and
Kersh into the underground garage in suburban Arlington. The
facility looked like a medical building or any of the other
nondescript office buildings up and down the semi-residential
street. Inside was another story. It was a secure headquarters for
the Organized Crime Task Force operation, and as such, outfitted
with all the latest bells and whistles in undercover surveillance.
It was just one of several sites used. According to SAC Rose, they
rotated the meetings each week to lessen the chance of being

Scully rose and walked over to stand beside me. I turned my head
and looked down at her. The gentle understanding in her eyes almost
brought me to my knees. She knew I was going to accept the hideous
assignment. She understood. I was in a unique position. They
needed to break the case. Therefore, I was the logical choice. I'm
a Special Agent, a former profiler, and I could dance well enough to
get hired. They were asking me because they'd run out of options.
Once again, despite their disdain, they were calling on Spooky
Mulder to save the day, make or break the operation. If I solved
it, it would be a feather in my cap and I could go back to the
basement. If I blew it, the whole thing could be blamed on me.

"So, you going to come and watch me dance and put money down my g-
string, Scully?" Even as I said it, I knew my effort at humor fell

"Hell no, Mulder!" she said. "You don't get rid of me that easily.
If you're going in, I'm going with you."

"Scully!   I don't want you dancing in that club!" I hissed, darting
a glance at Skinner.

She chuffed a wry laugh.   "What makes you think they'd even hire

I opened my mouth to refute her words but she shook her head and
stopped me. "Every really good dancer needs a manager, don't they,
Mulder? Someone to make sure no one takes advantage of the talent?
Someone who watches his or her back?"

As she spoke I began to smile. I nodded and lifted my hand to her
cheek. "You'd do that for me?"

She laughed again. It was clear and joyous. "What have I been
doing for the past seven years?" We stood there for a moment,
gazing at one another until I broke away. I moved back to the table
and sat down.

"Call everyone back in. I'll play your game, but I've got a few
stipulations of my own."

Skinner opened the door and they filed back in, resuming their
seats. I waited until I had their complete attention and finally
spoke. "I'll do it, but I have conditions."

"What conditions?" Kersh asked suspiciously.

"One, I have the names of every other agent undercover, their real
names and their undercover names. No surprises. I don't want to
waste time watching people on our side."

"We can do that," SAC Rose said.

"Two, Scully goes in with me as my manager."

"Wait a minute," the SAC interrupted.

"Non-negotiable," I stated firmly. "I won't go in without my
partner watching my back. We work as a team, end of story. Scully
doesn't go, I don't go." I stared the SAC down until he looked

"All right, we can set it up.    Anything else?"

"No expenses come out of my pocket."

"That's easy enough.   We have a big budget for this one."

I nodded and looked at Scully.   "Anything else?"

She shook her head.    "I think you've covered it."

I turned back to SAC Rose.   "Bring it on."
PART 2 (NC-17)
3:15 PM

'Torture, this is pure torture,' I thought, as I watched Mulder
gyrate around the floor. He was shirtless, wearing only a pair of
skimpy shorts. Mark had come to watch and help the strip
choreographer, Phil. He was laughing as Mulder clowned, sticking
his tongue out as he slid around a pole that was NOT going to be
used in his act.

Phil scolded him and started the music again. Mulder went into his
audition routine to the song 'It's Raining Men'. I squirmed in my
chair and tried to find a comfortable way to sit.

On average, I masturbate about once every two or three weeks. All
week, I'd gone home and stripped on the way to the bedroom as soon
as the door closed behind me. My vibrators hadn't seen so much
action in years. I lived in fear of the day we had to move into our
'undercover' apartment together.

I swallowed a moan as my nipples hardened, watching him 'take it
from the top' one more time. His muscles undulated and rippled as
he twirled around the floor, gyrating his pelvis. There were some
that said you could tell how good a man was in bed by how well he
moved his hips when he danced. If that was the case, I would
probably spontaneously combust if I ever got into bed with Mulder.

He was working hard and his torso was covered in a fine sheen of
sweat that gleamed in the lights. He grabbed the break-away shorts
and ripped them off, tossing them over his shoulder. I heard Phil
on the PA system yell, "Good! Two, three, four, and one more
swivel, and a pelvic thrust. Good! And, lower the head, do your

I moaned softly, hoping no one heard me over the thump and whine of
the music. Mulder's bare ass was framed by the back of the g-
string. I noticed with chagrin, however, it wasn't really covering
all of him in the front. Holy Christmas, he was nearly bulging out
the sides of that thing. He smiled at me as he did his final twirl,
ending with a hip swivel and a pelvic thrust before posing with his
hands bracketing his crotch.

He must have realized the state of his exposure from the look on my
face. He looked down and gasped in horror. "Jesus," he whispered,
and turned away from me, bending down to scoop up the shorts. They
had Velcro closures for easy-off capabilities. He put them back on,
and grinned sheepishly at me over his shoulder. "Sorry, didn't mean
to give you a free show."
I was somewhat stunned by the flexing of his muscular buttocks when
he bent over but I managed to respond. I lifted my eyes to his and
gave him a tight smile. I swallowed hard and said, "Get dressed.
I'm hungry and I want to go home." I jumped up and stomped out of
the room.


I frowned. Something was wrong with Scully. Maybe she regretted
agreeing to help me with this assignment. I could hardly blame her
if she did. She had to be bored out of her mind watching me work
out and practice my routines. She'd been cranky and curt with me
all week. I was trying really hard. I only had five more days to
get these routines memorized. It sucked that we didn't have any
downtime, but I suspected we weren't going to have any for the
duration of the case.

Phil emerged from the music and observation booth. "That was
wonnnderrfull!" he exclaimed in his affected, effeminate voice.

Mark was giving me a golf clap, trying to be funny.

"Guess Scully didn't think so," I muttered.

Mark busted out laughing.   "Oh, Mulder.   You're a trip."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I was in no mood for teasing.     I
really hated it when things were tense between me and Scully.

Mark came over and slapped a hand down on my sweaty shoulder.
"Mulder, she liked it fine. She's just frustrated."

"About what?" I asked. "I know the hours are long, but that's
nothing new for us. She wanted to come on this assignment. Now
she's being a bitch about it."

Mark smiled again as though I were a child. "Yo, dumb shit."      He
whacked me on the back of my head and let his hand rest on my
shoulder again.

"What?" I growled

"She's frustrated from watching you, Mulder."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

Even Phil pursed his lips and raised his eyebrows at my question.
"Good looking specimen like you? Surely you're not thaaat blind,"
he teased.

I looked warily from one to the other.     I was tired of all these

Mark let his hand slip off my shoulder.    "She digs you, man.   You
don't notice the way she looks at you?   Jesus, she can't take her
eyes off you."

I finally caught on to what they were insinuating. "Nah, you guys
have it all wrong. Scully and I are partners, we're best friends.
She's a detail person. She's agreed to be my manager. Scully would
never go into any case less than prepared. She knows she needs to
talk intelligently about dancing, so she's here to learn this stuff
with me."

Mark was shaking his head.   "Hit the showers, Romeo.   You're

I shrugged and walked away from both of them.

MAY 16

What none of the men knew was that I hadn't left to wait in the car
like they thought. I'd been standing right outside the open door to
the dance hall, listening to the entire exchange. I didn't think I
was that blatant about watching Mulder. Obviously, Mark and Phil
picked up on it anyway. Perhaps I should try to find some light-
colored sunglasses as part of my wardrobe. That way people couldn't
tell when I was ogling my partner.

Fortunately, Mulder still appeared to be oblivious. From his
response, the prospect of my wanting him that way didn't do a whole
lot for him. He hadn't even considered that they might be right.
Why was that?

'Because he doesn't like you that way,' my mind supplied. 'He
doesn't want that to be true, so he refuses to see it.' It would
make things entirely too complicated between us. For all his
innuendo and immaturity at times, he was smart enough to realize
that fact. He always had been.

Then why wasn't I?

I lay down nude on the bed and sighed. I'd told myself I wasn't
going to masturbate tonight. I took a cold shower first thing, ate
some left over lasagna and read a JAMA magazine. Now, here I was
lying in bed nude with a soaking crotch, hard nipples, and visions
of Mulder dancing through my mind.

God damn the man all to hell! I rolled over and pulled out my
vibrator, a simple one, hard plastic with a tapered end. I laid
back and pinched my nipple with my left hand. I moaned out loud,
moved the vibrator to my soaking lips and teased myself with it.

Moving it in and out slowly a couple of inches, I closed my eyes and
I imagined those gyrating hips of his between my legs. My back
arched and I shoved the vibrator deep inside, pressing up to touch
my cervix. Mulder was undoubtedly a well built man and would fill
me completely, stretching and pressing against my walls. The
thoughts of him stroking deeply into me, made me sigh.

I flipped over onto my stomach, my face sideways on the pillow. I
cranked the end of the vibrator, bringing it to life and groaned
again as the sensations spread through my abdomen. The full,
tingling feeling made every cell in my body come alive. I hunched
up, using my hand to thrust it in and out mimicking the motion of
his hips I had watched as he danced and gyrated around the room.
Would this be how it felt for him to mount me from behind? The slow
sensual movement of his torso filled my mind. Visions of his
muscles gleaming as he stroked into me made me feel weak and
breathless. I tipped the vibrator so it was angled down toward my
g-spot and groaned, "Oh God, Mulder!"

My climax raced through me, up my spine and back down again, my
abdomen pulsing in hard contractions around the rigid plastic. I
was nearly sobbing as I pulled it free and turned it off. I flopped
onto my back and let the tears come. Well, I'd found release.

Why, then, did I feel so empty?

MAY 16

I lay down on the couch in just my boxer briefs. I picked up the
VCR remote off the coffee table and hit, PLAY. The blue screen
sprang to life showing a brown haired man, pounding into a little
redhead from behind. My breathing increased as I pictured Scully's
tight ass under my palms while I drove myself into her.

"God, Scully," I groaned out loud.

My hand reached into my shorts and stroked my shaft, already hard
and throbbing. "She digs you, man," Mark said. He had to be
mistaken. What the hell would Scully see in me? If she liked me
that way, she'd had seven years to make a move. I'm obviously not
her type. I could picture who was. He'd be average height,
athletic, blonde, a doctor with a growing practice, a stock
portfolio, and a nice house in the suburbs.

For tonight though, I let himself pretend it was true. "She digs
me," I whispered into the silence of the room, feeling stupid even
though no one was there to hear me.

I spread my precum around my cock and bucked into my own hand. I
licked my other palm and began stroking firmly, feeling my balls
draw up tight already.
I let myself go, grunting and clenching my ass muscles as I pumped
into my own hand, wishing it was a small white one wrapped around me
rather than my big brown paw. Painting one picture of those pouty
lips wrapping around my cock was all it took. "Ugh," I grunted as
my come rocketed out of my shaft and sprayed all over my stomach.
"Geez," I muttered, grabbing tissues off the coffee table.

It was nothing like the real thing, but right now, it was all I had.
I shut off the tape and hoped I'd be able to sleep for a couple of

11:30 AM

Scully and I walked in and cased the place before approaching the
bartender. "Hey, auditions?" I asked casually.

The big man grunted.   "Over there, door on the right."

"Thanks.   Is the owner here?"

"Why?" he asked.

"I was wondering if they're just hiring chicks, or if are there
openings for men."

"I'm the owner," he declared.    "Call me, Bull."

I stuck my hand out over the bar. 'Frederick Ferrante,' my mind
supplied. "Nice to meet you, Bull." He was actually a lot
different looking in person than in the surveillance pictures I'd
seen. His features translated into a rough, but handsome, mask in
person. Caught by the camera, he had looked cold and sinister.

"Yeah, we have a couple openings for dudes.   Only on the weekends
though," he said as he shook my hand.

"Cool. Thanks a lot." I grabbed Scully's hand and turned toward
the door indicated. She followed in my wake, not bothering to
introduce herself. Ferrante had taken his time checking her out and
she obviously didn’t want to encourage him. That was fine by me. I
didn't want to have to punch out the owner of the bar for coming on
to her before we even had our foot in the door.


I trailed Mulder as we crossed the crowded room to the bar. I
noticed all the women's heads turn to follow Mulder as we wound our
way through the small tables.   'Great,' I thought.   'And so it

When he stopped to talk to the bartender, I took the opportunity to
study the man without being noticed. I recognized him as Bull
Ferrante before he offered his name. I watched him as he answered
Mulder's questions. I knew from the briefing that he was in his
mid-forties, but still in very good shape. What I hadn't known was,
in person, he was an attractive man, almost pretty. The dead look
in his eyes, however, belied any possible beauty in his character.
I felt his gaze on me and shivered. Everything I'd read about him
underscored my gut feelings; this man was evil. Mulder thanked him
and turned toward the door. He held my hand as he led the way to
the audition room.

We entered the door indicated without knocking and looked around. A
blonde, good-looking woman in her late thirties sat behind a desk on
the far wall. She was leaning forward, watching a man dance in
front of her. He was down to his shorts when she said, "That's

He stopped and approached her while she scribbled something on his
application. "How'd I do?" he asked.

She smiled. "Good. Giovanna has final approval but I'm going to
recommend you. We'll let you know within a week, all right?"

"Great, thanks," he muttered. He walked across the room, retrieved
his tape from a small boom box, grabbed his gym bag and stuffing his
stripped off clothes into it. He pulled on a sweat suit and left
without a glance at us.

The woman looked over at us and said, "Hello.   Here for tryouts?"

Mulder smiled. "Yup. I always find this part a *friggin' chore*,"
he emphasized, using the code words to alert his contact.

She cleared her throat. "Well, friggin' chore or not, you have to
go through the motions." She was indeed the planted agent we were
to contact. She was making an up-and-down jabbing motion with the
pencil in her hand.

I surreptitiously followed its trajectory and saw a small black
circle embedded in the ceiling. There were a couple more around the
room. Mulder glanced at me and signaled that he knew what she
meant. We were being watched and she was letting us know. He
smiled at her in acknowledgement and set down his duffle bag.

I walked over to her,   dropping Mulder's application and resume in
front of her. I then    proceeded to the opposite wall and sat on a
bench out of the way.    "Who are you?" she asked, sounding almost
rude. I hoped it was    an act for the camera. I didn't want to cause
a scene before Mulder   was even hired.
"I'm his manager, Katey Hale," I said without hesitation.

The woman nodded at me. "I'm Suzanne Dowling," she said, opening
the folder. "Let's see what we have here." Her head bobbed a
couple of times and then she said, "Good, good. Everything seems in
order. You danced in San Diego recently?" She addressed Mulder

Mulder answered with the cover we'd already established. "Yeah, but
we moved out here to the east coast a few weeks ago," he said.

"Good, we need guys with experience.   You bring music?" she asked.

He nodded and opened his duffle bag, pulling out a cassette tape.

The woman pointed to the boom box on the back wall.   "Use that."

He walked over and popped in the tape. He was wearing a loose,
black, silk shirt that was tucked into leather, breakaway pants and
a g-string. I knew this because I'd helped him pick the outfit for
his audition.

He pressed play and kicked off his sneakers. He was barefoot as he
moved into the center of the room, assuming his opening stance. The
Weathergirls began to belt out 'It's Raining Men', and Mulder spun
around, cocking his head down and looking up at Suzanne through his
lashes. He sashayed around the room, unbuttoning his shirt and
finally ripping it down his back, showing off his beautiful chest.

My eyes wandered to Suzanne and I felt my muscles tense.    The woman
was riveted and it wasn't a show for the cameras.


I felt like a total moron dancing around the room and pulling my
clothes off for the audition. Somehow it was less intimidating in
the studio with just Phil, Mark, and Scully watching. I was no
longer self-conscious about my body. I knew I was in top physical
condition. I hadn't been as buff in my twenties. It was just the
whole idea of ripping my clothes off like I was some sex object to
be ogled by women other than Scully that I hated. I wasn't ever
going to be comfortable with that. Bottom line, it really irked me
that I could get someone like Suzanne to respond to me and yet
Scully didn't seem to find me attractive at all.

I glanced at Scully and she was scowling. I wondered if I'd done
something wrong or forgotten a piece of my program. I didn't think
I had, though. We were being watched, so there was nothing to do
but complete the routine. It was short, thank God, and there were
only about two minutes to go.

I swiveled my hips and thrust my pelvis like I was having sex and
then grabbed the waistband of my pants and ripped them off. I
tossed them over my shoulder and Suzanne clapped with delight,
whistling enthusiastically. I grinned, unable to help myself, and
turned around shaking my ass at her, making it vibrate.

"Woo!" she shouted and I spun around a couple more times, crossed my
legs at the ankles, put my hands down with my fingers laced together
framing my crotch. I tipped my head over to the side, in the same
position I'd started in, and looked up at her from under my lashes
as the music ended.

She nodded, smiling.    "Very nice."

"Thanks," I muttered and grabbed my clothes, beginning to redress.

"Think he has a shot?" Scully asked, standing and moving to the

Suzanne looked up at her and grinned. "No doubt.   I'm recommending
him for sure. Couple of things though."

"What?" Scully asked.

"He needs to wax the hair off his body and shave his genitals."

Startled, I whipped around.   "Excuse me?"

Suzanne gave me a death stare. "If you've danced before, you know
that we want you to oil your body. We can't have pubic hair hanging
out of a g-string, either."

Scully cleared her throat. "We know that. We decided to wait and
see if he got the job before bothering with the expense," she said,
saving my ass once again. I realized my protest could be seen as
strange to anyone in the business, so I shut up until we were alone.

After I was clothed again and ready, we headed for the door.
Suzanne stopped us with one last request. "Oh, one more thing."

We turned to look at her.

"Get a bigger g-string. This is a strip joint, but we don't need
the goodies falling out, you know what I mean?"

I blushed to the roots of my hair and Scully grinned, coughing
behind her hand. "Sure thing," she croaked and we exited quickly.


Mulder bolted for the door and I had to trot to keep up with him.
"Marty, slow down!" I shouted over the din of the bar as he raced
toward the exit.

He finally came to a halt about ten feet down the sidewalk and I
plowed into his back. My hands went instinctively to his waist to
steady myself. A shock went up my arms as I registered how hard his
body was. I'd purposely kept my hands off him since the case began.
Seeing all those muscles was one thing. Feeling them and holding
onto any sort of professionalism was quite another. I gingerly
pulled my breasts away from his back and stepped around to his side
so I could look up at his face.

He had one hand covering his eyes in embarrassment. "I don't know
if I can do this," he said, only loud enough for me to hear.

"Yes, you can. Come on, let's get away from here and we'll talk.
It'll be all right." I felt a wave of sympathy for his
embarrassment. With all the pheromones and arousal I'd been
battling, I really hadn't taken much time to think about how the
assignment was affecting him. I understood he wasn't used to
displaying himself. Mulder was basically a very private man. Tough
lessons along the way had made it a survival tactic.

I hesitated, but then reached up for the hand covering his eyes. I
gently lowered it and laced my fingers through his. He smiled shyly
at me. "I've got your back, partner," I said.

He looked like he might cry. He blinked rapidly, nodded, and turned
toward the car. I walked along side him, holding tightly to his
hand. He didn't object, so I held on all the way to the car until I
had to let go.

We slid into the car after he tossed his duffle bag in the back. I
was driving so he put on his seat belt, slouched in the seat, and
looked out the window. "I know it's embarrassing, Mulder."

He snorted.   "You have no idea."

I reached over and placed my hand on top of his where it lay on the
seat between us. He flipped his hand over, intertwining our
fingers. He squeezed my hand. I said, "We'll get through this.
We'll do what we have to do. Try to stay focused on what our
purpose is here."

He swallowed harshly.   "God, Scully, I feel like a slut."

When I barked out a spate of laughter, he grinned at me.     "You're
showing off the goodies, Mulder, not selling them."

It was his turn to chuckle.   "The goodies, huh?" he asked, for lack
of anything better to say.

"Lots and lots of goodies, Mulder," I said. It wasn't every day
that I got a chance to sling the innuendos instead of him.

I turned to look at him and was caught by the expression on his
face. He pinned me with his stare until I looked away to start the
car. "Do I really have it, Scully? Am I going to fool these
I smiled at his insecurity, turning back towards him. "Mulder, if
you danced like Pee-Wee Herman, you'd win this crowd over. One look
at that chest, those abs, and women are going to swoon."

He laughed out loud. "There are lots of guys in there with this
chest. It's nothing special," he said dismissively.

"Surely you jest," I said, wanting to make him feel good.

"I haven't seen you swoon, Scully."

"Yeah, well, Scullys don't swoon," I countered. I turned back to
check my mirrors before I shifted the car into drive.

"What do Scullys do?" he asked.

I pulled out of the parking space and said, "We drool."

He laughed out loud again and reached over to wipe an imaginary drop
of drool off the corner of my mouth. "Let me get that for you," he

The rest of the trip was made in silence as we each contemplated
what had just been revealed.

12:30 PM

'Well, that was an interesting conversation with Scully,' I thought,
feeling slightly better about the whole thing.

As I stared out the window at the passing scenery, it didn't take
long for my doubts to resurface. What the hell was I thinking when
I said I would take the case? I had no idea the kind of preparation
we would need to make our cover work. I also didn't know that it
would thrust me into a state of arousal that would probably kill me
before it was over.

I didn't have long to debate the pros and cons for the assignment,
but I thought I had a good handle on most of them.

There were a lot of pros to the situation. I knew right away that I
could pull it off physically. I have, after all, been working out,
and do a lot of the same moves in the aerobic dance class that Mike
forced me into as part of my re-certification training. I have a
good body and I'm not bad looking.

I am a seasoned profiler and I knew that my skills would help bring
the case to a close quicker, thus saving a lot of innocent and not-
so-innocent lives. My expertise as an undercover agent had improved
since my brush with the New Spartans. I was not going in alone.
I'd have Scully at my back. Besides, I really thought that I could
get this thing solved before the actual dancing began. Ego, huh?

Of course, there always were the cons to consider. I was going to
be dancing and stripping in front of a room full of strangers and
other agents. I was not a professional dancer and could blow my
cover with my ignorance of the dance world, thus endangering the
entire operation. I could really suck at stripping and embarrass
myself totally. I would have to do it in front of Scully.

Skinner knew how to get to me. He threw the 'innocent bystanders
dying' line at me and I bit; hook, line and sinker. Now, I'd had a
while to consider everything and I was scared. After reading all
the information provided on the case, I was no closer to writing a
profile than any of the other profilers I had so easily dismissed.
Our UNSUB was one of the hardest I'd ever tried to identify.

Not to mention that I was totally blindsided by the nitty-gritty
work involved in preparing for my role. I'd always thought that
those guys in the Chippendales were just a lot of brainless
exhibitionists. Not true. There was a lot of work to do just to
get in shape enough to dance for six or seven minutes without
falling on your ass or running out of steam. Then there's the
creativity that a really good dance set involved, like the dances
Phil Hartman taught me.

That guy was a strange duck. He dressed very flamboyantly and used
an intricately carved staff like a scepter to strike a rhythm for
his students. He told us his background one night after my lesson
and about half a bottle of Absolute. We had gone out to grab a bite
and had a few drinks to relax.

Apparently, in his day, Phil was quite the thing in the New York
theater crowd. He had a great career ahead of him as a dancer and a
choreographer. He had, in fact, been a student of the great Bob
Fosse. A couple of bad choices at the race track when he was
younger led to him meeting up with an enforcer for the Gambino
Family. The goon left him with two broken legs that didn't heal
correctly and no career. Phil moved back to Baltimore and
eventually opened his dance school. He sheepishly added that he
just had showbiz in his blood.

His studio catered mostly to the older crowd who wanted to learn
ballroom dancing. That was his bread and butter. On the side, he
gave lessons to individuals for a variety of dance styles. He
really was a genius with choreography. He had taught a lot of men
and women who were currently dancing on stages across the country,
from New York to Los Angles, and not just strippers either, he
assured me.

He had more than a little crush on Scully. The only thing that kept
me from going off on him was that his approach was so old-world, so
courtly, it had been a pleasure watching Scully blush. Besides, I
don't think the guy would have known what to do with her, if she had
responded. It made me think, though. Even men like Phil had the
hots for Scully. Why did I think I had a chance with her after all
these years? She'd never given me any kind of sign that she wanted
me as much as I wanted her.

I looked over at my partner as she drove. She approached driving
exactly like she approached everything in life: head-on and full-
tilt. I remembered why I always wanted to drive. She scared the
shit out of me every time she got behind the wheel of a car. I
tried to ignore the traffic and concentrate on her.

She'd been more than a little distant since we began the case. At
times, I expected to look up and find her missing, gone back to the
office to request she be taken off the case. Running away was not
Scully's style. Unfortunately, neither was talking about what was
bothering her. We had to work things out. I knew I couldn't do my
job without her. Was Mike right? Was she affected by my dancing?
By me? Had I missed the signs along the way?

She glanced at me, surprised that I was staring at her.   "Mulder?"

"I was just wondering where we're going?" I asked to hide my true

"I thought we'd go back to the mall to change clothes and pick up
the other car. We should really check in at the office to keep our
cover, uh, er, covered," she said.

I knew right then that she had been thinking about Suzanne's remarks
about the g-string. A soft chuckle escaped me as I watched the pink
of a blush flush across her cheeks. "You're in the driver's seat,
partner," I said, knowing that it was true in more ways than one.

MAY 22, 2000

I looked up as the door opened and watched my father enter.

"Freddie, I need to speak with you," he said as he locked the door
of the office behind him.

"Yes, babbo, what is it?" He was the only one that called me
Freddie. Everyone else called me Bull, which I liked better. He
was Fred, Sr., and it distinguished me from him so we didn't get
mixed up. He liked the old ways and liked me to call him 'father'.
Perhaps it would do some good. He'd made me uneasy when he demanded
that I meet him here.

"Who else?   Your daughter, Giovanna" he said.
I sighed deeply. "What now? I made sure that dancer will never be
seen in D.C. again. The other one, he's no longer a problem as you
know. I had to have him eliminated." This kid of mine was turning
into a first-class pain in the ass.

"I know that.    We may have another problem."

I simply looked at him and waited.   His constant meddling was
getting tedious.

"She's asking way too many questions about one of the new dancers
Suzanne auditioned. She can't shut up about him."

"Has she done anything yet?"

"No, but it's a matter of time."

"How do you know?"

"She rented another hotel room."

I sighed deeply again.    "What do you want me to do, babbo?"

"Tail him.   I want to know everything."

"Which dancer?    We hired two of them."

"The older one, Marty something-or-other.    Put that PI, Anastagio,
on him and the manager, Katey."

"Not Angelo?    He's the best."

"Yes, I know.    That's why I have him tailing Giovanna."

"Are you sure we need to be up her ass like this?"

He scowled at me.    "Since you won't do what a real man would for his
child, I have to.    You disgust me. Don't question me again."

I hung my head.   "I won't, babbo.   I'm sorry.   I'm just tired."

"We can't let our little Giovanna turn into a slut.    I won't have
it," he growled.

"I know, you're right.    It will be as you say."

"Good, tell Anastagio to report to me."    He turned on his heel and

MAY 22,
3:00 PM

Skinner frowned at Mulder as we finished our fake report. The sting
operation had to be really important to the Director for it to need
a cover so deep. The grapevine was humming with speculation on our
current where-abouts. There was a new theory every day, apparently,
according to Kimberly Cook, A. D. Skinner's Administrative
Assistant. So far she'd heard that we were out on a case involving
crop circles, wasting the taxpayer's money; we were off on another
world junket; we were on shit detail with Skinner because we screwed
up a case; Mulder had finally taken the leap over the edge of sanity
and I was trying to drag him back. Then there was my personal
favorite; we were on shit detail but not due to a case, but because
he had found us doing the nasty on company time.

"Sir?"    I wanted to get his attention.   "Is there a problem?"

"Problem?" Skinner repeated. "No, Agent Scully." He looked at me
and said, "I was just wondering if Agent Mulder had to grow his hair

Mulder blushed and shrugged. "Phil told me to grow it. I know it's
not regulation but I can't walk in there looking like a fucking

Skinner scowled at his language. "I get it Mulder. Just don't lose
your barber's number, all right? You're going to have to visit him
as soon as this assignment is over."

I grinned. I was unclear whether Skinner, the Marine, was offended
by the hair, or Skinner of the bald pate was jealous. Either way,
it was amusing that he'd even mentioned it.

"I like Agent Mulder's new look, sir," I said, just to rub it in.

"To each his own. Good report, Agents. Continue your efforts and
check back in next week with an update."

We nodded and got up to leave. Skinner pushed a piece of paper
across the desk and said, "I need this interim expense form filled
out and returned with your next report."

I picked it up and shoved it into my pocket. I'd never heard of an
interim expense report form. Whatever it was, it was obvious he
didn’t want me to read it here or anywhere else in the Hoover. If
Skinner agreed with SAC Rose about the leak of information to
organized crime, the only safe place to read it would be outside the

"I'll make sure it's included in our next report," I said.

We made it back to the parking garage without being stopped by any
of the curious agents that watched us as we left. I couldn't help
breathing a sigh of relief as we got back to the mall parking lot
where we'd left the car provided for our use as Marty and Katey.

A female agent disguised to look like me was going to drive the
Taurus from the mall, back to my apartment later. We picked up our
other clothes from the locker we rented in the mall and changed in
the bathrooms, making sure that I transferred the paper from Skinner
into my purse for safekeeping. We packed our suits in shopping bags
from a popular store in the complex we had previously visited. We
walked through the mall to another exit and got back into our
undercover car. Minutes later I'd realized two things. One, I was
starved. And two, we were being followed.

"Marty," I said in a teasing voice.   "I'm starving.   Don't you think
you should feed me?"

Mulder gave me a strange look, but played along when I
surreptitiously pointed to the car that had been following us for
several minutes. "Sure, take your pick. We have MacDonalds, Burger
King, and Wendy's, anything your heart desires."

We pulled into Wendy's and went inside to eat. I ordered a salad.
Mulder surprised me and had a salad and a grilled chicken sandwich.
We settled in at a table in the back, as far away from the other
patrons as possible. We began eating before I pulled the paper from
Skinner out of my pocket and smoothed it out. I grabbed a pen from
my purse, and acted as if I were making a list as we ate.

Mulder leaned over and read it along with me. It was a hand-written
note from Mike, Mulder's trainer. He wanted us to meet him at a
small Chinese restaurant in Springfield, Virginia, tonight. He and
his girlfriend, Suzanne, wanted to talk to us about the cover.

I looked at Mulder and shrugged. I didn't want to say anything out
loud, even here in a public place, with the black sedan that had
followed us parked across the street.

"Hey, how's your salad?" Mulder said.

I didn't quite pick up on his meaning until he glanced a couple
times to the letter and back to my plastic container of lettuce.

"Oh, it's okay, but you know what I really want?" I asked, finally
picking up on his lead.

"What's that?"

"I've really been hungry for Chinese food lately."

"Oh, yeah? Me too! Where was that place we liked so much? You
know, the time we were out looking around at clubs?" he said,
improvising like crazy.

"I don't remember right now," I replied.   "But, I'm sure it'll come
to me by the time we're hungry again."
MAY 22
8:00 PM

Scully and I finally found the restaurant in a run-down strip mall
in Springfield, Virginia. It was nothing special on the outside,
but the interior was tastefully decorated and the food smelled
great. They had a very busy take-out business and we had a few
minutes wait in the line for seating.

As the young man behind the counter picked up two menus, an older
Asian woman appeared at his side. "I've got this one, Daniel," she
said. "If you will follow me," she bowed slightly to us and turned
toward the back of the restaurant.

We followed her through a beaded curtain and down a hall past the
kitchen. She turned and smiled as she opened the door. For some
reason, I trusted her, not even thinking that it could be a trap.

We stepped into the room and stopped short. Seated at one of the
banquet tables in the large, private room were Suzanne, Mike, Phil
and SAC Rose.

"Why do I feel like this is an intervention?" I quipped.

Mike and Phil smiled at my remark, but Suzanne and SAC Rose frowned.
"Sit down, Agents. We might as well order something while we wait
for the last two people to get here," Thornton Rose said gruffly.

I looked at Scully and she shrugged. She moved forward to a chair
across the table from Suzanne and Mike, facing the door. I pulled
her chair out for her and then sat beside her. I had a bad feeling
about our meeting.

Our waiter came in with hot tea for everyone and took our drink
orders. We all looked through the menu trying to decide what to

"It was my idea to meet here because I know the man who owns and
cooks here. Why don't you all let me order for us? I promise that
everything is delicious," Phil said.

We all agreed. By the time the waiter came back with the rest of
the drinks, Phil was primed and ready to order.

I finally couldn't wait to find out why we had been called there,
especially since it was such a risk of breaking our cover. "Are you
going to tell us what's going on?" I asked.

SAC Rose and Suzanne exchanged glances before Rose said, "Agent
Mulder, there's been a development that we felt you needed to know
about, before our next scheduled group meeting."

Scully glanced at me and then asked, "And you felt it was important
enough that you needed to contact us tonight? Does it have
something to do with the black car that's been following us today?"

SAC Rose's eyebrows lifted and he gave us a small smile. "Good
catch, Agents. It has everything to do with the tail. Suzanne, why
don't you explain?"

Just then, the door opened and a large man in a Dallas Cowboys
sweatshirt and cowboy hat stepped into the room. He turned back as
if to speak to someone and his hands were no longer visible. Scully
immediately reached to her waist for the gun she had holstered

"Ah, here are our last two guests," Mike said.

"Sorry, we're late everyone. We ran into one of my Agents as I was
leaving Scully's house after picking up Kimberly." He pulled off
his hat and I was surprised to see that it was A.D. Skinner. He had
taken on a completely different persona with the casual clothes.
"I'm afraid that there will be rumors about me dating Agent Scully
floating around the bullpen now."

Kim grinned. "Sorry, Agent Scully.   I didn't know that Wineski
lives in your neighborhood."

Scully put her gun back in her holster and grinned. "That's okay,
Kim. He's something of a pest anyway. Maybe now he'll think that
I'm off limits."

Everyone laughed and began to talk at once. When introductions were
done, the food delivered and plates filled, SAC Rose nodded to
Suzanne to begin.

"Well, first, I want to say congratulations, Agent Mulder. You did
a great job getting ready for this undercover role. You were, by
far, the best of the applicants that we auditioned this week."

I could feel the heat of my blush but refused to acknowledge it.

"Unfortunately, it's led to a problem we didn't foresee," she said
with a sigh. "Geo, Giovanna Ferrante, saw your audition. You
caught my tip that there were cameras on you in the audition room,

"Yeah, thanks, by the way."

"No problem. Geo watches all the auditions, at least the ones for
the male dancers. She has a thing for the talent, if you know what
I mean. She was very excited about your performance and as soon as
you left she called me up to the office to tell me to hire you and
one of the other guys that had auditioned earlier for the new revue
that will start after Memorial Day. She kept going on about you so
much that her grandfather, Frederick Ferrante, Sr., obviously
decided to check you out."

"My cover is good enough to stand up to any kind of inquiry, isn't
it?" I asked automatically.

"Of course, Agent Mulder," Rose said immediately.

"Mulder," Skinner interrupted. "The reason that there are openings
at the club right now is because Freddie Senior felt that Geo was
taking too big an interest in a couple of the men dancing at the
club. One disappeared. The other one left shortly after that and
has been dancing in a club in New York City."

I still wasn't getting the connection with my cover.

"Mulder," Scully said. "She's going to hit on you and bring
attention to you that will not be welcomed by her grandfather, the
mob boss."

"Ah, damn," I said. "I'm not interested in her.      Won't that be
enough to keep our cover safe?"

Suzanne exchanged a wide-eyed look with Mike. "You said he wasn't
in the least aware of his ability to attract women. My God, you
were totally right."

Mike just gave her a grin and shook his head.

Suzanne continued, "Mulder, this is a girl who has been given a
great deal of power in her little world. Grandpa is a big Mafioso
boss. Daddy is the owner of the bar, but lets his little girl
control all the business and administrative areas. She has the
power to hire or fire as she wishes."

I stared at her for a moment, realization dawning.    "Shit.   What can
we do?"

SAC Rose spoke up. "Suzanne and I have been talking over the
situation and we think we've come up with a viable solution. We
need to run it by you and Agent Scully before we finalize anything."

"What's the plan?" Scully asked.

"Well, we thought that if Mulder was totally off limits to Geo,
Grandpa would lose interest in him," Rose said.

"That sounds logical," I said.   "How do we do that?"

"You and Agent Scully need to get married," Suzanne said with a
"What?" Scully and I said at exactly the same time.

"The only thing that Geo respects is marriage.   She will not bother
Marty if he's married to Kate, so ... ."

"Wait a minute. Why would that stop her? If she's on this little
ego trip, why would a wedding band keep her in check?" Scully asked.

"Apparently, Agent Scully, her father was never faithful to her
mother and the one thing that Geo appreciates and respects is a man
that is in love enough with his wife to respect his wedding vows,
and vice-versa," Suzanne answered.

"But if she's so 'respectful' of Mul ... Marty's vows, how is he
going to get close enough to her to observe any thing unusual about
the business?"

SAC Rose and Suzanne looked at one another, again. They had a plan
but it seemed that neither one of them wanted to tell us what it

"Just spit it out, one of you.   The suspense is killing me," I said.

"Well, it really came from a suggestion you made, Mulder.   You said
that you wouldn't go in without your partner."


"Well, we were thinking that if Martin Williams was a brilliant
dancer, but not very bright otherwise, and if his Manager and soon-
to-be wife Katey Hale is the smart one of the two, perhaps people
will talk around Marty thinking that he's not bright enough to
realize what they're talking about," Rose began.

Suzanne interrupted. "Geo has a thing for people who are, shall we
say, slow or down-trodden. Once you get acquainted with the
employees, you will note that there are a number of individuals that
would not normally be employed by a premier club like the Blue

"You mean she tends to pick up strays?" I asked.

"That's a good way to put it. Geo is a bundle of contradictions.
She's not above firing an employee on the spot because they disagree
with her, or cross her in some way. She has, however, been known to
pull people out of back alleys and send them to detox, paying for
everything out of the bar's profits. When they're back on their
feet, she almost always hires them as kitchen workers or as part of
the cleaning crew, trying to make sure they stay straight. Her
staff is loyal to her because she has been good to them. As saintly
as this all sounds, don't overlook her as a player. She's still
spoiled and self-centered when the mood strikes her, and she's not
above crying to Grandpa."
"An effective means of getting her way, I take it," Scully said.

"Exactly," Suzanne said with a nod.

"So let me get this straight," I said. "You think that Scully, er,
Katey and Marty should get married and that will cement our cover?"


"Why do you think she won't just let me go when I'm suddenly not
available?" I asked.

"That's why Phil and Mike are here," Skinner said. "Suzanne agrees
that you will quickly be one of the stars of the show with their
help and your act will draw enough customers that it won't matter if
you're friendly to Geo or not. Grandpa does have final say about
the business, no matter what Geo and her father believe. He's a
very shrewd businessman and will see the increase of business as a
good thing."

I glanced at Scully and saw her lips twitch. "Don't think that I'm
going to be doing all the work, here, partner. You have to do your

"And just what would my share be, Mulder?" Scully said with a laugh.
"You're the one that's the dancer, not me."

"That may be true, Dana," Phil said, joining the conversation for
the first time. "However, a good manager can make or break a dancer
or actor. You have a lot to learn, too."

"What could I possibly do to help Mulder?" she asked.

"As his manager and wife," Suzanne said, "you will be in charge of
all the costumes, music, and contracts. You have a very important
part in his cover. You have to know the lingo and the right
responses. You both almost blew it this afternoon when I mentioned
that you had to make sure to wax the hair off his body and shave his
genitals. You did make a good comeback, but that ignorance could
blow the entire operation."

Skinner had been taking a drink of tea as she spoke. He snorted,
then choked, then spewed tea over his plate. He turned a shocking
shade of red as he tried to breath normally again, but each time he
was almost in control, he would begin to cough and choke like he was
dying again. I wanted to go over and help him finish the job. My
face was as red as his, but I was just embarrassed.

Finally he got his breathing under control and said, "I can see how
that would throw you for a loop, Agent Mulder." He held his cool
for a moment and then lost it again. He finally had to get up and
leave the room.
I looked at Scully and saw that she was pink with embarrassment.
When I looked at the rest of the group, SAC Rose was smirking and
about to join Skinner.

"Yuck it up, SIR," I said.   "I'm turning in my request for hazard
pay for this one."

Everyone at the table broke up. When the laughter died down, Rose
said, "Agent Mulder, I'll approve anything you submit."

By the time Skinner had rejoined the group, Suzanne, Mike and Phil
had come up with a plan of action for Scully and I to follow. They
had tried to think of everything. The list included the
aforementioned waxing and shaving, but now incorporated items like
body oil, tanning, hair stylist, costumes, shoes, and music. I
would go to the tanning booth four days a week, work out three days
a week and go to Phil's studio for private lessons five days a week.
He was willing, for a nice consultant's fee, to provide me with six
dance routines.

"Six!" Scully exclaimed.   "Why six?   He's only getting four

Suzanne and Phil exchanged glances before Suzanne spoke up. "Agent
Scully, here again is where your lack of knowledge of the business
is a problem."

"Well, excuse me for not hanging out in male strip clubs in my spare
time," Scully said.

"Please," Suzanne said right away. "I didn't mean to insult you,
just to let you know that this is something that a 'manager' would

At Scully's nod, she continued. "A good revue is one that appeals
to all the customers in the audience. Every woman has her own
mental picture of what the ideal man looks like. Some women go for
short and muscular, some like tall and lean. Some enjoy blonde men
and others like them dark, and that's only touching on the
appearance of the Anglo men in the group." Again Scully nodded to
let her know she understood that part.

"Well, a balanced show is made up of men of all these various body
types. There is usually an opening act that is a preview of all the
dancers. I will be in charge of that act. The costumes are
normally minimal. In our case, it will be black, tear-away pants, a
simple, white, tear-away shirt, a fedora or hat of some kind, white
cuffs with cuff links, and a white collar with a tuxedo tie. All
the music and the costumes are part of the opening act put on by the
bar. After an intermission, to give the barmaids time to set
everyone up with as much alcohol as they can peddle, the individual
dancers begin their acts."

"Hold it," I said.   "I didn't hear any mention of uh, undergarments

"I'm sorry, Agent Mulder, the g-string is a given in the costume."
Suzanne smiled.

"Good," I said. I heard a snort from Skinner's side of the table,
but I refused to look at him after his previous display.

"The individual dancers will have only one dance, lasting from five
to eight minutes and then they are done until the closing revue."

"What kind of costume will Mulder need for that?" Scully asked.

"Normally the dancers come out in their g-strings and parts of their
individual costumes. This is usually just a short, thank you-for-
coming and highlight of all the individual dancers. Usually the men
walk down the runway and the lucky ones will have another chance to
make a few bucks as the ladies hold up money for them."

"Okay," Scully said.   "But that still doesn't explain why he needs
six dance routines."

"Agent Scully," Phil said, kindly. "If a dancer is popular, he will
get repeat business. Sometimes, customers will come in for both
nights of the weekend. He has to have two different dance routines
for each weekend. It's considered standard for a dancer to have a
regular rotation of routines. That way, the show is fresh for the
new customers and still doesn't bore the regulars. Actually six
routines are very minimal. A top dancer that's made a career of
this business knows that a stale routine is not going to get the
audience jumping and the money rolling in. Many of the better
dancers have at least a dozen routines and rotate them constantly."

"Are there a lot of women who go to the shows every night?" Scully
asked incredulously.

"More than you would ever believe," Suzanne answered. "Phil has a
friend from New York who's visiting and will be able to give you
instructions on your side of the business on the same days Mulder
has his class. By the time we're done with you two, you might never
want to go back to the boring life of the FBI again."

Everyone laughed. Scully and I exchanged a quick glance.    So far, I
felt that we were okay.

"One last thing, Agents," SAC Rose said. "Since Grandpa has taken
an interest in you, I don't think that you should go anywhere near
the Hoover or the off-site meetings unless it's an emergency. I
also don't think it's a good idea for you two to go back to your own
apartments. From now on you are deep undercover."

"How will we keep in touch?" I asked.

"We haven't exactly figured that out yet," Rose answered.
"I have an idea," Scully said quietly.

All eyes turned to her and she cleared her throat before speaking.
"I was thinking about our cover and found more than a few things
that I felt needed to be addressed."

"I assure you, your cover is as good as it gets," Rose replied

"Perhaps," Scully said.   "I still had some questions."

"Such as?" he growled.

Scully said, "Why, if Marty is such a good dancer, is he in
Washington, D.C. instead of New York City? Why doesn't he or Katey
have to work another job to make ends meet? Those are the two main
questions I had."

"Good questions, Agent Scully," Skinner said with a nod.

"Thank you, sir. Now, I think I have a plan that will cover those
two and give us access to the team without blowing our cover."

"Continue," Rose said shortly.

"Why not give Katey Hale a relative here in D.C.? One that can be
the reason they moved here before trying it in New York and one that
can help the couple financially until they get on their feet. A
relative in the area would raise no suspicion on the part of

"That's a good idea, Agent Scully," Rose said sarcastically. "Who
did you have in mind? We don't have time to establish yet another
undercover operative. Surely you don't mean to pull any of your
real relatives into this plot."

Scully looked directly at me as she said, "No, none of our real
relatives, but I do think that I would like us to pay a visit to my
Uncle Melvin."

"Frohike?" Skinner said with a gasp.

"Yes. I know we can trust him and the guys to keep our secret.
They are established in the community but have no real relatives
here so a niece from out of town won't be a problem. They are smart
and some of the most paranoid people I know. If anyone could pull
this off, it's Frohike, Langly and Byers."

Rose looked at Skinner and said, "Do you trust these guys?"

"Trust?" Skinner repeated. "Trust isn't a word that I normally
associate with those three. If you're asking if I believe that they
can do the job, my answer is yes. If Scully and Mulder ask them to
help, I feel sure that their cover will hold and that those men will
do everything they can to help protect our agents."

"I don't like it," Rose said after a few moments.

Suzanne sat back in her chair for a moment, contemplating the
scheme. "I do," she said finally. "It is the perfect answer for
several weak points in the cover. Are you sure that your friends
will be willing to do this?"

"I'm sure," I agreed, nodding at Scully.   "If anything, their help
will expedite this investigation."

Skinner looked at me with a smirk on his face. "Just how much is
their fee going to cost the Organized Crime Department?"

"I'm sure they'll be worth every cent, Sir," I said blandly.

"Do you have any way to contact them tonight?" Suzanne asked.

"Yes," Scully said. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her
keys. "I have a panic button here that the guys gave me. All I
have to do is press this and within a few minutes, they will call on
a secured line."

I looked at Scully and she knew what I wanted to know automatically.
"Frohike gave it to me when you were out of town last month. They
were worried about me working without a partner." I nodded at her
and smiled my approval. She glared at me and pressed the button.

Within minutes her cell phone rang. "Scully," she said.
"Everything's all right. I need to know if we can stop by later
tonight. Sure. Yeah, me AND Mulder," she said as she rolled her
eyes. "We have a job for you. A paying job. Okay. At least an

She hung up and tossed her phone on the table.   "Pull out your phone
too, Mulder," she ordered.

I automatically reached for my phone without question.

"Wait a minute," SAC Rose said as Scully pushed both our phones to
Skinner. "You're going to need to keep in touch somehow."

"This is another thing that I thought of. If anyone got hold of our
phones, they could check out our numbers and our personal settings
and see that Marty and Katey are plants," Scully said. "Don't
worry. We'll get a couple new phones from the guys and I'll give
Suzanne the numbers as part of our cover."

Skinner gave what would be considered a grin on another man.
"Kerching!" he said.

Scully and I smiled at him, but Rose and Suzanne missed his joke.
We'd been on the receiving end of Skinner's wrath over expenses
often enough to know that he was glad this case wasn't coming out of
his budget.

Our meeting continued for about an hour. We restated our main
points of action. A written list was given to Scully with all the
things that had to be done before my first performance. I tried to
stay out of that part of the conversation. There were things on
that list that made me very uncomfortable. Skinner, Rose, and I
were discussing the role the Gunmen would play while Scully, Kim,
Phil, and Suzanne discussed the undercover 'to-do' list.

PART 4 (PG-13)
3:15 PM

"All right, Mulder, lets take the next song from the top," Phil

The music was a loud rhythm pounding into my very bones. I moved
automatically through the routine that Phil and Mark had written,
twisting, gyrating and thrusting at just the right places. I found
I loved dancing. Once a routine was practiced to perfection, I
could concentrate and improvise at will or let go and work it on
automatic pilot. I experienced the same type of hypnotic release
from dancing as I did from running. I could let my body go and my
mind disengage. I've had some of my best insights come to me during
just such an exercise.

Currently, I let my mind drift to contemplate Scully. I still
wasn't used to seeing so much of my partner's skin. She had on a
tube top worn with no bra under a sheer lace shirt that looked
sedate. Well, it seemed modest until she stood up and you could see
the leather mini skirt that she was sporting, and the way the shirt
tails, tied high on her midriff, exposed her abs.

Shopping for the costumes for my routines was one of the highlights
of the whole operation. With a pocket full of cash provided through
Uncle Melvin from the Organized Crime budget, Scully and I had gone
on a shopping spree last Friday. Well, I went on the spree and
dragged Scully along with me. She insisted that the money was only
for my costumes, but I finally convinced her that if she continued
to wear jeans and the demure tops that she had chosen, she would
stick out in the crowd we were infiltrating.

Phil gave us the name of a contact of his that would help us. Toni
Starr was a product of the industry -- flamboyant, glamorous, and
definitely tuned into the hottest looks. Her knowledge of costumes
and accessories was amazing.

I ordered four costumes. I already had the black leather pants, but
the rest would be altered to fit. Phil and Mike had decided I was
going to need a blue pin-striped suit, a get-up like Harrison Ford
wore in the Indiana Jones movies (complete with whip), a black
leather biker outfit, and a cowboy outfit.

While we were looking at the options available, Scully seemed
mesmerized by the cowboy get up. I ordered the tear-away jeans, a
shirt with snaps, a short, black, leather vest, boots, and a set of
fake six-shooters with a tear-away holster set-up. I was ready to
go on to the next outfit when Scully said, "How do you feel about
chaps, Marty?"


"Yeah, chaps."

"You like chaps, Katey?" I said to tease her.

She hesitated and then replied, "I LOVE chaps."

"Then chaps it is." I let her pick the ones she liked best. I
figured, if I was going to do something that made Scully happy, I
might as well go all the way. She gravitated towards an expensive
pair of dress chaps in black suede. She hesitated at the price, but
as she stood there running her fingers through the leather fringe on
the edges, I could tell that those were the ones she really wanted
to see me wear. I picked them up and added them to the pile of
accessories we had already chosen.

I really hadn't thought about needing to have everything altered to
fit me. I've always been pretty easy to fit straight from the rack
for everything but my suits. I got them from my family tailor in
Boston who has all my measurements on record. I would fly to Boston
a few times a year and pick out a couple of new suits or the fabric
for a custom-made one and they would adjust or sew them to fit. I
could count on them being perfect when I returned to pick them up.
If my body hadn't changed much, I sometimes had them shipped to me,
saving the trip back. They were the ones who'd done the work on my
old suits recently. My new improved body had required some
alterations to my wardrobe. It also required that the standard
costumes from the rack be tailored to fit my physique.

During the selection   of the costumes, Toni had kept up a constant
stream of banter and   innuendo that I took as a definite sign of
interest. She was a    little too butch for my taste, but it didn't
matter to me now. I    was in love with my partner. All other women
paled in comparison.    I just wished Scully was as open and easy to
read as Toni.

When Toni was measuring me for my costumes, however, she acted
totally professional. It made the entire measurement ordeal easier.
She was also the one that helped me convince Scully that she needed
to pick up a new wardrobe for the assignment. It was her smart-
assed remark to Scully that cinched the deal.
"Mary, you are never going to be taken seriously in that outfit,"
Toni said haughtily. "You look like someone's Catholic little

She then proceeded to pull clothing from the racks and pile them up
on Scully's arms. By the time Toni had deemed that there was enough
to get her wardrobe started, Scully was staggering under a mountain
of leather, lace and spandex.

Toni went into the dressing room with Scully and helped pull
together the outfits that she deemed acceptable for a person in
Katey's position. I waited patiently in a chair just outside the
dressing rooms, anxious to see Scully in something a little more
revealing than her normal wardrobe. Toni buzzed in and out with
various boxes and bags, humming an off-key version of Aretha
Franklin's 'Respect'. When Scully finally stepped out from behind
the curtain, I almost fell out of my chair.

There stood my partner -- my buttoned-down, over-achieving,
brilliant partner -- dressed like a walking wet dream. She had on
black, leather shoes with four inch heels, black, leather hip-hugger
pants, and a white, cropped, muscle shirt. Under the top I could
see a black, lace push-up bra peaking out from the edges, but it was
mostly covered by a short, red, leather bolero jacket.

The pants rode so low on her hips that I was surprised I couldn't
see the beginning of her pubic hair. She turned and I saw the
reason the pants stayed in place. They caressed the tight curve of
her luscious, heart-shaped ass as if they were glued on. The
expanse of skin above the pants was decorated with her tattoo. I
felt light-headed as she continued to turn around until she was
facing me again. I let my eyes travel up and almost got whiplash as
they skidded to a halt at her navel. A sparkling, gold navel ring
begged for attention. I could feel my mouth fill with saliva and
forced myself to continue my inspection. I grappled for words to
describe how sexy and beautiful she looked, but nothing came to
mind. Finally, I swallowed so I didn't drool when I opened my mouth
and said, "Holy shit!"

Toni stood to one side, right hand cupping her chin, tapping her
forefinger against her cheek as if she was trying to solve the
worries of the world. A look of enlightenment lit her face and she
hurried off, only to return moments later with a full-length, black,
leather coat in her arms.

"This is just what the outfit needs to be complete," she said.   "Put
it on, Katey."

Scully looked at Toni as if she was crazy, but complied.   I got a
glance at the tag and smiled. It was an Armani.

Scully put the coat on and faced the three-way mirror behind her.
She was in love with the coat from the moment she laid hands on it,
I could tell. With the coat on and buttoned, she looked
professional enough to walk into the Hoover Building without causing
a stir. When she opened it and began to twist from side to side,
almost preening in front of the mirror, she turned into a star.

She was caressing the coat, scrunching it up in her hands, loving
the sensual feel of the fine-grade leather and the satin lining.
She was looking at her reflection in the mirror when her eyes caught

I smiled at her, but I couldn't hide the desire in my eyes, and I
knew it. I lifted my hand and cocked my fore-finger at her in a
'C'mere' motion. She turned slowly and walked toward me. I felt my
heart rate double and when I spoke, my voice was at least a half of
an octave lower. "You look --" I stopped, unable to complete the

"Short. I can't possibly buy something that makes me look short and

I knew she was grasping at straws. She loved the coat; loved how
she looked in the coat; loved how she felt in the coat. She
normally would never have allowed herself to try on something that
luscious and expensive, let alone consider buying it. Never taking
my eyes off Scully's, I said to Toni, "We'll take it. Now let's see
what else you have back there."

"Marty," she began.

I simply held up my forefinger to silence her. I did a little spin
motion and shooed her back to the dressing room. She gave me a
glare and then a grin and strutted away.

The next hour was one of the hardest I've ever spent. Scully came
out parading outfit after outfit before me, vast expanses of Scully-
skin, slopes and valleys that my demented mind had only imagined
before. Sure, I'd seen Scully naked, but somehow, these outfits
made of spandex, lace and leather were more erotic than any blatant
display of nudity.

The last outfit she tried on was the one she was wearing today. It
caught me off guard. As I watched her walk out of the dressing
room, I grunted like I'd been sucker-punched in the gut. I beckoned
her again, crooking my finger and pointing to the space between my
legs where I wanted her to stop.

She gave me one of her glares, eyebrow fully engaged.

I grinned and lifted my chin in a 'get over here, woman' gesture.

She sashayed up to me, hands on hips and attitude at the ready.   She
was magnificent. "What?"

"I like this one too," I said.   "We'll take it."
"Marty, we really shouldn't buy all these clothes for me.   We came
in here with Uncle Melvin's money to get your costumes."

"We got them. You've needed some new clothes and shoes for a long
time," I replied. I reached up and began to fiddle with the ends of
her shirttails, brushing against her navel ring. "Is this thing

She gasped and swayed toward me before getting her response under
control and taking a step back. I rested my hands on her waist and
pulled her to me again. "No, it's faux jewelry from the store."

"I've enjoyed everything you've tried on," I said as I looked up at
her. "But, I like this one best."

"Why? Because I look like a fucking Barbie doll?" She leaned down
and whispered into my ear, "Have you had fun dressing me up like
those fantasy women in the tapes you don't own, Mulder?"

I growled and then said, "If I were going with my fantasies, we'd be
removing the clothing instead of putting it on." I leaned forward
and nuzzled her stomach, just above her navel, parting the ends of
the shirt. I planted an open-mouthed kiss over her navel; my tongue
teased her little jewel. "I think maybe you should get the real
deal, Katey," I murmured against her skin. I heard her gasp as her
entire body trembled. She pushed against my shoulder and I pulled
back, but not before getting in one more nuzzle and planting one
last kiss on her belly.

I glanced up and was pleased to see arousal written all over her
face. I grinned at her, happy to see that my touch could cause that
reaction. I realized right away that it was a mistake. She stepped
back and instantly covered her emotions with her game face.

"I need to change," she said quietly, before she turned to go back
to the safety of the dressing room. I stood up, ready to follow her
and have the conversation I knew we'd been putting off, but I
glanced at Toni and got the shock of my life.

She was standing there ogling MY Scully with a huge boner in her,
er, his skirt. 'Toni was Tony,' I thought stupidly. She was a he,
and HE had been flitting in and out of the dressing room for the
past hour, while my partner stripped down and changed in front of

I must have growled because her/his attention was immediately drawn
back to me. I glared at him, and he had the good grace to blush
before reaching down and arranging his hard-on so that it was less
obvious in his skirt.

"What's the deal, Tony?" I demanded.   "Is this how you get your

"I don't know what you mean," he said as he grabbed the clothes we
had placed on the rack by the dressing room door for purchase. He
strode across the store to the register, using the counter as a

I followed him, leaned over the pile of clothes, and hissed, "I
don't appreciate being fooled. That's my fiance in there."

"I'm sorry," he said.   The expression on his face was sincere.

I didn't say anything, waiting for his explanation.

"You're right, my response was inappropriate. I don't usually lose
it like that. She just looked so fucking gorgeous, and yet so
unaware of her beauty."

I had to agree with him there. "She's always been that way," I
said. I gave him a moment to collect himself before I asked, "So,
what's with the look?"

He glared at me and said, "How I dress is my own business."

"Not when you're hiding behind that outfit to ogle my girl, it
isn't," I growled.

"Look, I adore women. I love them in fact. I admire everything
about them. I enjoy wearing women's clothing because they make me
feel good. It's not a problem here. In fact, it's helped my
career. My sense of style has helped me develop quite a client

"I didn't invade your woman's privacy. I always waited until she
was ready for me to step into the room. I am a professional. I can
usually control my reactions better than I did earlier. She's just
so damn beautiful."

I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and realized that Scully
had just walked out of the dressing room. "Agreed," I said. He
nodded and I dropped the subject.

Scully brought the final outfit to the counter and we paid for our

"Your costumes will be ready early next week," Tony said.     "I have
your number here on the order, so we'll call you."

"Thanks for all your help, Toni," Scully said. "It was fun having
the opinion of another woman." He said goodbye and smirked at me.
I didn't have the nerve to tell her how wrong she really was at that
point. I figured we needed Tony alive until after my costumes were
ready, at least.

She'd been wearing the new outfits since then, but she'd somehow
managed to avoid having the conversation about us the entire time.
She was wearing my favorite again today. So much Scully skin was
very distracting. I felt my cock twitch and realized that I had to
look away, or the guys were going to think I was more into dancing
than I really was. I noticed that the routine was coming to an end
and shifted mental gears again.

"Great!   Marty, you're doing great," Phil gushed.

There were a few things I needed to get used to and that was one of
them. Everyone had been instructed to call me Marty and Scully,
Katey from that point on, especially since the 'fake wedding'.

The music started for the next routine and I moved into my opening
stance. As the twang of the cowboy set echoed through the speakers,
I slipped back into my contemplation of the past week and focused on
the events of the wedding weekend.

I had gotten the call from Geo, herself, telling me that I was hired
and I was to report to a group rehearsal on June 1. Scully and I
had decided that it was a go on the cover and had gone to Atlantic
City to get married over the Memorial Day Weekend. It was far
enough away from D.C. that we weren't followed, but close enough to
seem like a real honeymoon destination.

We arranged through the guys to go to a chapel that one of their
friends operated. Martin Williams and Katherine Hale had been
joined in holy wedlock. We went the whole nine yards. We had the
gold bands, a video of the wedding, a ton of pictures, thanks to
Uncle Melvin, and a framed certificate that stated we were legally
wed. Well, at least, Marty and Katey were.

As I stood there during the ceremony, I couldn't help thinking how
much I wished that we were getting married for real. I was
surprised when the thought jumped into my mind. So surprised, I
screwed up some of my responses. Everyone thought it was just
nerves and laughed. By the time the ceremony was over, I'd accepted
that it wasn't really a new thought, just one that I'd never
admitted to myself before.

I knew I loved Scully, was actually 'in love' with her. I didn't
know when it happened. I'd desired her since the first year we
worked together; smart is sexy, after all. As the years passed,
though, I found myself genuinely liking her as a partner and a
friend. Before I knew it, the word love replaced the like and I
just woke up one day and realized that I was in love with her.

The thought of being married to Scully had skittered across my sub-
conscious for some time, usually exhibiting itself in dreams. I'd
never allowed myself to think about it while lucid, standing up, and

Living with Scully had been very enlightening. On one hand, it was
the hardest thing I'd ever done. Being close to her, day in and day
out, in a situation that didn't include her buttoned-down suits and
professional attitude, left me in a state of near-constant arousal.
The easy part was being with her. I never thought that we would be
compatible as roommates. I was a slob and she was extremely neat.
The big surprise was that we'd both learned to compromise. After
the first few days, we found out the hard way what was negotiable
and what was unacceptable. We were a team.

"Marty! Think about what you're doing!" Phil screamed at me. "This
is the part where you make the rounds of the women at the edge of
the stage. This is the money-maker! Pay attention."

I stopped in the middle of the floor, grinned sheepishly and
shrugged as the music suddenly stopped.

"What's the matter?" Mark asked.

"I just don't know if I can act like those guys we saw in Atlantic
City. They were preying on those women. I don't know if I can do
-- that," I said as I shrugged again.

Phil replied, "Mul ... Marty, this is your bread and butter. As a
new dancer in a revue, you get minimum wage. The only thing that
you're in this for is the tips that you receive from the audience,
until you prove your crowd appeal. The only way you prove your
worth is to rake in the tips. It's a fact of life. Get used to
it." He shook his head and left the room.

Mark grabbed a couple bottles of water   and walked toward me. He
threw a towel to me as he said, "Let's   sit for a while, Marty." He
flipped the music back on as he walked   by the unit. I knew
immediately that he was trying to give   us some privacy.

We walked to the far end of the room and sat by the wall of windows
that overlooked the street below. I glanced down and sure enough,
the black sedan that had been following us since the day of my
audition was still down there, waiting for us to leave. I motioned
towards the window and Mark nodded.

"Tell me what's really going on, Mulder?" he said quietly.

I took a long drink of water before I spoke. It gave me some time
to gather my thoughts. "I watched those guys in Atlantic City,
Mark. We were backstage because no men were allowed out front
during the performances. Frohike knew the owner and got us in." I
fell silent again.

"And?" he asked.

"I heard the guys talking about those women like they were marks.
You know? It just goes against everything in me to do that part of
the routine. I can dance and I've even begun to enjoy the
admiration directed at me, but everything in me is against taking
monetary advantage of drunken women."

Mark snorted.   "You think you're taking advantage of them?"
"Yeah, it's like legal robbery."

"Let me give you a little inside information, my friend. Not one of
those women was using their grocery money for those tips. These are
usually single, upper-middle-class working women, and older women
who are married and bored. There's not a woman in the group who
bats an eye at the cover charge or the price of the drinks.

"The dancers, you, are the entertainment. They would blow more than
that on a high-priced escort service date and they're not taking the
risk of acquiring an STD or ruining their marriage. They take your
image home and use you while they play with their vibrators or screw
their husbands. You are harmless fun in their estimation.

"Oh, sure, some of the women actually want to buy you. They
probably have succeeded with others, maybe even some in the same
revue as you. All you need to do on that stage is tease them, make
them happy because you noticed them. You're giving them back more
personal pleasure than a full day at a spa. Just think, a damned
good-looking man made a harmless pass at them."

"Well, when you put it that way, it makes it easier to understand,"
I said. "I'm just afraid I won't be able to do it and I'll blow our

Mark considered my words for a few minutes, nodding. He began to
smile and slapped me on the back. "I know just what you need."

"What?" I asked apprehensively.

"You need to perform live before your first night at The Blue Room."

"What? I ddddon't think ... " I stuttered to a halt as he motioned
for me to shut up.

"Don't worry, I'll set everything up." He jumped to his feet and
bellowed, for Phil. "Hey, Phil, get your skinny ass in here! We got
some work to do!"

What the hell had I gotten myself into?


I stood, mouth hanging open, when Phil and Mark told me about the
unofficial booking they had for Mulder the next night. It was a
small club down in Raleigh where Phil had some connections. He'd
used them before when his students wanted to try out new routines
and weren't ready to take them to their regular club.

"Let me get this straight. We're going to Raleigh for Mu, Marty to
dance tomorrow night?" I asked.

Mark grinned.   "Yep."
"But we're not ready! We don't have all the costumes back yet from
the alterations. We don't have all the music CDs back from your
friend, Tom. He was going to do some editing so we could tighten up
the routines." I frantically thought of all the other reasons we
couldn't go.

"Marty's as ready as he's ever going to be. He has the routines
down cold. He's got the disc back for the Lenny Kravitz routine and
the costume is done," Phil interjected. "He needs this, Katey.
He's worried about freezing up at the Blue Room and blowing his
cover. He needs to practice live or he just might."

"That's right, he does need this," Mark added gently. "I know it's
as hard on you as it is on him, but try to be supportive. He needs
you. He's got a genuine fear of blowing his cover after all the
work that you two have put into it. He needs you to approve and to
watch his back. Can you do that?"

"Of course, I can," I said automatically.

Phil patted me on the shoulder and said, "Good girl. Now get the
costume and the disc and get home. I understand you two haven't
finished all the personal grooming that needed to be done before his
first performance," he said and then began to laugh. His high-
pitched giggle earned him a heated glare from Mulder as he came up
the hall. Phil just laughed harder.

'What the hell have I gotten myself into?' I wondered.

Mulder stopped next to me and said, "I've got the garment bag with
the outfit and the CD in it over by the back door, but I don't think
we should carry it out while our tail is still there."

"Why?" I asked. "It's not unusual for performers to practice with
their costumes here, is it?"

"No, of course not," he said. "I just don't want them to get
curious and follow us to Raleigh."

"That's a good point," Phil agreed.

I rolled my eyes; I couldn't help it.   Mulder was so paranoid that
it was rubbing off on Phil and Mark.

"Then how are we going to get it home without them seeing it?" I

Mark suggested, "It's early, why don't you two go get something to
eat and let them follow you? I'll grab the stuff and run it over to
your place while you have them distracted."

"What about tomorrow when we need to leave?" I asked.
"Hmmm, that is a problem," Mark agreed.

Mulder thought for a moment then suggested, "Why don't you take the
stuff to the guys' place? We could go visiting tomorrow and stay
the night. I'm sure we could use their van to drive to Raleigh and
get back into their place without being seen."

"Good idea," Phil said.    "Why don't you call them and let them know
what's going on.

"You two better get going," Mark said. "You'll need as much time as
possible to get ready for the performance tomorrow night."

Mulder refused to look me in the eye as he nodded. We both knew
what Mark was talking about: the shaving of Mulder's genitals. I
had to keep a professional mindset if I was going to be able to help
him without dying of ... . 'Of what?' I asked myself.
'Embarrassment? Mortification? Lust?' I put those thoughts aside.
One task at a time.

MAY 30
7:00 PM

Dinner passed quickly. We had successfully lured our tail away from
the studio so Mark could run the stuff over to the Gunmen. Mulder
drove home slowly. We had been silent all through the meal and the
drive home, but I knew we had to talk.

I turned to look out the car window, thinking about the task ahead.
For the hundredth time I wished I had just sucked it up and forced
Mulder to let the girl at the salon shave him last week. She did a
great job on the rest of his body. I grinned when I thought back to
that day. Mulder had gotten a new haircut that made his longish
locks look sexy. He'd insisted that I get a cut, too, while I was
waiting for him to have his body waxed.

I love having my hair done. The entire experience is almost sexual
in my book. I was relaxing in the chair as Jules cut my hair when I
heard the yelling begin. The howls of agony from the waxing room
inspired horrified looks among the other customers. As they
continued and the petulant tones of Mulder's voice became more
evident, the shock gave way to smiles and then titters of laughter.
All of the women in the salon shared a moment: 'Men were SUCH

The moans and cries eventually tapered off, much to the relief of
everyone, especially me. I had my head down as Jules cut the very
back of my hair. I was so relaxed, I was almost asleep.

Suddenly I heard my partner bellowing for me in full panic mode.
"NO!   Stay away from me!   Sc … Katey!   Katey!   Help me, Katey!"

I lunged forward and leaped from the raised chair. I struggled with
the cape that seemed to be wrapped around me like a shroud as I
grappled behind me for my gun before realizing that I wasn't wearing
it. I pulled away from the confinement of the cape, arms free at
last. Just as I was about to run into the spa area of the shop,
Mulder came charging out, clothed in nothing but a towel. He
skittered to a stop beside me, glaring towards the open door.

"Marty, what the hell is going on?" I gasped.

"I told her no, but she wouldn't listen to me," he said. "Make her
stop threatening me. I'm not going to do this. She's not touching
me again."

Visions of poor service gave way to those of improper sexual
advances. I was stunned by his words, but even more so when the
confused technician walked through the doorway with a pair of
electric clippers in her hand.

"Mr. Williams, your wife requested a full body wax and a 'total
genital hair removal'. I'm only trying to do my job!"

"No.   Tell her, Katey.   NO!"

I turned back to my partner as his adamant plea registered. Mulder
wasn't just being petulant about it; he was terrified. I stepped
closer to him and placed my hand on his arm. The skin was soft and
smooth as a baby's. His pubic hair and any visible growth on his
genital area outside of the g-string was obviously the last to be
done. I tried to calm him, running my hand up and down his arm, and
then let my fingers twine with his as I gave them a squeeze.

"It's all right. We'll think of something." I turned to the
beleaguered technician and smiled. "We'll just cancel that part of
the treatment."

She nodded and turned to leave.

"Is he done now?" I asked.

She glared at Mulder and said, "Not really. He needs to have the
herbal wrap to close his pores and tone his skin."

"Fine," I agreed.   "He'll be right in."

She shrugged and walked back to the spa area. I looked at Mulder
and smiled. He was standing there, practically naked, in all his
glory. I wondered just what was going through the minds of all the
women and some of the men in the shop. The towel wrapped around his
hips left little to the imagination. He was beginning to blush, so
I knew he had just realized the same fact.
"Let her finish the process. She won't work on anything you don't
want done, but you need the herbal wrap to keep your skin healthy
and soft."

"Scully," he whispered.

"Go on. I promise it's going to be all right." I couldn't help
smiling as I spoke. He was one of the bravest men I knew, but at
heart, he was still a man and willing to undergo any humiliation to
preserve the health of his, er, manhood.

He was barely out of the room before I began to laugh. I
practically had to crawl back up into the chair; I was that weak
from laughing. My laughter eased the tension and soon other
twitters of laughter here and there could be heard throughout the

"I know you're laughing at me, Katey!" he bellowed from the other
room. "I can hear you!"

I laughed harder and had to hang on to the arms of the chair to keep
from slithering to the floor in a heap. Jules had to get me a drink
of water before I was able to settle down for the rest of my

Mulder hadn't spoken to me for a whole day after that. What was he
going to do when I had to help him complete his grooming tonight?

PART 5 (R)
7:30 PM

I knew Scully was worried about helping me shave. Hell, I was
worried about it. I logged on the computer and decided to see if I
could find information on shaving.

I had been surfing the net for about fifteen minutes when I came
across an address that looked promising: Shaving Private Ryan, or,
'Honoré de Balzac reinterpreted' By James Whittall. I glanced over
my shoulder, trying to see where Scully was without looking
suspicious. I clicked on the site and began to read.

When I was done, I sat there in a daze. Men really did that. It
had never in my entire life been remotely interesting to me. I
wouldn't consider it except that I had been directed to comply by
Suzanne. Mike, Phil, and Suzanne knew more about the business than
I ever would. If they said I had to do it, I knew resistance was

I sat there for a few more minutes, gathering my courage. Finally,
as ready as I was ever going to be, I called out to Scully. "Hey,
come here for a minute, will you?"

She obviously had been thinking about what we had to do and was
dreading it because her steps were slow.

"What do you need?" she asked from the hallway door.

"I, uh, want you to read something," I said.

She sighed, but came over and sat in the chair I had just abandoned.
She read the header of the article and gave me a sharp glance. I
shrugged and said, "I figured we needed some help. I've never done
this, have you?"

"Only in medical school, but that was on a female," she said.

"Right. Uh, do you want something to drink?" I asked. I didn't
really want to hang around while she read the entire article.

"No, I'm good, thanks."

I went into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water from the
refrigerator. I leaned against the counter and sipped at it while
she read. I listened for any kind of response and hit pay dirt when
I heard her gasp.

It had been quiet in the other room for several minutes when I
decided that it was time for me to go back in and face the music.

She was sitting on the couch, staring out the window.   I sat down
next to her and picked up her hand.

"I know it's a lot to ask of you, Scully," I whispered. "I didn't
realize how much I was going to have to depend on your help when I
accepted your offer to watch my back on this assignment. I'll
understand if you don't want to do it. Maybe I could get an
appointment at the salon early tomorrow."

She slowly turned her head to look directly into my eyes. "I don't
think ... I can't let you do it, Mulder," she said softly.


"As your personal physician, I can't allow you to do it, cover or no
cover. Your personal health is more important to me than following
a ridiculous fad from a minute subset of society." She paused and
then continued. "Did you really READ that article? Did you see the
warnings? You know your skin is sensitive; you've used the same
kind of shave cream forever because it's the only one you've found
that doesn't irritate your face. Can you imagine an allergic
reaction in that area?"

I nodded in silent agreement. I kept my face neutral, but inside I
was screaming, 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' Scully was going to save me

"And did you read about the daily routine that's necessary to
prevent infection or irritation? Do you really think you can devote
that much time to after-care? It said if you exercise regularly
you'd have to shave the entire area again at least four times a
week." She shook her head. "I have to say no to this one, Mulder.
You do understand don't you?"

I grinned and hugged her. "Thanks. I was going to go along with it
because Suzanne and Phil said it was necessary, but I really was
dreading it."

She nodded and snuggled closer to wrap her arms around me. She was
silent for several minutes before she spoke. "Suzanne said you have
to make sure that no hairs are sticking out of your g-string.
Perhaps we should trim around the edges so that doesn't happen."

I grinned as I held her. That much I could do.   "I'll put on the g-
string while you get the scissors."

She pulled away and I looked down at her. She was blushing, but I
could tell that she was determined to get it done.

"Okay, I'll meet you in the bathroom."


The moment of truth had arrived: me, a pair of scissors, and Mulder
in a g-string. I was glad he found that article on the shaving of
male genitals. It was obviously not something a man like him should
attempt. I almost laughed when the article said that some men shave
themselves because it made their penis look longer. I wasn't
completely sure, but I didn't think that was ever going to be
Mulder's problem. I'd never seen his penis when it was fully
aroused, but I had at other times, and from the preliminary evidence
I'd seen, it was just not necessary.

I'd been waiting for several minutes without any sign of Mulder.
"Hey, what's the hold up?" I yelled.

His voice came from just around the bathroom door.    "Uh, nothing.
I'm coming."

A couple more minutes passed and still no Mulder. I walked to the
doorway and glanced around. He was standing in the hall about four
feet away, fidgeting with the g-string. He would pull it to cover
one area and another would pop up. He kept doing that several times
before he growled in frustration.

"I don't think it's going to help, Mulder," I said.

He jumped and looked up at me as embarrassment suffused his face.
"I think you need to get a bigger g-string, G-man."

He grinned that crooked grin at me and nodded.

"Okay, Mulder," I said as I motioned for him to step into the
bathroom. "Right now, let's just center it and concentrate on
trimming around the edges that show. I'm sure you can run by the
shop and pick up a larger size tomorrow before we go to the guys.
The trim we do tonight should take care of the problem."

He nodded and walked into the bathroom behind me.

I sat on the toilet and he moved to stand between my legs.   "Hold
still partner," I said.

I concentrated on trimming the dark hair that protruded around the
edges of the leather, trying desperately not to think about WHAT I
was touching and trimming, and WHO I was touching and trimming. It
was a job that needed to be done and I was the only one available to
do it. I must have completely zoned out as I worked, because before
I knew it, I was done. I started brushing away the loose hairs that
were clinging to the leather. His hand shot down and grabbed my
wrist, pulling my fingers away from the g-string.

I glanced up at him in surprise. The grimace on his face was
unexpected. I let my eyes slide down his body to his groin again
and realized what the problem was. His penis was at half mast,
bulging out from the cover of the g-string. There were loose hairs
dotted on him there and, without thinking, I gently blew on it to
disengage them.

He groaned and pulled me to my feet, wrapping his arms around me.
"Scully, please. I’m begging you to stop."

My eyes shot up to his face as I realized what he was saying. He
was fighting to remain professional, but just my breath on his skin
was arousing him. 'Of course it is,' I thought. 'It's an innate
characteristic of the male to respond to outside stimuli to the
sexual organs.'

"Oh, God, I'm sorry," I gasped. I jerked away awkwardly. He was
looming over me and seemed to fill up the entire bathroom with his
presence. "I'm, I'm," I stammered.

"No!   I'm sorry.   I didn't mean to offend you," he apologized.

"You didn't offend me. Your aro … I'm not, I'm --" I stuttered to a
halt. We were both standing there, breathing hard, unable to speak.
Finally he grabbed me and held me close to his chest, making a
concerted effort to keep his hips away from me. "I'm fine, Mulder,"
I said after a few moments.

"Thanks," he said. "I really didn't trust anyone else to do that.
I'm sorry if I embarrassed you."
"It's alright," I whispered.    I slid my arms around his waist and
let my cheek rest against his   chest, inhaling his scent. He was so
warm. He smelled so good. I     wished once again that he was
interested in me as a woman.    As soon as the thought formed in my
mind, I pulled away from him.    I still had the scissors in my hand.

"Scully, I want you to know that I -- " he began.

"I, uh, need to go put these away," I interrupted.

"Yeah, I think I need a shower," he mumbled.    "Hairs all over."

I shut the door as I left. I could hear the water turn on right
away, and had to grin when his string of profanities began. He'd
obviously stepped in before the water was hot. Maybe it wasn't as
easy for him to ignore me as a woman as I thought.

What the heck was I going to do? I was as aroused by his response
as he was by my touch. Normally, I would just wait until I was home
alone, go to bed and masturbate. That was totally out of the
question with Mulder sleeping down the hall on the couch. From the
marathon shower sessions he'd been taking, I was pretty sure that he
had been masturbating in the shower here and probably at the studio,
too. Either that or his libido wasn't as active as I had always
thought. I knew he didn't bring any kind of reading or viewing
material from home. He had to have an outlet somewhere.

I pulled a bottle of water from the refrigerator and stood in the
kitchen as I tried to decide what I should do. I knew that watching
him tomorrow while he danced at the club in Raleigh was going to be

He really was a good dancer. I'd only been to a couple male revues,
both during my college days. He was as good as, or better than,
anyone I'd ever seen. Every time I watched him, I was aroused. I
was already wound tight as a spring and needed some relief. I
finished my water and decided to give up and go to bed. Maybe if I
was very, very quiet, I could find some relief while he was
sleeping. Once again, we had been at the precipice of expanding our
relationship and I had run away.


As soon as Scully shut the door, I flipped on the shower and pulled
off my g-string. I stepped into the spray and the cold water
shocked me into a spate of obscenities that I normally try not to
use. It then literally took my breath away. Too bad it didn't take
away my hard-on. I let the water flow over my head and as it warmed
up, I tried to calm down under the pulse of the shower head. I
couldn't believe that I'd almost come just from her breath on my
skin. I knew what she was doing while she was working on trimming
my hair. She zoned out. She was trying to keep it professional,
help me relax.
How in the hell she thought I was going to be able to do that with
her hands all over me, I'd never know.

Just thinking of her small, strong hands, touching my pubic hair as
she moved the g-string from side to side and trimmed my hair, made
me hard all over again. I groaned. I tried to ignore the vision of
her ripe, full lips, pursed as they blew the hair off my cock.
Hell, I couldn't believe that she even looked at it.

I couldn't help it. As soon as she touched me, I'd begun to harden.
I tried to think of every disgusting thing I'd ever seen, some that
I'd worked for years to forget, but it didn't work. Luckily, I
didn't reach full erection, and the head of my cock was trapped in
the g-string. If she'd blown on that I know I would have gotten a
full erection and shot my wad right there.

I'd washed my entire body, only my crotch remained. I didn't want
to touch myself. I knew as soon as I did, I would once again see
her there right in front of me. Her beautiful mouth would be open
and the warmth of her breath would once again wash over me. I hated
using her for my personal gratification like that. It was one thing
to think about a future with Scully, about loving her and having her
return my love. It was another to think of her in a purely sexual
manner, especially with her in the next room.

I groaned as I ran my soapy hand over my dick. I fought to keep my
eyes open, to keep focused on nothing more than taking my shower.
It was hopeless. As soon as my eyes closed, her face popped into my
mind's eye and my fist tightened over my shaft. It didn't take more
than a few strokes to find my relief, but for some reason it was a
hollow victory. I wanted the real thing with Scully. I wanted her
to want me as much as I needed and wanted her. I wanted her love.
After the assignment was over, however, I wasn't even sure I would
have her respect.

3:15 AM

I looked up as the door opened to the office. It was my father, of
course. He was the only one rude enough not to knock. "Almost
finished, Geo?" he asked.

"Yeah, Pops, I'm done," I said. I locked the desk drawer and
checked the handle of the safe as I walked towards the door.

He turned and walked upstairs, not waiting for me. It was all right
by me. Even though he turned off all the lights as he went, I was
so familiar with the place that I could walk it with my eyes shut.

I went into my bedroom and locked the door.   I listened for all the
regular nighttime noises as I got ready for bed. I stepped into my
bathroom and took a quick shower. By the time I got out, the only
noise that could be heard was the faint sounds of the occasional car
out on the street. I turned off my light and lay down. I slid my
hand under my pillow, making sure my gun was still there.

Once again, I wondered what it would have been like to grow up
without having to worry about being scared all the time. Maybe if
Mama had lived.


I looked at the clock. It was 4:15 AM, time to get busy. I
listened carefully for any sounds from the other rooms. I walked
quietly back down to the office and unlocked the door. I didn't
turn on the light until the door was closed again.

I locked it and moved over to the desk. I logged onto the computer
to see if my 'friend' had left me any messages. Yes, he had, and I
could see he was on line so I we began some fast and furious e-
mails. I used the e-mail because I had it encrypted. I began to
get things started for the next day.

PROVIDER:    You ready?

MULE1 REPLY:    Ready, Freddie.

PROVIDER REPLY:   Ass, don't use my name.

MULE1 REPLY:    Sorry.    What's on the plate?

PROVIDER REPLY:   Pick-up, tomorrow night.       Warehouse # 2.

MULE1 REPLY:    Time?

PROVIDER REPLY:   8 PM.    Don't be late.   Contact me when the package
is secured.

MULE1 REPLY:    I'm never late.   Aye, aye, captain.

PROVIDER REPLY:   You're skating on thin ice, Mule.

MULE1 REPLY:    When are you going to grow a sense of humor?

PROVIDER REPLY:   Maybe if you ever say anything funny.

MULE1 REPLY:    Laugh a minute, you are.    I'm on it.

PROVIDER REPLY:   See that you are.    I'm out.

MULE1 REPLY:    10-4.

I logged off and powered down the computer. I leaned back in the
chair, throwing my feet up on the desk. I smiled to myself.
Morons; I was surrounded by morons.      I couldn't complain though,
they were fairly easy to manage.

I glanced at the clock and saw that it was getting late. Opening
time came too damn early to miss any more sleep. I quietly walked
back up stairs and returned to my room.


The following morning, I descended to the office again. I could
hear Bert out front, taking the chairs down off the tables and
getting ready for the 10:30 AM opening. It was only 9:00 AM.

I heard my father in my head. "We open at 10:30 and ensure they
aren't blistered until at least noon."

"Ha-ha, Dad, real funny," I grunted out loud.

I booted the computer and logged on.      The screen flickered to life.
There was an e-mail.

MULE1:   You there?    Provider, have a request.

PROVIDER REPLY:   Request from whom?      Spit it out.

MULE1 REPLY: Vendor # 1, inquiring about suitable evening

PROVIDER REPLY:   What kind?

MULE1 REPLY:   Veal.

PROVIDER REPLY:   Yes.    When?

MULE1 REPLY: He wants to meet me to pick up the package tonight.
He will be in town.

PROVIDER REPLY:   That fast?      I can do it but it will cost him extra.

MULE1 REPLY:   He said cost was no object.

PROVIDER REPLY:   So he's meeting you himself at 8:00?

MULE1 REPLY:   Yeah.     I'm just going to just trade my package for

PROVIDER REPLY: All right. Georgetown Suites, 1000 29th St., NW -
9:00 PM. The room will be in the name of Juan Perez. Remove 5 from
the package we give him.

MULE1 REPLY:   Can't do it earlier?

PROVIDER REPLY: No, I can provide, but I'm not a miracle worker.          I
need a little time. He'll have to get his meat after he delivers
his package.

MULE1 REPLY:   Can't your pigeon handle the club?

PROVIDER REPLY:   No, she can't.

MULE1 REPLY:   Ah, she of the wandering eye.

PROVIDER REPLY:   None of your business.   9:00 PM or nothing.

MULE1 REPLY:   I'll tell him - will contact if there is a problem.

PROVIDER REPLY: There better not be.   I go through the trouble, he
better be there. He pays either way.

MULE1 REPLY:   I'll tell him and short him the 5.


I shut down the e-mail account and stared at the wall. 'Sick
bastard,' I thought. Vendor # 1 was Carlos (the Rock) Santos of the
Mexican Drug Cartel run by Amado Carillo Fuentes. There was a bad
piece of work. He was bypassing Columbian drug lords and buying his
product from Peru and Bolivia.

While he might be making bigger profits, Jesus Garcia Abrego, his
competition, was working as a smuggler for the Columbian drug lords.
Abrego might make a little less money, but his life expectancy was
probably longer. Jesus' operation had originally been run by
brother, Juan, until he got 11 life sentences for drug trafficking
and money laundering in Texas.

The Feds knocked off one scumbag, but there was always another to
take his place. Still, it wouldn't break my heart if the world was
deprived of one scumbag at a time.

So Carlos the methamphetamine vendor wanted a little honey for the
evening. I would find one for him; she would show him a good time.
More than he ever dreamed of, I was sure.

I pulled out my laptop and signed on. I checked out a few sites,
making sure that I dumped my cache and history when I was done. I
powered down and hid it back in the cabinet.

I pulled up the website for the Georgetown Suites hotel and booked a
room under the name of Juan Perez. I didn't think old Carlos would
mind that I couldn't get him a suite. The double bed would be
plenty big enough for his purposes.

I entered the credit card number and expiration date from the card
one of my mules had lifted a couple weeks ago. How handy that they
printed those pieces of information right there on the card. How
stupid were these people? Who wouldn't close an account on a dead
I noted the room number and shot off an e-mail to MULE1 with the
information. No need for the Rock to make himself known to the
clerk at the front desk.

I covered my tracks on that machine as well, signed off the computer
Internet and turned it off.

'Now,' I thought as I put my feet up on the desk. 'Which little
pretty will show up to entertain Carlos? Will it be a blonde, red-
head, or brunette?'

6:00 PM

By the next afternoon, everything was back to normal. Scully was in
total denial that anything had happened and I was willing to play
along with her until the case ended. She'd responded to me, if only
for a few moments. I could wait. Hell, I'd waited for several
years already.

I ran by the shop and got a new g-string in a larger size. Tony
assured me all my costumes would be ready by Friday. He also told
me to say hello to Katey for him. I flipped him the bird.

Everything went smoothly and we made it to Raleigh in plenty of time
to grab a bite to eat before checking in with the club owner. I
wasn’t sure I could eat; too many butterflies. I knew her stomach
was probably touchy, too. I talked her into eating with me, and
after a delicious piece of peach pie for dessert, we were both glad
I did.

We pulled into the parking lot of the club and I immediately saw a
huge banner proclaiming it to be Ladies Night. Right under it was
another stating that tonight was Amateur Night. We should fit right

After I saw the sign, I knew was going to kill someone when I got
home. Who the hell picked out the club? 'Foxy Lady'? My stomach
decided to revolt. I was regretting that pie already. What if I
sucked? My stage fright kept building, turning into my worst
nightmare -- public humiliation. Every muscle in my body was tight
as a drum.

The club manager was expecting us and had opened up the women's
dressing room for us. After seeing the open, gym-locker-room
atmosphere of the men's dressing room, I was glad he had gone to the
effort. Scully left me to get dressed while she took my CD to the
stage manager. We'd burned a new copy of just tonight's song so
there wouldn't be any problem cueing up the music.
I stripped down to my socks. The floor was cold and I wasn't
convinced that it was clean so I left them on. I grabbed the new g-
string from the bag and hit the first snag. When I pulled it on, it
covered me just fine in the cup, and the trim job she'd done was
great. No problems there.

'Now, if the damn thing would stay up, I'd be all set,' I thought as
I checked both sides to see if there was an adjustable tab or
fastener. I twisted to the side, again, to try to find a way to
tighten it up but quickly realized there was nothing there but
smooth, satin-covered elastic. It was the wrong size and nothing I
could see to do with it would make it stay up on my hips. I pulled
on the right side and the left side slid off my cock. I growled as
I pulled on the left only to have the right side slide off and
expose not only my cock but the boys as well. I threw up my hand in
defeat. I decided that the whole strip-thing was a really bad idea
and I was going home. I'd just picked up my jeans when I heard a
knock on the door.

"Marty, I gave the music to the stage manager and I'm going out
front to get a good seat," Katey called through the door.

"No, you aren't," I yelled. I finished pulling on my jeans, over
the g-string, and opened the door. I yanked her inside, slammed and
locked the door.

"I can't do this, Sc … Katey," I declared.

"What? You're just nervous; you'll be fine.    A little stage fright
never killed anyone."

I knew she was teasing me to relieve my tension, but it wasn't
working. I growled and then said, "No, you don't understand. I
really can't do it."

She rolled her eyes and sighed.   "What don't I understand?"

"The damned g-string! It's too big.    It's falling off me.    I can't
go out there like this!"

She was starting to get the picture.   "Let me see.   Maybe it can be

I gave her an exasperated sigh and turned around to pull my jeans
down. I was certainly glad I had because the damn thing came half
way off with the jeans. I pulled it back up and faced her again.

She got down on her knees and tried to adjust it. Only my terror
over the coming performance kept my cock from a repeat performance
of the night before.

She yanked it into place and then tried to adjust it several times,
seeking a way to make it hang on my hips and stay in place. She
damn near gave me a wedgie as she pulled both sting up at once.
"Hey, have a care, there partner," I said with a gulp. She murmured
an apology and went back to pulling on the offending garment. Every
time she would pull on one side, the other would expose part of my,
er, parts. I could tell she was getting as frustrated at the thing
as I was.

She tipped her head down and tried again, finally giving up. She
knelt there with her hands on my hips, not moving for several
seconds. Her shoulders started to shake. Was she mad at me for
choosing the wrong size? "It's the right size," I said. "Tony
helped me pick it out."

Her shoulders continued to shake as her fingers plucked at the
offending garment. I heard a muffled sound and didn't know what to
make of her reaction. A few seconds later I heard a snort and then
a snicker and without further warning she was laughing, in great
gusting bursts. She darted a glance up at my expression and then
buried her face in her hands, laughing so hard she couldn't talk.

I stood there gaping at Dana Scully as she calmed down to a giggle.
Her behavior was so un-Scully like, I didn't know how to respond. I
personally didn't see anything funny about it. After all, I was the
one going out there and shaking my booty in front of a couple
hundred women with a damned g-string that wouldn't stay up.

"I'm sorry, Marty.   I just can't help it."   She gasped between

"What the hell is so funny, Katherine?" I growled.

She managed to blurt, "Fox in Sox."   Her peels of laughter began

I turned around and picked up my jeans.   I was out of there.


"Mul ... Marty, I'm sorry," I gasped. I didn't know what had come
over me. I reasoned that we were both nervous and I'd let
everything build up to a breaking point inside me. The name of the
club, "The Foxy Lady," almost made me lose it earlier. For some
reason, kneeling there once again, eye to eye, so to speak, with his
penis, trying to adjust the g-string was just too much. I'd glanced
down and, when I saw his socks, the only thing I could think of was
a couple lines by Dr. Seuss -- 'Fox in sox' and 'Sox on Fox'.

"You got the right size. It's just for a man much heavier around
the hip and waist area. Most men with your waist size must not be
as well-endowed as you." I said in a soothing voice, "I didn't mean
to upset you. I'm just nervous, too. I can sew it. Just wait
right here. There has to be a needle and thread somewhere in this
I slipped out the door and tried to get my mirth under control. I
ran back to the Stage Manager and asked for a sewing kit. He'd
directed me to the barmaids. They'd obviously already seen Mulder
because I quickly had two offers to sew the offending straps for
him. I thanked them, but turned down the help. I was back in a
matter of moments with a small sewing kit and some scissors.

He was pacing as I re-entered the room. I turned and locked the
door, knowing that at least one of the barmaids had followed me.
'Let them get their eyes full during his performance, and not a
minute sooner,' I thought.

I had him pull the jeans off again, and noticed that he'd removed
his socks and put on the soft slippers that he was going to wear
backstage. I took a cushion from a nearby chair and knelt on it
while I threaded my needle.

I centered the g-string cup and told him to hold it in place. I
took a few stitches in each side of the strap up close to the cup to
guide me on the size, and told him to take it off. It would be
easier to shorten it and cut away the extra material with it off
him. I didn't want to accidentally stick the man while I was
sewing. I stood up and turned around to give him a semblance of
privacy. I looked over to the dressing table at my right and almost
gasped aloud. The mirror gave me full view as I watched him while
he slid the g-string down his hips and then wiggled back into his

My temperature rose and a definite dampness began to accumulate
between my legs. 'Keep it professional, keep it professional, keep
it professional,' I repeated my personal mantra over and over until
the words slurred together. I soon found myself saying, 'It's
Mulder, it's personal, he's mine,' as I rocked back and forth on the
balls of my feet. It was no use. I had just officially lost my
last shred of professionalism.

"Okay," he said quietly. I grabbed the g-string, and made the
adjustment carefully, double checking that it was secure. I handed
it back and moved away to give him some privacy.

Once he had it on, he let me know. I knelt back down on the cushion
and motioned for him to come closer so I could check the fit. It
seemed to be nice and snug. The sac was tight and full, the sides
clung close to his groin and hips without cutting into his skin.
"Let me see the back," I said.

He followed directions and slowly spun around. I let my fingers
follow the line of the string on the side until they grazed the
muscular cheeks of his ass. I heard him suck in his breath and felt
his muscles tense up even more. I decided that it was my duty as
his manager to help him relax.

I stood up and walked over to his bag, digging around until I found
his body oil. He twisted his neck, and watched my every move. I
poured some in my hands to warm it. I told him to stand still and
put my hands on his neck and shoulder area. "Marty, relax," I said.
"You're so tense, you're going to pull a muscle out there if you
don't loosen up."

I rubbed his neck and shoulders before working down his spine to the
rounds of his ass again. I made sure the oil was everywhere. I
massaged his muscles as I spread the oil from area to area. He
groaned and I pulled away.

"Don't stop," he whispered.    "That feels wonderful."

I hesitated and then knelt down on the cushion. I continued on down
from the cheeks of his spectacular ass to the backs of his thighs.
I poured more oil into my hand and worked the muscles in his calves.
"Move this way," I said as I pulled on his right thigh. I followed
the cording of his muscles with my hands up his legs while I oiled
and massaged his calves, knees and the fronts of his thighs. When I
reached his hips, I gasped.

His cock was erect, fighting to escape the confines of the g-string.
I looked up at him, trying to see what he was thinking. For the
first time I noticed that he had his hands fisted and head thrown
back as if he was in intense pain. He was biting his full lower
lip, trying to stay silent.

I continued with my ministrations all the way up his body. I
kneaded each arm, gently prying open his fists and massaging his
hands. I massaged up and down his torso again. When I got to his
neck, I slid my fingers around the back, pulling until he lowered
his head so that our eyes could meet. His eyes were hooded; his
arousal was easy to read. Still, there was a guarded expression
that let me know he would not ask me for anything I wasn't ready to

"Does that feel better?" I whispered.

"Yeah," he said.   "And no."

I looked down and saw that he was fully erect; his cock had worked
its way out of the top of the g-string. "Is that for me?" I asked.
I was amazed at my boldness; seven years of foreplay was taking its
toll. It was the question I'd wanted to ask him last night, but had
been too afraid to vocalize.

"Yes, for you," he growled. "Always for you."    After a pause, he
continued, "You have to leave."

I stepped back, unprepared for the rejection.   "Why?"

The muscle in his jaw jumped as he ground his teeth together. "I
can't go out there like this. I need to do something about it."

"I know, but --"
"Don't make me say it, okay?"

"Marty," I said, schooling my voice to sound rational and calm.

"Okay then, the hard way," he said with a sigh. "I need to jerk
off! Now would you leave, please, so I can do it before I'm due on
stage?" he hissed.

I licked my lips. The thought of watching him jerk off sent an
unexpected bolt of pleasure straight to my core. Instead of
leaving, I was seized with lust. He'd been torturing me with his
gorgeous body for nearly two weeks and I was ready to snap.

I stepped toward him. Before he could back up, I'd snaked one arm
around his waist, and the other up the back of his neck. I yanked
his head down to mine until our foreheads touched. "Let me help," I

My heart pounded against my ribcage as adrenaline flooded my body.
God, what if he rejected me?

Instead, his mouth opened and he moaned.   "Don't tease me, Katey,"
he growled.

"I'm not." I slanted my head up to capture his lips. The hand
around his waist abandoned its post and slid to the front where it
aimed for his groin.

He gasped, crushed his mouth to mine, and bucked into my hand. He
pulled back to struggle for breath. Our lips and tongues dueled in
mid air, before plunging in to mate again.

'Oh my God! He's huge,' I thought. My hand gripped him firmly even
though my fingers and thumb couldn't completely enclose him in my
grasp. I slid down to his base and tugged upward to the tip. My
hand was slick with the body oil I'd been applying, and the added
lubrication made the movements smooth. He groaned into my mouth.

His right arm wound around my waist and pulled me to his chest,
crushing my hand between us. I didn't let that stop me; I continued
to stroke him firmly.

"Faster," he whispered in a roughened voice. He wrapped his hand
over mine and squeezed. His long fingers completely engulfed my
hand as he urged me to stroke up and down the length of his cock
faster, harder. My temperature rose about ten degrees as I looked
down and watched our hands working his body together. The golden
brown of his fingers intertwined with the white of mine pumping up
and down the length of his cock was one of the most erotic sights
I'd ever seen. He groaned and let his hand fall away, only to reach
for my breast to squeeze and massage it until my nipples were hard
points of fire.
I sped up, flicked my thumb over the sensitive tip, and he suddenly
released me. His knees buckled and he stumbled backward. His rear
landed on the edge of the make-up counter, scattering the contents
to either side. I heard several things hit the floor but didn't
look to see what they were.

His hand slid up my back and he threaded his fingers through my
hair. I moved closer and leaned my shoulder on his chest. Thus
braced, I gave myself a little room to maneuver and spread his
precum over the sensitive glans.

His free hand reached down and cupped his balls, drawing them up and
out of the g-string so that the material framed his entire package.
I resumed stroking his shaft, while my other hand took over for him.
He leaned back, closed his eyes and groaned as I carefully rolled
his testicles between my fingers. The oil on my hands eased the
friction on his skin and it made him feel like velvet against my

He tipped my head up again, and pulled my lips to his, kissing me
ferociously. Then, with my hand still milking him, he ground the
tip of his cock against my belly. My insides spasmed with want and
I felt an ungodly wetness between my legs.

He stiffened suddenly, pulling away from me, slightly. His teeth
nipped at my shoulder where he rested his head. "Gonna come, yeah,
a little more, yeah." Then he groaned loudly, "Oh, yeah. Oh yeah!
Oh God, Scully! Awww!"

I felt his come rocket out of his shaft and pool over the top of my
hand. His hips jerked as he grunted next to my ear. He panted
heavily a couple of times and then lifted his head. He kissed me so
tenderly I felt tears sting the backs of my eyelids.

"I'm sorry.   I made a mess," he whispered.

I smiled at him and grabbed for the box of tissues that had survived
the earlier meeting between his ass and the counter. I quickly
cleaned him up.

He looked at me sheepishly and pointed to my blouse. Tonight, I
hadn't worn one of my new outfits, thank goodness. I'd opted for
comfort in jeans and a button-down white blouse over a tank top.
Now there was a big wet spot on the stomach and patches of oil from
his hands and body.

He pulled out a wad of tissues and handed it to me. I wiped off my
shirt as best I could and then took it off, just going with the tank

He was carefully tucking himself back into his g-string. I watched
as he yanked on his outfit, dressing quickly. Once he was finished,
he said, "Uh, Katey."
Just then someone banged on the door.   "Ten minutes!" a voice
shouted through the door.

"Later, Marty," I said.

He held my gaze for a few seconds and then stepped closer to me,
cupping the back of my head gently with one hand. He leaned down,
his lips hovering near mine. "We need to talk."

"We don't have time now," I said.

"I know."

"You're on."

"Thank you," he whispered.

"Anytime," I heard myself say.

"Really?" he asked, giving me that quirky grin of his that lifted
one side of his mouth.

I blushed, unable to stop the heat that flashed up from my neck.
Damned Irish skin!

PART 6 (R)
8:00 PM

She smiled and nodded. "You look great, Marty," she said as she
backed toward the door.

I stepped into her personal space again, and slid an arm around her
waist. "Stay."

"Later," she said again.

I shook my head.    "No, this can't wait."

"What?" she asked.

I leaned down and stopped a hair's breadth away from her lips.   "I
should have kissed you first," I whispered.

She started to protest, but I didn't give her a chance. I leaned
down and placed my lips over hers and devoured her. She moaned
gently into my mouth. I deepened the kiss even further and she

I felt my cock twitch. Damn, I'd just come minutes ago. What was
up with that? I pulled away reluctantly, nipping her lower lip
gently with my teeth.   She gasped and looked up at me.   Our eyes

A loud knock on the door made us both startle.    "Five minutes to
show time!" a voice hollered.

I sighed deeply and looked back into her eyes.    "Wish me luck."

"Luck," she said simply.   "Go get 'em, tiger."

I released her and strode to the door. I felt a flock of
butterflies invade my stomach and start to have a party. I took a
deep breath and turned back to look at her. She was watching me, a
curious expression on her face. "Hey Katey?"


"That reaction?"


"It's only been for you for a long time."

Her eyes widened and her mouth opened, but no sound came out. I
nodded at her and headed out into the hallway. A few seconds later,
I heard her boot heels clicking in the corridor behind me.

I had to veer off toward backstage, however, I turned and caught her
as she tried to dart by me. I wrapped an arm around her waist.

"Oh!" she exclaimed as I twirled her around and brought her in close
to my body. I leaned down, kissing her hard and quick on the mouth.

I released her and trotted on to the stage, leaving her standing
there with her mouth hanging open. A grin split my face. I
couldn't help but be giddy. Scully wanted me.

The owner was waiting backstage and clapped me on the back as I
passed him on my way to my mark. He followed me and waited for me
to get into position. When I nodded, he opened the curtain just
enough to let him step out on stage.

I'd chosen the pinstriped, three-piece suit and fedora for my virgin
performance. It was the easiest of my routines. I didn't want to
go for broke and fall on my ass. It was best to start with the
simplest one and work my way up to the harder routines at the Blue

I did the deep-breathing exercises Mark had taught me to calm
myself. My heart was still beating like a trip hammer. God, I
hoped I didn't make an ass of myself.

"Ladies and Gentlewomen! We have a special treat for you tonight.
A new dancer!" The crowd went nuts hooting and hollering. "He's
come all the way from Washington, D.C. to show you his stuff, so
please, give him a big, warm welcome, ladies. Put your hands
together for -- The Lone Wolf!"

The crowd went nuts again. I flinched at the noise level of the
high-pitched voices. One last breath and the curtain parted. The
stage was dark until a spot light clicked on, drowning me in bright
light. I kept my head down and waited for the music to start. 'You
can do it,' I chanted to myself over and over again.

Then Lenny Kravitz was belting out of the speakers, and my body
began to move almost automatically.

**I'm crazy for this little lady
I'm freaking for my little baby
'Cause she makes me feel good
She's so fine **

I danced around the back section of the stage for a moment, letting
the music flow through me. I was feeling loose. I swiveled my hips
and pulled off the fedora, spinning around holding it out in from of
me before slapping it back on my head. I moved closer to the front
of the stage and pulled off the jacket and vest as the beat of the
music set the pace. I remembered to throw them back toward the
curtain so I didn't lose anything to a souvenir hunter.

**Don't need all my other ladies
I'm beggin' for this little lady
'Cause I tell you she's cool
She's divine
I know she's a super lady**

I found Scully at a small table front and center. Apparently, the
owner had reserved it for her and was now seated across from her. I
locked my eyes on her and tried to ignore the other women. I pulled
my shirt from my pants, ripped it open and did a twirl. I could see
some of them advancing toward the stage. So far, so good. I
whipped off my shirt and moved out onto the wide catwalk that
extended from the stage, dancing bare-chested.

**I'm weak and I've gone hazy
I'm crazy for that lady
She's chic but she's not shady
Sophisticated lady
And she makes me feel good
She's so fine

Never knew there was such a lady
That would make me want to straighten
Out my life at this time but I find
I'm thinkin' 'bout this little lady
'Cause you know she's no fool
She's refined
I know she's a super lady**
About half-way down the catwalk, I tore off the pants and danced
around in the black silk boxers. Scully was smiling, but I knew I
had to look away from her and pay attention to some of the other
ladies. I remembered what Mark had said: "Make them feel special
because you noticed them." I ripped off the boxers, dancing over to
the side. I was down to my g-string and the fedora. I did the knee
drop and spin all along the length of the stage. I made sure that I
dipped down low enough for the ladies to reach me, but not close
enough to throw off my balance with a well-meaning grab. Women were
yelling and screaming and shoving money into the side straps of my
g-string every step along the way.

**I'm weak and I've gone hazy
I'm crazy for that lady
She's chic but she's not shady
Sophisticated lady
And she makes me feel good
She's so fine

Don't you know she blows my mind
All the time
'Cause she makes me feel good
Like real woman should
She's so fine
Yeah **

I danced the entire circuit of the catwalk, and my strings were
fluttering with bills. I was surprised to feel the charge it gave
me. They liked me! Maybe I could pull it off after all. My eyes
sought out my partner and I stayed locked on her for the rest of the
routine, which I did beyond the reach of grasping hands. This part
was very blatantly sexual and I wanted to give let Scully know it
was only for her.

**I'm weak and I've gone hazy
I'm crazy for that lady
She's chic but she's not shady
Sophisticated lady
And she makes me feel good
She's so fine

Don't you know she blows my mind
All the time
'Cause she makes me feel good
Like real woman should
All the time
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah**
As the music faded, I was back at the curtain. I twirled around,
grabbed the brim of my fedora and tossed it straight at Scully. She
didn't disappoint me, catching it and breaking out into a peal of
laughter. I smiled at her, winked, and ducked behind the curtain.

A stagehand ran up a few seconds later and handed me the parts of my
outfit that had been tossed all over the stage.

I stood, breathing heavily. I'd broken a sweat, but it wasn't too
bad. It was more from nerves than exertion. Suddenly, Scully was
beside me, grinning like a Cheshire cat. I smiled at her. "Did I
pass the test?"

"Oh man, did you ever pass, with flying colors!"

The arm that wasn't cradling my dismantled outfit wrapped around her
waist and pulled her in. We stood there hugging for a few seconds
and then I said, "I'm getting cold."

"Can't have that now, can we?" she said softly.    She backed up, took
my hand and led me back to the dressing room.

ROOM 306
9:00 PM

I heard a knock on the door, three sharp raps.     "Come in," I said in
a small voice.

He entered and the door clicked shut behind him. "Hi, sweetheart.
Hey, where are you?" he asked. "I've been waiting for this all

"In the bathroom," I cooed. "Why don't you make yourself all
comfortable and ready? I'll be right out."

"What?   No lights?" he asked.

"There's a lamp on the nightstand," I said softly through the crack
in the door.

He set his metal carrying case on the floor and turned it on. He
pulled his sweater off and unbuckled his pants. He hadn't even
bothered with underwear.

"I couldn't wait for tonight, you know. This is going to be so
good. I've been itchy for weeks," he called through the bathroom

Once naked, he lay down on the bed and stroked himself. I continued
to watch him through the crack in the door. He was already hard as
a rock.

"What's your name?" he asked, looking toward the crack of light
coming from bathroom light.

"Gigi," I said.

"Get out here, Gigi.   I paid good money for you."

"I'm coming.   Ready for me, big boy?"

"Oh God, yes!" he hissed.

The door swung open slowly and I stood framed by the bathroom door.
My hands were on the doorjambs. His eyes bugged out as he saw that,
not only was I clearly a grown woman, but I was fully dressed all in
black; leather pants, turtleneck sweater, leather gloves and high
heels. I could see his mind working. I represented the wrong kink.
"Hi there," I said.

He sat up quickly and peered at me.      "Who are you?"


"How old are you?" he demanded.    "I ordered someone younger."

"You did?"

"Yes, I did!   What kind of a joke is this?"

"The best kind."

"What's that supposed to mean?" He rolled to the edge of the bed
and threw his legs over the side.

"The kind where I get the last word."     My voice hardened as I spoke.

"I'm calling my contact.    This is bullshit."   He started to stand

He stopped cold when I barked, "Sit right there, Carlos."

"How do you know my name?" he asked. He flushed with anger. He
knew he'd been set up and looked around to see if we were alone.       He
glanced back at me and fear replaced his anger.

I was pointing a pistol at his head.     "You like little girls?" I
asked, ignoring his question.

He didn't answer at first; just put his hands in the air.     "Look, we
can work out a deal here," he said.

"I don't think so.   Say a prayer, Carlos."

"'Cause it's your last chance to make peace with your maker," I

"Who ARE you?"

"Your worst fucking nightmare," I whispered.

Pfft.    Pfft.

Two shots pumped into his chest and he fell backwards onto the bed.
His mouth opened as he gagged. He struggled to sit up but I walked
to him and pressed the muzzle to his forehead. "Bye, bye."


I shot another round straight into his skull. The gun kicked back.
'Shit, that hurt,' I thought. 'I certainly won't do that again.'

I put the safety on and rubbed my wrist. I retreated to the
bathroom, my heart banging so hard I was afraid I would pass out.
My hands trembled as I unscrewed the silencer from the muzzle. I'd
done this so many times but never quite grew used to it. I placed
both pieces carefully back into the molded foam lining of the black
case and tightly secured the box.

My hands landed on the edge of the counter and I leaned over the
sink, wondering if I was going to be sick. The feeling passed and I
took a couple of deep breaths. It was done, for better or worse,
just as the Provider ordered.

I put the gun case inside my briefcase, and extracted the bag with
the rest of the equipment. I laid aside my leather gloves and
slipped on latex gloves as I walked back to the bed. It was time
set the scene and clean up so I could make a quick exit. His blood
was soaking the bed, even as I worked. I took out a package of
fine, white powder. I didn't need to open his mouth, it was hanging

I poured some of the powder directly into his mouth and watched it
disappear into the pink and red blood that was floating inside. I
smeared a bit up each nostril and, then poured the rest onto the
mirror I'd laid on the nightstand from my bag of supplies. I placed
the razor blade between his first finger and thumb, pressing to make
sure there was a good fingerprint available. I put the blade back
down on the mirror.

I picked up my trash, hurried back into the bathroom, took off the
gloves and dropped them into a larger plastic bag, placing the whole
thing into my briefcase. I pulled on my leather gloves and checked
my appearance in the mirror. I adjusted my red wig and reached into
my briefcase one final time. I pulled out a large garbage bag and a
Swiffer duster. I ran it over the sink, the counter, the toilet and
the floor. I backed out of the room with my briefcase and the bag.
I ran the duster over every surface I might have touched. Even with
the leather on, I didn't want to take a chance.

I walked back over to the bed, grabbed his metal carrying case and
stuffed it into the duffel bag I'd brought with me. I slung it over
my shoulder and looked at him one last time. "Thanks for this, by
the way," I said. I knew it contained the cash that the mule had
given him for the cocaine he'd delivered to the Provider. I
continued to sweep across my path to the door. At the door, I
thrust the duster back into the trash bag and placed it with the
other items in my briefcase. I exited the room, checking the
hallway briefly before stepping out to make sure no one was lurking.
I strode as calmly as I could to the end of the hall, entered the
stairwell, and went down three flights of stairs to the lobby.

Glancing at the clerk behind the counter, I waited for her to bend
down, then I darted toward the side door, and slipped out into the
alleyway. I yanked open the rear door of my car and threw in the
duffel bag and briefcase. I hopped into the driver's seat, flipped
the door locks, and started the engine. I pulled out onto the
street and traveled nearly a block before I turned on my headlights.
I smiled; another job well done.

I thought of the case in the   back seat. I was well-paid for the
hits I'd made and helped rid   the earth of a few scumbags. In a way,
it was too bad it all had to   come to an end. Soon, however, it
would be time for me to move   on.

PART 7 (NC-17)
1271 18TH STREET, NW
10:00 PM

Ah, the 18th Street strip. It was always easy to spot the Asylum.
All you had to do was look for the rows of Harley-Davidson hogs
parked outside. My kind of place.

I was always horny after I finished a job. I think it had something
to do with the adrenaline and endorphins that got spinning through
my bloodstream while experiencing the thrill of the hunt.

I entered the low-ceilinged basement bar. I smiled at the familiar
dungeon-chic décor designed by Lee Wheeler. Maybe I'd get him to do
parts of my house someday. Iron lanterns hung on the gray stone
walls, broadswords and suits of armor interspersed as decoration. A
giant, red dragon head sat over the DJ booth. Behind the bar, the
mirror was lined with skulls and bones.

I ordered my whiskey neat as I slid onto a vacant barstool. Once it
was delivered, I turned and surveyed the crowd, sitting with my back
to the bar. After five minutes or so, I spotted my quarry. He was
playing pool. Young, maybe only 21 with a face clear of acne,
muscles from working out, and a sexy smile.

I sidled up to him and said, "Hi, I'm Gigi. What's your name?"   I
pretended to be a little tipsy, swaying on my high heels.

"Gigi, is it?   Well, I'm Kevin."

"Mmm, Kevin.    When will you be done with your game?"

He glanced at his pool partner and said, "I think I'm done now.
Rick, take over." He lobbed his pool stick gently to a guy a few
feet away. His buddy caught it and gave Kevin a thumbs up sign.
Kevin laid a hand on my shoulder and said, "What did you have in
mind, Gigi? A dance?"

"Sure, I dance."

He took my hand and led me out onto the dance floor. After one
minute of bopping and grinding, I felt his cock pressing into my
stomach. Bingo, he was all mine. I leaned up and whispered in his
ear. "Wanna step into my office?"

He looked startled that I was propositioning him so quickly. I'm
sure he thought he'd have to work a lot harder at it. He smiled and
said, "Lead the way."

I took his hand and exited the dance floor, making a beeline for the
hallway that led to the restrooms. I hit the door hard and we
stumbled inside. I pulled him into a stall and locked it.

"What now, Gigi?" he asked, trying to sound suave.

I hooked my fingers in the sides of my pants and yanked them down to
my knees. I turned around and bent over, grasping the back of the
toilet. "Now you fuck me," I said calmly.

His surprised laughter echoed in the small space and he shook his
head as I looked at him over my shoulder. "That's it?"

"You want this or not?" I asked, wiggling my bare ass at him as I
glared over my shoulder.

He quickly unzipped his jeans and yanked them down, exposing a
beautiful, circumcised shaft. If I were a betting woman, I would
put my money on it being hardly used, and chuckled out loud at the
thought. He probably thought I was chuckling at his enthusiasm. He
leaned over me, pressing his hard cock into the crack of my ass.

I pulled a condom out of my shirt pocket and handed it over my
shoulder. He ripped it open and put it on without a protest. Then
he leaned in to kiss me but I turned away as I said, "Just fuck me.
I need it now."
He grunted and I hoped he wouldn't put up a fuss. He didn't.
Instead, he swiped his fingers once over my slit. Finding me
dripping wet, he wasted no more time. After grabbing my hips, he
said, "You want it, baby. You got it."

I chuckled again.   "Show me you can use that thing.   Nice and hard."

"Damn."   He groaned as he shoved into me in one stroke.

I rocked back against him and he began to fuck me. I braced myself
against the toilet and moaned as his shaft slammed in and out. He
was young and strong, fucking me just like I wanted it. I didn't
care about endurance. I liked the strength. I was so wound up
after a job it didn't take much to set me off.

I clenched my muscles around him and he groaned again. I reached
down with one hand and swiped over my clit. I careened over the
edge, feeling my pussy spasm on his hard rod.

He shouted one more time.   "Awww, fuck, woman!"

I smiled when I felt my orgasm ripple over his shaft.   It jerked and
spasmed as his balls emptied.

He carefully retracted from my still-spasming body. I grabbed some
toilet paper, wiped myself and threw it in the bowl. I stood up,
yanked up my pants and turned around. "Thanks," I murmured, feeling
my high fade.

He pulled off the condom, tossed it into the toilet, and flushed it
down. "Hey, little Gigi, you sure you don't want to party someplace
nicer? I have a big, soft bed at home," he said as he zipped up his

I smiled at him, hiding my impatience.   "No, not tonight.   I'm tired
now. Thanks though, that was good."

I reached around him and unlocked the stall.

He backed out but when I went to go by him, he grabbed my arm. I
wrenched it away and he held up his hands in surrender. "Hey, hey.
I just wondered if I could have your number."

"Not this time," I said.

"How about I give you mine?"

"Okay," I said. I went back out into the bar and he followed.    I
walked to the pool table and stood watching the ongoing game.

He said, "Let me get a napkin to write my number on. I'll be right
back." He smiled like a good little puppy dog. I waited until his
back was turned as he pushed his way through the crowd to the bar
before I headed for the door.

I grinned. God, they were all such losers.    I was out the door
before he ever reached the bar.

2:00 AM

I was tired so Scully was driving home. We had been silent for
about ten minutes when I said, "It wasn't bad once I got started."

She looked over quickly, flashing me a smile and then turned her
attention back to the road. "You were magnificent," she said,
barely above a whisper.

"You don't have to humor me."

"I'm not. Those women went absolutely nuts. I couldn't blame them.
If you have any doubts, check out the wad of bills you have in your
pocket right now."

I chuckled.    "You really think I can pull this off, huh?"

"No doubt about it." She was silent for a few moments and then
said, "You know what I liked the best?"

"What?   The hat-toss?" I guessed.

She smiled again. "No, the fact that all those women were staring
at me with envy," she said softly.

I looked at her closely and watched her swallow nervously. She was
trying to step out from behind her wall. I didn't want to scare her
into retreating.

"That happens all the time. You're a gorgeous woman.    Most women
are either threatened by you or they envy you."

"Oh please, talk about humoring someone."

"I'm not."

She huffed in disbelief. "I meant they were envious that I was
there with you, that I was leaving with you." She paused and then
added, "That you were watching me through most of your dance."

I slid my hand across the seat to the console. She took one hand
off the wheel and met me half way. I laced my fingers through hers.
"All the men were jealous you were leaving with me," I said.

She snorted.
"Don't argue with me, woman; just believe," I teased.

"Your delusions become more outrageous as the years go by," she
quipped in return.

I smiled and felt a wave of exhaustion wash through me. "God, I'm
tired," I said. "I didn't know that nerves could take so much out
of you."

"Sleep, I'm fine."

"Are you sure?"

"I've got your back, partner."

"I know you do. You're the only one I'd trust at my back," I
whispered, feeling sleep tug at my consciousness.


I sipped my coffee and glanced over at Mulder again. He hadn't
stirred a muscle when I stopped for gas. He'd been worried about
tonight, probably more than he admitted even to himself, and hadn't
slept well last night.

He did a fantastic job at The Foxy Lady. If I hadn't known better,
I would have sworn that he was a professional dancer.

The song he used drifted through my mind and I thought about his
routine. I mentally reviewed the entire evening as I drove.

The lights dimmed and the curtain opened to darkness. A spotlight
flashed on Mulder as he stood in the middle of the stage. He was
wearing the fedora at a rakish angle and a sharp-looking, three-
piece suit. His bare feet made the entire outfit look sexy. His
hair was quite long and the shaggy, bad-boy cut made him look
dangerous. The sultry look in his eyes may have only been a squint
against the glare of the spotlight, but it complemented the entire
outfit. He looked like sex-on-a-stick before he even moved.

He began dancing around, the thrusts of his hips and pelvis
perfectly synchronized with the beat of the music. I could tell
that he was loose and feeling fine. He pulled the fedora off and
spun around several times, moving from side to side, teasing the
women at the edge of the stage. He shoved the hat back on his head
and moved closer to the front stripping off first his jacket and
then the vest.

I knew exactly when he spotted me. Our eyes met and a shock of
electricity flowed through me, straight down to my gut. He pulled
his shirt from his pants and ripped it open as he spun and twirled
from one side of the main stage to the other. Women were beginning
to press against the edge, money magically appearing in their hands.
Mulder hit his mark and as Lenny sang about his 'super lady', he
tugged the shirt off and pranced down the cat walk. About half-way
down, he tore off the suit pants and wiggled his gorgeous ass in his
black silk boxers.

I never told him how hot he made me the very first time I saw him in
black silk. He was recovering from smoke inhalation during the case
from hell with his old girlfriend, Phoebe Greene. I didn't know him
that well back then, but I could tell an un-partnerly response when
I felt one.

I smiled up at him and he nodded back at me. I tried not to be
disappointed when he began smiling at the other women. That was,
after all, his job. By the time he had made one circuit of the
catwalk as a tease, he was down to his g-string. He danced back
down the catwalk, swaying from side to side, and did a sexy drop-to-
his-knees move that allowed the women access to his strings. The
audience was screaming and cat-calling, begging for his attention.

I could tell by his grin that he was getting into the spirit of the
dance. I felt torn. I wanted him to be relaxed and enjoy himself,
but on the other hand, I didn't want him to enjoy himself too much.
I was confused by my own response.

His eyes met mine and all my doubts skittered away. He was only
doing a job. True, he was enjoying it, but with one look, he let me
know I was more important to him than a whole room full of screaming
women. He didn't take his eyes off me for the rest of the dance.

He moved back toward the curtain on the main stage again and
finished up the routine. Every flex of his muscles, every spin,
every thrust of his hips was as sexy as anything I'd ever seen in or
out of bed. He was male beauty personified. I doubted that there
was a pair of dry panties in the house.

The music faded and he did a final twirl. He grabbed the brim of
the fedora and threw it directly at me. I caught it easily, and the
declaration of his interest in front of all those women made me
laugh aloud with glee. He took several bows at the curtain, waved
and smiled at the audience. His eyes smoldered as he locked gazes
with me again. Then he gave me a smile and a wink before he ducked
back behind the curtain.

All the women around me were staring at me, trying to figure out
exactly who I was to receive so much attention from such a beautiful
man. I wanted to snap my fingers in their collective faces and
laugh. That was my man up there. 'Well, he will be before long,' I

I rolled the window down. I was suddenly hot. I glanced at Mulder
and pressed harder on the gas. I wanted to get home and relax. I
wondered what he would do if I pulled him into bed with me when we
got home. If I did, would tonight be the night that something more
than sleep happened in that big king-size bed? We were headed in
that direction for sure. There was no use denying it anymore.

9:00 AM

It seemed like my phone rang right after I laid my head down. I
turned over to grab the phone and found Scully in bed next to me.

I thought about last night briefly and smiled to myself. We got
home late. We both stumbled around getting ready for bed. There
was no big declarations, no discussion. She just pulled me into bed
with her, snuggled into my side and fell asleep. The phone clicked
over to the machine and I could hear our message come on.

A familiar voice yelled a message after the beep.   "Mulder!    Pick up
the phone!"

"This better be good," I answered.

"Marty, trouble in paradise."

"Uncle Melvin?"

"The very same. Poppa called and said there's a new development in
the family. He wants to meet with you and the missus."

"When and where?"

"Can you be here in an hour?"

"Sure." I groaned as I rolled over to let Scully know what was
going on. 'This better be good,' I thought again.

We entered the Gunmen's lair to find Skinner and SAC Rose waiting
for us. "What's up guys? We were burning the midnight oil."

Skinner waved us onto the couch and we sat down. He unceremoniously
handed each of us a folder. I hesitated but then opened it and drew
back instinctively.


Scully was looking at her copy of the crime scene photos.      "Let me
guess. Real bad guy?"

Rose said, "The worst. Meet Carlos "The Rock" Santos, smuggler for
the Mexican Fuentes family

"Don't the Mexicans work for the Columbians?" I asked.
Rose shook his head. "The Abrego gang does, but not the Fuentes
brothers. The Mexican gangs run their own distribution networks,
right here in the United States. They transport and sell the
majority of the methamphetamine and coke sold north of the border."

"Shit," I growled.

"Yeah, shit," he repeated. "They are the Columbians' main
competition. We've learned through DEA that they bypass the
Columbians and buy straight from other suppliers."

"Who?" Scully asked.

"Bolivia and Peru. We've tracked some of their mules, but been
unable to find the source."

"Lovely," I commented.    "What's your theory?"

Skinner said, "We think this is more of the same. The Fuentes are
the first real competition for the Columbians. They've moved in on
their territory." He stood up and began pacing.

"The whole United States, you mean?" she asked.

"Well, essentially yes.    They are the competition."

I squinted and looked at the other pictures.

"What do you see, Mulder?" Skinner asked as he stood by me.

I pointed to the face of the man.    "Right there."

"What about it?"

"The blood's smeared.    This is also messier than the last ones,
isn't it?"

Skinner nodded. "We wondered if it was the same shooter at first.
The guy has three holes in him, two in the chest from short range,
maybe fifteen feet, and one in the skull, point-blank."

"Found naked?" Scully asked.

"Yes," Rose supplied.

"What else was in the room?" she asked.

"Other than some drug paraphernalia, just his clothes," Skinner
said. "That's what's odd. We found his rental car in the parking
lot; nothing in it except a jacket."

"What are you getting at?" I asked.

Skinner put his hands on his hips.    "If he was here to make a drug
deal, we would usually find something on them, either product or
cash. This guy had neither."

Scully stabbed the photo.   "There's coke right there."

"Less than an ounce and most of it was already in his system and up
his nose."

"What if someone put it up his nose?" I suggested.

They all looked at me.   "Because of the smear?" the SAC asked.

"Exactly. It's staged. He's naked. They've all been naked. That
suggests they went there for something other than a coke party. I'm
thinking they were meeting someone for a little hanky panky."

Skinner frowned. "You think a prostitute is doing this?"     He sat
back down on the couch.

I shook my head. "No, but it could be someone posing    as one,
somebody that works for an escort service but is also   on the
Columbian payroll. They put a tail on him, listen in    on his cell
phone. He calls for a date. They delay the date and     the shooter
takes their place."

The SAC was nodding. "Good theory. One we hadn't heard yet, at
least. Gives us a new angle. I'll start the team looking for calls
from our vics to any of the known escort services. I'm afraid we
have a major drug war breaking out, folks."

Skinner grunted. "Something doesn't add up there, though. How do
they ambush them and get them naked? They make it to the room
before? Do they call and tell them to get naked and wait and these
guys just obey and do it? It doesn't make sense."

I frowned. "I didn't say I had all the answers." I thought for a
few more minutes before I continued, "I need more information on all
of the hits so far. Deep background. Anything. We may be missing
a connection here other than the obvious ones."

Rose nodded and wrote a note in his planner. He shut it and pushed
it into his pocket. "That won't be hard. D.E.A. has files a mile
deep on all these characters. I don't know what you think you'll
find, but I'll do it."

"I don't know either, but it's worth a try. At least it will give
me something to think about other than my stage fright."

Skinner gave a quick nod of acknowledgement. "Let's all think about
it. I don't want you guys out there too long. Go home. Get some
rest. I hear you have to practice with all the other dancers this

The bastard smiled at me.
"And then, tomorrow is the big night," he continued.

I glared at him.   "Don't make me hate you worse than I already do."

He snorted in spite of my warning.   "I'm sorry.   I know it's not
easy for you."

"Damn straight it's not, and unless you want to take my place, cool
it with the amusement. It pisses me off."

Scully laid a hand on my forearm and I took a deep breath.

Skinner said, "You're right.    I'm sorry."

"We're out of here.   We need sleep," Scully said.

"Mulder," Rose called.   "How did it go last night?"

I shrugged and pulled out a wad of money from my pocket. "Okay, I
guess. They seemed to like me, but that didn't make it any easier."
I turned back toward Scully.

"Hey," Skinner said, stopping us at the door.

We both glanced back at him.

"Good luck tomorrow night.   I mean it," he said quietly.

I nodded at him.   "Cross your fingers I don't fall off the catwalk."

He grimaced and nodded again.

2:30 PM

I didn't know exactly what to wear to the rehearsal, so I wore my
jeans and a tee shirt and packed my regular workout clothes, my
black leather tear-away's, and of course, my g-string. I threw in
the soft, leather dance slippers Phil had forced me to buy at the
last minute. I preferred to dance barefooted. I felt more sure-
footed and not quite as artsy-fartsy that way.

Scully had on a killer outfit: black leather boots that reached
above her knees, a mini skirt and a blue cropped tee shirt, the same
color as her eyes. She looked so good that I almost wished I hadn't
talked her into buying those clothes. There were going to be a
dozen other guys there ogling her. I hoped the wedding ring she
wore meant something to at least a few of them.

When we walked in, we stopped to let our eyes adjust to the darkness
of the bar. I didn't know where the rehearsal was going to be held.
I was glad when Suzanne approached and led us to the dressing room
area. We had to walk through a door to the immediate right of the
entry. We'd ignored it the last time we were there.

The door led to another large room filled with tables and chairs and
couches. It was completely cut off from the bar by a cashier's
booth. Suzanne led us through the area, giving us a running
commentary on the various highlights of the technical set-up of the
room. The stage looked huge as we walked by it.

According to Suzanne, The Blue Room was originally just a small bar,
but the management had decided to go into the floorshow business and
took over the space next door. The doorway was there to keep the
drunks from getting a free show and to give the women who came for
ladies night a feeling of being in an exclusive club. Small
dividers kept each entrance and exit private from public inspection.

There was a small area we passed by where the barmaids submitted
their drink and snack orders during the show. I noted that there
were numerous fire exits and another entrance from the street up by
the cashier's area. The dressing rooms were in the back of the
stage and accessed through a door to the right of the catwalk.

Suzanne led us to the backstage area and stopped. "Marty, the men's
dressing room is through that door," she said, pointing to a red

"Thanks," I said. "Uh, are we early or something?    I don't see any
of the other dancers around."

She smirked and said, "You may have been asked to come in early to
talk to Geo. She likes to get to know the new dancers, personally."

"That's right, Suzanne, I do." A slender, petite woman walked out
of the shadows and right up to me. She had long brunette hair and
brown eyes. She looked more like Jessica Alba, the actress, instead
of the plain woman from the surveillance photographs we'd seen of
her. Giovanna Ferrante was obviously not photogenic.

"Hello, Marty, I'm your boss, Giovanna Ferrante," she said. She
held my hand and looked deeply into my eyes. "I saw your audition,
and I have to tell you, I was impressed. You can call me Geo."

Scully was getting pissed; I could tell by the way she cleared her
throat loudly.

Geo glanced around as if she just noticed someone else was standing
there. "And you are?" she asked haughtily.

"I'm Katey Williams.   I'm Marty's manager and --"

"Oh, right. Suzanne mentioned you. You can run along for a couple
of hours, Kathy. We're just going to be working through the opening
and closing sets." She turned her back to Scully as if she had
already dismissed her in her mind. "Marty, why don't you and I go
back to the office and get to know each other a little better?" she
said. It was a command, not a request. She pulled me after her,
leaving Scully and Suzanne standing there staring at us.

I glanced back at Scully and shrugged my shoulders as I followed Geo
backstage. She led me down a hallway into a small office and
directed me to a leather couch along one wall.

"Would you like something to eat or drink, Marty?" she asked.

"No, I don't like to eat before I work out.   Just some water if you
have it."

She got me a bottle of water from a small refrigerator next to the
desk and sat down much closer than I was expecting.

"Now, tell me all about yourself."

"Not much to tell.   I dance."

"You're a little older than most of the guys we get in here, Marty,"
she said, trying to get me to tell her more about myself.

I shrugged and took a deep drink of water, throwing my head back to
keep from looking at her while I thought.

She was staring at my throat when I looked back down. "What's
this?" she asked. She picked at the gold chain around my neck and
pulled it from under my tee shirt. My wedding band was on it.

"My wedding ring," I answered as I pulled it from her grasp. "I
didn't think I should wear it while I dance, but I like it near me."

"You're married?" she gasped.


"Who?   Who are you married to?"

"Katey, my manager," I replied.

"Did she pressure you to get married, Marty? You know a man who can
dance as well as you doesn't need to be tied down with a wife just
because she's his manager."

"No. It's not like that with Katey and me. I love her. I have for
a long time, but I thought I didn't have anything to give her," I

"But still, Marty ... ."   She caressed my chest.

"No!" I said, backing away.   "I love Katey and I'd never do anything
to hurt her."   I stood up.

She frowned first but then relented. She stood up next to me and
said, "Okay, Marty, okay. Tell me what's so special about Kathy."

"Katey. Her name is Katey."   I was laughing inside.   She had a
serious ego trip going.

She nodded to acknowledge my correction. I chewed on my lip and
shrugged again. "Katey is special. She's smart and she'd never
hurt me. She's been my friend for over seven years. She was the
one that convinced me I was a good dancer."

"Have a lot of other people hurt you, Marty?" she said gently.

I grunted, trying to decide what to tell her. I decided to
generalize, infer and then shut down. "I've had my share of knocks,
but it wasn't nothin' I couldn't take." I paused to let her fill in
the blanks. "Maybe if my mom hadn't died when I was young it would
have been different." I hesitated before adding more. "My old man
knocked me around a bit until I got big enough to knock back.
That's the past, though. Things are okay now that I have Katey."

"So you really love her?"

"Yes, and I would never do anything to hurt her or disrespect her,"
I said adamantly. "It's not right the way some men treat their

"I agree," she said, a dark look crossing her face. "Men that hurt
women and children should be severely punished." Her jaw clenched
and her breathing became erratic. There was a lot of anger in that
small woman.

"You still haven't really answered my question about Kath, uh,

I smiled and looked over her head. "Katey is my best friend, has
been for a long time. She's never walked away when things got
tough, and she believes in me -- Katey gave me back my self-esteem."

"All the screaming women that throw themselves at the stage don't do
anything for your self-esteem?" she asked facetiously. "But one
woman did."

I was confused for a split second and then remembered that she
thought I'd been dancing for years. I frowned at her. "You don't
understand. Who are those women? They're just strangers. They
don't KNOW me. Katey knows me, and she loves me anyway. I can
trust her."

"Hmmm, and you don't trust easily, do you?"

"So you   trust her and she knows you." She leaned in close to my
chest.    She gently placed her hand on my sternum. I resisted the
urge to   back away. She looked up into my face and asked, "How does
someone   get to know you and gain your trust?"

I stared at her for a moment, keeping my face blank. "Hang around
me for about seven years, be my loyal friend," I said finally.

Her hand dropped away quickly and she backed up. I saw the flash of
anger on her face. She shook herself and the dark expression
vanished to be replaced with a phony smile. "Well, I guess that's
that. You come to me if you need anything, all right?"

"Yeah, sure. Uh, shouldn't I get dressed for rehearsal?" I asked to
change the subject.

She smiled up at me and said, "Yeah, you should."

Just then a well-dressed, older man walked into the office.
"Giovanna, Suzanne said you were in here. She's waiting for your
new dancer to start the practice."

"Nonno," she said, sounding years younger than the sultry seductress
that she'd been just moments ago. "This is Marty Williams. He was
just going back out to practice." She turned to me and said,
"Marty, this is my grandfather. Can you find your own way back to
the dressing rooms?"

I nodded at the older man and he dipped his head in recognition of
my greeting. Obviously he was a man used to respect. I walked
toward the door, glad to be away from these questions.

"Marty," she stopped me with her voice.

I turned and looked back at her.

"Make sure you always treat Katey with respect.   Smart women don't
take well to deception."

I nodded again and left. There was definitely a lot going on with
that woman. I couldn't wait to tell Scully about our discussion.
First, however, I had to survive the practice.


I watched Mulder and Geo walk away, trying to keep my cool. A huge
wave of jealousy washed over me as he went with her, until he looked
back at me and shrugged. Suzanne touched my arm and wordlessly led
me to the open lounge area. There were two other men chatting in
the doorway as we walked in.

"Early birds," Suzanne said.   "That's what I like to see; men who
love their work!"
She pointed me to a table where there were some employment forms
waiting to be filled out. I decided to make myself useful and take
care of them while Mulder was being questioned by Geo. She was
trouble with a capital 'T'.

Thinking about the boss's daughter made me angry all over again.
She'd acted like I wasn't even there; she only had eyes for 'Marty'.
I certainly hoped that he set her straight. Case or no case, he
didn't need to be leading anyone on. She could be a valuable source
of information, but if it meant he had to be too friendly with her,
I'd find another way to get information.

Within a few minutes, all the other dancers had arrived and changed.
They were chatting and warming up on the stage. It gave me a
perfect opportunity to check out his competition.

The Blue Room certainly had a lot of good looking male dancers.
There was truly someone for every woman's taste. Even in their cut-
off shorts and torn tee shirts, I could tell they were some fine
looking men. Of course, in my opinion, none of them were as good
looking as my Mulder. It would be interesting to see how he
compared when it came to the dancing.


After leaving Geo, I trotted back to the stage and took a peek
through the curtain at what the other guys were wearing. I was
relieved that none were in costume. I went into the dressing room
and pulled off my shoes, putting on the leather slippers. All the
other dancers had theirs on. I stripped off my street clothes, put
on the g-string and jerked on my regular work out clothes. I
hurried as fast as I could but still got a comment from Suzanne
about making it to practice on time. I started to retort that I'd
been here first, but realized that she was just acting her part.

Practice was relatively easy. There were only two of us who hadn't
been through the group routines before and we both picked them up
easily. The opening number was 'The Boys Are Back In Town' by Thin
Lizzy was and a little more complicated than the closing act. The
ending was 'It's Raining Men' by The Weather Girls and basically
just a time for all the men to prowl the catwalk to get a few extra

Scully and I had a short meeting with the sound and lighting effects
man during the break. We let him know what I needed for my numbers
on Friday and Saturday. Scully was impressive in her knowledge of
the correct terminology for the spotlights and sound boards. Her
lessons had served us well.

Suzanne told us what time to get there the next night and which door
to use. No coming in the front when there were customers waiting.
She asked which of my routines I was going to do and advised me that
I would be better off doing the Twilight Zone gig with the Friday
night crowd.

By the time she was done with practice and the briefing, the female
dancers were starting to come in to get ready for their night. I
was glad to see them because the other guys had been paying entirely
too much attention to Scully. I decided I needed to do something
about that.

I stopped Suzanne and asked if there was any way I could have a
separate room for dressing. She snort-laughed at me and shook her
head as she walked away. One of the other dancers who was standing
within earshot walked up to me and said, "Okay, West Coast, we all
know you think you're a hot shot, but the private dressing rooms are
reserved for the biggest money makers. So far, you're on the bottom
of the heap, dude."

"Hey, I didn't mean it like that," I protested. "Katey and I just
got married on Saturday, and I don't like how these other guys are
circling like sharks."

"What's the matter?    Afraid she'll change her mind?"

"No, no, not that.    I just hate --"

"Don't like sharing, huh?" he said with a laugh. "Tell you what
I'll do. I'm number one right now, but I predict that the ladies
are going to dig you, so I'll be up-front with you. I don't go for
backstabbing, girl stealing, or lying. I'm not going anywhere.
D.C. is my home, but a guy like you is bound to move on to a bigger
place, a bigger city."

I stood there and let him have his say.    I honestly didn't know what
to contribute anyway.

"Oh, I'm Brad Sealy, by the way," he said and stuck out his hand.

"Marty Williams," I responded.

"Well, Marty, I can understand wanting to keep some of these
assholes away from your woman. I'll talk to Suzanne and see if
she'll let you use the women's dressing room. Not all the guys are
as honorable as the two of us and we don't want to put your little
Katey in jeopardy, now do we?"

"Uh, Brad, thanks," I said. "Just a little hint, though. Don't let
Katey hear you talk about her like that. She's got a hot temper and
a short fuse when anyone treats her like she's incapable of taking
care of herself."

"Gotcha." He smiled and walked away.      I was left standing there
musing over his remarks.

"Are you going to be the first one here and the last to go, too,
Marty?" Scully said from behind me.
I jerked around and grinned at her. I didn't know how much of our
conversation she had heard, but she was smiling. "I'll be right

I hurried back to the dressing room. I wondered if Scully heard
Brad. She hated it when men assumed that she was a helpless female.
'Holy shit!' I thought. 'What if she heard him and decides to take
her anger out on me?' I didn't want that to happen. I could end up
on the couch again.

PART 8 (PG-13)
9:30 PM

We didn't get home until late because Uncle Melvin called and asked
us over to dinner. A delivery service had dropped off the files
Mulder asked for on the other victims. I could've waited until the
next day to get them, but he was anxious to start for a common
denominator that would tie the deaths together. We disguised them
in some big boxes that Langly had picked up from behind an
electronics store. He figured it would be a good cover; if we were
newlyweds, we'd get gifts.

I worked through several of the   autopsy reports but couldn't stop
yawning. I finally gave up and    told him I was going to bed. He
grunted at me and I ruffled his   hair as I walked by. I could feel
his eyes on my back as I walked   away.

I took a shower and got ready for bed, then walked back into the
living room to tell him goodnight, but he was gone.

"Marty?"   He didn't answer so I went looking for a clue as to where
he was.

I found a note on my pillow. He'd gone for a run and would be back
in about an hour. I knew that I had no right, but I was slightly
hurt that he hadn't said goodbye. Of course, I was in the shower
when he left.

I turned off the bedroom lights and climbed in under the covers. I
tossed and turned for several minutes before admitting to myself
what my problem was; all those beautiful male bodies, dancing, and
thrusting and spinning and -- oh hell. Mulder had been the best
looking man there. Actually, there were others as physically
attractive as him, but I know Mulder. I know his heart, mind, and
soul. Those things made him immeasurably more attractive to me.

I found myself rubbing my breasts with my left hand as my right one
slid down into my underwear. When did that begin? I didn't even
need to think about masturbating anymore. I just went ahead and did

I almost stopped when I realized what I was doing, but changed my
mind. Who was I hurting? Certainly not me. I let my imagination
take over and within moments I had found my release. Actually, all
it took was remembering Mulder's body when I grasped his cock and
brought him off before the show in Raleigh. Christ, he was huge.
I'd have to be made of stone not to wonder what that would feel like
inside me. We still hadn't talked about the new direction of our
relationship. I wondered if we ever would. 'Perhaps when the
assignment is over,' I thought.


I tried to be quiet when I came back from my run. I was sweaty and
needed a shower. I gathered up my pajama pants and a tee shirt and
slipped into the bathroom without turning on the light until the
door was shut.

I'd been a coward earlier. When she brushed her fingers through my
hair on the way to the shower, it turned me on instantly. I sat
there staring at the bathroom door, wanting desperately to slip into
the shower with her.

We hadn't talked about the 'INCIDENT IN RALEIGH'. That's how I
thought about it, all in capital letters. Scully had given me a
hand job. Said like that, it didn't mean as much. After all, Katey
was married to Marty. But it wasn't Katey who looked at me with
desire in her eyes, it was Dana Scully. My Scully. My partner and
friend wanted me, or she had at that moment. My thinking became
disjointed and I knew I wasn't going to get anything more done with
the files. I packed them back up and decided to take a run. I
needed to calm my mind.

By the time I got back, she was in bed. After my shower, I checked
the locks and turned off the lights in the living room. I stood in
the doorway to the bedroom watching her sleep. I couldn't stay
away. When I lifted the covers, I got a faint whiff of heaven. It
smelled like Scully usually did, but it was mixed with female
arousal. It might have been a few years, but that wasn't a smell a
man could forget. I scooted over as close as I could get and
inhaled again. I was right.

'Scully, you little devil,' I thought. "You were masturbating.' I
gently lifted the covers and sniffed as far down her body as I could
go without waking her. The scent was there all right, concentrated
at the vee of her legs. I gently re-covered her and leaned back on
my pillow. She turned over and snuggled up to me. Her right hand
flopped down on my chest and another slight waft of that heavenly
scent hit my nose.

I picked up her hand and brought it to my face, sniffed several
times, trying to get as much of that smell as I could. I was
grinning like a madman by then. I couldn't resist. I licked her
fingers and the taste of her arousal was still there.   She chuckled
in her sleep and wiggled a little.

"Queequeg, don't lick my fingers," she mumbled.

"Scully, it's me," I whispered.

"Mmmm, Mulder," she said and snuggled closer.

I wanted to tease her so I said, "Scully, were you a bad girl

"Mmmm, Mulder," she mumbled again.

"Did you masturbate?   Were you thinking of me?"

"Beautiful Mulder," she said and then sighed.

She thought I was beautiful. Suddenly, all desire to tease her was
gone. My Scully thought I was beautiful. Imagine that. I pulled
her closer to me and settled down to watch her sleep. That's the
last thing I remembered until the next day.

9:30 AM

The big day dawned and we spent it quietly. I knew Mulder was
worried about his debut. I was glad he'd done so well in Raleigh;
the acceptance of his act really boosted his confidence. I knew he
was just feeling regular stage fright, but I didn't say anything to

We puttered around the house, eating a late breakfast before I drove
him to the studio so he could work out. We stopped at the tanning
booth on the way home and ate a late lunch. I heard him humming
several times; bits and pieces of his set. Knowing him, he was
probably working out his routine in his mind as thoroughly as he did
one of his profiles.

I had nothing to do but go over the files and try to find a
connection between the victims, other than the obvious ones -- the
way they were killed, and their occupations. Surely there was
something we could find. I began again, checking preexisting
medical conditions, grasping at straws.

When I didn't keep my mind occupied, I found myself contemplating
what had happened in Raleigh. I kept hearing his velvet voice.
"Yes, for you," he had growled. "Always for you." I squeezed my
legs together, tightly. I was so aroused I thought I would explode
just from thinking about it.
I had brought him off with my hand, and last night I'd slept in his
arms. After all that, he still hadn't confronted me about our
relationship. He hadn't asked for anything, pushed anything.
Either he was willing to take all the physical comfort he could get
while on the undercover assignment, or he was letting me take the
lead in developing our relationship.

If he wanted me to make a declaration of intent, and it certainly
was a big IF, then what was I going to do? I studied all the
options for hours. Before I knew it, we needed to leave for his
opening night at the bar.

6:30 PM

I shut everything out and concentrated on my breathing as Scully and
I walked into the club. The backstage area was crowded already when
we arrived. Suzanne must have been watching for us because she
approached almost as soon as we walked in the door.

"I've arranged for you to use the women's dressing room, Katey," she
said. "That way you can help Marty get ready for the show without
causing a distraction among the other men." She winked.

"Thanks, Suzanne," Scully said.

I started to add my thanks to hers when Suzanne said, "Don't thank
me, thank Brad. He's the one that brought it up so the other guys
went along with it. Just remember, Marty, try to play nice with the
rest of the boys. We have a show to give in less than an hour and a

I carried my garment bag into the dressing room and started to
unpack. Scully told me she was going to take my disc to the stage
manager and be right back.

I did some stretches and deep breathing exercises while she was
gone. When she came back, I was glad to see that she had gone to
the car and gotten bottles of water from the cooler.

"Thanks, I needed this," I said as she handed one to me.

We both uncapped our bottles and drank silently. I watched as she
seemed to struggle with something she wanted to say.

"Marty," she began then hesitated. She stepped closer and stood up
on her tiptoes to speak into my ear. "Mulder," she whispered.
"Don't worry; you're going to be great. You're very tense. I
could, I could help you with that."

I stared at her as she placed her feet firmly on the ground again.
"Uh, Katey, I'd love for you to help me loosen up before the show,"
I responded, playing along.

She nodded, walked over to door and flipped the deadbolt. She
grabbed the gym bag that I'd brought in with the rest of my supplies
and rummaged around until she found the body oil and a towel. She
turned back to me and said, "Why don't you take off your clothes and
let me oil your body?"

That was how it had started the other night. My heartbeat
immediately accelerated. I didn't need the pretense, but if she
did, I would go along. I stripped and carefully put my clothes on a
chair for later. I was down to my boxers and socks. I pulled off
my socks before I said, "Do you want me to put the g-string on
before you rub in the oil?"

She studied my eyes for a moment and then shook her head.    "You can
wipe your hands before you put it on later."

I nodded and dropped my boxers, bending over to put them on the
chair with the rest of my clothes. I turned around and stood there,
waiting for her to make the next move.


His expression was definitely interested and much more hopeful than
it had been the night before. I knew that he was once again giving
me control of the entire situation. He'd taken as big a step as he
was capable of taking last night when he climbed into bed with me.
I'd thought about it all afternoon and decided I was out of my mind,
but I definitely wanted to expand our relationship.

I poured the oil into my hand and rubbed them together to warm it.
I started at his neck and worked my way down, just like the other
night. I wanted to help him relax as well as decorate his body.
'And what a beautiful body it is,' I thought as I moved down his
back to massage the cheeks of his ass.

I ran out of skin before I ran out of desire. I looked up into his
eyes and smiled. I found a throw pillow on one of the chairs and
put it down on the floor in front of him, sank down on my knees, and
let my eyes feast on his shaft. As I stared, it got even bigger.
The aroma from the oil and his own scent mixed to make an
intoxicating combination. I moved closer to inhale deeply and his
cock jerked, rubbing gently against my cheek. I looked up at him
but his expression hadn't changed. He was bound and determined to
make me take the lead.

I nuzzled his entire   pubic area, letting my hands rest on his waist.
I moved my thumbs to   rub his hipbones, knowing that it was an
erogenous spot on my   own body. I kissed the tip of his penis and
saw a pearly drop of   pre-cum form there. When I licked gently, he
groaned out loud. I    slid my right hand down and grasped his cock.
It was beautiful. He was beautiful. His staff was long, way above
average, and very thick. The skin was soft and silky; it reminded
me of the silky, satin lining in the coat we had purchased. Yet all
that incredible silkiness covered a rod of steel.

I squeezed my thighs together. The ache there was growing along
with the dampness. I slid my hand up and down his rod, stroking his
entire length until the skin slid forward to almost cover the tip,
then back. More drops of pre-cum began forming on the tip. I
licked them off and let my tongue stroke around the entire
circumference of the head. He was circumcised; the head flared and
was perfectly symmetrical. I began to suck on the tip, letting my
hand stroke up and down as I worked my lips as far down as possible.

He was too long to take into my mouth completely. I slid my left
hand down, gently stroking his body until I reached his testicles.
I reached around him and cupped his cheek, letting his cock pop out
of my mouth as I gazed up at him. He had the most disappointed
expression on his face; he thought I was going to quit right there.

"You need to sit down," I said. "We want you relaxed, not tired out
before your performance." I grinned wickedly. He pulled a chair
over and sat down immediately. He had never been as eager to obey
my instructions before. Maybe I'd just learned how to get his
attention AND his cooperation for the future.

I let him settle down and scooted the pillow closer between his
legs. I rubbed up his thighs, letting my hand massage and caress as
I went. When I got to his shaft, I grasped him and pulled gently.
"Move forward," I said. "I want access to the boys, too."

He laughed out loud and scooted so that his ass was at the edge of
the chair while he held on to the arms tightly.

I lowered my mouth and kissed all up and down his staff. He was so
damn sexy. I had always liked oral sex, but hadn't always included
it in every relationship. Some men just didn't have what it took to
inspire me. Mulder obviously had 'it' in spades.

I was soon sucking and licking and kissing him, bringing him to the
edge and letting him fall back several times. He was actually
whimpering, alternately growling and begging me for release.
"Please, Scully," he hissed several times. I knew that he could
have grabbed my hair and forced me to finish at any time. He was
playing the game as I wanted and for some reason, it turned me on
even more. I knew he wasn't a weak man; his raw need for my mouth
and hands to bring him to completion was not faked. He was giving
me complete control of his body. He was giving me his trust.

I began to suck harder, stroking him faster and the hand that had
been gently massaging his testes slid down and rested on my own
knee. I had been turned on from the moment I'd stepped back into
the room and found him doing his stretches. Despite his new bulk,
he had not allowed himself to lose flexibility. His muscles were
pumped and he was gorgeous

I slid my hand up my thigh until I was pressing against my clit
through my soaking wet panties. I groaned in pleasure and pressed
harder. As I moved my mouth up and down his cock, I began to rock
back and forth pressing and releasing my clit.

I felt him jerk and his breathing became even more erratic. He was
watching me, his eyes trained on my crotch. All he could have seen
was my miniskirt, but he knew that I was fingering myself as I was
sucking him.

I could feel his rod grow as I sucked harder. It was amazing. I
held my head still as I sucked and he began to thrust up into my
mouth. I felt his hands in my hair, but realized right away that he
wasn't trying to control my movement; he just wanted to stroke my
hair. His hips began to piston up, my hand and mouth following his

"Scully," he groaned.   "I'm guh, gonna," he stuttered.

Suddenly, he was there, bucking and moaning and shooting his come
into my mouth. The flow was so heavy that I couldn't swallow fast
enough and some of it surged back down on my hand. His body shone
with a combination of the oil and his sweat. I watched the grimace
of ecstasy change his face into a near-perfect picture of male
sexual beauty. I'd never seen a man as beautiful as Mulder in the
throes of passion. As he slowed and tried to get his breathing back
to normal, I let my fingers go crazy on my clit.

"Stand up and lift your skirt," he growled. I wiped my hand on the
towel and immediately obeyed his request. He groaned when he saw
how my fingers were flying over the small nub of flesh. "Jesus,
Scully," he whispered. "Come for me."

He reached out and slid his finger behind mine under the string of
my thong and slipped into me. He crooked it up towards the front
wall of my vagina and I came immediately, crying out as I slammed my
legs together. My hand flew to his shoulders, gripping tightly so I
wouldn't fall over. He kept his finger inside me until my walls
quit fluttering against it. He pulled it out and stuck it in his
mouth, sucking off my juices.

I cleaned him up, and gently stroked his thighs as we both calmed
down. He raised his head and stared into my eyes. I could see him
struggle to hold back the words he wanted to say. He was still
giving me total control.

"There," I said as I straightened my clothing. He held out his hand
and pulled me onto his lap. I straddled his thighs after he scooted
back to sit more securely in the chair. I wrapped my arms around
him and laid my cheek on his chest. He wrapped his arms around me
and held me tightly.
We sat that way for several minutes until a knock on the door told
us that he only had ten minutes until show time.

I pulled back, preparing to stand up, but his arms held me in place.
"Scully," he began.

I placed my fingers on his lips and shook my head. "Marty, we'll
talk about this later. I'm not going to run away or deny that it
happened, but right now, you need to get ready to perform."

"All right, but we WILL talk, Katey," he said. "We're going to talk
when we get home. While we're in bed. Together."

I looked into his eyes and nodded. He knew I wasn't going to
backpedal on him. We'd stepped over a line, a well-defined line
that we'd been dancing around for years. What had happened in
Raleigh could possibly have been ignored, but our most recent
actions were a definite commitment to change. I wasn't going to let
it get in the way of our investigation, but I wasn't willing to deny
my feelings or run away from them any longer.

He nodded and let me go. I stood up and moved over to his garment
bag, pulling both his costumes out. It was show time. Those women
out front didn't know what a treat the club had in store for them.


Damn! I felt good. The woman I'd loved for years just blew my mind
and let me come in her mouth! I felt on top of the world. What was
that phrase Mike used when he was feeling good? Oh yeah, 'Ten feet
tall and bulletproof'. That's it.

The opening routine went well, and the show was going full force.
There had been one intermission already. The barmaids hurried
through the crowd taking drink and snack orders. Two of them asked
me what I was drinking; someone in the crowd wanted to buy me a
drink. I declined and said I'd stick with my water.

I stood backstage in my safari getup, sans bull whip. I never could
get the hang of the damn thing in practice and decided it was out of
the routine tonight. I dangled the Indiana Jones Special Stetson
from my fingertips. I watched the act I was to follow. He knew all
the moves, but for some reason, the women weren't responding to him.
Maybe it was an off night. A little bit of my stage fright filtered
back. I fought it down and brought up the memory of Scully coming
on my finger again. Shit! That did it for me; Scully knew how to
help me relax. Thoughts of her stomped my jitters down to a
manageable size.

The song on stage ended and the dancer brushed by me on his way off
stage. The lights dimmed and I heard the stage manager announce me.

"Next up is the second of our two new dancers. Straight from the
wilds of San Diego, ladies, please give a big hand to the Lone

I put my hat on and moved to my mark behind the curtain.   As the
opening monologue of my song began, the curtain went up.

**(somewhere in a lonely hotel room,
There's a guy starting to realize
That eternal fate has turned its back on him,
It's two AM...........)**

I pulled the water gun from the holster at my hip and began to move
in the routine that Phil had laid out, matching my gyrations and
movements to the beat of the music. It felt good. It felt clean.
It felt like sex in motion.

**It's two a.m., the fear has gone
I'm sittin' here waitin', the gun still warm
Maybe my connection is tired of takin' chances
Yeah there's a storm on the loose, sirens in my head
I'm wrapped up in silence, all circuits are dead
I cannot decode, my whole life spins into a frenzy**

I threw the toy gun aside and pulled off the holster, tossing it in
the same direction. I reached up to rip open the safari jacket of
the outfit and went into a spin as I held the sides away from my
body to display my abs in the cropped shirt underneath.

**Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon's been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far**

I pulled off the jacket and tossed it aside. I could hear the women
clapping and shouting as I reached down and ripped open the snaps on
my shirt. The sleeves had been artfully shredded and the effect was
one that made my muscles bulge as I moved to remove it.

**Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon's been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far**

I spun down the catwalk, making sure I was staring into the eyes of
the women pressed against the edges, but dangling just out of their

**Soon you will come to know,
When the bullet hits the bone
Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone**

I grasped my waistband and whipped the snap open, the sound of the
gunshot Tom, the guy who arranged all these songs for Phil, inserted
in the song was in perfect sync with my movements.
**I'm falling down a spiral, destination unknown
A double-crossed messenger, all alone
I can't get no connection, can't get through, where are you**

I began the trip back up the catwalk, once again making sure that I
kept just inches away from touching them.

**Well the night weighs heavy on his guilty mind
This far from the borderline
And when the hit man comes
He knows damn well he has been cheated**

I hit my mark on the back of the stage and turned away from the
audience. I bowed my head and the sound of a gunshot blasted out
over the speakers again. I reached down and whipped off my cargo
pants to the gratifying sounds of women gasping, yelling, and
whistling as my bare ass was revealed.

The song segued into a long set of guitar licks with instrumental
accompaniments. I looked over my right shoulder at the women behind
me and smiled then did the same over my left shoulder.

I started the rounds of the catwalk again; I swayed and swung my
hips dangling within touching distance of the women there this time.
Hands reached out to touch and to stuff money in my g-string. A
particularly handsome older woman dangled a hundred dollar bill and
I smiled directly at her as she stuffed it down the front of my g-
string. She winked back at me and I knew at that moment that Mike
was right. She felt that my performance was more than worth the
money she'd just spent. She was having fun and I was surprised to
realize that, for the first time, so was I.

I worked the rest of the catwalk and reached the rear of the stage
just as the final chorus began.

**Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon's been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far**

I took off my hat, and began to twirl in the spotlight, making my
bum vibrate and tense.

**Help I'm steppin' into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse, feels like being cloned
My beacon's been moved under moon and star
Where am I to go, now that I've gone too far**

I pitched the hat into the audience toward Scully. She didn't
disappoint me as, once again, she came up with it despite the best
efforts of an attractive brunette.

The final bars of the song belted out and the sound of a gun's
staccato bursts echoed through the speakers. I faked taking a shot
to my left shoulder and then another to my thigh as I stumbled back
to the curtain.

**'Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone
Soon you will come to know, when the bullet hits the bone'**

When the last reverb from the song died, the curtain fell and a huge
round of applause and cheers and catcalls began. I heard screams of
'Encore! Encore!' as the stage manager rushed up to me.

"Go on, dude.   You deserve it.   You're a hit," he said with a great
big grin.

I took my bow and stepped back, but the noise continued. I was
shocked when the curtain lifted again. Women were straining against
the stage. Everywhere I looked there was money being waved at me.
I glanced over to the stage manager and he shooed me down the
catwalk. My music began again as I once more worked the edge of the

I stood in the spotlight and smiled and waved at all the cheering
women. Then I blew a kiss to Scully and disappeared behind the

'Yep,' I thought.   'My cover is good enough.'

PART 9 (PG-13)
3:45 AM

It was after two before we got out of the club. Mulder was starved
and wanted to stop for breakfast. I couldn't blame him. His stage
fright kept him from eating anything after our late lunch.

Even after drinking almost a whole pot of coffee, we were dragging
by the time we got home. He let me take my shower first then took a
quick shower after me. I went straight into the bedroom and crawled
under the covers. I left the light on to let him know that I wanted
him to come sleep with me again.

He walked into the room with his overnight bag and plopped it at the
foot of the bed. He crawled in next to me and kissed me. I knew he
had something up his sleeve by the way he was grinning.

"What are you so happy about?" I asked as I poked him in the ribs.

"They liked me," he said, the smile not leaving his face.    "They
really, really liked me."

"Sally Fields imitation aside, yes they did. You should be proud.
You worked very hard," I said as I caressed his cheek.
He reached for the bag. "Hey, Katey, want to go shopping?"    He
dumped all his tips out of the bag and onto the quilt.

"Marty, you got all this tonight?" I was amazed at the pile of
money. It wasn't all just one-dollar bills, either. I saw a lot of
fives, tens, and twenties there, too. What really surprised me was
the one hundred dollar bill that he plucked from the mass.

"Wow," he said. "I didn't really think I would earn that much in a
big revue like the one at The Blue Room."

We counted up the money. Both of us were shocked when it turned out
to be four hundred and eighty-five dollars.

"You know, you have to report that on your income taxes if you keep
it," I teased.

"Aw, I knew there had to be a catch," he groaned. He put the money
back into the bag and tossed it on the floor. He fell back and
pulled the covers up to his chin. "I'm exhausted."

"So am I," I said. "I know you wanted to talk tonight, but I don't
think I can keep my eyes open long enough to make sense out of any
conversation we might have."

"Yeah, I know. We're both tired and I've got to perform again
tomorrow night."

"That's tonight, partner.   It's already Saturday morning."

"Right."   He yawned.

I scooted over to lie closer. He wrapped his arm around me and
pulled me up against his side.

"Night, Scully."

"Night, Mulder."

7:00 PM

Mulder and I had agreed that someone needed to talk to Bull, try to
find out whether he was a front for any of these drug cartels, a
middle-man, or whatever. We had no doubt that he was involved in
the drug trade somehow, or money laundering at the least. While
Mulder didn't like it, he agreed that I would probably have better
success with the big jerk.

I waited until it was time for him to get dressed for that night's
performance and then went in search of Bull.   I found him in the
hallway outside the tiny office in the back.   "Hey there," I said,
plastering on a big smile.

"Well, hey there, little lady," he replied.

I tried my best not to flinch. "Could I talk to you?" I asked.
Then added in a whisper, "Privately?"

He grinned. "Why certainly." He turned and waved me to follow him,
opening the office and ushering me inside. My skin was already
crawling from his lecherous gaze. Once we were inside, he turned to
me and said, "You're a tiny, little thing, aren't you? I didn't
realize you were so small."

I smiled but it felt forced. "Um, I figured you would be the guy
who would know what's what around D.C.," I said confidentially.

"Maybe.   What's the problem?"

"Oh, no problem. I have a family member and he likes to party
sometimes." I flashed him a conspiratorial smile, watching him from
under my eyelashes. Playing the cute, shy thing was not my bag, but
I hoped I could pull it off without grinding a heel in his instep.

"Oh, I see.   A friend, huh?"

"Yeah, and since we're new in town, we really don't know where to go
to, you know, get some stuff."

"Stuff," he repeated, smiling, clearly amused.

"Well, the white stuff, you know," I said.    "We don't want to go to
someone nasty, you know what I mean?"

"I do.    You want someone who's trustworthy," he said.

"Exactly!    Can you help us out?"

"I think I can, yes.   In fact, I can probably get it for you."

"Really?" I asked. "Oh, that would be great!     My uncle -- oops!"     I
covered my mouth with my hand and coughed.

He chuckled as I continued. "Well, anyway, my friend will be real
happy. I knew I could trust you."

He looked at me oddly for a moment and then said, "You know, I can
provide a lot of things in that department."

"You can?"

"Sure.    I mean, if you wanted something else for the evening."
"What else could I possibly want?" I asked, trying not to sound too

"Oh, say, a male escort or something. I mean, if your friend wanted
one, an escort, male or female. I have friends all over this city
and I could probably hook you up, uh, or your 'friend' up," he

"Hmm, well, I've got that gorgeous hunk of man out there going home
with me, so **I** wouldn't need something like that. However ... "
I paused. "That's a very good thing to know. I haven't made too
many friends yet, but I do have a relative nearby. It's why we
moved here in the first place. I'm hoping he can introduce me to
some of his friends, and well, hopefully we'll be getting to know
y'all here as well."

"That would be nice." He hesitated, then continued, "Can I ask you
a question about your husband?"

"Sure," I said. My stomach felt funny. He hadn't said anything I
hadn't expected him to say, but he was making me nervous anyway.
The vibes coming off the guy were noxious. Mulder would laugh if I
told him I was getting 'bad vibes', but it was true.

"He a faithful kind of guy?" Bull asked.

I plastered a shocked look on my face. "My goodness, I hope so.   I
mean, as far as I know. Yes, I'm sure he's faithful to me." I
tried to sound just a tad uncertain.

"You sure?"

I hesitated.   "Yes, I'm sure," I said with a tone of false

He smiled. "All right then. If that changes and you want someone
to party with, you let me know. Or, if your uncle, I mean, your
'friend' needs additional help in that area, you just come to old
Bull, all right? I can provide everything you need. Now, down to
business." I was surprised when he asked bluntly, "How much blow
does your friend want? Or would he prefer vials of crack?"

I stood there, stunned for a moment, not having thought about
actually buying any from him. I wondered what the task force would
think of that. We would need to get some cameras in the office to
witness the buy. My head was already churning with possibilities
for catching him in the act of dealing or buying from a supplier. I
mentally put on the brakes and reminded myself to handle one thing
at a time.

"What are my options?" I asked innocently.

"Well, you can get a twist, or a half a gram for $125, or a gram for
$250. If he'd rather, he can get crack for $50 a rock."
I put a finger on my lip and pretended to concentrate. "Well, let
me get him a twist for now. I'll ask him if he wants more. How's

"You do that, little lady."

I wanted to punch him in the mouth. If he called me 'little lady'
one more time, I would not be responsible for my actions. I had to
get out of there. "Where should I get it?"

"I'll let you know when I have it. I'll tell you your 'package' is
ready, then we'll come in here and exchange product for cash. Quick
and easy."

"Okay, you let me know." He followed me out of the office, and I
headed for the dressing room while he continued to the bar. I was
fast realizing that we hadn't done nearly enough research on cocaine
production, trafficking and street slang. I could have tripped us
up easily in there.

We'd been so concerned with getting Mulder ready for the gig, I
hadn't thought much about the other aspects of the undercover
assignment. Somebody could pay a big price for my ignorance. All
Bull would have had to do is ask me a simple question every street
buyer should know. If I couldn't answer it, I would have been
toast. I heard that sellers often tested new customers to see if
they were cops or phonies. Shit, shit, and double shit. I had to
talk to Mulder.

I glanced at my watch and saw that it was only 7:20 PM. The show
didn't start till 8:00 so we still had time to talk, although, I
didn't want to say too much in the club. At least I knew Bull was
involved in selling for sure. It stood to reason that he would
launder money through the bar as well. Things were starting to
happen and we were only a few days into the gig.

PART 10 (PG-13)
7:10 PM

After Scully left, I pulled out the jeans, vest and shirt of my
cowboy outfit, and hung them up on the rack. I folded my surprise
purchase into a bag and shoved it behind a chair. I took my disc to
the sound man and told him which track to use.

Phil had given me two routines for the cowboy outfit and had his
friend, Tom, create a score to go with them. For the first set he
used two songs that kept to the cowboy theme but didn't sound too
'country'. It was a mix of Bon Jovi and Travis Tritt. At first I
didn't believe it could be done, but the proof was in the playtime,
so to speak. I was amazed at how well it worked. I'd come to the
conclusion that Tom was a genius.

The second song was straight Travis Tritt. I liked the second song
better, but Phil said that it was too much like a love song to use
while I was still building up my customer following. I decided to
listen to Phil. He was, after all, the professional.

Scully was still in her meeting with Bull when I got back, so I went
to the bathroom and then walked around backstage to waste a little
more time and scope out what everyone else was talking about. I was
worried about her in the office alone with Bull but there was
nothing I could do about it. I couldn't always protect her.
Intellectually, I knew she could handle herself. I'd seen her take
grown men twice her size down to their knees. They always
underestimated her, mentally and physically. It still didn't calm
my nerves.

As I headed back to the dressing room to get dressed for the
opening, a woman approached me. I'd never seen her backstage
before. "Hey, Lone Wolf!"

I stopped and turned toward her, gritting my teeth. It was a stupid
name, but it beat Foxy Fox and other suggestions that had been
thrown out. "Yes?"

"Oh, honey! I saw your performance last night and I wanted to tell
you how much I enjoyed it. You were fabulous!"

"Thank you, ma'am."

She giggled. "So formal. I'm Melody," she said and stuck out a
manicured hand bearing talons for fingernails.

She was probably in her mid-forties, sporting dyed platinum blonde
hair and so much make-up I feared it would crack if she smiled any
harder. Hooker-red lipstick was liberally glossed over her thin
lips and a thick ring of eyeliner surrounded her brown eyes, making
them look like two slits in her face. She wore dress slacks and
blue blouse that hugged her slender frame. She obviously kept in
shape and liked to show it off. A push-up bra ensured that her
cleavage spilled out of the top of her blouse.

I shook her hand quickly and let go. She frowned. I got the
impression she expected me to kiss her hand. "So," she said, "I
hear from the other girls who come here regularly that some of the
boys are available."

"Available, ma'am?"

"Yes, you know." She stepped in close to me and ran one of her
claws down my chest, bunching up my tee shirt. "For a little party
after the show."

"Uh, no.   I think you've been misinformed.   This isn't that kind of
place," I said.

She tried to hide the flash of anger that crossed her face, but I
caught it. "Oh, come now. I can pay, and pay handsomely, for a
couple of hours with you. Besides, don't let the age fool you. We
mature women have lots of tricks up our sleeves. I might even be
able to teach you a thing or two between the sheets."

I stepped back a couple steps as I answered her. "Ma'am, while I'm
flattered, I have to say no. I don't know what the other men do.
I'm new here. For the record, though, I'm happily married and have
no interest in turning myself into a prostitute."

She gasped. "Such an ugly word! Think 'escort', darling. Think of
the money you could earn. We could have so much fun together."

I heard a growl behind me and turned. Scully was standing there,
arms akimbo. Her face was red and her lips were pressed into a thin
angry line. Uh oh, the woman had no idea she'd just angered momma

"Marty, could you step inside the dressing room, please?" Scully
asked, her voice dripping with phony calmness.

"Uh, sure, but --"

"Inside," she growled.

I nodded and walked quickly through the door. I purposely didn't
latch it, leaving it open just a bit so I could monitor the
confrontation I knew was coming.

"Who the hell are you, sweetheart?" Melody asked.

"Well, Melody," she replied, distain clear in her tone, "I'm Marty's
WIFE. If you value your physical well-being, you will turn around,
walk away and never speak to my husband again."

"Who do you think you are?   He's a dancer, darling, he's public

"Uh, NO! He's not. He's a dancer and you are welcome to watch his
performance. He is not a performing monkey; he is not a prostitute,
and he wouldn't screw you for all the money in the world." After a
slight pause she added, "Dar--ling!"

"Why don't we let him speak for himself?" she hissed.

I couldn't believe the audacity of the woman.

"He did. He said no. Now, go away. If I see you within twenty
feet of my husband when he's not on stage, I will have security
remove you from this club -- permanently!"
"You can't do that."

"Oh really?" Scully said slowly.

The two women were silent for a few moments and then I heard Melody
make a huffing noise. "I'll be talking to the owner about you."

"You go ahead and do that," Scully said.

I thought it was over and started to open the door when I heard a
screech. It was not a Scully-screech. Scully doesn't screech. I
whipped the door open just in time to see Melody launch herself at

Bad move.

Scully effortlessly blocked Melody's sloppy swing. She caught the
older woman's wrist, avoiding her talons easily, and put her into an
arm lock. Scully frog-marched her two steps and slammed her into
the wall, face first. She jerked both of Melody's arms up higher
and held her easily.

"Ahhhh, you BITCH!" Melody screamed at the top of her lungs.

Scully twisted her arms a little further. I poked my head around
the door and said calmly, "Uh, Katey, don't break her arm. You know
what happened the last time you lost your temper."

Just then two bouncers came running down the hallway and stopped
when they saw the tableau in front of them. One of them laughed and
asked, "What the hell is going on back here?"

Scully glared at him and said, "Melody decided to proposition my
husband. Even after he said no, and I told her to beat it, she
decided to argue with me. Then she attacked me. Now, it's up to
you whether to have her arrested for attempting to solicit a
prostitute, but you damn well better ES-CORT her ass out of this

The woman was struggling against Scully's iron hold, grunting. I
laughed when her head whipped to the side -- but her wig didn't.
The hair caught on a stray sliver of wood in the wall and held her
wig in place.

She shrieked as Scully yanked her away from the wall and shoved her
toward the two bouncers.

They each took one of her arms securely before the smaller guy said,
"We'll see that she's removed, Ms. Williams."

"Thank you, boys." Scully tore the wig off the wall and tossed it
toward the men. Melody stood with her head down, a nylon cap
confining her white hair. She looked like a drag queen without her
fake hair.
The big guy caught the wig, smiled widely and winked at Scully as
they started back down the long hall.

Melody threatened to sue everyone in the club starting with the two
muscle-men if they didn't let her go. The bigger guy jerked to a
halt and said, "Did you know buying sex was illegal? Just
soliciting for sex is illegal? I'd settle down if I were you,
ma'am. You don't need to embarrass yourself any further. We run a
clean operation here. We don't allow transactions that could get
our liquor license taken away." With that, he plopped the wig on
her head crookedly and they continued to march her out of the club.

I turned and looked at Scully. Her breasts were still heaving with
indignation. "The nerve! Can you believe that bitch?" she asked,
finally turning to look at me.

I grinned.   I couldn't help it.

"It's not funny, Marty!" she yelled.

"Shall we move this into the dressing room, Katey?     Let's not give
anyone else a show."

She clucked her tongue but did as I asked. Once inside, I closed
and locked the door. She stood there with her back to me, looking
down at the floor, her arms akimbo again.

I slid up behind her and slid my hand through the crooks of her
elbows as I wrapped my arms around her waist. "It's all right. You
made me all hot though, watching you so easily subdue the hussy."

She chuckled then and her hands came up to rest on my forearms.
"I'm sorry I freaked," she said softly.

I kissed her ear and delighted in the shiver that ran down her back.
"My bodyguard," I said teasingly.

"I said I was sorry," she said again, her voice slightly petulant.

I turned her around and cupped her face in my hands.     I leaned down
and kissed her gently.

She didn't respond at first but then kissed me back tentatively.

"I'm not angry with you," I said.     "I'm glad you're watching my
back, partner."

She smiled, still embarrassed.     "I could have killed her."

"You didn't even come close, although I'm sure you're capable."

She shook her head.   "I don't mean it that way, really.   I mean --"
"You mean?" I coaxed.

She looked up at me.    "I was so angry, so jealous."

I smiled slowly; hearing her admit she was jealous turned me on.
"It was a little alpha-female-territorial there for a minute," I

She leaned her forehead on my chest and I cradled her firmly against
me. Her arms came around me and returned the hug.

"Forget it, Scully.     I'm a one-woman man.   You know that don't you?"

"Yes, I know you are, Mulder. It was her audacity that got under my
skin. You said no, and she wouldn't taking no for an answer."

"Let it go, it's over.    We'll talk later."

She backed up and stepped away, sitting down on one of the chairs in
the room. "We need to talk about something else too."

"What?" I pulled off my boots and slid out of my jeans and shirt.
Gauging by my comfort level as I stripped in front of her, our
relationship had really changed in the past few weeks.

"My conversation with Bull," she said. She pulled the bottle of oil
from the bag and began to oil my body as we talked.

"How did it go?"

"Good, I think. I learned more than I bargained for," she said as
she worked her way down my legs.

"Why is that?" I asked.

"There's too much to tell now and I don't want to risk discussing it
here anyway, but we should talk as soon as tonight's performance is
over. I need to do some research on drug street values and slang."

"I can help you there," I said.    I tried to keep my voice even and

Once again she was kneeling in front of me and I wondered if she
would take it as far as before.

"How can you help?" she asked.

"I did some research."

"I might have known," she mumbled as she stood back up and motioned
for me to turn around.

"Is that a bad thing?" I asked.
"No, I'm sorry. I'm just kicking myself for not thinking to do it.
When the hell have you had time?"

"I don't sleep as much as you do, remember?" I said over my

She smiled at me and said, "I   should have known. Bull wants $125
for something called a twist,   which I gather is half a gram of crack
powder. Or you can get rocks    for $50 a piece." Her fingers were
strong and the mild tension I   had felt in my back melted away as she
massaged in the oil.

"That sounds about right," I confirmed with a grunt of pleasure.

"Can you give me a quick summary while you dress? I could have
blown our cover in there," she said as she finished up and put the
oil away.

I nodded and began putting on my black leather pants for the opening

She cleared her throat, irritably and I began my quick lesson on
street drugs. "Cocaine is bought from suppliers here in the United
States. There are lots of them, so of course prices vary slightly
depending on the purity of the product. The average ounce of
cocaine costs a seller about $700 wholesale."

"How much is that?"

"A pile about as big as the palm of your hand."


"Yeah, well, it gets better. They divvy it up, of course. Now
let's assume they don't cut it with baby powder or something. An
ounce is 28 grams, a twist is a half a gram. So?"

"You can make 56 twists with an ounce at $125 a piece. Damn, that's
$7,000 an ounce." Her math was always better than mine.

"Very good, Katey. Crack is even better. A twist is also called a
'halve', because it's half a gram. If you're willing to spend the
initial outlay of paraphernalia to convert powder to crack, you can
make three rocks per halve."

"Holy shit! If they sell for $50 a rock, that's $150 a half gram
instead of $125."

"Right. We're doing the simple math here based on them cutting the
powder, which most of them do, at least thirty percent; you can
stretch an ounce even further. Government statistics show that most
cocaine that is ready for street sales is around seventy percent
pure, meaning they do cut it."
"God, if you're not concerned with breaking the law, I can see why
people get into it," she said.

"Uh huh," I grunted as I tied the bow tie. "If you buy in bulk, you
can probably get it for less than $700 an ounce, but let's say for
the sake of argument, that's the average cost. Forget thirty
percent adulteration. That's what they call it, adulteration. Say
you cut it just ten percent. That would result in another five
halves being made from the ounce, adding another $625 profit. The
only additional cost is about three grams of adulterant, which is a
negligible sum. So even with expenses, you make a $6925 profit.
You literally increased your $700 investment ten fold." I slipped
the final cuff link into the fake cuffs.

"Jesus Christ," she whispered.   Her eyes swept up and down my body.

I grinned at her, not knowing if she was stunned by the volume of
information on the drugs or by me in my outfit. "Of course, prices
vary. In summertime, the demand is up so the prices might be a
little higher. In winter, the demand is down, so you might find it
a little cheaper. Even so, tidy profits for someone willing to take
the risk. Anyway, end of lesson for now." I was dressed and ready
to go, except for my last-minute limbering exercises.

I looked at her expectantly, wondering if she would be willing to
help me 'relax' again tonight even though I was fully dressed.

When the knock came for the ten-minute warning, Scully turned to

"Katey, aren't you going to wish me luck or something?" I asked.

She smiled at me, stepped closer and let her hand slide from my
chest to the black leather of my pants. "With this outfit, Marty,
you don't need luck," she said.

I wrapped my arm around her and pulled her to me. "I may not need
luck, but I'll always want you to kiss me before a show, wife." I
hesitated, gave her time to back away and then leaned down to kiss

She surged up on her tiptoes and met me half way.   Damn, could the
woman kiss!

I heard the knock on the door signaling five minutes right after she
left. I pulled the last piece of my costume from the bag I'd
secreted behind a chair while she was with Bull. I hung it up for



I changed into my cowboy outfit after the opening set.   I'd agreed
to do the   cowboy set tonight because Phil seemed to think it was my
strongest   routine. My vote had gone to the Robert Palmer mix:
'Addicted   to Love', 'Simply Irresistible' and 'Bad Case of Loving
You'. He    talked me into waiting until next weekend to use it.

I'd finally agreed but had requested a change in the cowboy outfit
that Scully wasn't aware of. I wondered how she was going to like
the addition.

I slid into the long, leather duster and stood in front of the   full-
length mirror. I put my hat on and pulled it down low on my
forehead. I tucked the edge of the duster behind the holsters    slung
low on my hips and checked out my appearance. I tried to keep    a
stoic expression on my face, but I couldn't help grinning. It    was
like Halloween and Christmas all wrapped up in one.

I went through the breathing exercises and realized that I was still
tense. Of course I was. I was still half aroused from the memory
of Scully's body pressed close to mine as we kissed before the
opening act.

It gave me something other than my butterflies to think about as I
walked to the stage.

Once again I stood behind the closed curtain as the lights went dark
and the opening strains of my number reverberated over the sound

**It's all the same, only the names will change
Everyday it seems we're wasting away
Another place where the faces are so cold
I'd drive all night just to get back home**

The plaintive voice of John Bon Jovi echoed through the silent room.
The curtain lifted, but the lights didn't come up. I stood in my
opening stance for a few seconds after I felt the spotlight hit me,
then I began to move on my cue.

**I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive**

I strode down the catwalk, my duster flapping out behind me. There
were gasps here and there, but other than that there was total
silence in the crowd.

**Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it's not for days
And the people I meet always go their separate ways
I been everywhere, still I'm standing tall
I've seen a million faces an I've rocked them all**

I spun and twirled back up the other side of the catwalk and moved
to the center of the stage again as the song segued into the next
bit. I took off my duster and pulled off my boots. I was glad I
let Tony talk me into buying them big. I flashed a little grin at
the ladies standing close to the stage and the music broke into:

**I've been workin' and sleepin', no time for misbehavin',
'till I'm just about to lose my mind**

I began the intricate routine that Phil laid out, letting my body
take over and my mind float. The audience was once again yelling
and screaming for more. I moved all along the edge of the catwalk,
going from side to side, but never near enough to be touched, yet.
I popped open the snaps on the chamois shirt under the vest and
pulled it away from my body, doing a short spin.

**And I'm startin' now to wonder
If I may get out from underneath
The pressures of a daily grind
Yeah, I've had it bottled up for so long,
I'm gonna have to pop the top**

I ripped off the shirt and turned around to face the back of the
stage. I flexed the muscles of my ass and even with the jeans on,
it was obviously enough of a show because the catcalls and cheers
were loud and long.

**The trouble is when I get started,
I ain't ever gonna wanna stop**

I glanced over my shoulders at the women on each side of me that
were pressed up to the stage, and when I was sure I had their
undivided attention, I grasped the edges of my tear-away jeans and
let them rip.

**So as bad as I hate too,
It's time to get crazy**

I danced around the stage, as the chaps clung to me, framing my g-
string in front and my bum in back.

**It's time to take some tension off,
When I get wound this tight**

I executed a spin and a dip and pulled off the chaps, tossing them
back to the curtain. I began traipsing down the catwalk again, clad
only in my hat, vest, g-string and holsters.

**And the fact I'm gonna hurt myself
Ain't reason enough not too
So as bad as I hate too,
I'll pay that price tomorrow
'Cause it's time to get crazy tonight**

Here Tom had extended the lead guitar/piano instrumental bridge and
it fit in perfectly with the strut portion of my dance. I worked my
way up and down the catwalk, moving back and forth from side to
side. Occasionally I bent over and touched a hand or threw a kiss
to a familiar face, but the hands extended with money all down both
sides didn't allow me much time to pay attention to any one woman.
When I got to Scully, I made a gun with my fingers, shot off a
pretend round and gave her a salute by tipping my hat. I continued
back up to the stage and hit the cue just right.

The music went back into the plaintive guitar licks of Bon Jovi and
I stood with my head bowed, facing the audience. I whipped off my
guns and threw them to the right. I did a few hip swirls and then
ripped off my vest and threw it to the left.

**I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
I'm a cowboy, I got the night on my side
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive**

While the last line rang out, I ran down the catwalk and skidded to
my knees at the end. The spotlight followed my move perfectly and
as the last guitar echo ended, the light died and the room was
thrown into darkness. Only the candles on the individual tables
cast shadows around the room.

Once again there was silence for a moment and I thought I'd really
screwed up, listening to Phil on this one. I should have gone with
my gut and used the other song that went with the cowboy outfit.

Suddenly the lights came on and it was as if the electricity hit
every woman in the place. The claps, the whistles, and the screams
were overwhelming. I stood up and pulled my hat off, tipped it to
all the corners of the room, a goofy smile on my face. Suddenly
money was being thrown at my feet. I stood so they couldn't reach
my g-string, but the bills piled up before me.

I grinned and knelt down to scoop up the cash. I teased them by
pulling on the front of my g-string, but then shook my head and
stashed it in my hat. I backed down the cat walk, waving and bowing
from side to side. When I got to my mark, the curtain dropped and I
relaxed. I had never been so glad in my life to reach the security
of backstage.

One of the stagehands brought my clothes to me and gave me a thumbs-
up sign. I'd turned to walk back to my dressing room when Suzanne
rushed up to me.

"Where do you think you're going, Williams?" she said with a laugh.
"Get back out there and take a bow. They're still applauding for

I dumped my clothes where I stood and stepped back out to my mark as
the curtain rose. The cheers increased and they were stomping their
feet, clapping and chanting, "Encore! Encore!"
I dipped my head, not totally comfortable with this kind of
reception and waved my hat at all the ladies again. I stepped back
and the curtain closed.

I breathed deeply, glad it was over. I backed up and almost knocked
Suzanne down. She was standing there with the pile of clothes I had

"Okay, Williams.   Get dressed and get back out there," she said.

"Uh, why?" I asked.

"Because, my friend, you're going on for an encore," she said. "I
don't expect you to do the whole routine again. Where do you want
the music cued?"

"I, uh, don't know," I said, as I was inwardly panicking.

"Come on Marty, it can't be the first time this has ever happened to
you," she growled, her eyes shooting a warning that others were

"Actually, I have another song that goes with the outfit on the same
disk," I said.

"Good man." She turned to the stage manager and he announced that I
would be right back with a second number as soon as I was dressed.

I walked over to the edge of the curtain and dumped my clothes. I
pulled all the money from my g-string and dumped it in the pile. I
yanked on the chaps, the hat and the vest.

I took a big drink of water that one of the stagehands offered me
and headed back to my mark. I nodded at Suzanne and she signaled
the sound man to start my number.

** Well I guess you'd call me trouble
I have been most my life
Been black and blue a time or two
'Cause I ain't scared to fight
But I got myself a sweetheart
That stands right by my side
Always around to cool me down
When I get dixie fried**

I danced down the catwalk, threading back and forth from side to

**And I know she loves to party
She knows I don't like crowds
But I compromise on Friday nights
And we go paint the town**

I stopped in front of Scully, and held out my hands.   She
automatically lifted hers to me, trusting me, following me as
always. 'God, I love this woman,' I thought. I picked her up and
pulled her on stage with me. I wrapped my arm around her and
started back up to the main stage with her.

**She turns   heads in every club
We hang out   in 'til three
But I don't   care how much they stare
She's going   home with me**

I pulled her back to the middle of the stage and danced around her,
practically making love to her right there on stage. A lot of it
was adlib but I didn't care. They got what they asked for, an
encore. Scully surprised me when her hand smoothed up and down the
chaps as I was standing behind her. Her fingers trailed along the
edge of the chaps and caressed my haunches when I danced around her.
I could feel my g-string getting tight, but I didn't care.

**She's going home with me tonight
On that you can depend
She's not just some one night stand
That girl's is my best friend
And I don't have to be jealous
Just wait around and see
She don't want nobody else
She's going home with me**

I pulled off my vest and handed it to her motioning for her to stay
where she was. I began to navigate the length of the catwalk again,
flirting with all the women and they responded with more dollar

**Well I used to go out prowlin'
Skirt chasing every night
Sniffing 'round like some ol' hound
Like all you other guys
Until from out of nowhere
She took me by the hand
I found what I'd been looking for
Dog days came to an end**

I was back to her by the end of the verse and I shimmed all around
her, sniffing her neck, placing kisses on her throat and hair. I
backed up to her and she wrapped her arms around me automatically.
Her hands caressed my chest and slid down to my chaps. 'Yes,
indeed. My Scully really does like these chaps. I'll have to see
about keeping these bad boys,' I thought. I spun in her arms and
nuzzled her neck again. I whispered, "When I turn around, pull my
chaps off as I walk away."

**So listen good now, fellas,
No need to act the fool
I treat her well, no way in hell
That she'd leave me for you
Your come-on lines won't sway her
She's happy as can be
She made her choice, forget it boys
She's going home with me**

I turned and stepped away from her. She hooked the back of the
chaps with one hand and brought the other down against my left cheek
with a resounding crack. I jumped and spun back towards her, minus
the chaps. She stood her ground and smirked at me. I waggled my
forefinger at her and turned back to the audience.

The women went wild, cheers of "You go girl" and "Make sure he knows
who's boss" echoed through the room. My personal favorite was the
woman who yelled, "Looks like she cut a prime one out of the herd
and put her brand on her man."

My ass cheek stung and I wondered if the imprint of her hand was
visible on my skin. I **felt** like I'd been branded. As long as
it was Scully's brand, it didn't bother me a bit.

I pranced down the catwalk again, bending and twisting, spinning and
twirling. Money fluttered all along the way and I stepped up to
each raised hand.

**She's going home with me tonight
On that you can depend
She's not just some one night stand
That girl's is my best friend
And I don't have to be jealous
Just wait around and see
She don't want nobody else
She's going home with me**

By the time I returned to Scully, I was grinning, g-string packed
with money again. I pulled her to me and bent her over my arm. I
could see fear in her eyes but I just waggled my eyebrows at her. I
gave her a deep, full-tongued kiss and she kissed me back. I lifted
her back to her feet and twirled her around. I spun her out and
back, up tight against my body. The crowd went crazy.

**I don't have to get jealous
Just wait around and see
She made her choice, forget it boys
She's going home with me**

We turned back to walk up to the curtain, her hand on the round of
my butt where she had previously smacked me, my arm wrapped around
her shoulders. When I hit my mark, I squeezed her shoulder to make
her stop. I glanced over at her and she grinned back. I gave her
another spin and we bowed to the audience together.

Finally the curtain calls ended, and we ran to the wings. Suzanne
was standing there with the rest of my costume in her hands. She
had stuffed the money into the jeans and tried to tie them up to
keep it from falling out.

"Well, Wolf, you're a hit," she said with a grin.

"Thanks, boss," I said. Scully and I ran to the dressing room,
slammed the door and locked it.

She fell back against it, glowering at me. "I can't believe you did
that!" She growled, "Don't you ever do that to me again."

I looked at her from across the room and said, "Oh, you know you
loved it. You've been dying to get out there on the stage since day

She grinned at me and ran into my arms, jumping up and wrapping her
legs around my waist. "I want you, Marty," she said aloud, but her
eyes. Jesus, in her eyes I could see that she was speaking directly
to me, Fox Mulder.

"I want you, too, Katey," I answered as our lips met and we kissed
until I became dizzy.

Scully gave me a wicked leer. She said, "Get dressed for the
finale. You're not done performing. I'll pack up everything and
get the car ready to go. I don't want to waste any time leaving

I nodded.   I heard what she wasn't saying, loud and clear.

PART 11 (NC-17)
1:00 AM

I was tired but exhilarated by tonight's performance. What really
had me wide awake, though, was anticipating the rest of the evening
with Scully. We walked into the apartment and I dropped my bags.

"I know we want to talk, but I really need a shower. I have to wash
all this oil and sweat off before we get settled," I said.

She gave me a smile.    "Okay, go ahead.   I'll put your chaps away."

I leaned over and kissed her lips on my way to the bathroom.

I stripped quickly and sighed as I stepped under the hot spray. I
washed my hair and face first. A couple minutes later, I heard the
door open and a gust of cool air swept into the room. "Scully?"

"You were expecting someone else?"

I chuckled.   "No.   Did you need to get in here?"
"Yes, I do."

"I'll hurry."

"No, don't."

I froze, waiting as her form appeared outside the curtain. She
pulled it back and stepped in with me, gloriously and completely
naked. I sucked in my breath and just stared at her, my eyes
traveling from her hair, to her generous, firm breasts, down over
her flat abdomen and then to the small triangle of cinnamon curls
pointing to the place I most wanted to be. My groin grew warm and
heavy as I responded immediately to the sight of her. Her nudity
stunned me to silence.

She smiled a bit shyly and I moved so she could get under the water.
She groaned with pleasure as the hot water hit her. I soaped up my
hands and washed her back. When I finished she turned and took the
soap away from me. "So, Marty," she said.

"Mulder," I corrected. Something flashed in her eyes.   I knew she
got the message. No more pretending.

I turned so she could wash my back. I noticed she paid particular
attention to my ass cheeks. It didn't bother me a bit. I gasped
loudly when she reached between my legs and brushed her palm over my
testicles. My cock sprang fully to life like someone zapped me with
an electric prod. "Turn around," she whispered after she washed my

I turned slowly and reached for her shoulders. She got more soap on
her hands and proceeded to wash my chest. Her nails scraped over my
nipples lightly.

I moaned loudly, no longer able to keep it in. I stopped her hands
and began soaping her chest with my hands. I tested the weight of
each breast and pinched her nipples into tight peaks. I loved the
moan I got from her and decided I wanted to hear a lot more of
those. "So beautiful," I whispered.

"Mulder, please," she gasped.

"Not in here, not yet," I said.   "The first time I make love to you
is going to be on a bed."

She smiled and we both finished rinsing off. I turned off the water
and we stepped out. We dried each other off with the big, fluffy
towels she'd brought from her apartment. I finally lost patience
and pulled her to me, crushing her mouth under mine. After a minute
or so, we broke apart. We were both panting. "Damn, I need you," I

Her eyes darkened and her lids grew heavy.   She peered at me from
under her lashes and I was sure I'd never seen anything quite that
sexy. She took my hand and led me out of the bathroom, across the
hall and into 'our' bedroom.

We stood there for a moment and I wondered if she was having second
thoughts. "If you're not ready ..."

"I am, but I'm nervous."

I smiled.    "Me too."

"You are?"

"Of course.   There are so many ways I could screw this up," I

She chuckled.   "Let's just lay down together first and relax."

"Sounds good. Although, I must warn you, Junior has a hard time
relaxing when you're around lately."

"Junior?" she asked, a tease in her voice.

I shrugged and dropped my towel.

Her eyes widened at the sight of my fully engorged schlong.
"Jesus," she whispered, dropping her own towel. "I didn't embellish
my memory."

I smiled, and coaxed her to the bed with a hand on her elbow. She
climbed in under the covers and I followed, pulling her up close to
my chest. I balanced my elbow on the bed and my head on my hand. I
wove the fingers of my free hand through her wet hair and combed it

She hummed and closed her eyes, obviously enjoying the sensation. I
cupped the back of her neck and her eyes opened. "Are you sure?" I


"Scully, this isn't happening just because of the case for me. I
mean, I've wanted you forever. Living together like this has made
it easier, somehow, to let you know how I feel about you."

"I know, me either."     She held her breath as she waited for me to

"I'm in love with you," I said tentatively, still afraid of being
hurt despite the way she'd reacted to me lately. I stared into her
brilliant blue eyes and saw tears pooling there.

"I love you, too," she whispered.    "Don't you know that by now?"
"I didn't dare hope," I confessed.


"Hope, and kiss me," she ordered.

I smiled and leaned down, kissing her tenderly. I let the passion
build slowly until we were French kissing, our tongues dancing

Her hand migrated down my chest and slid around my shaft. I groaned
as she began to stroke me firmly. I bucked into her hand when her
thumb spread my precum over the sensitive glans. I wasn't idle
either, squeezing her breasts gently and traveling over her silky
smooth skin. I cupped her rear end and pulled her to me, pressing
my cock into her belly.

I straightened my arm and she rested her head on my bicep. It was
warm under our cocoon of covers. "Let me love you," I whispered.

She nodded. I rolled her onto her back and crawled down between her
legs. Her eyes were shining with anticipation, as she tossed the
covers back so I wouldn't suffocate. After propping herself on her
elbows so she could watch, she stared as I opened her with my

"I've waited so long for this."   I growled.

She smiled, waiting patiently.

I was not so patient. As soon as I tasted her with that first long,
slow, exploratory lick, I moaned and lapped her like I was starving.

She threw her head back and grunted. My tongue explored all her
hills and valleys. Soon she was whimpering and moaning and pushing
her clit into my mouth.

I held her still with my hands on her hips and found her clitoris
with my tongue, circling it and finally sucking on it gently.
"More," she choked out.

I slipped a finger inside her and sucked a bit harder on her bundle
of nerves. She cried out, "Oh God!" Then her walls were fluttering
around my finger and her clitoris was vibrating on my tongue. I
licked it and sucked again, making her cry out in pleasure.

I lifted my head as she came down and couldn't help but grin at her.
I made Dana Scully come. My life was complete, well, nearly. My
throbbing cock was reminding me that I still had unfinished


"My God," I whispered again, looking at his pleased expression.
After gathering myself for a few more moments, I said, "Your turn."

He swallowed heavily and actually looked a little frightened.
Instead of rolling onto his back, he sat up and coaxed me to scoot
up more and lean back against the headboard. He straddled my legs,
going up on his knees, and grabbed the back of the headboard.

Guiding his cock to my mouth, he rubbed the head over my lips,
smearing precum. I licked it off and he moaned. He pressed slowly
until the head slid inside, between my teeth, and I gently scraped
against him. He shivered and gasped. "Scully!"

I stuck out my tongue and licked the rest like a lollipop.   His eyes
closed and he couldn't quite suppress a groan.

My eyes were riveted on his face. He wore the look of a man drugged
with desire and it made my heart soar. We were really going to make

I reached up and palmed the rest of his package, sliding as much of
his cock into my mouth as I could. He'd never mentioned the size of
his equipment, not that he had reason to. I knew it was large after
our last few encounters. Somehow, though, sitting here in bed
naked, handling his cock, sucking it into my mouth, it seemed even
larger than it had the other night.

I'm a math geek and fairly good at judging measurements and
distance. He looked to be at least nine inches long. My fingers
didn't touch when they wrapped around his girth and began to pump
the portion that I couldn't fit into my mouth. He felt immense. Or
was it just my emotions that were blowing everything out of
proportion? I didn't care. I just didn't want to stop until I felt
him inside me, pressing against my cervix.


When I straddled her, I caught a whiff of her natural perfume, the
scent that always drove me crazy, mixed with her choice of lotions
and such. It was an aroma I would always associate with her.
Watching my cock disappear between her plump lips nearly sent me
over the edge. I bit my lip against the incredible sensation of her
warm, soft mouth and her raspy tongue dancing along the bottom of my

She looked so delicate, almost tiny, as I gazed down, but she seemed
to be enjoying herself. She began to hum and I felt my balls
tighten and tingle. Size difference be damned. I knew who was in
control at that moment and it wasn't me.

I reached down with one hand and palmed her breast, feeling the
turgid peak of her nipple against the center of my palm. I squeezed
it and she elicited a low, throaty moan that sent vibrations down my
shaft, causing my balls to tighten even further. I was quickly
escalating to my orgasm and I didn't want it to end that way. As
good as it felt, I needed to be inside her.

I released her breast and gently pushed on her shoulder, pulling my
hips back. My glans slid from her pursed lips with an audible pop.
Her mouth hung open, her lips glossy with saliva. Her eyes flashed
up to mine. She looked disappointed and I chuckled at her
expression. Her hand was still firmly grasping the base of my dick.

"Don't want to come that way.   You feel so damn good, I was getting
too close," I said.

She licked her lips and hummed.

"You're trying to kill me," I informed her as I back up.

The sly smile that spread over her face was one I'd never seen
before. It was hungry, predatory, and I felt my blood sing in my

I pulled her down so she was laying flat on her back with her head
on the pillow. I straddled her thighs and lowered myself to my
hands and knees. I gazed at her curves, her opalescent skin, her
mussed up hair, and finally, her bottomless blue eyes. "You're so
beautiful, you make me ache," I whispered.

An expression of surprise floated across her face, but then she
smiled. "Ditto. Damn, your body is fabulous," she rasped back.

I grinned and leaned down to feast on her rosy nipples which were
begging for attention. I loved the sounds that action brought forth
and gave equal attention to both breasts; biting gently and scraping
them with my teeth, only to soothe them with a warm lap of my

She writhed beneath me and I moved up to her face. Our mouths met
for a wet, tongue-filled kiss and I straightened my legs, lying out
fully between hers.


I could feel his shaft, immense and hot, between my thighs. He
spread out above me, supporting his weight on his elbows and
forearms next to my head. I was embarrassed at how breathless my
voice sounded as I begged, "Please, I ache for you." My plea was
quiet in the still of the night; my words sounded almost like a

"Ah, yeah," he whispered. His glans found my entrance and poked
around a bit, bumping my clitoris and making me jump with the

My bundle of nerves felt hot and swollen and extremely sensitive.
He began to slide inside and I felt my taut muscles, long unused,
stretch and give way to his considerable girth.
I moaned. I'd forgotten how divine it felt, to have a man inside
you, filling you up. There was no doubt that he was going to fill
me to the brim.

I knew that it was mostly due to his way above-average size but my
vagina felt tiny and tight. He kept pressing farther into me,
gently encouraging my unused muscles to accept his cock. My vaginal
walls reacted by grasping his hardness in a clamp-like grip. We
both moaned as I contracted against him, trying to contain his bone-
hard shaft.

I forced myself to relax, accepting him. He kept pushing until he
bumped my cervix. Blowing air out of his pursed lips he whispered,
"Jesus Christ almighty."

I raised my legs higher on his waist and felt him sink deeper,
stretching my cervix. We both groaned with pleasure.

He didn't move his hips, but he leaned down and kissed me. He broke
the kiss, and one look into his eyes told me everything I needed to
know. I'd never felt so loved and cherished.

He retreated a couple of inches then slowly began to thrust back in.
He kept the pace slow and even for a while. Each time he stroked
in, he gave his hips a little swivel that slid across my clit.
Finally, when I thought I couldn't stand it for another minute, his
strokes grew longer and a bit deeper, but he kept his slow pace.
"Oh God, feels so good," he groaned. "Geez, you're tight."

Despite the snug fit, I was drenched with my own juices, lubricating
his strokes. Our movements became fluid as I raised my hips to meet

He never took his eyes off my face, as though memorizing every
expression and sound. I didn't doubt that was exactly what he was
doing. It was like magic, fresh and new. At the same time it was
as if we'd been together for years. "So good," I whispered.

His hand reached down, captured my leg under the knee, and pressed
it nearly to the bed by my armpit. The change in angle tipped my
hips up and his long rod was sliding over my g-spot with every
stroke. As he buried himself, he would grind against my mons,
crushing my clitoris between us.

I screamed as an unexpected orgasm ripped through me. I had never
screamed during sex before in my life. My back arched and I felt my
muscles spasm as he held himself embedded. He groaned deep in his
chest. My orgasm sparked through me from head to toe again, and I
gasped for breath.

He waited until I caught my breath, still quivering with
aftershocks. He released my leg and carefully sat up and back,
pulling out of me.
I whimpered at the loss, feeling incredibly empty.   "On your hands
and knees," he growled.

Just the sound of his voice made me shiver.   I rolled over and
grunted as I hauled myself up on all fours.   My legs still felt

He knee-walked up behind me and slid his hands up and down my back.
Then he gripped my hips gently and teased my entrance with the tip
of his staff, sliding it back and forth, again bumping my sensitive
pleasure center with each thrust of his hips.

"Don't tease!"   My voice was raspy and tight with emotion.

That maddening chuckle reached my ears again. There was a second or
two of delay before he plunged deep into my core, making me cry out
with the shock and pleasure of being so thoroughly filled again. He
pressed hard, and ground into me, sinking in even deeper in that

He began to pump hard and fast, with long, deep strokes. There was
no gentleness this time. I'd never had three orgasms in one night.
It was unheard of, in my experience, anyway. Therefore, I was
shocked and moaned in disbelief as I felt the familiar stirring in
my apex once again. He was building me up to another peak.

I felt sweat trickle down my neck. I closed my eyes, listening to
the sweaty smack of his groin muscles against my ass. His hands
moved to cup the sides of my cheeks and press them together. I
could feel every ripple and vein in his cock as he slammed in and
out of me.

He was grunting savagely and I knew he was near the brink, but
fighting it. "Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh," he grunted with every stroke.

One of his hands slipped around to the front of my hip. His fingers
unerringly found their target and he began strumming my clit again.

I screamed.

My body was exploding in orgasmic bliss the likes of which I'd never
experienced. Lights flashed behind my eyes, my nipples stung and
ached with arousal. My vaginal muscles locked up and released
repeatedly, milking him. I felt as if I were having convulsions.

"Jesus, Baby!" he shouted.

I felt the edges of my vision dim and my legs collapsed, flopping me
on the bed to lay flat. He followed me down, never missing a
stroke, his fingers circled my clit like a whirling dervish.

I hissed, "Too much!"
He lifted up on his hands, letting his arms support him as he
continued to rock in and out of me in shorter strokes.

"Come for me," I croaked out.

"Oh Lord!" he cried, and I felt him jerk inside me, filling me with
spurt after spurt of hot semen. "Oh Scully, oh Scully!" he quietly
chanted as his hips jerked against my ass.


Then he collapsed on my back, still holding most of his weight on
his elbows. Feather-light kisses brushed over my shoulder blades
and the back of my neck.

I shivered with the sensations.   We were finally on the same page,
united in both love and lust.

He gently extricated himself from my core and rolled off to the
side. I turned my head, not having the strength to move. His lips
sought out mine and he kissed me gently. "I love you," he

I smiled softly.   "I love you, too."

He closed his eyes and smiled. The look of contentment and joy on
his face was new and I realized I wanted to see it there a lot more

4:30 AM

I waited while the phone rang. It was late but I knew the boss
would want to know. He hadn't given me his personal number for

His sleepy voice answered suddenly and said without ceremony,
"Speak; this better be good."

"Boss, it's Anastagio."

"What have you got?"

"I knew you'd want to know right away."


"Your fears were unfounded."

"Which ones were those?"
"That your new ballerino and his signora were snitches or cops."

"Oh really? A couple days ago you said he slept on the couch.
Sounded like a set up to me."

"Who knows? Must have not wanted to disturb the missus or maybe she
was on the rag. He could have even just passed out there. Not

"No, what about tonight?"

"Tonight, I was up on the roof across the street with my camera and
he put on quite a show. He banged her brains out."

"Really?   Not just banged her?" he said sarcastically.

"Boss, the guy may be a ballerino, but he sent her to heaven."

"No kidding?"

"Four times, I think.    That little chick can really scream."

"Jesus, maybe I can borrow his dick."

"After you get a look at some of these pictures, you're going to
wish that you could. The man is hung like a bull," I said.

"Yeah, yeah, just don't let any of the women around here know that."

I laughed because I felt obligated to laugh at any joke the old man
made. "I couldn't get into the apartment to wire for sound, but I
picked up the screams from all the way across the street. Anyway,
thought you'd want to know, the marriage is real."

"That's good. Marriage is one thing little Giovanna respects. You
did good. Bring me a final report tomorrow and I'll pay you. Oh,
and don't forget those pictures and the tape."

"Sure thing, boss.   Good night."

"I'll be sleeping better now."

"I thought you would.    Tomorrow, then."

"Tomorrow, camerata."

"Am I?   Your friend?"

"You are now," the Boss said.

I laughed.   I wondered if that would be true if the news were
different.   "Arrivederci."

1:00 PM

Two days later, I was still reeling from the change in my
relationship with Mulder. I'd never felt so free yet so scared in
my whole life. Since we'd been intimate, the tension that ruled our
time together faded. We were back on our game; we worked together
like a well-oiled machine, with benefits. It was the benefits part
that kept me on the roller coaster.

He needed to stick to his training routine, workouts at the gym,
tanning booth appointments and dance practice at Phil's studio.
When we weren't working on his cover, we were doing the everyday
things a married couple did, shopping, cleaning house, and going out
to dinner. The rest of the time we worked on the files of the
previous victims. He was trying to find a single connection other
than the fact that they were involved in drug trafficing. So far he
hadn't had much luck.

One thing we noticed was that the tail following us since right
after his audition was gone. We took no chances though; they could
have just found someone better at disguising their presence. We
searched the apartment and checked for bugs and cameras on a regular
basis. Nothing was found, but once again, we were taking no

I went with him to the group practice on Thursday. I didn't feel
comfortable with him going to the bar alone. It wasn't just Geo and
her infatuation with him; these were some seriously bad people.

PART 12 (PG-13)
4:00 PM

From the moment Scully and I stepped   foot in the bar, I felt people
were staring at us. Not so much the    other dancers, but Bull and
some of the bar employees. I wished    for the hundredth time that we
had a good reason to carry weapons.    I felt more naked without my
gun than I did in my g-string at the   end of a set.

Scully was on edge, too. She squeezed my hand and walked down the
steps to the floor of the showroom. She sat at a table near the
front of the catwalk, pulled out a book, and began to read. I
changed and walked over to my position for the opening act. I
waited for the practice to begin by doing some warm-up exercises.

Suzanne made a couple changes to the routine so the practice took a
little longer than usual. Apparently, my popularity pushed me up
the food chain and I was a bigger part of the opening and closing
routines. Finally, Suzanne seemed satisfied. Practice ended, and
except for a few grumblings from some of the dancers, everything
seemed to be all right.

I changed into my street clothes and we left. We went out to eat at
Scully's favorite Thai restaurant and decided that we wanted to pick
up some groceries to cook in tomorrow. We did some shopping and got
home around dark.

9:30 PM

We no sooner put away the groceries than there was a knock at the
door. I grabbed my gun from the table by the front door and looked
through the peephole. Scully was waiting on the other side of the
door, weapon drawn, for me to indicate who was there.

"It's Suzanne," I said.

"Do you know what this is about?" Scully whispered.

"No clue."

I opened the door and Suzanne walked in with a briefcase in one

She smiled and nodded at our weapons before saying, "I know you're
surprised to see me here, but I had some things I needed to talk to
you about and I didn't catch you after practice. Geo and I have
made some decisions about your performance. She asked me to come
over here and discuss them with you."

We put our guns back on the table and led her into the living room.
"Have a seat," Scully said.

"Am I in trouble?" I asked.

Suzanne shook her head and winked. I immediately felt better. She
pulled her bag open and removed a small, rectangular, hand-held
instrument that looked like one of those new I-pods all the kids
had. She then swept the perimeter of the entire apartment for
active electronic equipment and bugs. She continued talking as she

"No, I wanted to speak to you about your salary, Marty.   Geo and I
have discussed it and made some decisions."

"Oh," I said, feigning disinterest.

"What about his wages?" Scully asked, leaning forward as she watched
Suzanne move about.
When Suzanne was done, she put the instrument down on the coffee
table and moved back to the couch. She pulled a stack of papers out
of her bag. "From the early gate receipts, your appearance on
Friday night increased business over twenty-five percent on
Saturday. That's quite an increase for just word-of-mouth
advertising. Both the attendance and the alcohol consumption
increased. You really got them going." She gave me an evil grin.

"Does this mean you're going to pay him above minimum wage?" Scully

"According to these printouts, it looks like he deserves some kind
of compensation," Suzanne replied. She shoved them towards us.

I picked up my stack and glanced at them. On top there were bar
graphs and financial information. A few pages down, I got the shock
of my life.

There were several pictures of Scully and me having sex. I could
tell that they were taken through the curtains of the bedroom. The
only thing across the street from us was a warehouse that closed at
6:00 PM. We always left that window open because we were five
stories up and there was no way anyone could get in it without a
fire truck ladder.

These photographs looked professional. Whoever took them must have
had access to the building across the street and used a
sophisticated telephoto lens to reach that far. A lens that
powerful had to be too big to display openly. He must have had it
concealed in a suitcase or duffle bag to get it up on the roof
without raising suspicion. If he had this kind of photographic
equipment, what kind of sound equipment did he also have? I racked
my brain, trying to remember what we'd said to each other that night
about the case.

I finished leafing through my stack of pictures before I turned to
look at Scully. Her cheeks were stained red but her face was white
as snow. For a moment, I thought she was going to pass out.

"While this is good news on one front, it does create a dilemma on
another," Suzanne continued. "You know that Brad Sealy is our lead
dancer. He's been with us for almost two years and has been a
constant draw for the ladies. Brad's not going anywhere. He has a
large extended family here in D.C. and wants to stay. As far as the
club is concerned, he is and will be our top headliner. Is that

"Yes," Scully murmured.

"Good. Now, Geo wanted to increase your hourly rate by two dollars
an hour, but that's all. You won't receive part of the main billing
until the numbers prove out. I don't think you'll find this a
problem, with all the tips you've been getting.
"There is one more thing, though. Saturday was a fluke. It's
against management's policy for women to participate in the floor
show when the male dancers are performing."

"He didn't know that," Scully began.

Suzanne raised a hand up to stop her. "I'm aware of the fact that
he didn't know it. I'm telling you now. Luckily, the women really
liked your performance. It might not be as good for the club next
time. These women come here to build a fantasy for themselves.
They don't want to see someone else steal it away."

"I understand," I said.

"I suggest you get a third song to go with the cowboy getup. I'm
sure it was a big hit at other clubs. It's just not going to be
used at the Blue Room again. Understood?"

She reached into her case and pulled out another few sheets of
paper. She handed them to us and said, "I've taken the time to
write up some of the rules about performances at the Blue Room.
Take a few minutes to read them."

She handed the pages to us. We glanced at the top pages and then
both of us gasped as we came to more of the same kind of
photographs. She tugged on our arms to pull us closer, and
whispered, "Listen up. Those pictures came from Anastagio, the P.I.
who followed you per Grandpa's orders. I caught the entire
conversation on a wiretap of his personal phone and managed to
intercept copies of the pictures. The guy saw Marty sleeping on the
couch the first couple nights and Grandpa was convinced you were a

"Suzanne, God, we didn't know anyone was watching," Scully hissed as
she flipped through the photographs.

"What you do on your own time is your business. It may have just
saved the entire operation. Anastagio didn't have your place
bugged, because of the security system in the building. He did,
however, hear a couple of the screams that came through your bedroom
window from his position on top of the warehouse across the street.
He gave the originals of these pictures and a tape to Grandpa. You
two need to be more careful and stay in character when you can be
observed. Uncle Melvin gave me this nifty toy for you to use.
Sweep your place on a regular basis." She touched the small
instrument and Scully picked it up. She nodded to Suzanne and
placed it on the side table.

"I know this got you off the hook with the old man, and made you
legit, but if you don't want company, close the curtains next time.
That includes the times you're working on the files," Suzanne added.

"Suzanne, who else knows about this?" I asked.
"So far, no one," she replied. "I personally reviewed the tape and
made a report on it without mentioning any new developments between
you two."

"I don't suppose it would help if I asked you to keep this to
yourself, would it?" Scully asked.

"What? And lose all the money I have in the bullpen betting pools?"
Suzanne was teasing, but at Scully's gasp, she patted her on the
knee and said, "Don't worry. Mike's told me how much you two have
tried to remain professional through this whole mess. I don't blame
you for wanting to keep it your own business. I'll do what I can."

"Thanks, Suzanne," I said. I looked toward Scully and she gave me a
little smile. Thank God, she wasn't upset enough to give up on our
relationship before it had time to develop fully.

Suzanne said, "I have to go soon. Any longer and my visit might
seem strange to anyone who's watching. Do you two have anything to
report on the case?"

We discussed the findings of the files I had been going through.
There didn't seem to be a common denominator among the victims yet,
but I wasn't completely through with them yet.

Scully told Suzanne about her discussion with Bull. "He offered to
provide me with any kind of entertainment I wanted, in addition to
the drugs," she said.

Suzanne stared off into space for a few minutes and then replied, "I
think it's time we did a little investigating of Mr. Bull and his
ability to 'provide'."

"What are you thinking?" I asked.

"I think I'm going to have one of our operatives from the janitorial
staff set up a camera and sound feed in the office and one at the
cash register. Perhaps we need to concentrate on the big picture a
little more instead of just the killings," she said.

"I agree," Scully said. "I think Bull is a major player in this
case. It would be helpful if we knew exactly which pies he has his
fingers in. Perhaps there will be a lead, a connection to the
murders from there. I'd just make sure that the paperwork is done
so that we can use anything we find as admissible evidence," she
suggested. "He was very casual about my request. It seemed as if
he felt safe, almost protected and had no need to be secretive."

"I'll continue to study the files," I said. "However, I don't think
I'm going to have much luck with them. They're so random and, aside
from their obvious connection of being involved in the drug
business, nothing is popping up."
"Stick with it," Suzanne said. "If anyone can find a connection,
it's you." She gathered her things to leave, but turned back when
she reached the door. Dipping into her briefcase again, she pulled
out the stack of photos. "I've already burned the negatives to
these. Why don't you take care of destroying the prints? That only
leaves a set with Grandpa. I don't know how we'll get rid of them,
but I'll try."

I nodded and took the photos. As soon as she was gone I realized
two things. We had a lot to discuss about our relationship and I
now knew why Bull and the others were staring at us so intently at


I took the photographs to the kitchen to burn while Mulder locked
the door and made sure all the curtains were shut. I flipped
through them again. At another time, another place, I would have
wanted to keep some of them. They were mostly of Mulder as he
plunged into me. I enjoyed the play of shadows on his long lean
body. The one of us taken right after he told me to get on my knees
and entered me from behind, however, was so hot I felt my panties
dampen as I stood there looking at it.

He walked into the kitchen and stood behind me.   I shuffled through
the pictures again. "I love this one," I said.    His soft grunt of
agreement made me smile.

"I love that one," he said as I came to one where I was riding him.
I blushed as I remembered it.

We'd slept after we made love. Sticky, hot, and sweaty, we were
exhausted. I woke up about an hour later and decided that I wanted
a shower. I turned my head to tell him, but he was asleep. I
rolled over and lay there, studying his beautiful face. In sleep,
he was a young man again. The weight of our lives lifted for the
duration of his rest. I didn't want to disturb him.

He stirred and opened his eyes; he must have felt me watching him.
His smile was so sweet and loving that I needed to kiss him. I
started with his lips and worked my way down his body and back up.
I climbed on and impaled myself on his erection and rode him until I
was a quivering, shaking mess. I laid down on his chest and cried
like a baby. At first he was afraid I was hurt, but when I gaining
a modicum of control, I told him how I felt: how good he made me
feel; how I needed him for the rest of my life; how much I loved
him. It was fantastic.

"I wish we could keep some of these," he said.

I thought for a moment and came upon a plan. "We can," I said.
"Pick the one you want." He made a show of going through all of
them again, but I knew he would pick his original favorite. I chose
two that I liked. We stood there and burned the rest of the photos,
flushing the ashes down the garbage disposal and out to sea.
Thankfully, the smoke detector didn't go off.

I went into the living room and pulled a large mailing envelope from
my briefcase and quickly addressed it to myself in care of my
mother's address. I wrote 'personal and confidential' on the front.
I knew she would see my handwriting and put it away for me. I
sealed all three photos in a smaller envelope, and shoved it into
the bigger one. Mulder handed me the stamps and I put several on
it; more than enough to cover the charge for the weight.

"Come on," I said.   "I'm suddenly craving an ice cream fix."

He followed me out the door and we drove directly to the post office
where I dropped the envelope into the mail slot and prayed that I
wouldn't regret my impulsive action. I sighed and turned to Mulder.
"Let's get that ice cream."

We stopped at a small carryout, picked up a couple pints, and took
them home right away. Through the entire process, Mulder was

I thought about my impulsive and dangerous actions all the way home.
As we entered the apartment, I shoved the ice cream at him and told
him to go find something to watch on television. I could tell that
he was curious and wanted to know what I was going to do next. He
grabbed my wrist, pulled me close and stared into my eyes. As
anxious as he was, he allowed me to take the lead once again.
Whatever he saw reassured him, because he nodded and released me.

I knew Mulder thought that Suzanne and her pictures scared the hell
out of me, and he was right up to a point. He was probably also
terrified that I wanted to pull back and demand that we end our
personal involvement until the case was over or worse yet, forever.
Knowing him, he'd probably begun lining up his reasons to stay
involved before Suzanne left the apartment.

I could see that I'd shocked him by refusing to allow all the
pictures to be destroyed. In my heart, I'd committed to our
relationship the first night we made love. My tears had washed away
all my doubts and fears. I still wanted to keep our personal and
professional lives separate, but when I told him I loved him, I
meant forever. I know he felt the same way. He just had to learn
to trust me.

I grabbed two spoons, some napkins and joined him. I immediately
dug into my ice cream and began watching The Animal Planet special
that was on the screen.

He sat there without moving, staring at me.   Finally I decided that
he'd waited long enough.

I leaned over and offered him a bite of my ice cream. He
automatically opened his mouth and I smiled at him. I leaned close
to his ear and whispered, "I know we have a lot to discuss about our
relationship, but I don't want to talk about it until the case is

He shook his head and opened his mouth to speak. I shoved another
big bite of ice cream into his mouth and leaned in again. "I love
you and you love me. We're portraying a newly married couple.
That's going to give us a good cover in front of other people.

"I don't want to change a thing about anything that's happened
between us. I don't want to go back and I don't want to deny that
I'm in love with you. I just don't want to talk about how it's
going to affect our partnership, our jobs, until the case is closed.
It's too dangerous. I don't want to take a chance that we will be
heard by anyone."

He studied me for a few minutes before he pulled the lid off his
pint of ice cream. He scooped a big spoonful of coffee chip into
his mouth, still watching me.

I opened my mouth, silently begging for a taste of his treat. He
smiled and lifted a bite towards me. I let my lips close over the
spoon and I groaned in pleasure.

He closed his eyes and echoed my groan.   "You're sure?" he

I took another bite of ice cream and then looked directly into his
eyes. "Yes." I've never been able to lie to him when he was
looking into my soul like that.

He had a grin as big as Texas on his face when he said, "Until

The subject was closed.

9:00 PM

While Mulder was getting into his costume, I worked my way over to
the far corner of the club where a barstool had been shoved.
Amazingly, it was the only empty seat in the house. The audience
had to be above the legal seating capacity for the room. I was sure
management wouldn't complain.

It was Mulder's third week of dancing in the revue. If the chatter
among the women I passed was true, he was the reason for the
increase in attendance. As much as it thrilled me to hear other
women praise his dancing abilities, I hated hearing them speculate
about his sexual prowess in bed. I slowly walked through the crowd,
listening in to various conversations.
A bleached-blonde said, "Did you see the size of his thighs?    I'll
bet he could screw my brains out!"

One of her companions rolled her eyes and said, "That's no threat
for you, girlfriend. You don't have enough left to worry about."

I stopped and leaned back so that Rita, the barmaid, could get by
with a huge tray of drinks. She smiled her thanks and wove on
through the crowd.

Right behind me I heard another comment about 'The Lone Wolf'.

"The way that man swivels his hips is a crime.     I'll bet he's an
animal in bed."

"Did you see the size of that g-string cup?    He has to be huge under

"Yeah, well, you girls go ahead and dream.    I'm going to have that
man or my name isn't --"

I moved away quickly. I didn't want to know the names of the women
who were lusting after my man.

"Wolf is a great dancer.   Someone like him should be on Broadway!"

"You think he's dancing?" her friend said, laughing.

"Yeah!   What would you call it?"

"I'd call it sex on two feet. That man is a walking, talking,
dancing cock. I'd love to get my hands on him."

"That's it, Myra.   No more double Margaritas for you.   You know --"

I moved away again, finally reaching my corner haven. 'Not that
they would ever get the chance to find out.' I gloated as I glanced
around the room. I knew that Fox Mulder, a.k.a. Marty Williams was
a fantastic lover. He was the kind of man every woman dreamed of:
tender, loving, sensitive.

'Right, Dana, that's the part you like best.' I blushed as I
remembered our bout of hot, mind-melting sex that afternoon. Mulder
had been anything but tender. He was hot, hard and demanding. He'd
played my body like a fine instrument and brought me to heights I'd
thought you only found in romance novels and porn movies.

When I told him he was a fantastic lover, he'd hushed me with a
kiss. He spent the next hour kissing me and telling me that
everything he did was for me, that I was his inspiration, his love.
His tenderness moved me so deeply, I cried. We made sweet love and
by the time we were done, we both fell asleep for a long nap.

Our relationship was very intense at the moment.    Our under-cover
assignment, our forced proximity, the very nature of the case
created an atmosphere of sexual tension that was difficult to
ignore. We both knew we'd been headed toward a sexual relationship
-- eventually. The case had just pushed up the time-line.

While I'd been thinking, the next set had started. I watched the
dancer on stage with a dispassionate eye. He was good, a little too
muscular for my taste, but obviously had his following. He took his
bows and left the floor.

Mulder was up next, doing the Robert Palmer set. It was my personal
favorite. I loved him in his suits, all pressed and professional.
The re-mix of Palmer's three big hits fit perfectly with that look.

The lights dimmed and when the spotlight came on, he stood in the
middle of the stage, hands clasped low in front of him, head bowed.
He looked so sharp in the blue pin-striped suit and crisp white
shirt. Even his tie was a sharp red power-tie. To top it all off,
he had on his fedora. God I loved that hat.

His right knee bounced with the music and he bobbed his bowed head
in time to the drum beat. When the words began, he lifted his head
and swung into action. Once again he was barefooted; it was a very
sexy juxtaposition to his formal suit.

A hot summer night, fell like a net
I've gotta find my baby yet
I need you to soothe my head
Turn my blue heart to red
Doctor, doctor give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you
No pill's gonna cure my ill
I've got a bad case of lovin' you**
I could feel the heat of the summer night as he stripped off his
tie. His long, slender fingers had never looked sexier as they slid
down the front of his jacket; his hips gyrated in the neatly pressed
suit pants. Every thrust showed off his impressive package. The
women in the audience were screaming for him to take off the jacket
as he teased them, moving from one side of the stage to the other.
That was Mulder all right, an equal opportunity tease.

He pulled off the coat and tossed it toward the curtain. A few
beats later, he yanked his shirt out of his pants and ripped it
open, all in one move. Thank God for snaps.

**A pretty face don't make no pretty heart
I learned that buddy, from the start
You think I'm cute, a little bit shy**

He taunted the audience as he opened his belt, feigning the shyness
the singer crooned. He slid it through the loops and dangled it
from his fingertips.
**Momma, I ain't that kind of guy**

He snapped it like a whip, a sardonic expression underlining the
verse of the song.

He tossed the fedora to the back of the stage. He wouldn't toss it
out into the crowd unless he aimed for me. He did a series of spins
just before he dramatically whipped off his pants and continued
dancing in his g-string.

I knew the moment he spotted me. His eyes tracked through the
audience while he danced down the catwalk. I'd always been able to
get a seat up front when the house wasn't packed. He liked to focus
on me during at least a portion of his routine. When he finally
found me, he stared at me and began to mouth the words that were
playing. I really listened to them for the first time.

**Doctor, doctor give me the news
I've got a bad case of lovin' you
No pill's gonna cure my ill
I've got a bad case of lovin' you**

A flash of heat shot through my body. My sex clenched and suddenly
I was wet and ready for him. He brought his fist to his chest and
then extended his open hand toward me. It was a public declaration
of his love for me in musical shorthand.

Everything faded and in my mind there was only Mulder and me in the
room. He continued dancing through the change of songs and rhythms.
He made love to me as he danced. Every flex of his thigh, every
thrust of his hips was mine. His hands opened and clenched and I
could feel them all over my body: on my breasts, my derriere, my
thighs, and my mons. He might have been up on that stage moving in
tune to the music for the other women in the room, but in my heart,
I knew that he was making love to me as he moved.

The spotlight made his muscles glow as they flexed and contracted
with his movements. I could remember those same muscles working my
body just hours ago. I knew that every woman in the room was
probably imagining the same thing. I didn't care. Let them dream.

He dropped our eye contact as his routine continued; he moved up and
down the cat walk, giving his adoring fans the attention they
wanted. It didn't matter. His every move was a promise to me.

The song changed again and the tempo subtly slowed.

**Whoa, you like to think that you’re immune to the stuff, oh

It’s closer to the truth to say
You can’t get enough,
You know you’re
Gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love
Might   as   well   face   it,   you’re   addicted   to   love
Might   as   well   face   it,   you’re   addicted   to   love
Might   as   well   face   it,   you’re   addicted   to   love
Might   as   well   face   it,   you’re   addicted   to   love
Might   as   well   face   it,   you’re   addicted   to   love**

It was true.        I was addicted to Mulder's love.

The golden glow of his skin looked incredible in the spotlight. My
eyes roamed over his body. The flexing of his long, narrow feet
carried him back and forth as he dipped and swayed to allow the
women crowding the catwalk access to the sides of his g-string. He
occasionally touched an extended hand or blew a kiss to someone his
photographic memory remembered seeing before. It didn't matter to
me. It was his job, his cover.

The muscles of his legs tensed, reminding me of their strength as he
held me against the wall, driving into me again and again. My legs
still ached from that sexy workout. I blushed again and tried to
concentrate on his routine.

He stood back on his mark at the end of the show, breathing deeply,
abs expanding and contracting as he caught his breath. He took
several bows and once again threw kisses to the audience. His eyes
met mine and I smiled. He had several curtain calls and he smiled
and waved through them all. Finally the stage manger announced the
next act would be out after a short break.

I waited for the lights to come up before I stood up and walked back
stage to the dressing rooms. I wanted to help him get cleaned up
and in his outfit for the finale. 'Yes, indeed,' I thought. 'I'm
sure he needs some help getting dressed.'


Suzanne held a short meeting after the show. Everyone was tired and
wanted to go home, but she felt it was important that we meet before
next Thursday. Scully sat next to me, by all outward appearances
waiting patiently for the meeting to be over.

I knew exactly how impatient she really was to go. I'd raked in a
ton of tips tonight. The set was longer than my others and I was
tired until she came backstage and 'helped' me get ready for the
finale. Her promises for later gave me my second wind. I wanted
out of there, too.

Suzanne gave us a pep talk and then passed out video tapes to
everyone. Some of the guys had two some had three. She made them
for each dancer, to give them some idea of how to improve their
routines. "I want each of you to look at these immediately," she
said. "Think about what you see and how you can sharpen your
"Are you saying we're not doing a good job?" shouted an angry voice
from the back of the group.

Suzanne shook her head and said, vehemently, "Not at all! In fact
you're doing such an excellent job, the management's thinking of
extending the male dancers to a third night. I just want us to be

A rumble of approval was heard among the group.   More nights meant
more money coming in.

"I want you to observe what the ladies see. This approach could
give you a few new ideas to turn up the heat a notch or two."

"Bam!" said Brad, doing his best Emeril Lagasse imitation.

Everyone laughed and the tension dissolved.

"Remember, we're going to go over these individually next Thursday.
Let's meet about two hours early," she said. The laughter turned to
groans. "Come on guys, work with me here. That's all for tonight.
Anyone who wants to talk to me about their tapes before Thursday,
give me a call. My number's on the tapes."

"Do we have to talk about the routines, or can we just call you up
to chat?" asked Danny. He had a crush on Suzanne and wasn't afraid
to try anything to get her to notice him.

Suzanne simply shook her finger at him and said, "Beat it!   All of

3:00 PM

One of the tapes Suzanne had given me was playing, but it sure
didn't look like my moves Scully and I were watching. The tape was
an edited version of the video surveillance in the office at The
Blue Room.

We watched the tape silently. I was surprised by two things. One,
Bull was only in the office a couple of times. He came in at 10:30
PM each night to watch the sports news on the office TV and make a
telephone call. Geo usually found some excuse to make herself
scarce at that time. The longest time he was there was Friday when
he and Scully made the drug transaction. The only other people who
had appeared on the tape for the whole week were Geo, Grandpa and
the janitor.

Geo appeared to have a split personality. When Grandpa was in the
room, butter wouldn't have melted in her mouth. Without Grandpa,
she was a shark. She attacked the computer, entering data, making
deposits, just general accounting. She obviously knew her business
and knew it well. There were times, however, when she was
completely out of control. She cursed and screamed and threw things
around. After a few moments of that, she would sit back down and
pound on the keyboard for long periods of time.

Since the camera was in the corner of the room and the computer
screen was out of view, there wasn't any way we could read the
screen to see exactly what she was doing.

Scully noticed the same two things, but made one other observation.
When Grandpa visited early in the day, Geo played the sweetheart up
until the moment her Grandfather looked off screen and hailed his
son. Geo's mask of sweetness disappeared and an expression of
loathing covered her face. It was gone in an instant, but Scully
caught it. We re-wound the tape and froze the scene. We agreed
that it was directed at Bull. It needed further examination.

The second surveillance tape was more disturbing. We knew that Bull
hovered over the cash register. He didn't trust his employees and
kept a close eye on everything. Most of that tape was of him
reading the paper or bullshitting with favorite customers as he
checked up on the bartender. There was one real find, though.

Bull Ferrante was captured making arrangements to do a film -- a
very special kind of film. We watched in fascination as he told his
connection to make sure that he had the goods and to bring them to
the 'regular place' on Friday night. We assumed it was a motel

We finished watching him speak with obvious excitement about the
coloring and sex of his unsuspecting victim. The list of equipment
he gave included handcuffs, silk scarves, and a riding crop. He
actually licked his lips several times and once even moved his hand
down below the view of the camera, and groaned. Our imaginations
filled in the rest.

Francis 'Bull' Ferrante was a sexually aggressive rapist of the
first order and was arranging to film a rape/bondage porn movie with
an unwilling co-star. I rewound the tape and watched his
conversation again.

"Oh, God, Scully, what have we stumbled on to?" I groaned when it
was over. "I know I was trained as a psychologist; I was given all
the keys to the degenerate, diseased souls of the world. I profiled
more than one rapist during my days at VCS, but I never understood
these individuals and their actions."

"I know the violence rapists perform on their victims isn't about
sex, it's about control. That's what repulses me -- their need to
control and victimize unwilling women and men," she said vehemently.

"Someone like Bull is a 'Sexually Aggressive rapist'," I said.
"How is that different than your common, garden-variety rapist?" she
asked. She was trying to deflect her own anger with humor.

I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a hug, trying to help her
relax. I knew she considered the three months she was missing as
rape. They had taken her control, her memories and committed
unknown acts on her body, the results of which she had to live with
for the rest of her life. I agreed with her. It was rape. Right
now, though, we needed to concentrate on stopping Bull and his
cohorts from making the movie.

"In his mind, sexual arousal is associated with the pain of others,"
I answered. "He's convinced that the victim likes rough sex and
likes to be dominated. Failure of the victim to demonstrate
pleasure enhances the violence, often encourages the rapist to use
elaborate bondage, acts of sadism and torture.

"All enlightened education aside, I'll never be able to accept them
as merely mentally ill individuals. They're evil. They deserve to
be locked away for life," I said. I saw pain and anger in her eyes
as she rewound the tape again and watched Bull discuss his
arrangements a third time.

Scully and I were in mild shock when the tape was through. I
wondered if Suzanne knew what was on it when she gave it to us. If
not, we needed to speak to the entire team. We called the Gunmen to
set it up. This bastard had to be stopped.

10:00 PM

Scully and I went to the Gunmen's place for the meeting with SAC
Rose, Skinner, and Suzanne. Mike had accompanied Suzanne and it was
nice to see him again.

Scully presented the new information on Bull and on Geo's apparent
hatred for her father. Skinner and Rose were pleased with our
observations and discovery.

The team was given new directives.   We, however, were ordered to
stay undercover. I grimaced.

"What's the matter, Mulder?   Not enjoying the adulation?" Skinner

I told him the truth. "I don't mind dancing, but it means that I
have to get my entire body waxed again." I didn't tell him that
Scully'd felt hairs here and there growing back in.

He shook his head and said, "I should think all those tips you're
getting every night would be enough to hold the pain at bay."
I let it drop. Little did he know -- I'd just been throwing the
money in a shoe box in the back of the closet.

The Gunmen assured us that they could get into the club's computer,
especially if Suzanne acquired the ISP address from an old phone

"If it's on the net, we can hack it," Langly said with confidence.

SAC Rose was livid about Bull's porn flick set-up. He was unaware
that pornography had any part in the investigation; someone had
dropped the ball. This wasn't something a group of highly trained
agents should have missed. Heads would roll back at headquarters.
I almost felt sorry for his team. He wasn't the kind of man that
forgave a mistake that big.

Rose grudgingly authorized the expenditure for two more dance
routines and another costume. I was at the bottom of my list and if
the assignment continued for much longer, I needed more routines and
outfits to continue my cover as a professional dancer.

It was late and we decided to go home. We still had the files to
comb through but that could wait until tomorrow.

11:00 AM

After returning home from the studio and gym, we decided to hit the
files hard. We closed all the curtains and spread out in the living
room. I took the couch and Scully was in the chair across from me
with the files on the coffee table between us.

"Okay, give me all the crime scene reports and all the autopsy
reports," she said.

I opened the file on each victim, found the information she
requested, and handed it to her without a word. I then pulled the
information that hadn't been examined yet from each file.

"What are you going to do?"

"I want to look through all this extraneous shit; phone bills,
credit card receipts, etcetera. I've missed something. It bugs me
that I can't find a connection between the victims. There HAS to be

"Other than the fact that they're drug-dealing scumbags?" she asked
in a sweet voice.

Laughter barked out of me.    "Yeah, besides that."
"You don't believe that this is a drug war, do you?" she said,

I looked up and met her gaze.   "No, I don't."

"SAC Rose and Skinner are sure it is."

I was silent a moment.   "Yeah, well, I'm not."


"It's too easy. The cartels have been in the business of killing
for years. Where have we traditionally found bodies?"

"Dumpsters, bottom of rivers, abandoned rural spots."

"Right, so why would they leave these guys in hotel rooms, knowing
they are going to be found quickly? What else about traditional
drug executions is not here?" I sounded professorial, even to

She smiled gently and then pursed her lips in thought. I had a
love-hate reaction to that particular expression. It distracted me
by turning me on; and it irritated me because I couldn't forget
about the facts at hand and take her to bed.

"Well, they're usually more interested in eradicating the identity
of the victim," she said.

"Right, we find them in rivers because water does its magic, the
fishes do their thing and it hastens decay. We find them burnt
beyond recognition so that dental records are the only way to
identify them, beyond gender, in many cases. We find their heads
blown off with shotguns, so not one facial feature is left in tact
to let us know who they are."

"I get what you're saying. However, we have to consider the
possibility that they want them to be found to send a message to the
rival cartel; screw with us and we'll blow you away."

"I suppose. I don't buy it though. There's something else. If
fate smiles on me, I'll find it in the details, these bills and
phone records."

"It's always in the details, huh?" she teased.

I grinned.   "Always."

We settled in and concentrated on the files, making notes of
anything that seemed similar. The new information included cell
phone bills, dossiers on the victims and deep background checks.
None of these were nice people. Although the world was probably
better off without them, they were still victims and we needed to
solve the case.
I turned my pad sideways, made columns for each individual, and
began listing their phone calls and dates. After that, I cross-
referenced the numbers and found a few matches. I did the same
thing with the credit cards and found several matches.

I allowed a smile to spread across my face.   "Eureka!"

She looked up.   "What?"

"We have matches on both the phone bills and the credit card

"For all of them?"

"Not all, but I have a very small time frame here. I bet if we went
back a little further, we'd find more. There's enough here to check
out. I need to know what these credit card sales are for."

"It doesn't say?"

"El Dorado Sales, Bethesda Marketing, Keyhole Express; nice and
generic, huh?"

"But what do they sell?"

"Exactly, what do they sell and who owns them?"

"Time to call the boys?" she asked.

"Definitely time to call the boys."

Scully picked up the phone, dialed and waited. I listened to her,
feeling anticipation curl in my gut. It was an important lead. I
just didn't know where it would take us, yet.

"Hi, Uncle Melvin? Yeah, this is Katey. Listen, we were wondering
if you could come over for a late lunch, maybe bring the cousins?"

There was a pause and she nodded as she listened. "Yes, exactly.
We'll discuss all that when you get here. Great, see you then."
She hung up and turned to me. "They're on their way with the ninja

I grinned at her and turned back to the files.

"I'll rustle up some sandwiches," she said.

A half hour later, they arrived and set up their computers on our
kitchen table. The Bureau had kindly installed several telephone
lines in the place so we could hook up multiple computers. The guys
brought a wireless router so they could network them together if
they needed to.
Byers researched the information on the credit card purchases,
trying to find the companies, what they sold and who owned them.

Frohike hacked into the cellular telephone companies to get older
information to research for more matches.

Langly, in the meantime, surfed the files of the office computer at
The Blue Room. Suzanne had managed to get her inside man to steal
the ISP, making Langly's job the easiest.

Scully and I hovered behind them, and waited for results.

Byers said, "Well, this is interesting."

We moved to his side of the table and looked over his shoulder.
"Lay it on me," I said.

"El Dorado Sales and Bethesda Marketing are dummy companies.
Keyhole Express is an umbrella company."

"Where do they lead?"

"El Dorado and Bethesda are traced back to Ferrante Enterprises."

"That's Bull, or grandpa," Scully interjected.

Byers nodded, and did a little more typing. "Looks like Ferrante
Enterprises is owned by Frederick Ferrante, Sr."

"What are the dummy companies?"

"I can't tell from this, but I'm betting they're cash businesses or
ones that have the transactions laundered through another business,
possibly your Blue Room. This is how a lot of illegal escort
services are set up, the higher-class ones at least."

"Hmmm." An idea was beginning to form in my mind.     "What about the
other one?"

"Keyhole Express is an umbrella company with several other dummy
corporations under it, including The Love Zone, Cupid's Whip and
Cyber Cherries." He paused. "Isn't that nice?" he added

"Who owns that one?     Keyhole or the others?" I asked.

"Oh.   I don't know yet."

"Keep looking," I requested.

Moments later Frohike said, "All these matching calls are either to
lines at the Blue Room or to computers."

"Whose computers?" I asked.
He smiled at me over the screen of his laptop.   "Mostly The Blue
Room. What a surprise."

He turned it so Langly could see it. Langly stared at the screen
for a moment then his fingers were flying over the keyboard so fast
I couldn't track them. Without looking up, he said, "Yup, those are
computer fax numbers. They're calling the computer and leaving text
messages on the WinFax program there. Let's see."

He frowned and typed rapidly. "Shit, the system has more security
on it than the DOJ does on their mainframe. Everything is
encrypted. Gotta go deeper."

He was quiet for a few more moments as he typed madly on his
computer and actually commandeered Frohike's for a few minutes.     The
sight of him working both computers, one with each hand, was
awesome. Finally he said, "Here we go."

I moved to look over his shoulder as he began printing out pages of
material. "Those are faxes received in the last thirty days. Then
I'm gonna do the e-mails. Those will be a little harder. Give me a

"Can you get to them?" I asked.

He snorted and looked up at me. "You forget to whom you speak,
Grasshopper. My kung fu is the best!" he declared.

Scully and I smiled indulgently at him behind his back. "Can it,
you long-haired hippie," Frohike scolded as he jerked his computer
away from the younger man.

Byers looked up. "How about we work and save the insults for
later?" His tone was stern and business-like.

"Food orders?" Scully asked.

"Ham and cheese," Frohike requested.

"Turkey with a little mustard," Byers said.

Langly asked, "You have bologna?"

Scully nodded.

"That's what I want, lots of mayo and mustard and put some cheese on
there, too."

Byers mumbled, "Your arteries are doomed."

Langly muttered, "Yes, but they'll die happy."

Scully and I retreated to the counter and made sandwiches, letting
them work. We tried not to disturb their concentration when we put
the plates down next to them, but none of the three missed a beat as
they grabbed some food and ate absently while they worked.

Langly finally looked up and pointed to the printer they'd brought
with them, which was spitting out pages. I scooped up the papers,
gave half to Scully, and we went into the living room to look them

I heard Byers call out, "Hey Mulder, you're not going to believe

I hopped up and went back to the kitchen.   "What have you got?"

"The owner of Keyhole Express and all its 'subsidiaries'," he said.


He pointed to the screen.   There in black and white was the name
Giovanna Ferrante.

"Damn, she's just a kid," I said.   "A precocious one, but still ..."

Byers shook his head. "She's twenty-one. She can own anything she
likes. With daddy and grandpa's money, it doesn't surprise me."

"I have more," Langly piped up.

"What?" I asked. I glanced up at Scully as she joined me in the
kitchen. She stood beside me and placed her hand on my belt as she
leaned over shoulder to see the screen.

"Your Geo has her high school and college transcripts scanned in
here. Guess what?"


"She's a freaking genius: straight A's in Calculus, Algebra,
Computer Theory, Statistics, World Literature, and Accounting."

"What was her major in college?"

"Double major, Business Administration and Computer Programming.
She aced both of them. She graduated magna cum laude," Langly

I whistled.

Scully said, "I think there's more to Giovanna Ferrante than we

"Apparently so," I said.

She said under her breath, "I suppose I should be glad she's got
something going for her other than being a spoiled, little tramp;
but somehow, it doesn't make me feel any better about her."

We all laughed at her.   Frohike swiped the air with his hand.

She blushed.    I loved it when she did that.

I walked back into the living room and sat back down. I picked up
the info Langly printed out and skimmed through the e-mails. My
brain was humming. I had that feeling I got when I was about to
make a connection and a puzzle piece was poised to fall into place.
I spread out the new information with the file contents and tuned
everyone out.

On a distant level, I heard Frohike call my name.

Scully said, "Shh, leave him for a minute."

She had good radar, and must have recognized the look on my face. I
shuffled things on the table -- phone bills, credit card receipts,
e-mails, faxes, lining them up and rearranging. What was it? Damn
it! I was missing something. What hadn't I looked at yet?

Only the background checks were left. We both knew they were all
bad guys so neither one of us had scrutinized them individually
before. I picked the files up and started to read carefully.

Possession with intent to sell.

Trafficking across interstate borders.

Trafficking across the border of Mexico.

Assault and Battery.


Money laundering.   Blah, blah, blah.


Risk of injury to a minor.

I froze, and went back to the others, skimming quickly.


Risk of injury to a minor.


Rape, no conviction.

Assault and battery on a minor.

Child exploitation.


My stomach turned over.   "Oh God, no," I whispered.

I looked up and found Scully peering at me intently.     "What?   You
found something, didn't you?"

I nodded, feeling stunned. Why hadn't I spotted     it before? I
hadn't looked at the background checks the way I    should have right
at the beginning. I'd taken it for granted that     the team profilers
had examined them thoroughly. The guys gathered     around and stood
silently, waiting.

I took a deep breath.    "Guys?"

"Yeah?"   They all responded at once.

"Kiddie porn," I said.

"What!" Scully gasped.

"We need to check, but every one of the victims seems to be
connected to kiddie porn. Look at the charges against them."        I
read off the laundry list of priors for each.

"So you think these guys were whacked because of their predilection
for kiddie porn?" Langly asked.

"Something like that," I muttered as the wheels began turning again.

I riffled through the files, zeroing in on the phone listings. "We
need to get a bigger sampling of their phone bills. Not all of the
victims called the same numbers, on these records, but ..." I
drifted into thought again.

"Yeah?" Frohike asked, slower this time.

His words shook me from my musings.     "These bastards were into
kiddie porn."

"You're Sure," Byers said, his hand unconsciously going to his

I nodded, swallowing harshly.      "Shit, we have to talk to Skinner."

"Show me first," Scully said. "Show me where you find this
connection before we call Skinner."
I nodded and said, "Highlighter."

She handed me one and I marked all the charges on the background
checks that pertained to juveniles. As I did, I said, "I want you
guys to get me everything you can find on these cases, charges,
convictions, if any. I want depositions, transcripts of trials.
You know the drill. Oh, and I want a list of every location, hotel,
home, anything mentioned in them."

Scully picked the pages up as I finished with each one and handed
them to the boys. "We're on it," they said and retreated to the

I picked up the phone bills and she gave me a new color of marker.
I smiled up at her in thanks and began cross-referencing numbers. I
explained my actions as I worked. "Every number that appears on the
victims' bills is a clue. We need more records, but my money says
that all of them have called or bought products from 'Cupid's Whip'
or 'Cyber Cherries', both subsidiaries of Keyhole Express."

Scully said, "I don't know. What if it's only a coincidence? What
proof do you have that purchasing kiddie porn from one of the
Keyhole Express companies is the reason they were killed? After
all, the killer escaped with a huge amount of drugs and/or money
from drug sales. This could all just be a bizarre concurrence."

I smiled up at her. She was my anchor, and nothing about our
shifting relationship had changed that. She still made me work for
my proof. I shuffled through the e-mails and pointed to one word --


"I know it's a reach, but I have a gut feeling I'm right.        We need
those phone records to prove the connection."

She nodded and grasped my hand. "I believe you, but this is just so
big I don't want us to make a mistake and move before we have a
reasonable amount of proof."

I whispered, "If they're abusing children, we need to take these
mother-fuckers down, NOW. Immediately."

She nodded, looking pale.   "Are you sure?"

"As sure I get without more evidence," I said, "but my instinct
tells me I'm right."

Scully nodded. She trusted my intuition. "I'll call Skinner.
Despite the risk, he may want to call a meeting."

"Geo running an escort service," I mused.     "Does that fit?"

"Not really.   It wouldn't surprise me if it's just a dummy company
and daddy or grandpa is behind it," Scully said thoughtfully.

"Maybe it's a cover for something else.   I can't believe she's
involved in kiddie porn."

Scully sighed. "I don't like Geo, but I have to say, I don't think
she would be either."

"Maybe I just don't want her to be," I said.

Her hand landed on my shoulder and squeezed in a gesture of comfort.
"We'll get them, Mulder."

"The sooner the better."

10:30 AM

After my discovery Monday night, Scully and I were stunned. So was
Skinner when Scully called him. She briefly outlined my theory
about the victims' connection to kiddie porn and the tape of Bull's
conversation that led us to believe he was involved in the
production end of the business as well as sales. Skinner agreed
that a meeting was in order and promised to meet us at the Gunmen's
within the hour. He said he'd try to reach Rose but wouldn't call
Suzanne. He wanted to let the SAC decide if her presence was

We showed Skinner and Rose the tape again and discussed our idea
that Bull's film operation wasn't with actors or consenting adults.
The meeting lasted until late Tuesday morning. Scully and I left
around dawn even though Skinner and Rose weren't done collecting
information from the guys. It ticked me off to leave before a new
course of action was decided. Nevertheless, I had a schedule to
stick to for my cover and Scully and I needed at least a couple of
hours of sleep.

Skinner called after we left the studio Tuesday afternoon and
thanked us. He sounded like hell. He'd obviously been up all night
and all day. He let us know that the team had acquired copies of
previous movies distributed by Keyhole Express and was working on an
all-out search for the locations.

"I've had a few thoughts you might want to share with the team,
Sir," I said.

"Go ahead, Mulder. I took the liberty of having Byers fix me up
with one of his special phones last night. He assured me that it's
a secured line."

"I've been considering Bull's conversation and it occurred to me
that there should be a special emphasis on any kidnapping or child
disappearances from now until Saturday. I wouldn't count on them
abducting a child from here in D.C. They'd want to go far enough
away from their own territory to make sure the child wouldn't be
found before they're done with her. There should be a way to
apprise the law enforcement agencies in all communities surrounding
D.C. to report anything suspicious."

"Got it.   I'll pass that on to Rose.   Anything else?"

"Yeah, I'd alert all the area hospitals to be on the look out for
any child over eight who comes in with unusual wounds."

"You think we should let them know that a sexual predator is in the
area? Wouldn't that create more panic than help?"

"I don't know how you want to word it. I just know it needs to be
done. We have to get to the hospital and collect evidence before
any treatments can erase it. I know that sounds cold, Sir, but it
may be our only chance of catching these people."

"So you think there's more than one perpetrator involved?"

"I don't know. Hell, Scully and I disagree on whether there's even
a connection between the deaths and this kiddie porn movie. It just
makes sense to keep our options open."

"Right. I'll take care of those two things at this end.   Let me
know if you think of anything else."


Scully and I couldn't do anything more at our end and it was
beginning to irritate me. The records we accumulated were given
back to Rose to distribute to the main team at headquarters.
Several members had been assigned to work on combing the backgrounds
and expanded cell phone data for documented connections. Several
others were to work on stopping the filming on Friday. At least the
out-lying authorities would be watching for potential victims and
the hospitals would be alerted.

I received a personal call from SAC Rose directing us to maintain
our cover. I tried to argue with him, insisting that Scully and I
were two of his best investigators being relegated to the side
lines. I insisted that we wouldn't find out anything more about the
murders by continuing the cover. As usual, I lost the argument.

At least the guys were feeding us information as they uncovered it.
Byers relayed an interesting fact when he called. The credit card
from one of the earlier victims, a Richard 'Little Ricky' Jones, had
been used to book the room where Carlos Santos was killed. The
interesting part was that Little Ricky had been dead for over two
weeks when the charge was made. It was a strange piece of the
puzzle that bothered me. I knew it was important, but didn't know
where it fit, yet.
Scully and I had spent the rest of the week getting ready for the
show during the day and making love at night. We both wanted a more
active role in the investigation but were repeatedly told to
maintain our cover. I was ready to cut and run, but once again,
Scully was the voice of reason.

"What do they want us to do?" Scully asked.

"There's nothing we can do. We've been instructed to hold our
cover. We apparently are considered more valuable on the inside
than we would be helping with the investigation." I knew she could
hear the sarcasm dripping from my words.

"You don't agree?" she asked gently.

"I --" I began, and then sighed. "I don't know what to do. I just
want it to be solved and the killings to be over. There were three
unrelated, drug-gang deaths last night in Willington, Delaware.
Nobody is safe until the case is completely over."

Scully wrapped her arms around my shoulders, hugged me and said, "I
know, and I agree. Right now, we just have to hope that we can be
in the right place at the right time. We'll at least have access to
Bull and Geo on Thursday and Friday. I think SAC Rose is right, up
to a point. We need to be at the club in case someone inadvertently
drops a clue as to where or when the movie is to be filmed.

"You have to know you've already done a lot to get the investigation
on the right track. You're the one who made the connection to the
porn sites and the Ferrante's. You're the one who found the common
link in all the victims." She stepped back and looked up into my

"Yeah, but not soon enough to save a little girl from years of
pain," I said.

She whispered, "It's not your fault."

I smiled at her and nodded. "I KNOW that, here," I said as I tapped
my temple. "I know it. But here," I continued as I tapped my
chest. "Here, I feel like I'm not doing enough."

"Do you trust me?" she asked.

"Of course, always."

"Then trust that I've told you the truth when I said it's NOT your

I stared down at my feet again for a moment before looking back into
her eyes. Her smile was small and sad, but it was there. "You're
so good for me, partner," I said as she stretched up on her tip toes
to kiss me.
After that, I dutifully went to my workouts, tanning booth
appointments, and dance lessons to learn the new routines. Scully
surprised me and went everywhere with me. She normally would have
used the hour or so of my workout as a buffer for some private time
of her own. I was glad she stayed near me. The whole case was
getting weirder and weirder. I didn't want to get separated from
her, especially now.

Today, I was actually glad to be working on the new routines. Hard,
physical exercise and the diversion of learning something new was
all that kept me from saying 'to hell with it' and ditching the team
to go out on my own. I felt sick that I couldn't prevent an unknown
child from being hurt. Even if I had no personal experience with
sexual abuse, I knew what physical abuse could do to a child.

My father had been both physically and verbally abusive to me before
the divorce. Afterward, he had basically ignored me until I
graduated from Oxford. Suddenly, I was someone to be proud of,
someone he could brag about. I'd rejected his efforts to be my
friend as too little, too late.

I knew Scully'd suspected for a long time. We hadn't discussed it,
and I wasn't comfortable talking about it now. It wasn't easy for
me to think about, let alone verbalize. I would tell her when we
got around to fully discussing our relationship. I didn't want to
keep anything about my past hidden from her.

I let my mind move on to happier thoughts. Our relationship had
finally developed into one I'd wanted for years. When she first
allowed me to sleep in her bed, I'd had an inkling that she was
ready to commit to physical intimacy. We'd been partners for
several years and we'd been at a point where we would neither deny
nor acknowledge our feelings for one another before this assignment.

Even when we made love for the first time, I wasn't sure it would
last beyond the end of the case. Only after Suzanne confronted us
with the photos had I felt a level of comfort and security. Scully
said she wanted us to go on with the case, letting our roles as
newlyweds cover any and all evidence of our personal involvement.
Scully'd made it clear with her few words that she didn't want to
discuss our relationship until after the case.

I could handle not discussing things. She wasn't running away. She
had good reasons. I was thankful that there was still an 'us'.
She'd looked into my eyes as we sat on the couch eating ice cream
and I knew the truth. It was then that I'd realized that she was
committed to me with her whole heart. I almost wept in relief. I'd
held on to the fear that she was acting in the heat of the moment,
letting our roles carry her along. I silently agreed with her. We
would talk about 'us' later.

That night, she'd made love to me until we both finally passed out
from exhaustion. She certainly wasn't behaving like the partner I'd
known for years. When I thought about everything that had happened,
however, I realized that I had never really seen how Scully acted
when she was in a committed romantic relationship.

As hard as it had been to believe at first, she loved me. She
wouldn't lie to me about something so important. For whatever
reason, God, or the fates, had given me a miracle. I vowed never to
take her for granted again.

As soon as I was finished, we were going to pick out my new costume.
Then, we needed to go back to the salon for haircuts and my waxing.
'I wonder if I can talk her into trimming my shrubbery again,' I
thought. Based on the way we couldn't keep our hands off each other
lately, I knew we'd have more fun than the last time it was done.


Mulder worked on his new dance routines while I watched. I was
reading, or trying to read. He was using 'Bad to the Bone' by
George Thorogood and 'Radar Love' by Golden Earring. Apparently he
had a real fondness for the Danish band and had, in fact, been to
some of their concerts when he was at Oxford.

'Twilight Zone' had been a huge hit with the women at the club. I
thought that 'Radar Love' would be too, especially when they got a
peek at him in the Motorcycle Cop uniform I was going to insist on.

I felt a strange reluctance to be separated from him. Despite SAC
Rose's insistence we stay undercover, Skinner told us to be ready to
move if we got a call from him so I secreted our weapons and badges
in the bottom of an old duffle bag. I had it stowed under the bench
seat of our car. It was parked on the street out front so I felt it
was relatively safe. Who would want to steal a thirteen-year-old
Chevy Impala anyway?

Waiting was the worst part of the job at times. My eyes strayed
back over to rest on Mulder. He was down to his g-string again and
I couldn't help licking my lips in appreciation.

On the other hand, down time could be quite enjoyable.

8:00 PM

I heard the door click open and took a deep breath. "Hey, anybody
home?" the man called, and then laughed like a hyena at his own
stupid-ass joke.

"Get ready for me," I said in my best little girl voice.
"I was born ready, honey" he countered.

"You in your birthday suit, Mister?"

"I will be in a minute."

"You let me know, then."

"You like to make an entrance, do you, you little strumpet?    All
right, I'll play the game."

I listened intently as he undressed, hearing his belt hit the floor.
"Okay, I'm ready, pumpkin."

I opened the bathroom door and leaned suggestively against the door
frame, my hands hidden behind me.

"Who are you?" he asked as I stared at his grotesque, naked body.

I ignored his question.    "Achilles Valerio?" I asked in my normal

"Who the fuck are you?    The nanny?   You bring my package or what?"

"I'm not cute enough for you?" I asked.

"You're cute.   Look like Jessica Alba, anybody ever tell you that?"

"Yes, many people."

"I ordered someone young."

"Oh, you like them younger than me?"


"How much younger?"

"What the fuck is it to you?"

"Aw, come on, Mr. Valerio, how much younger?"

"What's the word? Prepubescent. Now, get on the phone with your
service and let's get this shit straightened out."

"I don't think so.    You like little girls?   That's unfortunate."

"Really?   How so?"

I stood up straight and swung the gun into view.

"What the fuck?   Say, I recognize you."

"Ah, how nice of you to remember me."
"He's pimping you, again?"

"No, I'm too old for him now, too."

"Wait a minute.   I don't want any trouble with the Family."

"Too late."

"Wait!" he shouted, putting his hands in the air.

"Say good bye, Heel."

I aimed and pulled the trigger.   I heard the satisfying sound of the
bullet hitting his skull.


He fell over dead. It was much neater than the last one. I had to
remember to shoot them in the head instead of the chest. Last one
was a waste of good bullets.

I went through my ritual of clean-up. It was almost too easy.
After double-checking everything, I turned my jacket inside-out and
put on the short, curly, brunette wig over my own brunette hair. I
picked up his duffel bag, checking to make sure the cash was inside.

I finished with the Swiffer, pulled on my leather gloves, slipped
the do-not-disturb sign on the door and walked out into the hall.
The thrill of the hunt still tingled through me as I got into my
car. I pulled out of the side lot of the hotel and headed back into
downtown D.C.

I noticed a green sedan in my rear view mirror. I'd seen him on my
way to the motel. 'Was he following me?' I wondered. I breathed a
sigh of relief when he turned left at the next intersection. I
cruised through and set my sights on the next bar I was going to
hit. I needed my fix, a big hard one -- maybe from a college
hangout bar this time.

I smiled as I made my plans.

8:30 PM

"Mr. Ferrante, it's Angelo," I greeted him when he answered his

"What's up?"

"Your pigeon has flown the coop again.   She's at the Cloud Dining
Lounge on DuPont."

"That college yuppie place?"

"Yeah, the one with the couches instead of tables and chairs."

"Did she stop at a motel beforehand?"


"Can you see anybody she might be meeting?"

"No, too many people going in and out."

"Hmmm, well, just make sure she comes out okay."

"You sure you don't want me to roust her?"

"No, just make sure she gets back in all right.    Call me when she

"You got it."

8:30 PM

Mulder struggled with the key to the apartment. We could hear our
phone ringing inside and his haste made his usually clever fingers
clumsy and slow. Finally, he pushed the door open and I rushed in
to pick up the phone.

"Hello!"   My voice was breathless and reedy.

"Is this the residence of Marty and Katey Williams?" a familiar
voice asked, hesitantly.

"Yes, this is Katey."

"Scully? It's your uncle. I tried to reach you and Marty on your
cell phones but you both had them turned off."

"Oh, sorry. We were at practice and Suzanne always demands all cell
phones be turned off while the guys work."

"Fine, hang up and turn on your cell."    He hung up.

Scully?" Mulder whispered.   "What's going on?"

"That was Skinner," I whispered back.    "Turn on your cell phone."

I pulled my phone from my purse and thumbed it on. Almost
immediately, it rang. Mulder turned his phone on as he walked
across the room to turn on some music to cover my conversation.   He
came back and stood next to me, giving me the comfort of his


"Agent Scully, your mother called me earlier today. She was
concerned because she hasn't heard from you recently. She mentioned
something about a large envelope you sent to her home in your name."

"Is she all right?" I asked immediately.

"Yes, she's fine. Like I said, she was concerned." His voice was
gruff, but I could tell he was worried about my mother.

"I've not chanced a call to her since we began the deep cover part
of this assignment, sir. Do you think it's safe?"

He hesitated for a moment then said, "I don't think you should call
from your cell or home phone. I don't see why a pay phone wouldn't
be safe."

"Thank you sir, I'll call her right away."

He cleared his throat and said, "You do that."    He hung up.

"That was Skinner, again," I said. "My mother called him. She's
concerned because I haven't contacted her since the case began."

"What did he suggest?"

"He thinks I should call her from a pay phone."   I looked up at him.
"Are you up to going back out tonight?"

"Sure!   We could get a snack while we're out."

"You and your junk food," I said with a laugh.

"Hey, I'm the one who's doing all the exercise around here. I need
to keep up my strength." He rubbed his stomach and grinned at me.

"Let's go, bottomless pit. We'll find a pay-phone somewhere we can
feed you and kill two birds with one stone."

Mulder drove around until he found just the right combination --
junk food that he liked and a pay phone tucked away in a private
corner of the parking lot. He pulled our big boat of a car across
three parking spaces, assuring me of as much privacy as possible.
While he walked in and got his food, I fed my change into the phone
and dialed my mother's number.


"Dana! I'm so glad to hear from you.    I was beginning to get
worried about you, sweetheart."

"I know, Mom. I'm sorry. Mulder and I are on an under cover case
and I haven't been able to call." Just then a group of
motorcyclists roared into the lot and parked.

"Dana?    What in the world is that noise?" she asked.

"I'm at a pay phone, Mom.    That's just some customers pulling in."

"I wondered. I didn't recognize the number on my caller I.D.," she
said. "I know you can't tell me anything about the case, but how
are you and Fox?"

"I'm fine. Mulder is won ... great, Mom. He's doing a fantastic
job on his cover role and I'm very proud of him. He's actually come
up with a couple of new angles for the team to investigate." I
snapped my jaws together and groaned. I was gushing like a
schoolgirl about Mulder to my mother and I knew she'd picked up on
it right away.



"Dana, have you and Fox ... reached a new understanding about your

"Mom!" I could hear the whine in my voice. Damn! When did a
person get old enough to hide things from their mother and get away
with it?

"Never mind, sweetie. I have my answer. Well, I'll talk to you
when you're back home. Give my best to Fox."

"Mom," I said and then sighed deeply.


I looked across the parking lot at Mulder as he walked back towards
me. He had a hotdog stuffed in his mouth and his hands full of more
food. He tried to grin at me around the hot dog. He looked so
goofy and relaxed that I had to laugh.

"Mom, I love him and he loves me," I said quietly.

"I know.   I've know it for years.   Have you told him how you feel?"

I began to blush as I thought of the last time I'd screamed 'I love
you' to Mulder. "Uh, yeah. We've, uh, touched on it briefly. We
can't really talk until the case is over."
"Is Fox there?"

I rolled my eyes. Did the woman have long-distance vision, too?
"He just walked up."

"Let me talk to him, please," she said.

I gulped and handed the phone to Mulder. He scrambled to set the
food down on the hood of the car, wipe his hands, and swallow the
rest of his hot dog before he took the receiver.

"Hello?    Oh, hi, Mrs. Scully.   Uh, Maggie."

He listened politely as my mother talked to him and I could see the
pink flush spread up his tanned cheeks even in the dim light of the
parking lot.

"Uh, thank you, Mrs., Maggie.     I do.   I will.   I won't.   Okay."

I groaned quietly. My mother was giving him the third degree about
our relationship, I just knew it.

"Okay. Bye Maggie." He handed the phone back to me. I wanted to
wipe the smirk right off his face, but I couldn't until I said
goodbye to my mother.

"Mom? I have to go now.    I probably won't be able to call until
after the case is over."

"That's fine, dear. I know you're in good hands as long as Fox is
with you. I love you. Stay safe and tell Fox I love him, too."

"All right. I love you too, Mom."     I hung up.     Mulder was still
grinning at me.

"Scully!    You told your mom about us?"

"I didn't have to. She just knew, somehow." I shrugged and said,
"By the way, she told me to send her love to you, too."

He smiled and hugged me. "Come on, G-woman. Let's eat before this
food gets cold." He grabbed the food tray and waved it under my

"I'm not hungry," I said with a sniff just as my stomach rumbled.

We laughed together, then climbed back into the car. Mulder held
out a platter of nachos. "I made them just the way you like -- low
fat sour cream and lots of jalapenos."

"Well, maybe I could eat a few.    I need to keep my strength up, too,
you know."

"Yeah, good idea.   With what I've got planned for you later, you're
going to need all the strength you can muster," he said.   His voice
was a low growl and it sent shivers through me.

"In that case, I hope you also have a candy bar or two in that bag."

"I've got everything you're going to need tonight, Scully."

"I'll bet you do, G-man," I said with a grin. I popped a nacho in
my mouth and thought, 'Everything I'll ever need.'

PART 14 (NC-17)
12:15 AM

Grandpa's voice came out of the darkness as I entered my room.
"Where have you been, nipote?"

I jumped and put my hand on my chest. "Geez, nonno, don't scare me
like that," I said, flipping on the light.

He always called me grand-daughter, nipote, in Italian. My only
concession was to call him nonno, grandfather. As much as he wanted
me to speak Italian, I refused on principal. I wanted to shout at
him, 'You're in America now, speak English!'

"Answer the question, nipote," he said sternly.

"I was out having some fun."

"What kind of fun?"

"Dancing," I lied.

"Hmmph. Listen, Giovanna. You are getting older. It's dangerous
out there. You need to settle down. Find yourself --"

"A nice Italian boy," I mimicked him.

He stood up and scowled.    "Would that be so bad?"

"Would it be so bad if I didn't?"

"What you gonna do otherwise?   Fall for one of these fly-by-night

I looked up at him.   "No, I won't make that mistake again."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You don't want to know."
He was next to me in two steps, gripping my biceps with surprising
strength. "You will tell me what you meant. Freddie has been too
lenient with you. You have a big mouth."

"All right," I said. He released me. "You want to know, you get it
all, but be careful what you ask for."

"Tell me."

"I won't mess with dancers anymore because if I do, you have them
killed like you did Jimmy."


"What? Going to deny it? You think I don't know who you are?       You
think I don't know who Bull is? You think I'm stupid?"

"No, I know you're smart, Geo, but there are things you shouldn't
talk about."

"Why? Are you ashamed you're in the Family?       Are you ashamed of
what your son does?"

"No, I'm not ashamed of my Family ties. I'm proud." He hesitated
as if considering my words. "What do you mean 'of what your son

I laughed harshly.    "Don't play dumb with me.    Don’t tell me you
don't know."

"What are you talking about, Giovanna? He takes care of money for
some of my businesses. I won't deny that. So what?"

I stared at him. Maybe he really didn't know.       "That's not what I'm
talking about," I said quietly.

"Then what are you talking about?"

"His films, his little girls."

"What?" he cried, his face paling.

I smiled, smugly.    "Maybe you should ask him."

"I'm asking you, Giovanna."

"He fucks them, nonno."

"Watch your mouth!"

I laughed.   "Don’t like to hear that, do you?"

"All men do such things.    We have needs, we relieve them.    I know of
his escorts."
I whistled.   "You really are in the dark, aren't you?"

"What do you mean?   Explain yourself!" he shouted.

"Your beloved son doesn't fuck women from his escort services. Oh
no. He finds little ones, young ones, before they have any hair on
their bodies."

His mouth hung open and he gasped.   I continued shocking him.    I
enjoyed it.

"Then he fucks them.    If that's not bad enough, he films it."

"Stop!" he commanded.

"Oh no, you wanted it all. He not only films it, he sells it. He
sells those films all over the internet for deviate pedophiles, JUST
LIKE HIM!" I ended, shouting at the top of my lungs.

"No, no!   This can't be true."

"Wake up and smell the coffee, nonno. You want to know what got him
started? You want to know when the fetish began? You want to know
when I lost my virginity and how I learned all about SEX?" I hissed.

He staggered back and sat on my bed. "No, nipote!" He covered his
mouth with his hand, as if he were going to be sick.

I walked toward him and bent over so my face was right in his.
"Yes, he took me when I was ten years old. He filmed that one too,
to pay a fucking debt. I've always wondered how much money he got,
how much I was worth. Then I got too old for him. I grew breasts
and pubic hair, so he moved on. He's never stopped. Now he sells
his perversion to the highest bidder."

"Stop it!" he shouted, his hand flailing wildly in the air as if to
ward me off. I stepped back.

He sat, silently contemplating my words before he shook his head and
said adamantly, "I didn't know, Giovanna, I swear! I would have
killed him myself!"

I felt tears sting the back of my eyelids, but blinked them away.
He really didn't know. For years I thought he did and just turned
the other way. "So you see? I have meaningless, casual
relationships. That way, those men stay safe, and they never have
to know about me. Because I'm damaged goods," I whispered.

He reached out and gently grasped my arm. I   struggled a moment but
then went to him. He pulled me into his lap   and buried his tear-
stained face in my shoulder. "I'm so sorry,   Giovanna. You're not
damaged goods. Your father is. I love you,    you know that don't
I petted his thinning hair.   "Yes, I know, grandpa."   We sat quietly
for a few moments.

"You're not interested in that new dancer?" he asked.    "He seems
different, a little older and respectful of women."

I chuckled. "No, he's off-limits; one of the lucky ones. He
married the woman he loves. Katey loves him, too. I'm jealous, but
I respect that. I'll never have that."

"Yes, you will. I promise, nipote.    You will have a man to love
you, the right way."

"I hope so, nonno.   I hope so."

"I will fix this, little Giovanna.   I promise.   Can you promise ME

"If I can."

"Please don't sleep around.   I fear for you."

I patted his head again.   "I'll try to be good, nonno."

He smiled and hugged me tightly. "I love you, Giovanna.     Never
forget that, even if your father doesn't."

I slid off his lap and watched him stagger to his feet. His weary
form passed through my door. He closed it softly behind him,
walking like an old man. He seemed to have aged twenty years in a
matter of moments. Nobody was that good an actor.

I walked to the door and threw the deadbolt.     He really hadn't

2:42 AM

I was dragging as I flipped off the final light on my way upstairs.
My asshole father took off and left me in charge of both the bar and
the showroom. He knew I liked to stick around while the men were
dancing. I hoped he wasn't too drunk to remember the code to the
alarm, because I wouldn't get up to let him in. He could sleep in
the alley with the rest of the vermin for all I cared.

Tonight was another record crowd. Brad performed at the top of his
game and was still pulling them in from as far away as New Jersey.
The new guy, Marty, was quickly approaching main-attraction status.
The women were drawn to him like bees to clover. I understood. He
was a little older than the other guys and it was like watching a
man among boys. I knew he was out of my reach, but it didn't keep
me from using him for my fantasies.

Safe in my room, I threw the deadbolt on my bedroom door and
stripped on my way to the bathroom. I started to take a quick
shower, but the lure of a good long soak in the tub was too strong.
It wasn't every day that Pops was gone and I felt safe enough to
bathe. As the tub filled, I added my newest bath oil. I'd asked
Katey what she used and she gave me the name of her brand to try.

I gathered my pajamas and padded back into the bathroom. I locked
the deadbolt on that door as well. Pops might not be home, but I
knew he loved to torment me and liked to shove his way into my
private space when he was drunk. I shivered in disgust and
purposefully turned my thoughts to more pleasant subjects.

Marty Williams, the Lone Wolf.

His routine tonight was new. It was set to two ZZTop songs, 'Sharp
Dressed Man' and 'Low Rider'. I didn't know who he had doing his
re-mix work, but whoever it was, was a freaking genius. It was as
if the music and dance routines were custom made for him.

I relaxed back into the warm bubbles and let my mind replay his
entire act.

He'd come out on stage in a pair of black leather pants, a black
studded leather jacket, long white scarf, a white wife-beater
undershirt and one of his trademark hats. He liked to perform
barefooted and I could see why. Even his damn feet were sexy.

As I replayed his performance in my mind, I let my hands slide over
my body until my right hand was between my legs and my left pulled
and pinched my nipples. Every move, every thrust, every wiggle was
so damn hot you knew he had to be fantastic in bed.

I groaned and let my fantasy take over. Marty was with me, touching
me, begging me to let him love me. I said no, of course, but it
only made him crazier for me. He began to touch me gently, never
pinching or slapping, just stroking and sliding his hands over me in
a soft, but provocative way. His fingers finally reached my mons
and once again he begged me to let him pleasure me.

I finally relented and opened my legs. He began kissing my inner
thighs until his lips brushed against my labia. I groaned and
lifted my hips just enough to let him know that he could continue.

He soothingly parted my lips and began to place soft kisses on me,
lightly letting his tongue flick in and out of me before dragging it
all the way up to worry the hood of my clit. He worked it out and
began to lick and tease it, softly. As my moans increased he
applied more and more pressure on it until he sucked it into his
mouth between his teeth and flicked the end with his tongue.
My fingers followed the route of my dream lover and within minutes,
I felt a blinding release as I came and came and came.

Marty slid around behind me and held me in his arms. He kissed me
everywhere he could reach as he told me he wanted to protect me and
I would never, ever have to be afraid again.

I woke up moments later to cool water and tears on my face. I
sniffled and then cursed. I was strong. I didn't need some dancer
to protect me. I pulled the plug and twisted on the water. I stood
up, shoved the curtain shut and flipped on the shower. I raised my
face to the stinging pressure of the water. I'd been too alone and
too afraid for long enough. No man would hurt me again.

I quickly washed my hair and   body, rinsed, dried off, and dressed in
my pajamas. I combed out my    hair as I sat on my bed. The last
thing I managed to do before   I fell asleep was to make sure my gun
was under my pillow and that   it was still loaded.

A girl couldn't be too vigilant.

3:30 AM

I tried to focus my eyes to read the clock with little success. I
knew it couldn't be too late, it was still dark. I turned over
toward Mulder's side of the bed. It was empty. I rose up on my
elbow, using my other hand to wipe at my eyes, trying to get them to
focus in the dark.


"Go back to sleep, Scully."

His voice came from the chair by the window. I squinted and finally
focused on his shadow. I climbed out of bed, naked, and padded
across the floor to his side.

"What's wrong?"



He was sprawled out in the chair; his whole demeanor screamed
defeat. "Honestly, Scully, there's nothing wrong that you can do
anything to fix. You're as helpless as I am right now."

"You're thinking about what's happening to a child somewhere out
there, aren't you?"
"Got it in one," he said.   His voice was so sad it nearly broke my

"Mulder, sit up," I ordered.

He looked up at me for a moment before sitting up straighter in the
chair. "Scully --" he began.

"Shhh." I climbed up on his lap, straddled his legs and sat back on
his knees. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him to my
breast. He resisted my embrace at first, but then, melted in my

"Tell me," I whispered.

He shook his head between my breasts. My nipples automatically
hardened. All he had to do was touch me anymore, and my body went
on alert.

"Mulder, if we're to have a chance at making this relationship work,
we're going to have to learn to talk to one another about things."

"Things?" he asked as he nuzzled the sides of my breasts.

"Emotions, problems, fears, worries -- those kinds of things," I
said. My fingers began stroking from the back of his neck up into
his hair. He'd told me just recently how much he loved me to touch
him there.

"You're right, but --" he hesitated.


"I don't KNOW what I'm worried about. I don't know who I'm worried
about. I don't know what the child's going through. Hell, I don't
know if they even used a child. I don't know anything about what's
happening, for sure, and that makes it all the scarier." He sighed
deeply and looked up into my eyes as he said, "Does that make any
sense at all?"

"Yes, it does. Dealing with the unknown is always the worst
situation possible, especially for someone who's worked cases
involving children before." He turned his head and put his ear over
my heart, hugging me tightly to him.

"Just remember, Mulder, you're not alone any more."

"I'm certainly glad about that," he whispered.   His voice was husky,
deep with desire.

My own voice was growing thin; desire was making it hard for me to
keep my mind on our conversation. "You did everything you could to
prevent this from happening."
"Fine sentiment, partner, but it wasn't enough to stop Bull from
slipping away from his tail this afternoon."

"You weren't his tail, Mulder! Surely you aren't feeling guilty
over that now?" I said, snapping back into focus.

His lips nibbled and kissed the inner edges of my breasts and up to
my clavicle, making me forget my train of thought again. They were
soft and warm. Everywhere he touched me made me shiver with
anticipation. His hands felt huge against my back and derriere.
His fingers flexed against my skin as if he was trying to melt into
me, make us one.

I slid closer to his body, pushing my knees up against the back of
the chair. His penis was lying against his leg, soft and warm when
I first sat down. When it brushed against my curls, it began to
harden. As I slid against him, rhythmically stroking him with my
mons, his shaft stood at attention. I began to rock against him as
if I were posting on horseback.

"Maybe I should get my chaps," he said.   "Yeehaw, ride 'em cowgirl."

"Maybe you should," I whispered huskily. I had a flash of Mulder
wearing the chaps while we made love and shuddered. "But why stop
now? I'm a very talented rider. I know how to ride bareback." I
lifted up on my knees and let his cock slide back until it was
poised at the entrance to my vagina.

I looked down at him. The light in the room was dim, but not
completely dark. His eyes seemed to glow with desire, even in the
diminished light. I lowered my lips to his as I slid onto his cock.

"God, I love you, Mulder," I said against his mouth, then proceeded
to show him just how much with my body.

4:45 AM

The phone rang next to my head and tore me from sleep. I checked
the clock and realized that it was only two hours since I'd climbed
into bed. If it was my drunken father calling me to let him in, I
was going to kill him.

"Yeah?" I snapped.

The silence on the other end was not unexpected. Pops knew I'd be
pissed if he called and started yelling right away. The sound of a
man crying surprised me.

"Giovanna Ferrante?"

"Pops?" I asked. I was still sleepy and couldn't imagine who else
would call me at this time.
I heard a sniff and a cough.    "No, this is, this is someone you
helped before."

I sat up and put my legs over the edge of the bed, fighting to
gather my wits about me. "Yeah? What do you need now?"

"Uh, me? Nothing. But, oh God!      You gotta help her."      He broke
down into ragged sobs again.

"Who?   Who do I have to help?"

"I don't know her name, but she's in bad shape," he wailed. "She
won't make it if someone doesn't do something and I couldn't think
of anyone else to call and you helped me and I never forgot it --"
His voice suddenly broke off.

"Hold on."   I purposely made my voice calm and soothing.      "Where is

"I, I shouldn't have called.    He'll kill me.    I can't."   He began to
sob again.

"Listen, I'll help.     I won't tell anyone.   Just tell me where she

"They dumped her in an alley."

"Where are you?" I pushed my feet into my shoes. I was dressed in
sweats and a tee shirt, my normal choice for pajamas. I pulled a
zippered hoodie on as I waited for his answer.

"I've got to get out of here," he said.

"No, wait.   I need to know where she is," I demanded.

"She's in the alley behind Rice's Dry Cleaners over on Q Street.
In, oh God, he threw her in the dumpster." I heard relief in his
voice. He actually felt he'd done his duty and was off the hook.

"Now, look, you have to stay with   her until I get there. I'm
leaving right now. It's going to    take me no more than ten minutes
to get there this time of night.    Don't you move or I'll find out
who you are and have you killed.    Do you understand me? STAY RIGHT

"All right, but I didn't do it. He made me work the camera, but I
didn't touch her, I swear," he blubbered.

"I'm hanging up now.    I'll be there in less than ten minutes."

"'Kay," he whispered.

I flung the phone down and grabbed my gun from under my pillow as I
scrambled for my keys and purse. I tore open the deadbolt and
charged down the steps. I sprinted to my car, barely taking time to
reset the building alarm as I left.

5:00 AM

I knew exactly where Rice's was. I pulled over when I was almost to
Q Street and called 911 from a phone booth. If she was in as bad a
condition as his panic indicated, I couldn't afford to waste any
more time. I couldn't take a chance that they could trace the call
back to me either. I'd worn my leather gloves, just in case.

The cleaner's was in a worse neighborhood than I remembered. Half
the lights on the street were out. It wouldn't matter soon, it
would be dawn. I grasped the gun in the front pocket of my hoodie;
I could shoot through the fabric if I needed to. I found a good
hiding spot down the street from the mouth of the alley. I could
see the red light of a cigarette glowing in the shadows by the
dumpster near the corner. Luckily, the alley was a dead end. I
knew I'd be able to see the guy who called me when he realized that
the sirens in the distance were coming toward him.

As soon as he stepped into the light, I recognized him. His name
was Jack Sours. I'd pulled him off the streets two years ago,
beaten to a bloody pulp by his pimp for being so strung out on drugs
that he couldn't work the streets. I sent him to the hospital, paid
for his bills and he'd agreed to go to rehab. As far as I knew,
he'd kept his nose clean for over a year.

He quickly looked both directions and then took off down the street.
Just before he reached the corner, a cop car skidded to a stop and I
heard them yell for Jack to halt. He played the fool and kept
running. They quickly had him handcuffed and placed in the back
seat of the cruiser.

I felt no remorse. He had been part of a heinous crime and didn't
deserve any clemency.

The ambulance arrived and I watched for about fifteen minutes before
they rolled the gurney back up the alley. There were three bottles
of fluids hanging from a pole. The lines led into a small lump
under several blankets. At first my mind wouldn't accept that
anyone was that small, could take up so little space. Suddenly it
clicked and I began to hyperventilate. I knew what kind of person
was that small! Oh, God, a child, a little girl! At least she must
still be alive. I prayed she would make it.

Something that Jack Sours said stuck with me. 'He made me work the
camera,' he'd said. A feeling of dread flushed through my body. I
had to find out what was going on.

I watched from my hiding place near the alley until the ambulance
left and the detectives were involved with the crime scene
investigators. I slowly walked away from the area until I was out
of sight of the cops. Even then I continued to walk at a normal
pace back to my car. I didn't want anyone to think I was running
away from the scene of a crime.

I was totally innocent in this entire scenario, but I didn't want to
have to prove it. It would be best if my name wasn't involved in
this whatsoever.

I heard one of the E.M.T.s say that they were taking her to
Washington Hospital Center. I had a contact in the emergency room
there who let me bring in my 'little projects' as she called them.
I'd been picking up the tab for hospital stays for quite some time.
I prayed she was on duty. I knew the admitting clerks would turn my
questions away, but Moria would keep me informed on the girl's

I walked into the emergency room area and spotted a woman who had
helped me several times in the past.

"Hey, Megan."

"Geo, it's nice to see you.   Did you bring someone in tonight?   Do
you need help?"

"Not this morning, thanks, Meg.   I just need to talk to Moria," I

"We're really busy; it might take a while. Hang tight and let me
see if I can locate Dr. Gillard," she said.

7:30 AM

I woke up and stretched, feeling warm and delicious as I rubbed
against Mulder. I gazed at him for a few minutes and let myself
revel in the peace and contentment I felt in his arms.

The sunlight was coming through the blinds and they left a pattern
of light and shadow across his face. He looked much younger when he
slept. His brow wasn't lined in concentration or worry. His
eyelashes were full and thick on his cheeks, almost like a baby's.

I noticed that he had a sprinkling of golden freckles across his
nose. They must be from his time in the tanning booth. I wanted to
count them as I kissed each one. I knew he thought his nose was too
big, but I loved it. To me, it made him handsome instead of pretty.

His full lips puckered as if he were suckling and I smiled. I'd bet
anything that he'd sucked his thumb when he was a child. His oral
fixation certainly had lead to incredible benefits for me. I
blushed as I remembered his last point of fascination the previous

His ears were cute. Good God! When did I start using words like
cute to describe my partner? I couldn't help it. I smiled to
myself. They were slightly pointy, almost elfin. They were --

His beard was heavy this morning. He normally liked to shave before
we made love, but I'd wanted him to leave it alone last night. I
knew he hated to see my skin red and irritated by his stubble, but,
once in a while, the trade-off of sensation versus skin irritation
was worth it.

As I stared at him, I knew his good looks were only a teaser to the
beauty of his mind and heart. Mulder was the smartest man I'd ever
met. I was intrigued by his intelligence from the first day we met.
He'd been so sure of himself, so cocky. I smiled as I thought about
how mad I'd been when I left his office. No smart-ass, Oxford grad
was going to make me give up and run away!

As the days and weeks went by, he'd allowed me to see the real man
behind the mouth. He was a caring, compassionate man with morals
and heart as strong and as true as my father's. It'd been the
highest compliment I could think to bestow on him at the time. It
still stood true.

Now, years later, here we were, deeply in love. He looked so
relaxed, so at home in our bed. I wanted to stay here with him

I looked over at the window instead of the clock to see what time it
was. The sun was still coming in through the windows so it had to
be before nine. I let my gaze wander. I loved this room and
couldn't help thinking how good my furniture would look in here. I
had a feeling of contentment here that I hadn't felt in my own
apartment for some time.

There was no loneliness here, no bad memories. I loved it, not just
because it was the first place that we made love, but because it was
filled with us as a couple instead of two lonely people seeking
company. I wished, not for the first time, we could stay here

I glanced back at Mulder and saw that his eyes were open. He was
watching me. "What are you thinking?" he asked in his early-morning

I snuggled closer to him, drinking in deep breaths of his scent
before I answered. "I was thinking how happy I am here," I said
quietly. "I love being with you openly, all the time. I love
waking up in your arms. I love you."
"I love you, too, but there's more than that, I think," he said.     He
always knew more about my inner thoughts than others did.

I smiled. "Yes," I said. "I love this apartment. Oh, don't get me
wrong. I hate the colors and I would love to get my furniture in
here, but this place is a, a happy place for me. Do you

"Yeah, I do. No one has broken in or died or tried to kill us
here," he chuckled.

"Well, there is that; but it's more than just those things. This
place is us, you and me. You have your apartment and I have my own,
but this is our apartment. Our place." I was at a loss for any
more words to describe how I felt.

He studied my eyes for a moment. "I do understand, Scully. I can
feel it, too." He hugged me tightly. "Just think how good my
leather couch would look in the living room." I gently pinched him
and he laughed. "All right, how about we put it in the second
bedroom? We could use it as an office."

I slid up his body to kiss him, humming my agreement to his idea
about an office. The phone rang just before our lips met.

I glared at the offending instrument and he laughed. He swooped
down to kiss me as he reached for the phone. "Yeah?" he said. He
sat up suddenly and twisted to put his feet on the floor. "You're

I crawled to sit next to him on his side of the bed. Whatever the
news, I knew it was bad. He blanched and closed his eyes almost

"Yeah," he grunted.    "Right."

He hung up and sat there, silent and tormented.

"Bad news?" I asked.

"They found her," he whispered.

I knew immediately who the 'her' was -- the child that had been used
for the video. "Was she --?"

"She's alive, but barely" he husked. "An anonymous phone call to
911 was made from a phone booth near where they found her. The
ambulance took her to Washington Hospital Center."

"Do you believe the call was anonymous?" I asked.

He looked down at the floor for a moment before looking at me and
shrugging. "He said the caller was a woman. I believe it was
probably Geo, but she didn't have anything to do with how the girl
got there. I don't doubt for one minute those bastards dumped her
in that alley. They'd never leave her where they filmed the video."

"Who called us?" I asked.

"That was Langly.   He heard it on the police scanner."

"Do you want to call Skinner?"

"Yeah," he said.    "I do."

"Do it. It's time we break cover and get involved with the
interrogations. I'll take a shower while you talk to him."

8:30 AM

I was glad it was still early enough for traffic to be light. I ran
every yellow light I could to speed up the trip. When I called
Skinner, he'd agreed to let us in on the investigation, but only if
we promised to try to maintain our cover as best we could.

"Did Skinner really say not to let Agent Rose know we're working
with him on the investigation?" Scully asked.

"Yep," I said and gave her a grin. "The anonymous caller had said
that a man who was involved in, but not responsible for, the child's
condition was still on the premises. The first black and white on
the scene spotted a guy running and apprehended him when he refused
to stop for questioning.

Scully studied me for a moment before she said, "Mulder, it would be
best if you dropped me off at the emergency room entrance to the
hospital. Then you can go down to the 12th police precinct to help
Skinner question the man they arrested at the scene."

"I don't want to split up right now, Scully. It could be dangerous,
especially since we're not supposed to be on the street
investigating. You or I could be recognized by the wrong person and
completely blow our cover."

"Don't worry about me, partner," she said. "I'll grab a pair of
scrubs and a surgical cap to hide my hair. No one will recognize
me. I'll see what I can find out and then take a cab back to the
guys' place as soon as possible.

"As for you," she said, "I don't think anyone in the Ferrante family
will be hanging around a police station at this time on a Saturday
I thought about her reasoning and decided she was right. The only
thing I felt we needed was to include Skinner in on the final
decision. She called and let him know what we'd decided. He didn't
like the idea of our splitting up either, but agreed that we could
cover more ground quickly if we separated.

Scully closed her phone. "Skinner said he would meet you outside
the station. He wants to be the officer of record for the

I nodded and drove faster.


Mulder dropped me off at the emergency room entrance to the
hospital. I saw a group of women in scrubs walking back in a side
door, obviously coming back from a cigarette break. I followed
behind the stragglers without being noticed.

Hospitals are similar, no matter where they are. I quickly found
the supply room for the surgical floor, confiscated a pair of
oversized scrubs, pulled them on over my clothes and grabbed a cap.
I stuffed my hair up under the cap and pulled paper booties on over
my shoes. As a final touch, I hung a mask around my neck. I
snagged a clipboard and pen from the same area and began walking
back towards emergency.

I kept my ears open as I tried to look busy, going from area to
area. I finally came across the curtained-off room where the child
was being checked. I stood by the doorway and tried to hear what
was said.

They were still struggling to save her life. She was in shock and
had lost a considerable amount of blood from lacerations in her
vagina. Her breathing was ragged, testifying to the broken ribs the
doctor had diagnosed. They intubated her and prepared to send her
up to surgery. I hastily stepped out of the way as the gurney was
rushed to the elevators, destined for the operating room.

I saw a black-haired doctor turn around when a clerk from the
admitting area approached her. The doctor immediately walked back
to the waiting room. I played a hunch and followed her. I found a
hiding place behind some file cabinets in the admitting clerk's area
and tried to spot who she had gone out to see.

I was shocked when I recognized Giovanna Ferrante. I'd already
accepted Mulder's theory about Bull's involvement in the porn film
industry, but I really didn't want to believe that Geo was part of
the whole mess.

It was obvious the doctor knew Geo well. Geo pulled her away from
the others standing around and they began a whispered conversation I
really wished I could hear. The doctor frowned as Geo whispered
frantically to her. When the doctor was talking, I caught the word
'surgery'. Geo seemed relieved. The doctor was obviously scolding
her about something as Geo patted the pocket of her jacket. She
finally hugged Geo and bobbed her head in agreement before returning
to work. Geo paced for a while before throwing herself down on a

I walked away from the admitting area and stopped the first aide I
came across. "I was told to look for another doctor, but I've
forgotten her name. Could you help me?"

"Of course, Doctor.    What did she look like?"

"She was medium height, with black hair. I’m sorry I don't know
more. She was just pointed out to me a few moments ago. She's
wearing a grey scrubs and bright red shoes."

"Oh! That sounds like Dr. Moria Gillard. She works most of the
pediatric cases here in the E.R. but she's really busy right now.
She's working on the little girl they just brought in."

"Thank you," I said.

What the hell does Geo Ferrante have to do with Dr. Moria Gillard?
More importantly, why is she still here, waiting?


I paced the emergency room as I waited for Moria to arrive. It was
already near nine o'clock. I felt like I'd been there for days
instead of just a few hours. I needed to hear about the child's
condition. Who would have thrown a child in a dumpster to die?
Jack's words came back to me, 'He made me work the camera, but I
didn't touch her, I swear.' I knew my loving father was involved
with filming kiddie porn but I'd found it difficult to believe that
even he would sink low enough to use a child and then throw her in a
dumpster. It was an aberration, a perversion. It was below even
him, wasn't it?

I wanted to find out exactly who was involved and make sure they
received the justice they deserved. After Grandpa's reaction to his
darling son's predilections, I was sure I wouldn't have to do much.
Grandpa was probably making arrangements right now for one of his
henchmen to beat Pops half to death and have the men he associated
with killed. He would do it for risking the Family business, if not
for me.

I clasped my hands together until my nails were digging into my own
flesh. I needed to be strong; I couldn't help this nameless child
if I were to break down.

Jack Sours was weak. He should have found a way to avoid helping
with something this evil. He didn't deserve to die but he did
deserve to face prosecution for his part in the crime.
Moria strode out to find me in the waiting room. "Geo, what the
hell have you stumbled on this time?" she exclaimed.

"Moria, I don't know anything about what happened to her," I said in
a hushed voice. I pulled her over to a quiet corner and said, "I
was contacted this morning and told that someone needed me. I found
out where and called 911. They brought her here."

"There's more to it than that, Geo."   Moria frowned at me and shook
her head.

"Moria," I begged. "I swear, I don't know any more about it than
that. I just wanted to help her. Is she going to die?"

"I don't know. Probably not, but they got her here just in time.
In fact, it still IS touch and go. She's currently in surgery,"
Moria said. She hugged me and then stepped back. "You did good,
Geo, but one of these days, you're going to get hurt trying to help

I shook my head at her and patted my front pocket.   "Not while I
have my equalizer with me," I said.

"For God's sake," she hissed. "Take that thing back out to your car
and hide it. There are policemen crawling all over this place. Did
you know that eighty percent of the time a weapon gets taken away
and used against you?"

I ignored her statistics. "I have a license to carry a concealed
weapon, Moria. I got it for my job."

She rolled her eyes at me.

"Will you let me see her?" I asked.

"I thought you didn't know her?" she said sharply.

"I don't," I assured her.    "I just want to make sure she's going to
be okay."

"Ah, Geo, you and that soft heart of yours," she said with a sigh.
"What are we going to do with you? I'll see what I can do about
getting you in to see her, but I can't promise anything. In the
meantime, get rid of that gun." She smiled sadly and walked back
through the doors to the treatment rooms.

12th Precinct Headquarters
9:00 AM

I arrived at the 12th before Skinner. I parked and called the guys
to see if they had any news on the victim.

"It's Mulder," I said.   "Have you heard anything about our victim

"Yeah, Langly hacked into the hospital database. The kid is in
surgery right now. By the way, we have her name. She's Mary Jo
Thomas from Bethesda, Maryland. She was kidnapped from the mall on
Thursday while she was shopping with her seventeen-year-old aunt."

"Crap." I looked up and saw Skinner pull into the parking lot.
"Got to go; Skinner's here."

"Rip him a new one, Mulder."

I knew he wasn't talking about Skinner.   I climbed out of my car and
waited for him to join me.

Skinner nodded as he walked up and said, "No one is to know that
you're here, Agent Mulder. Just keep quiet and stick with me."

"Right," I said. "I'll agree to anything, but I think I should be
the one to interrogate the suspect."

"Mulder," he began, then seemed to deflate. "All right. Your
attire would tend to make you the good cop and me the heavy."

I grinned at him. My jeans were black and clean, but I didn't have
a suit at the apartment other than the tear-away one that I used for
my costume. "Looks like I'm it."

Skinner bullied his way through all the red-tape in a matter of
moments. Scully and I normally had to spend hours to get access to
a perp this soon after an arrest. I guess Skinner's title was worth
more than just the huge pay differential he received.

Finally, we were led to an interrogation room where the perp, Jack
Sours, was waiting. I glanced around the room as I entered. As far
as police stations went, the 12th was old but well run. The room was
clean and freshly painted, the lighting subdued but adequate. Sours
was seated at a table that was bolted to the floor. His hands and
feet were manacled, his ankle cuffs locked into a chain that gave
him very little range of motion. He was secure. Obviously the
Captain knew his stuff.

Skinner sat down and pulled out a yellow tablet, a pen and a tape
recorder. I watched the perp as Skinner worked. He was a short,
slender man, almost effeminate. His blonde hair was cut in a
trendy, but presentable hair style. He had blue eyes that were red-
rimmed and watery. All in all, he wasn't a bad-looking guy. His
life was going to be hell in prison.

Skinner turned on the tape recorder. "Jack Sour? I'm Assistant
Director Walter Skinner of the Federal Bureau of Investigations."
Skinner flashed his I.D. and I thought Sours was going to pass out
right there. "Please state your full name for the record."

"Uh, why are the Feds in on this?" Sours asked.

Skinner glared at him. "Transportation of a minor across state
lines is a Federal offense, Mr. Sours. You're looking at some hard
time here."

Sours groaned and dropped his head to his clasped hands on the
table. "Noooo," he moaned.

"Look at me when I'm talking to you!" Skinner barked.

The perp jerked his head up and swallowed noisily as he stared
directly at Skinner.

"Now, for the record, please state your name," Skinner growled.

Sours complied and for the next few minutes Skinner questioned him
on the kidnapping of Mary Jo Thomas.

All the man did was shake his head and repeat, "No, oh God, no!"

Finally Skinner yelled at him, "Are you trying to tell me you
weren't involved? That you weren't in that alley? I can prove it.
We already have our forensic experts working on prints, hair and
fiber samples taken from the immediate area and the child's body.
You're going down. You're facing at least thirty years to life for
your crime. A small, good-looking guy like you won't make it to
your first parole hearing."

"Please! God! Please! I didn't do anything to hurt that child,"
he said as he broke down and cried.

Skinner looked at me and I nodded. He made a disgusted sound in his
throat and said, "You talk to him. He makes me sick." He stood up
and walked toward the door, looking out into the hall.

I slowly moved over to the table and sat down across from the
weeping man. I let him cry until he seemed to get his act together
a little, then passed him a couple tissues from a box at the end of
the table.

"We can't help you if you don't help us, Jack.    I can call you Jack,
can't I? My name is Mulder, by the way."

He grasped the tissues and wiped his eyes. He blew his nose and
looked up. When he glanced towards the tissue box, I grabbed
another couple and handed them to him.

"Thanks, M ... Mulder," he said.

"You need to tell us who was involved in the kidnapping, Jack," I

"I don't know," he said. "I never saw the kid before Friday night
when I showed up to do the film."

Now we were getting somewhere.

I watched him as he tore the tissues into little pieces. His hands
were trembling. "You guys don't happen to have a cigarette, do
you?" he begged.

"Never touch the things, myself, but if it will help you remember,
perhaps A.D. Skinner could be talked into getting you a pack."

"Honest to God, I don't know much, but I'll tell you everything I
can remember. Just don't put me in the open holding pen again when
we're done."

"You're hardly in a position to demand anything, Sours," Skinner

I shook my head at him and Skinner grunted.   "Sir, could you please
see about getting our friend some smokes?"

Skinner glared at me and at Sours before turning and leaving the

"Jesus, is he your boss?" Sours asked.

"Yeah," I said.

"How do you stand it?    He scares the crap out of me."

"Yeah, well you ought to see him when he's really pissed off," I
replied. Sours flashed a quick smile that faded back to a frown
right away.

"Mulder, I didn't have anything to do with kidnapping that girl.   I
don't know who did."

"All right, I believe you."

He gasped.   "You do?"

"Sure. What do you have to lose now? We have you, dead to rights
at the scene. If you don't cooperate, you'll go down for the
beating and molestation of a ten-year-old girl. Anything you can
tell us will help lighten your sentence."

"Are you saying you'll help me get off?" he asked.

"No, I can't and won't help you that way. You are the only one that
can help yourself. I think you know that."
"Yeah, yeah," he said nervously. He looked at the door, obviously
dreading and wanting Skinner to return with the cigarettes I'd

Skinner walked in and tossed a package of Morley's on the table. He
gave me the lighter. Jack Sours ripped open the cigarettes and put
one in his mouth. He nodded at the lighter in my hand.

"You'll talk?" I asked.

"Yeah, I'll tell you everything I know," he agreed, his eyes never
leaving the lighter.

I thumbed it on and held it to his trembling cigarette.   He drew in
a deep hit and blew the smoke out towards me.

"Hey!   I've never been fond of cigarette smoke, if you don't mind."

"Sorry," he said as he took another hit and blew the smoke towards
the ceiling. "Ask me what you want to know. I'll tell you

I looked at Skinner and he nodded at me to continue.

"How did you get involved in this pooch-screw, Jack?"

He laughed bitterly. "I got off a train in Baltimore about six
years ago. I ran away from home and thought that nothing could be
as bad as what had gone down there. I was wrong.

"I ... I couldn't find a real job so I started working the streets.
I had a friend, a pimp, who got me into drugs. Things went from bad
to worse and finally, one day when I was too strung out to work the
streets, he beat the crap out of me and left me for dead." He
motioned for the ashtray and I shoved it over to him. He took
another drag and then stubbed the butt out.

He pulled another cigarette out right away and leaned forward for a

"One of the guys I worked with on the street called a woman they
knew who took care of people --"

"People?" Skinner interrupted.

"Yeah, you know, the down-and-out, street people. She gets some
kind of kick out of rescuing them. She drags you into the hospital
and when you're almost well, she offers to help you get clean and
find a job.

"I didn't know that she had a Mafia connection, or no matter how bad
off I was I'd have told her no." He stared off into space for a
moment. He shrugged and said, "She sent me to rehab where I had
some counseling and actually learned a new trade. I thought I was

"What did you learn, Jack?" I asked.

"I always thought I'd like to make movies when I was a kid -- the
old Steven Spielberg-George Lucas ideal, you know?"

I nodded. He had a bad habit of repeating 'you know' through out
his conversation. I had to school my face to keep from grimacing
every time he said it.

"I knew I probably didn't have a chance at that kind of career, but
I got a regular job and bought some used video taping equipment and
started my own little side line where I taped weddings, bar-
mitzvah's, bat-mitzvah's, christenings, you know?"

"Yeah, I get it.   How did that lead you to Friday night?"

"I didn't want to do it." He began to cry again. "I told him no
and he threatened to have one of his goons shoot me up again, get me
hooked. I swear, I didn't want to do it!"

"Do what?" I asked calmly.

"A guy called me at work the other day. Told me that he had heard I
was good with a camera and he needed me to film a little action
flick he was making, you know? He said his regular cameraman had
hurt his hand and the shoot couldn't be rescheduled. I asked when
and where, thinking about what equipment I would need to bring. By
the time I realized what was actually happening, I tried to beg off,
saying that I was going to be out of town that night."

"And?" He was now on his third cigarette and I regretted offering
him the first one.

"He told me to be there or he would have one of his men pay me a
visit when I least expected it. He would shoot me full of horse,
heroin, beat me until I was messed up real good."

I tried to keep the disgust for his weakness from my face. I could
understand his fear, but surely there was some way he could have

"When I got to the address he gave me, there were three of men
already there. I'd never seen them before. One guy was the
director, he kept telling me what to do and the other guy was the
actor. He called himself Adonis. He wore a blonde, long-haired
wig, and a mask. He was older, but decent looking when he was
naked, you know? He was the one, the one that hurt her. He ... he
liked it."

"What did the third guy do?" I asked.

"He must have been the camera man because his hand was bandaged.    He
was supposed to be the guard, I think. He said something about
getting it done and then getting out of there because they were on
foreign turf. I swear, I, I didn't touch the girl. It was all I
could do to film it." He was sobbing again and I knew I wouldn't
get much more out of him.

"What happened to all the film, the equipment?" I asked. I pushed
the entire box of tissues over to him and he nodded his thanks.

"They took it with them when they left."

"How did the girl get in the dumpster?" Skinner asked softly.

Jack didn't know just how close my boss was to losing control and
beating him to death himself, but I did. I glared at Skinner,
silently willing him to hold it together until we got everything
from the guy that we could.

"The big guy, you know, the bodyguard, paid me and shoved me out of
the room. I ran as fast as I could back to my car, but I, for some
reason, I couldn't leave. I moved my car and waited for them to
come out of the motel --"

"Motel?" Skinner interrupted.   "What was the name of the motel?"

"The Hillview Inn, room 111," Jack said cautiously.   He shrank back
from Skinner, as if expecting to be hit.

Skinner left the room immediately -- probably to get someone over to
the room before the maid cleaned it. I was almost done with Jack

"Jack how did they pay you?" I asked.

"Cash.    Why?"

"Was it the same cash you had in your pocket when you were


"I need to have that money dusted for fingerprints, Jack. We might
find a match on someone with an outstanding warrant, if we're

"Oh, sure, sure."

"Who put the child in the dumpster?"

Sours put his cigarette out and picked up the package, fingering it
nervously as he gathered his courage. "I, I watched them from my
car. The big one, the bodyguard, brought all the camera equipment
out and stored it in a Cadillac. The two other guys came out and
got in the car and drove away. I should have followed them, but
I've always been curious, you know?"


"Well, I waited and the big guy came out again with a bundle of
blankets and put them in his trunk. I followed him and he stopped
by Rice's Dry Cleaners on Q Street. He backed his car into the
alley and got out. A few minutes later, he got back in and drove

"I just knew that the kid was in those blankets. I waited until
he'd been gone about ten minutes and walked over to check for
myself. When I touched her, I could feel that she was still alive
you know? I panicked."

"How did you get caught, Jack?"

He lit yet another cigarette and inhaled deeply before speaking. "I
should tell you her name 'cuz she's the one that ratted me out, but
I can't. Honest to God, I can't." He was shaking again and for a
moment I thought he was going to pass out.

I nodded at his cigarette and said, "That's a nasty habit you got
there dude. Expensive too, you really should think about cutting

He grimaced and nodded.

"I guess I'm going to have a lot of time to think about things," he
said sadly.

I waited patiently for him to continue, even though I wanted to
reach into his brain and pull the information out with my bare

"I was scared. When I realized she was alive, I panicked, you know?
I didn't know what to do, so I called the woman who had helped me.
I called her and she told me to hold on and she'd be right there. I
trusted her because she'd helped me before but she ratted me out.

"I heard the sirens coming and knew what had happened. I ran. The
cops caught me and here I am," he said. He sighed and continued, "I
don't want to go to prison, Mulder. I'll be dead within weeks if I
do. You know what cons think about child rapists? Even though I
didn't touch the girl, I'm as good as dead now." He broke down
crying again.

"Jack, would you be willing to work with a sketch artist to identify
the other three men?" I asked.

"Will you get me some protection?" he asked.

"I'll speak to A.D. Skinner and try to get you moved into solitary.
That's all I can do until we get some results."
He nodded. I pointed to the tape recorder and he cleared his throat
and said, "Yeah. I'll help."

Skinner came back into the room and motioned to me that it was time
to leave.

"I just have one final question, Jack," I said.


"Who was the woman who called 911?"

"Aw, man, if I tell you I'm dead meat," he whined.

"If you don't tell us, we can't protect you," I answered.

He hung his head and considered his options. Finally he sighed and
looked me directly in the eye. "Geo, Giovanna Ferrante. She's
Federico Ferrante, Sr.'s granddaughter. He has connections to the
Bonanno Family, you know? The one from New York? Before I got a
regular job, Geo had me do some chauffeuring for her grandpa. I
drove him and Joey Massino all the way back to New York City one
time. I shoulda known right then, you know?"

"What should you have known, Mr. Sours?" Skinner asked.

"I should have run like the very devil was after me as soon as I was
straight. Tried my luck on the other coast, you know?"

Skinner motioned to me it was time to go and I stood up as he
gathered his equipment. Skinner said, "Thank you for your time, Mr.
Sours. I'm sure we'll be back in contact with you. I wouldn't tell
anyone one else what you just told us. Ask for a lawyer and keep
your mouth shut. If you decide to become a state's witness, we'll
do everything we can to keep you safe. Think about that as you sit
in your cell."

We left and Skinner practically shoved me down the hall and out a
side door. I finally picked up on his intensity and hustled out of
the building.

"What was the hurry to get me out of there?" I asked.

"Rose and a couple of his team are on their way into the building to
question the suspect. While it's all right for your voice to be on
a tape, it's not all right for them to see you. Rose thinks that
one of the agents with him is dirty. He's trying to set it up to
catch him now."

"Great. I need to get back to the guys' place.    Scully should be
there by now."

"I'll meet you there.   I have the tape of your interview with Sours.
We can call Rose and discuss our next move."

10:00 AM

I was exhausted and still waiting to see the child at 10:00 AM, when
I got an irate call from my father. "Geo, where the hell are you?
Don't you know it's your responsibility to open the bar on time when
I'm gone?" he bellowed.

"How was I to know you were gone, Pops? Just because you didn't
show up last night, doesn't mean that you wouldn't be home after I
went to bed. Besides, I have a right to a life, too," I yelled
right back.

He immediately backed down and I knew that he must be hung over.
The only time he wasn't up for a fight was when his head was killing
him or he was extremely happy about something. "When are you going
to be back?" he asked in a quieter voice.

"I don't know. I'm at the hospital with a little girl I found last
night." My stomach clenched when I heard his sudden intake of

"A little girl?" he asked. He tried to hide it, but I realized
right then that he knew about what happened. "Is she still alive?"

"Yeah, Pops, she's still alive.   She's in surgery."

"I'll tell Suzanne to get the show going without you if you're not
back in time," he said.

Oh, God. That was unlike him. He never offered to help unless he
was guilty as sin about something. I inhaled deeply and quietly
said, "Yeah, you do that Pops." I hung up.

10:30 AM

I'd been pacing for twenty minutes. Where was Mulder? He had his
cell phone turned off, as did Skinner. I was going to kill him if
he'd ditched me and went haring off on his own. Things had changed
between us and I thought we were beyond that point.

When I heard the knock on the door, I raced after Langly to greet
him. Mulder hugged me and then turned back to wait on Skinner who
was talking on his cell phone at the end of the stairs.

"I thought you took off on me," I whispered as I held him tightly.

"Scully," he said.   His voice was soft, but I could hear the note of
pain in it.

"I'm sorry, I was worried."

"Yeah, me too. We've got lots to talk about, but let's wait until
we see if Rose is joining us or not," he said.

We walked into the computer room and were greeted by all three of
the guys. They were anxious to hear what the perp had told him and

Mulder flopped down in a chair and pulled me to his side. "Guys,
hold on. Skinner's downstairs and will be right here. He has the
tape from the interview. Just hang loose for a few minutes."

"While we're waiting, who's up for some breakfast?" Frohike asked.

"I am," Skinner said as he walked into the room. "We need to wait
until Rose gets here before we talk. We might as well eat."


Two hours later, we'd eaten, listened to the tape, and discussed the
information from Jack Sours.

"Well, you certainly got more out of your interrogation than I did
at the hospital," Scully said. "All I found out was that Geo was in
the waiting room and the name of the doctor she spoke with."

Rose grunted. He hadn't been happy that Skinner over-ruled him and
called us into the investigation.

"What good are you going to be to us if you blow your cover?" he

"Scully and I are the best investigative team you have." I said.

"Enough," Skinner said quietly. "It was my call and I did what I
felt was best for the investigation."

He looked at everyone at the table and then said, "Now. We know
that Geo is involved in this somehow, but it doesn't appear that she
was in on the movie. We need to get to Dr. Moria Gillard and find
out exactly why she was talking to Geo this morning.

"I took the liberty of sending Byers to your apartments to pick up a
suit for each of you. I want the three of us to go to back to the
hospital when the tail on Geo lets us know that she's left. We're
going to interview Gillard and anyone at the hospital who might have
come in contact with Geo."

"Assistant Director," Rose interjected.   "I don't think --"

"Sorry, Agent Rose.   You've stated that you have a leak on your
team. We both know that Mulder and Scully are above reproach.
They're the only ones who can be trusted to follow up on this

Rose flushed but said, "Be careful you two.   We need you at the club
as our eyes and ears."

Skinner made several phone calls while we were dressing. I was done
before Scully and when I returned to the main room, he was waiting
with the guys.

"I just got off the phone with Detective Faber. The child made it
through surgery, but the news isn't good. He said she has a
concussion, a broken jaw, two broken ribs, tears in her vagina and
uterus that had to be surgically repaired, three broken fingers and
various cuts and abrasions. Some of the deeper wounds appear to be
from a whip of some kind and will require plastic surgery later on.
They won't know if she'll be able to have children until she's

We were all silent for a few minutes, trying to assimilate the
information. It did nothing but cement my desire to take down
everyone involved.

Skinner continued, "Geo has left the hospital, but she didn't go
home. She took off and her tail lost her in heavy traffic."

"Seems to be a lot of that going around," I said sarcastically.

Rose blushed and cleared his throat, but didn't reply.

Scully joined us and I looked at her approvingly. She was sexy and
hot in her 'Katey Williams' clothes, but I'd fallen in love with my
partner. Her fitted suit and neat, but sedate hair made my heart
begin to race. She blushed lightly at my open stare of admiration
but shook her head to rein me in.

"I heard your update on the child's condition."   She swallowed hard
and asked, "Are we ready, Sir?"

"Yes, I'll drive.   We don't want anyone to see you in your cover

Within minutes, we had arrived at the hospital and once again, the
Assistant Director's credentials cut through a ton of red tape for


Skinner, Mulder and I waited in a private consultation room for Dr.
Moria Gillard. I asked to be lead on the interrogation. I felt
that Dr. Gillard would respond to me best. Skinner took care of the
introductions, slipping in the 'doctor' part of my name. After
flashing our credentials, we sat down to talk.
"I can't give you any information on the child's condition. That
all has to go through the police," Doctor Gillard said immediately.

Skinner cleared his throat and said, "Dr. Gillard, we understand the
procedures to keep the child's identity private. We already know
who she is and what was done to her. Any other questions we have
for her will be handled through the standard chain of command."

"Then what do you want with me?" she said defensively.

Mulder stirred but before he could speak, I leaned forward and said,
"Dr. Gillard, earlier today I was in the hospital and saw you
speaking with this woman." I pulled a picture of Geo out of the
file I'd brought. Gillard's eyes widened, but she didn't comment.

"We know that you're friends with Geo Ferrante. She has a long
history of helping people by bringing them here for medical
assistance, paying for it out of her own pocket, and then getting
them back on their feet with a job or schooling. We know you're her
friend and as such, respect her right to privacy.

"However, Dr. Gillard, we feel that Geo is in over her head this
time. Something she saw or may have known prior to the attack could
be endangering her. All we're asking is that you tell us what
happened today, in this hospital, concerning Geo and the child she

Dr. Gillard seemed to crumble. Tears leaked down her face. "It's
so hard when they bring in a little one in that condition. I can't
believe a human being could sink so low as to hurt a child like
that." She dabbed her eyes with a tissue she produced from her
pocket and sighed. "All right. I'll tell you everything. Nothing
that happened was under the doctor-patient confidentiality rule

Dr. Gillard got up and grabbed a box of tissues from the counter
before speaking. She sat back down with a groan. "Geo must have
come in at the same time the child arrived. Megan, one of our
admitting clerks, came to let me know Geo was waiting to see me, but
I was busy trying to save that poor baby's life.

"Geo must have been extremely anxious to know if the girl was going
to live or not because she waited for several hours. By the time I
got back to her, I was pretty sure the child would make it. I was
very worried about what she had to face when she physically
recovered. I said as much to Geo and I'll never forget her words.

"She said, 'She can, if she's strong. She's lucky, she has both her
parents to help her through.' It sounded to me like Geo had some
similar experience of her own. When she asked to see the child, I
was surprised. I'd jumped on her earlier and practically accused
her of lying to me about knowing the little girl. She once again
assured me they'd never met. She just wanted to see her with her
own eyes.   I assumed Geo wanted to make sure she really was alive."

Doctor Gillard hesitated, before continuing. "I knew by that time
Geo was extremely worried so I led her to the back elevators and up
to Mary Jo's room. She just stood in the doorway and stared at the
child for several minutes. When she asked, I was truthful with her
and told her what we'd found during surgery. She became angry, but
seemed to tamp it down. She asked to sit with the child for a
moment. I was reluctant but finally agreed because I had to run to
the restroom and I really didn't want the little girl to be alone
until her parents got there. At this point there wasn't a guard at
her door."

Mulder and I looked at Skinner. He said, "I had a guard put on her
room as soon as I found out she was out of surgery." Skinner looked
towards Doctor Gillard. "Please continue."

"I hurried back but for some reason I slowed down when I reached
Mary Jo's door. Geo was crying as Mary Jo muttered in her sleep.
Geo gently picked up Mary Jo's hand and held it when the child
started to make small mewling noises."

Dr. Gillard looked directly at me and said, "The IV and the cast
were on her other hand and arm." I knew that she wanted me to know
that she'd not taken any chances with her patient. I smiled
encouragingly to her and she continued.

"The child calmed at first, then her nightmare began to take over
again. Mary Jo began to call for her mother -- soft, insistent
words of fear as her nightmare took her over completely. She begged
and pleaded. Her exact words were: 'Please don't hurt me, Mr.
Adonis. I'm not your bambino dolce e saporito. I don't even know
what that means. I'm not a bambino della donna. I'm just a little
girl. Please Mister, let me go.'"

Doctor Gillard paused and then said, "I'll never forget them

She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath before going on.
"Apparently Geo knew what they meant. I thought she was going to
faint. I rushed back into the room and she jumped up to leave right
away. I could see that she was pale and shaking, but she insisted
she was fine, just upset over the condition of the child. I asked
what the child had said, but she wouldn't tell me."

Mulder said, "It's been years since I studied Italian, but I
believe 'bambino dolce e saporito' means sweet and tasty child.
'Bambino della donna' translates to woman child."

"Oh, my God," Dr. Gillard said.

Skinner cleared his throat and said, "I don't have to tell you that
we're dealing with a pedophile here, Dr. Gillard, but this one is
especially sick and vicious. We'd appreciate it if you wouldn't
tell anyone else what we've discussed unless I, personally, give you
the go-ahead. No one should think of asking you, actually, so it
shouldn't be a problem."

"Of course," she agreed quickly.

She rose to leave but stopped and said to us, "Agents?"

We looked at her and she said, "Get this bastard.   I don't ever want
to put a child back together like that again."

"We'll do our best, Dr. Gillard," Skinner said. He waited until she
left the room, then motioned for us to stay seated. "I have someone
else for us to interview before we leave." He rose and spoke to the
Agent guarding the door.


Moments later, a tired-looking couple was led into the room.

"Thank you very much for agreeing to meet with us, Mr. and Mrs.
Thomas. This is Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. I'm
Assistant Director Walter Skinner. We're from the F.B.I."

"Are you going to catch the bastard that nearly killed our
daughter?" Mr. Thomas asked.

Scully spoke up right away.   "We certainly are going to try, Sir."

Mrs. Thomas peered into Scully's eyes for a long minute. "I believe
you. The police won't do anything. They're already arguing over
whose jurisdiction has the case. They'll just squabble time away
until all the evidence is shoved under the rug and our M.J. will be
the one that suffers. Please, don't let that happen."

Her speech seemed to tire her out. She collapsed back against her
husband's shoulder and he put his arm around her tenderly. Mr.
Thomas kissed his wife's temple and said, "This is a horrible thing
to happen to M.J., but you've got to understand. She's not the only
one that's hurting."

Scully nodded. She pulled the photograph of Geo Ferrante out and
asked, "Have either one of you seen this young woman before?"

"Yes," they exclaimed at the same time.

"That's the young woman from the elevator," Mr. Thomas confirmed.

"We thought she was with the press at first," Mrs. Thomas said.

"What did she say to you?" Scully asked.

"Well," Mr. Thomas said, "First she flat out asked if we were the
Thomas'. I told her we had nothing to say to the press, but she
assured us that she wasn't with them.   She claimed to be the one who
called 911."

Mrs. Thomas said, "I threw my arms around her and thanked her. She
seemed uncomfortable with being touched. She drew away and said
that if we really wanted to thank her, we'd listen to a little bit
of advice she had to give."

"What, exactly, did she say, Mrs. Thomas?" I asked.

"She said, 'Don't go into that room in tears. You have to be strong
for Mary Jo. You have to make her understand that she did nothing
wrong. She needs to know that she is strong enough to recover from
this -- that you believe she will recover. If you go in there
acting like nothing will ever be the same again, that she is ruined
for life, that's what she'll believe.' That's it word for word."

"I told her nothing ever will be the same again," Mr. Thomas said
quietly. "She just gave us a sad smile and said something to the
effect that it wouldn't be like before, but it would be better soon
and eventually, things could be great for M.J. again."

"Yes," Mrs. Thomas interjected. "She suggested we get her help, you
know, a counselor. She mentioned someone outside the family who
M.J. could talk to, a therapist or a priest, someone with experience
with this type of thing. She insisted we make sure M.J.'s
comfortable with whomever we choose. She said that we shouldn't
deny that she needs help, but we can't let her believe for even one
moment that it won't be okay again."

"Cry with her, but not for her," Mr. Thomas said.   "Those were her
exact words."

"We tried to tell her how much her actions meant to us, but she
shrugged off our thanks. She just kept pressing the elevator button
and scooted on it as soon as the doors opened."

"So she just left?" Skinner asked.   They nodded.   "Have you seen her
back here this afternoon?"

"No, but truthfully, we haven't been outside M.J.'s room until now.
We really need to get back."

"Of course," Skinner said. He stood and shook hands with Mr. & Mrs.
Thomas. They shook hands with all of us and left.

"You've been awful quiet, Mulder," Skinner said.

"I'm thinking."

"What are you thinking about?" he said with a touch of growl in his

"I'm thinking that I have to process all this for a while before I
can make any sense out of it. I'm thinking that I'm hungry, again.
I'm thinking that I have to be back on stage in less than five hours
and I've had very little sleep."

Scully blushed, but looked concerned. "Mulder and I do need to get
back home and prepare for tonight's performance. It will be
interesting to see if Geo is there and if so, how she reacts to her

"You know there was another murder Thursday night?" Skinner asked as
we drove back to the gunmen's.

"Yeah, we did hear about that," Scully said.

"It was a member of the Bonanno Family."

"What does that have to do with our case?" I asked.

"That's the first one to hit their Family so far," Skinner said.   He
shrugged. "It could be a clue."

That was just what I needed -- another frickin' piece of the puzzle
to ponder.

6:30 PM

Scully and I dropped by for dinner and to see if there was any news
from Skinner or Rose. I'd been on pins and needles for the last
couple of days, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was nervous
Saturday night when we got to the club for my regular routine. I'd
begged Scully to carry her gun and after a huge debate, she agreed.

Fortunately, no one saw us at the hospital or the jail. At least if
they did, they didn't connect the dots and realize who we were when
we reported in to the club. The taste of our old investigative
lives wasn't enough. I was ready for this under cover job to be

I was still feeling antsy. Something was going to happen soon. I
could tell. Scully decided I needed to visit the guys instead of
pacing through our apartment irritating her.

"Hey, Mulder," Langly said around a mouthful of pizza.


"You got to see this. Your little girlfriend has been busy. She's
quite the hacker. If she wasn't involved in that entire Mafia
thing, I'd ask for an introduction to her."

"What do you have, Langly?" I growled.
"Well, she's researched the entire Keyhole Express conglomerate and
actually found the four men who are listed as employees of Cupid's

"No kidding," Scully said.

"Yep. She's a fricking genius. Of course, it didn't hurt that she
had her father's cell phone number to use and found the other three
through old calls."

"Who are they?" Scully asked.

Langly took a swig of pop and said, "Well, there's Bull, her father,
of course; Jerry Jackson, the 'director and editor' of the films;
Marvin Hinkle, the man who did the distribution and accounting
portion of the business; and Ray Turner, the regular camera and
sound man. Man, she really did an in-depth study on these guys."

"Oh yeah?" I asked.   "Why do you think she did that?"

"I don't know, but I printed it out if you want to see what she
found. I've got it ready to send to Skinner tomorrow."

I picked up the folder he indicated and began to read. Scully
joined me, plucking each page from my fingers as I got done with

I was sickened by what I read. These guys were all married with
children of their own, held down jobs and to all outward appearances
were pillars of the community. Why would men with seemingly happy
lives do those horrible things? What would their wives and families
think of them when they discovered what evil animals they really

"Did you give their names to Skinner?" I asked.

"Not yet, I said I was going to call him tomorrow," he said with a

"Do it now.   They need to get tails on all of them."

He frowned at me, but picked up his cell phone and dialed Skinner's

"Anything else happening?" Scully asked.

"Naw, nothing much," Frohike said.

"I, uh, did have something interesting happen earlier today," Byers
said. He meticulously wiped his mouth and fingers before

"What's that?" I asked.
"Well, you remember that credit card for Richard Jones that was used

"You mean the victim, Little Ricky?" I loved calling him that even
though he'd been a huge, mountain of a man.

"Yes, that one. Well, there were four separate motel rooms booked
on it in the area for tonight: Cinnamon Creek, Beau Ridge Creek,
Pinecrest, and Sunset Hills. Also, there was an airline ticket
booked to Miami, Florida only minutes after the rooms were
confirmed. Quite a chunk of change, too."

"Why?" Scully asked.

"It was booked at the last minute, first class," Byers said.

"I understand the plane ticket, though who would want to go to
Florida in June?" Langly said with a laugh. "But, why would someone
need four different motel rooms in one night?"

I sat there thinking for a moment. The hair on the back of my neck
stood on end, but I couldn't for the life of me pin down why.
"Something's going to happen tonight, something big. You need to
call Skinner right away with the information."

"Mulder, buddy, Skinner is sick and tired of us calling him late at
night with some new poop on the case," Frohike insisted. "Besides,
we just called him."

"I don't care.   Just do it.   It's important."

Byers nodded and made the call.

I could tell Skinner was irritated by Byers' end of the
conversation. I jumped up and held my hand out for the phone.

"Sir, this is Mulder."

"What the hell was Byers talking about, Mulder?   Why do we need to
put a tail on these men immediately?"

"Call it a hunch, sir, but I think something is going to happen
tonight or tomorrow and if I'm right, these men are next on our
killer's list."

He finally agreed to put a tail on each of them right away.    He also
said he would alert the team.

There was nothing for us to do but wait.

7:30 PM

Fred, the night bartender, eyed me and asked, "Are you all right

I growled something at him and he scurried away.    I read the note
again as anger flushed through me.


I knew how to handle blackmailers. I patted my pocket again and
felt the comforting weight of my gun. I'm not a fool. I wasn't
going in unarmed, even though I wanted to kill this scum with my
bare hands.

7:30 PM

There was a pounding on the door and Frohike went to see who was
there. Skinner marched in and glared at me. "All right, Mulder.
You said you felt something was going to happen tonight. Now, I
want details."

"Did you put tails on the four men?" I asked.

"I did for three. No one's seen Bull, or Geo, for that matter,
since late this afternoon."

I rocked back and forward on my   feet, trying to think about what we
should do. "If I were you, I'd    put a team member at each of the
motels on this list, as well as   the ones following the suspects.
Make sure they have pictures of   Geo and Bull and any you can manage
to get of the other men."

"That's not going to do us any good finding Geo or Bull, now is it?"
he said sarcastically.

Byers cleared his throat.   "Well, actually, Mulder, Skinner, we know
where Geo is."

Scully asked, "How do you know that, John?"

"We, uh, hacked into On-Star and have been following her movements
since Saturday night."

"Where is she now?" I asked.

"She's on her way back to the club. She was at the cemetery where
her mother and grandmother are buried."
"Keep an eye on her, Byers," Skinner ordered.

ROOM 111
10:27 PM

I heard my father fumbling with his card key at the door and pressed
myself into the corner, waiting. The blackmail note I sent him
worked like a charm, just as I knew it would. Bull entered the room
alone. He didn't turn on the overhead light. He walked to the bed,
flicked on the lamp and plopped down on the edge near the

I stepped out of the shadows.    "Evening, Pops."

He jumped and whacked his knee on the corner of the stand.   "Ouch!
Jesus, what the fuck? Geo? It's you?"

"Yeah, what the fuck, indeed."

"What's with the blonde wig? It looks like shit with your skin
coloring," he said in a petulant tone. That's my father, always the
charmer. "So you were the one that wanted to blackmail me?" he

"No, that was just an excuse to get you here," I said.

"What are you talking about?"

"You almost killed that little girl Friday night."

"Sorry about that," he said, not even trying to deny his guilt.

"Are you?   Enough to never do it again?" I asked.

He remained silent.

"No? Too much money selling your shit through Cupid's Whip?" I
asked. "Too much fun?"

I walked to the door and flicked on the overhead light.   I twisted
the night lock on the door.

His eyes bulged out when he finally noticed the pistol in my hand.
"Wh ... What are you doing?" he stuttered.

"Getting revenge. Before I do, though, I want you to know that
setting up Keyhole Express with Giovanna Ferrante as the owner was a
mistake, a big mistake." I stepped closer to him, but made sure I
kept plenty of room between us.
"It was just business.   It couldn't be traced."

"Really? I traced it. I think you mean it couldn't be traced to
YOU." I pointed the gun at him from five feet in front of the bed.

He lifted his hands.   "Come on, now.   Let's talk about it."

"I'm done talking. One last thing, though.     I want you to die
knowing I ripped you off for twelve mil."

"What?" he gasped.   "You little bitch!"

His words echoed through my mind. Memories spun around in my head,
out of control. The memories I'd worked so hard to bury, somehow,
found a breach in the wall I'd built. Damn it!

***Geo, open the door, you little bitch!***

***What are you doing?   I have school tomorrow!***

***Don't worry about school.    We have something better to do!***

"Not again, you pervert.   I won't let you hurt anyone again, ever.
Go to hell."


I shot him right between the eyes. His body rocked back violently
on the bed and then slowly slumped down on the floor.

Funny, I thought I would feel more at this moment. I didn't though.
I just felt numb. As I left the room I put the do-not-disturb sign
on the handle. Well, one down.

ROOM 204
11:00 PM

"Welcome, Mr. Jackson," I said.

"Who are you?   Where's Bull?   I thought we had a meeting tonight."

"Bull will no longer be participating in your little movies."

"What happened?" he asked. One eyebrow went up. "You're not really
a redhead, are you?" he asked suspiciously. "That's okay, honey.
Here's fifty bucks for your time."

"I don't want your filthy money," I said.

"What the hell do you want?"

I laughed at his question.   Bits and pieces of the past flowed
through my mind.

***What the hell do you want, Geo?   Huh?   A pony?***

***Shut the fuck up and do as you're told!***

***Daddy, you can't do this!***

***If you cooperate, I might even be able to make it so it's not so
bad for you.***

I raised the gun and pointed it at his head.

"Hey, l … listen, now, calm down.    Where's B … Bull?" he stuttered.

He screamed a high-pitched, girly scream as he realized what I was
about to do.

"Shut up!" I yelled.   "Bull's dead."   After a pause, I added, "Just
like you."


He lurched and fell to the carpet, a look of total surprise on his
face. You just had to love silencers. I didn't even bother
cleaning up. I would be long gone before the night was through.

11:15 PM

"Mulder," Frohike said frantically, waving me over.


"Police scanner just announced a dead body found at the Beau Ridge
Creek motel. It was in the room booked on Little Ricky's credit
card and the same M/O as your killer. Someone reported a scream and
a lot of yelling to the management. When the desk clerk checked, he
found the body."

"The Beau Ridge?   Why didn't you tell me?"

"You were in the bathroom," he said, shrugging.    "It just came over
the radio."

I growled.   "Shit, Frohike!"

Scully's hand on my arm made me clamp down on my temper.       "What
about the first motel on the list?"

"The Cinnamon Hills Motor Lodge?    Nothing reported there."

Skinner had joined us from his turn in the bathroom.     "Sir, I think
we should have the man posted at Cinnamon Hills check room number
111, the room booked by the card."

"Has there been a report of shots heard?" Skinner asked.


"Why should I have him break his cover?"

"Damn it, Skinner! That's the first motel booked on the credit
card. I know that the order of the bookings means something. It
needs to be checked NOW."

Skinner finally agreed and called the man stationed there.

"He'll call back in a few minutes. He said a man who matched Bull
Ferrante's description went in about an hour ago and hasn't come out

"He didn't think that was significant enough to report?" I hollered.
"Jesus! Has anyone else gone in or out?"

"He didn't say." Skinner had the good grace to look embarrassed.
"He should be calling back at any minute."

"Not good enough." I felt a sense of urgency that I couldn't
explain. "Call him and ask if he's seen anyone go in or out of the

Skinner frowned at me, but complied. "He said -- he said he's seen
a couple of women in the parking lot since he got there. One was a
red-head and the other a blonde." He held the phone to his ear,
waiting for a report on the room.

"Shit!   Byers, where's Geo's car?" I asked.

Byers worked frantically over his keyboard for a long moment or two
before he said, "It's still parked at the Club, but ..."

"But what?" I asked.

"Her Grandfather's car is on route 267, heading for the airport."

"It's Geo," I whispered.

"Now wait a minute, Mulder --" Skinner stopped when the agent on his
phone began to yell.

"What?" Scully demanded.

Skinner sighed.   "Bull's dead.   Shot just like the others."

I kicked a folding chair across the room.    "Crap!   Where's an area
Frohike provided a Thomas Guide and I flipped it open to our area.
I found Cinnamon Creek, Beau Ridge Creek, Pinecrest, and Sunset
Hills. They were on the direct route to Dulles from the downtown
area along Route 267.

"Shit!" I bellowed. "The damn hotels are hit sites, just like the
others. How could I be so stupid? Where's Geo now?"

"She's at the Pinecrest Motel."

"Skinner, get as many agents as you can to the Pinecrest Motel and
Sunset Hills, too. I believe Geo is the killer and she's working
her way to the airport!" I grabbed my coat.

"Where are we going?" Scully asked, as she pulled on her shoes.

I looked at Frohike.   "Room number at Sunset Hills?"

"Number 13."

As we raced to the door, I yelled, "That's right off Route 267,
almost to the airport. Skinner, call Rose and get us some back-up
at Sunset Hills Motel."

ROOM 308
11:15 PM

"Bull? What the fuck? Where are you? You said it was urgent in
your e-mail. Get your fat ass out of that bathroom."

I opened the door and lead out with my gun.      "Hello Mr. Hinkle.
Have a seat."

"Why?   Who are you?   Wait, I recognize you."

"Sit down so you don't fall down."

I watched as he gingerly made his way to the bed and sat.      "Why
would I fall down?"

"Most people do when they're dead."

***I have to, I owe some people.***

***What's that got to do with me?    Daddy, please don't!***

***It'll be okay, angel.***

"Dead?   What is this?" the man asked, breaking me out of my reverie.

"Judgment day," I hissed.


"Shit," I muttered into the silent room. The numbness was starting
to wear off. I felt tears prick the back of my eyelids and knew I
needed to finish up quickly.

11:50 PM

Damn it! Ray Turner was late. I couldn't wait much longer or I'd
miss my flight. I felt my hands shake and took a deep breath. He'd
be here. His ass was on the line and he knew it from the cryptic
message he'd gotten from 'Bull'.

I heard the door open and sighed.   Finally.

"What the 411, Bull? You call me out this time of night, it better
be good. My old lady's going to think I'm cheating on her," he
said, then giggled at his own joke. "Where are you, man? Taking a

***I've got to, Geo. Oh fuck, I've got to, baby.   Just hold still,
my bambino dolce e saporito.***

***Stop!   Please stop!***

***I said to SHUT UP! I've lusted over your little body for so
long. Oh fuck, it's so good. Oh damn. Oh shit, this is so

***Oh my God!   Stop!   HHEELLPP MMMEEE!***

***Oh Lord, I'm so deep in your flat, little belly!   My bambino
della ragazza, della donna.***

My hands clamped the sides of my head, hoping to squash the flood of
memories. The cold metal of the gun pressed against my temple,
bringing me back to the present. I breathed deeply through clenched
teeth. 'One more. Just one more,' I told myself as I pressed
against the door. 'Then Geo can die peacefully and Jennifer can be

11:50 PM

Scully got a call as we sped up Route 267. "Thanks, Langly.   We're
on our way. Did Skinner get us back up?" Scully asked.
She listened for a moment, then hung up and said, "She's at Sunset
Hills; GPS on Grandpa's car confirmed it. Step on it, Mulder.
Skinner is right behind us."

I grinned at her. "You gotta love these old Chevy Impalas -- all
horsepower, big gas tanks, and built like a tank. I'm doing 85
already. Let's just hope we're not too late."

A few minutes later, we screeched to a halt at the curb in front of
the motel and leaped out of the car. It was an upscale place with a
lobby and interior hallways. I ran into the building with Scully
right behind me.

I hit the doors running and the clerk behind the reception desk
hollered, "Hey!"

"FBI!" I shouted, whipping out my badge.   "Which way to room 13?"

He glanced at my badge for a second then fixated on my gun.    He
stood motionless, transfixed, wordless.

I reached across the counter and grabbed his shirt, pulling him over
the top until my nose was in his face. "This is no time to freeze
up, man. Now tell me how to get to room 13 or I'm hauling your ass
in as an accessory to murder!"

I heard Scully's phone ring and ignored it.

He blanched and nodded. I let go of his shirt and he slid back down
to his feet. He grabbed a key off the wall. "It's a master, Room
13, that way." He pointed to his left.

"Good man," I said, snatching the key out of hand.

Scully said, "That was Rose.   They just found Marvin Hinkle."


"As a door nail."

"That leaves Ray Turner," I whispered as we reached room 13.     I
crammed the key in the door.

Scully put her hand on my arm, stopping me with a whispered, "Easy.
She's armed."

I took a deep breath, carefully unlocking the door, hoping the
occupants wouldn't hear it. I watched Scully put her back to the
wall and pull out her weapon. I did the same and reached with my
left hand to turn the knob gently.

At her signal, I shoved the door open and leaped around and through
the doorway. I moved to the left side, high, and felt Scully whoosh
past me to the right, down low. "FBI!" we yelled.
A man standing at the foot of the bed held up his hands. "What is
this? A fucking set up? Bull! I'll kill you, you mother-fucker!"

'What is wrong with this picture?' I thought. We knew Bull was
dead. I turned to the bathroom. "Come out with your hands up!

Even knowing it would be her, it was a shock when the door swung
open. Geo stood there in a long black wig, tears coursing down her
face. They didn't seem to affect the steadiness of her arm as she
pointed her gun at the man by the bed.

I swallowed.   "Geo, please, put the gun down."

She frowned at me.   "Marty, what are you doing here?" she whispered.

"FBI, Geo." I glanced at Scully; she had her gun trained on Ray
Turner. I kept mine pointed at Geo, and she was pointed at the man.
We had a lovely little triangle going.

"FB--" she cut off and her face soured. She turned to the man.
"You have to die like the others!" she hissed.

I tensed as she brought the gun higher, aiming for Turner's head.
"Geo, don't do this. Put the gun down! I don't want to hurt you!"

She turned back to me. "You can't hurt me," she said calmly. Too
calmly, I quickly realized. She was in shock. "No one will ever
hurt me again."

DING, DING, DING! It was like a bell went off in my head. I knew
what the whole thing was about. She had been abused at some point.
She was taking revenge. These killings weren't about drugs at all,
even the earlier ones. The victims weren't chosen just because they
watched child pornography. They were about men using little girls.
Jesus! It was all personal to Geo. How had I missed it? "Geo, I
was hurt too, as a kid. A lot of people have been abused and
managed to get over it. I found a way, and you can, too."

She stared at me as if to gauge my sincerity and then said, "I got
over it, too."

"No, Geo. You're still hurting.   Please, don't make it worse.   Put
the gun down."

"I have to finish!" she sobbed, suddenly losing her composure.
"When they're dead, Geo can die!"

"No, Geo. There's no finish except in here." I slapped my chest.
"Please, I promise this guy won't go free. I PROMISE, but you HAVE
to put the gun down. I don't want to shoot you, Geo. Please! I'll
get you help. Look at me. I found what you're looking for."
She laughed through her tears, her arm wobbling under the weight of
the heavy weapon with the silencer. "What am I looking for, FBI?"

"Love, Geo.   Love.   I found it.   You can find it too."

"I don't think so.    I'm damaged goods, but Jennifer isn't."

"Who's Jennifer?"

She glanced at Turner, at Scully, and finally back to me.       "Geo will
be dead. Then Jennifer can be born."

"Geo, one last chance," I coaxed. "I'm an FBI agent. If you make
a move, I'm going to have to shoot you, and we both know he's the
criminal, right? Not you!"

I glanced at Scully.    She nodded very subtlety letting me know I was
on the right track.

"He raped little girls, Marty!" Geo wailed.

"I know. I know, and I'll make him pay. I promise.       You put the
gun down, and I promise I'll make him pay."

"You promise?"   Her voice was suddenly that of a child.

"I promise, Geo. Please, don't make me hurt you.     There's been
enough hurt, right?"

She nodded sadly and her arm dropped, but she still held the gun.

The man said angrily, "Take the crazy bitch down, man!      I don't know
what she's talking about."

Scully scowled. "Shut up!    Not another word."    She repositioned her
gun up to his head.

He shut his mouth and lifted his hands in the air higher.

"Drop the gun, Geo, last chance." I really didn't want to shoot the
woman. She was as much a victim as the little girl in the hospital.

She looked between us and the man a couple of times, and then the
gun dropped from her fingers. I noticed for the first time that she
wore black leather gloves. No prints. She was no dummy.

She fell to her knees and covered her face with her hands. I strode
over to Geo and picked up her gun, releasing the clip before I
tossed it out of her reach. I turned toward the perp and motioned
to Scully. She pulled her handcuffs out of her coat and cuffed the
man while I held a bead on him. When Scully was done, I holstered
my weapon and dropped down on my knees in front of Geo. "What
happened, Geo?"
I heard numerous footsteps in the hallway and jerked my head up.
"Scully, stop them."

She pushed the cuffed man face down on the bed and growled at him
not to move. She briskly walked out into the hallway to stop the
barrage of officers I knew was bearing down on the room that very

Geo looked up at me finally, her face ravaged with pain.   "He raped
me so many times," she whispered. "Bastard."

"This guy?" I asked softly.

She nodded her head.   "Pops, him, all of them."

"It's over now, Geo." I felt my stomach turn. God, it was worse
than I thought -- her own father. I knew he was into the business
up to his eyeballs, but his own flesh and blood? Jesus.

"It'll never be over," she wailed.

"Yes it will. Your pain is still raw because you didn't get help
when it happened. I'm going to get you some help, Geo. I promise,"
I said.

Just then Skinner entered the room. We were silent as he hauled the
man up off the bed and marched him out the door. I heard him begin
to read the man his Miranda rights as he closed the door behind him.

Geo looked toward the bed. "That was my help." She clutched her
head again and began sobbing. "I just wanted the pain to go away!
God, stop hurting me! Make it go away!" she shrieked.

I didn't dare touch her. "It's going to be all right," I said.       I
tried to keep my voice low and as soothing as possible.

Scully re-entered the room. She left the door cracked open and I
could see Skinner and Rose standing in the hallway, listening.

Geo looked up and said, "Momma?"

"Geo," Scully said softly.    "I'm --"

I shook my head to cut her off and she went silent.   I waved her
over and she knelt down beside me.

"Why did you leave me, Momma?    Why did you let him hurt me?" she

I saw tears pool in Scully's eyes. "I'm so sorry, Geo." She held
out her arms and Geo nearly leaped into them, sobbing and clinging
to her. Scully pulled off the awful fake wig and ran her hands
through Geo's real hair. "I can't be mad at her," she whispered.
"I know.   She's losing it."

She nodded.   "It's okay now," Scully cooed.

"It's not okay. I killed them. I killed them all for what they
did! One by one, I made them pay! You left me to fend for myself.
I had no choice, momma! You left me. What was I supposed to do? I
killed those baby fuckers! Every one of them, and I'm NOT SORRY I
DID IT!" she screamed. "Oh God! Make the pain go away! Daddy!
You can't do this! HELP ME! SOMEBODY! AAAAHHHH! NO!" Geo went
stiff and then collapsed in Scully's arms, still sobbing.

Scully rocked her as I whispered, "Total melt down.   We need to get
her into a hospital."

She nodded.

A couple of minutes later, Geo fell silent then lapsed into a wide-
eyed stare. "Damn, she's gone catatonic," I said. I stood up and
hoisted her into my arms. I emerged from the room to find Skinner,
and Rose in the hallway, along with other task force agents. "You

Both Skinner and Rose nodded.

"We have to get her to the hospital; she needs professional help.
She went into regression memories and then cascade memory, and now
she's going catatonic."

"In English?" Rose asked.

I shuddered and said, "Her cheese has completely slid off the

1:30 AM

Once we got Geo to the hospital she was examined, pronounced totally
incompetent for questioning by the ER psych, and sedated. She was
transferred by ambulance to the Beacon Falls Mental Institution in
Bethesda, Maryland, the nearest hospital for the criminally insane.

I listened in as Scully made the call to the Blue Room. "Hello, may
I speak with Frederick Ferrante? I know he's dead, I mean his
father. Right." After a pause she said, "Mr. Ferrante, this is
Dana Scully with the FBI." I didn't know if he would make the
connection with Katey's voice or not. Not having talked to her
previously, probably not. "Yes, sir, we know. I'm sorry for your
loss. We picked up Giovanna for the murder of your son and two
other men tonight. We interrupted a fourth. No, wait, wait, Sir,
please. She's not being arrested at this point. She's in no
condition to be arraigned."
She listened to a long rant from Ferrante and then handed the phone
to me. "Mr. Ferrante? Agent Mulder here. Look, I'm a psychologist
and I recognized your granddaughter's symptoms. We had an ambulance
take her to Washington Hospital Center to be evaluated. I believe
she had something we call a regressed memory cascade. We think it
triggered the killing spree."

"I just found out Geo was sexually abused when she was young. She
can't be held responsible for her actions!" Ferrante declared.

"She's being taken to Bethesda, a place called Beacon Falls Mental

"Is that the place for the criminally insane?"

"Right."   I paused, waiting for his next response.

"I'm leaving for Beacon Falls with my lawyer as soon as I hang up.
I expect no one to question her until her lawyer is present."

"I'm sorry, Sir. Right now she's catatonic. No one will attempt to
question her. She's non-responsive to outside stimuli."

"Agent Mulder, I would appreciate you informing the hospital I'm on
my way."

"I will, Sir.   I'll give them your name and tell them to expect

He hung up in my ear and I immediately called Beacon Hill. When I
was done, I took Scully's hand and we walked out to the car.
Skinner was in the parking lot with Suzanne and glanced at our
hands. "Cover's over, you two. You're free to go home."

I gave him a dirty look.    "It's been a rough night.   Can we go over
everything tomorrow?"

He nodded.   "It'll keep.   Check in later for the time of the de-

I nodded but didn't let go of Scully's hand until she was seated in
the passenger seat of the car. I wanted to get home as soon as
possible. It had been one hell of a night.

We drove in silence for a few minutes.    I asked, "What did you think
of grandpa?"

She snorted. "He was concerned about Geo, but I didn't sense any
heavy grieving over the son."

"No, me either, but everyone grieves differently.     Or perhaps
Junior's always been a fuck-up."
"Maybe, but he was still his son."

"Shot by his granddaughter.   Think he knows why?"

"I have no doubt," she replied.

We made the rest of the trip in silence.

1:45 AM

We were both deep into our own thoughts as we drove home. Mulder
was chewing on something that he wanted to talk about, I could tell.
Until he worked it out in his own mind, though, I knew he would
remain silent.

I was remembering my life as a little girl. I always felt loved and
secure in my father's presence. How would I have reacted to
anything different? My mind kept repeating the phrases that Geo
cried out. 'I had no choice, momma! You left me. What was I
supposed to do? I killed those baby fuckers! Every one of them,

Maybe all that had stood between her and a life of abuse was her
mother. It made me wonder how the late Mrs. Ferrante died. I made
a mental note to look that up when we got back to the office.

Mulder pulled the car up to the building and turned it off.   He just
sat there, staring out the windshield at the entry.

I reached for the door handle and said, "We're home." When he
didn't move to open his door I asked, "Are we going up?"

"Yes," he said quietly.    "We're home."

I shook my head and smiled. I opened the door and stood up,
stretching in the late night air.

He hesitated before he got out of the car and joined me. We walked
silently up to the building and he punched in the security code. We
made our way to the apartment, silently, holding hands. He really
was in a contemplative mood.

He disappeared into the bathroom as soon as we got our coats off. I
wasn't worried. Living together had given me more insight into his
ways than I thought possible just a month ago. He would talk to me
about what was on his mind in his own time.

I got ready for bed as soon as Mulder vacated the bathroom. I heard
him answer the phone in the bedroom. His voice was low and I
couldn't catch what he was talking about. I was curious who was
calling so early in the morning.   I finished up and went to find

"Who was that on the phone?" I asked as I walked into the room.

He sat there with his hand still on the top of the phone, deep in
thought. He was dressed in his soft cotton pajama bottoms and
nothing else. He was beautiful.

"That was SAC Rose. He wanted to compliment us on our quick pickup
on Geo's actions. He wants us to e-mail our reports about what we
did tonight and then take a couple days off. Kersh has called a
press conference tomorrow morning to give some of the details to the
papers. They hope that the drug-war aspect of the mess will end,"
he said. "He's called a meeting of the entire task force as well as
some others from the Task Force for Missing and Exploited Children
to end the main investigation and transfer it to them."

I nodded and walked to him, stopping between his legs. He had to
look up at me and for some reason it made me feel strange,
protective. I placed my hands on his shoulders and squeezed gently.
"Are you all right?" I asked.

As he gazed at me, he gave me a small smile and nodded. He wrapped
his arms around my waist and pulled me to him, letting his head fall
against my breasts. "Yeah," he mumbled.

I lowered my head to lie on top of his and threaded my fingers
through his hair. His embrace was comfortable and warm. I didn't
know in which direction his brilliant mind was racing, but I knew I
could give him the loving support he needed until he figured out
whatever was plaguing him.

"Scully, do you, uh, do you feel hap ... comfortable here?" he

"I always feel totally happy and comfortable in your arms," I
assured him.

He was silent for a few minutes before he spoke again.   "I feel the
same way about you, too, but that's not what I meant."

I drew back so that I could look into his eyes as we talked. He
gently pulled me down on the bed next to him. "I know we haven't
talked much about our relationship, how it would affect our
partnership after the case was over, but I need to know. Are we
going to actively pursue a long-term relationship?"

At first I was surprised and mildly hurt that he needed to ask.     I
thought about it for a moment and realized that while we had
exchanged 'I love yous', we had never verbalized our level of
commitment. I had greatly underestimated his insecurity and I
wanted to correct that.
I cupped his cheek with my right hand and said, "I understand that
you might not know where I stand on this. I am, after all, the one
who has always needed proof, hard physical evidence, of a fact or
situation in order to accept it as the truth." I slid my other hand
other over his lap and squeezed his cock through his pajamas, giving
him a grin as it began to harden.

I continued. "The first time we made love, I knew that I could
never go back to the way we were before. I didn't want to discuss
it; I told you that. I think that it's time for us to have that
talk now."

He nodded.

I took a deep breath and continued, "I love you and if you're
willing, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I love being
your partner. There's nothing in this world that could make me
happier, career-wise, than working on the X-Files as your partner
until I retire. However, if I have to give that up so I can live
with you, sleep with you every night, love you openly, I will."

"Scully," he gasped.

I moved my right hand from his face and held up one finger to stop
him. "I need to finish," I said. At his nod, I continued, "I've
lived all over the world, and I've never been happier than the few
weeks I've lived in this apartment with you. I don't ever want to

He smiled at me and gave me a hug. "I don't want to leave either.
If I had my druthers, we would get married and move our stuff in

"Is that a proposal?" I asked, surprised.

"Is that an acceptance?" he asked back.

"Maybe. Maybe after we sort out things from this case, we could
come back to the marriage part," I said. "I'd love to live here
with you, but isn't this place owned by the FBI?"

"Probably. I guess, I, well, I just wanted to say that I don't want
to go back to living alone. I've never been happier in my entire
life than I have been with you these past weeks."

"Ah, Mulder," I said.   I kissed his nose and smiled at him.

"I'll check into this place, but if it's not available ..."

"I'd love to find another place together," I quickly assured him.

"Even if it means that we can't work together?"

I didn't need to think about it at all.   I smiled at him and said,
"Yes, but I don't think it's going to be a problem for us. After
all you did just solve a case that had half the FBI stumped and
averted a large-scale, intercontinental drug war. I think the
higher-ups will be willing to look the other way for us this one

"Yeah?" he said with a grin.


"Good. Let's get some sleep and then work on our reports tomorrow.
I'm tired."

"Me too, G-Man, me too."

8:30 AM

Scully and I arrived early and were already seated by the time A.D.
Skinner and SAC Rose walked in. Every chair at the table was filled
and there were several agents sitting along the perimeter of the
room as Rose and Skinner presented the wrap-up information on Case
000401498, the drug-war slayings. The team that worked the case
encompassed several departments and jurisdictions. Everyone wanted
closure on the case. They were surprised when Rose's report didn't
give it to them.

Skinner stood up at the head of the table. Every eye in the room
swung toward him. "The direction of this case has taken a jog. We
no longer are working with a gang-land war or a territory dispute
between drug lords. We have a new directive. We need to clean up
the entire network of kiddie porn producers and sellers in the area.
The Director, Attorney General, and the President are backing this
one hundred percent.

"Everyone involved in the case up to this point is getting a letter
of appreciation placed in their files. Agents Susan Ross, Philip
Johnson and Thomas Tulle are to receive commendations for their deep
undercover roles. Their interaction was invaluable.

"Agents Mulder and Scully are also to receive commendations.
Thanks to them, we have a good start on our new direction.
Information that Giovanna Ferrante was able to collect has given us
invaluable insight as to the structure of this industry in the
greater Washington area.

"However, without the fine deductive work of Agents Mulder and
Scully, our assailant, Ms. Ferrante, might have escaped without
detection. Unfortunately, Ms. Ferrante will probably never be
brought to trial for these murders. According to her psychiatrist
her prognosis is not hopeful. She did regain lucidity long enough
to agree to undergo regression hypno-therapy. She was eager to
assist us in any way possible to apprehend all the other kiddie porn
producers in the area.

"Her session was extremely helpful to our investigation, but did
nothing for her state of mind. She came out of the hypnosis and
asked to speak to Agents Mulder and Scully. Before they were able
to get to Beacon Falls, she slipped back into catatonia and has
remained that way since. As I said, her prognosis is dismal. The
doctors at Beacon Falls feel that if she emerges from the catatonia,
she can be treated, but they were talking about years and years of
intensive therapy before she could be deemed sane enough to stand

"She will be represented by her family lawyers at her competency
hearing, which has been scheduled for July seventh. I would
appreciate it if Agents Ross, Mulder and Scully could attend. Are
there any questions?" he asked.

"Sir?" Agent Susan Ross stood up. I couldn't stop thinking of her
as Suzanne. "Are you sure about the date on the hearing? I just
checked with someone at Beacon Falls before I came in to the meeting
and I was told that there was no competency hearing scheduled on
July seventh."

"Yes, I have the court schedule right here, Agent Ross," Skinner

"I'm sorry, sir, it must have been a mix-up."

Scully and I exchanged glances and then looked back at Skinner. I
opened my mouth, but before I could say a thing, Skinner said, "Hold
on, let me check." He walked to the phone and dialed. "Ms. Cook,
would you please contact the hospital and the court secretary to
confirm the date for Giovanna Ferrante's hearing?" He hung up and
returned to the conference table.

"While Ms. Cook is working on that confirmation, I do have another
piece of news that I want to let the SAC deliver," Skinner
announced. He turned to Thornton Rose and nodded.

Rose stood up and shuffled the papers in front of him. "During the
course of the investigation, it became evident that we had a mole in
our organization, someone who was working for the very individuals
we were trying to apprehend. I hate to admit it, but we have
arrested two clericals and one Special Agent who were passing
information along to Amado Carillo Fuentes, the head of the Mexican
cartel working in Texas and various other members of the Mafia who
are involved in drug-trafficking.

"Criminal charges will be brought against Agent Jason Wire, Ms.
Dorothy Ridge and Mrs. Violet Hughes. We believe all individuals
involved in the leak have been rousted out and arrested. We feel
that several good people lost their lives due to the information
leaked by these individuals.   We intend to prosecute them to the
fullest extent of the law."

He sat down with a dour expression on his face. I knew that I was
frowning also. No one liked to think that one of their own could be
bought. Unfortunately, it did occasionally happen.

Skinner stood up and started handing out the assignments for the
next phase of the operation as Kimberly knocked and walked into the
room. I knew as soon as I saw her pale face with the bright red
spots on her cheeks that Skinner wasn't going to like what she had
to say.

"Yes, Ms. Cook?" he asked.

"Sir, I checked with the Clerk of Courts and there is no hearing
scheduled for Giovanna Ferrante."

"What?" he gasped.

"In fact, Sir, when I called the hospital to confirm that they
received the same information on the hearing as we had, I was told
that --" she hesitated.

"Yes, Kim?" he softly urged.

I knew what she was going to say, but I held out hope that I was

"Sir, they have no record of a patient named Giovanna Ferrante ever
being at their facility. I asked them to check their records for
any transfers from Washington Hospital Center in the last week and
they have nothing."

"Damn it!" I slammed my hand down. Scully placed her hand on the
table next to mine, but did not touch me. I turned to her and said,
"I knew it, Scully. I told you this would happen."

"Would you care to enlighten the rest of us as to why you felt that
our suspect would disappear, Agent Mulder?" Rose growled.

"Yes, Agent Mulder," Deputy Director Kersh added, speaking for the
first time in the meeting. "Tell us."

"It was just a feeling I had when I spoke to her grandfather. I
sensed a great deal of guilt in Mr. Ferrante, and I had a suspicion
that he would do whatever it took to keep his granddaughter from
facing charges for the deaths of her abusers."

"Why didn't you bring this to A.D. Skinner's attention, Agent?"
Kersh asked.

"I told SAC Rose that I felt a guard for her maximum security room
would be advisable," I said, tossing the ball back into the lap of
the Deputy Director.

Kersh sat back, silenced again.

Thornton Rose sighed and dry-wiped his face in frustration. "Yes,
yes you did Mulder, and I didn't listen to you." He looked directly
at me and said, "It's my fault that she's gone. If I had listened
to Agent Mulder --"

"It still would have happened, but more lives could have been lost
in the process," I said.

Skinner grunted and looked at Kim, giving her silent permission to
leave. He studied the papers in front of him for a moment. You
could hear a pin drop in the room. He looked up and glared at
Kersh. "Good call, Mulder," he said. "It will be duly noted that
you tried but that it was considered over-kill to post a guard at an
institution like Beacon Hill. Next time, we will make it a point to
listen to your instincts. At present, I think it would be
advisable, Agent Rose, to have one of your agents contact the police
in the metropolitan areas and put out an A.P.B. on Giovanna Ferrante
as soon as possible."

Rose made a note.

"I suggest we take a fifteen minute break. Agents Scully and
Mulder, stay seated for a moment, please," Skinner ordered.

Everyone filed out; Kersh made a point of being last as he shut the
door firmly behind him.

Skinner stood up and took off his glasses. "Mulder, I'm sorry that
happened. In the future, when you get one of your feelings, make
sure that I'm aware of it as well as the SAC on the case."

I raised my eyebrows and pursed my lips, but didn't make one of the
smart-assed remarks that flooded my brain.

"I wanted to let you both know that you will no longer be needed on
the task force. You've done an exemplary job on this assignment. I
understand how difficult it has been for you, particularly, Mulder,
but you both have performed above and beyond the call of duty. I
have received several cases that may be X-Files and had them
delivered to your office for your perusal. I'm sure you'll be glad
to get back to paranormal monsters after this. You're excused,
Agents," he said.

Scully looked at me and I smiled. Skinner sighed as if he knew he
wasn't going to like what we had to say.

"Sir," I said, "Agent Scully and I want to inform you about
something that developed while we were undercover."

When Skinner motioned for me to continue, I reached over and took
Scully's hand in mine. "Sir, living together for the past month has
made us understand that we're more than just partners and friends.
We, we've decided that we are a couple and we're going to move in

"Are you telling me that you're getting married?" Skinner asked.

"No, Sir, not yet," Scully said.   "We are thinking about it,

"Who else knows about this?" he asked.

Scully blushed and said, "Well, we think it's just Suzanne, I mean,
Agent Ross, and probably her fiance Mike, so far here at the Bureau.
She intercepted pictures of us, er, in flagrante delicto. Frederick
Ferrante, Sr. knows because he ordered the surveillance that proved

Skinner walked to the window and stood with his back to us for a
moment, looking out on the street below. We didn't say a word while
he was thinking.

Finally he turned around and smiled at us. "Agents, it's no one's
business but your own. I thank you for telling me, I can't protect
you if I don't know what's happening. Nevertheless, after the major
coup the two of you pulled off, I don't think anything will be said,
even if the Director, himself, was made aware of it."

He walked around the table, took Scully's hand and pulled her to her
feet. "Congratulations, you two. You deserve all the happiness you
can grab." He shook her hand and then offered me his hand to shake.

I stood up and looked at it for a second or two and then laughed. I
pulled him into a hug and we two manly-men hugged, then pounded each
other on the back in a totally manly display of affection and macho
celebration. Scully stood to the side and smiled at us both.

"Thank you, Sir," I said.

"Yes, thank you, Sir," Scully said.   "I can't wait to get back on
the X-Files."

I pulled her to my side and we walked to the door.

"Oh, Agents, SAC Rose has let me know that all the expense account
work for the case will be handled by his people. The report you
filled out is all you need to do to complete your part of the
assignment paper work."

I flashed a grin at Scully and she smiled back. One case where we
didn't have to spend as much time looking for receipts as we did
solving the crime. I turned back to the door.

"There was just one thing that Rose mentioned, though," Skinner

I groaned and turned back to our boss, dreading his next words.

"He said that all the property purchased for the undercover
assignment was accounted for except --" he fumbled with his
paperwork, looking for the right page. "Ah, here it is. Everything
is accounted for except two full-length leather coats and a pair of
black, suede chaps. You two don't have any idea where they would
be, do you?"

Scully had a guilty look on her face; anyone could read it from a
mile away. The woman just didn't know how to lie.

So I improvised, trying to take the heat off her. "I'll have
another look around for them, Sir, but they were probably stolen by
souvenir hunters at the club."

"That sounds logical. Very well, I'll tell Rose they're a write-
off. Have a good day you two. Let Kimberly know if you need a 302
signed for any of the cases I've sent you."

"Will do, Sir," I said. I pulled Scully out of the room with me.
She was going to tell him the truth about the coats if I didn't get
her out of there right away.

10:00 AM

"Mulder, why did you drag out me of there so fast?" she growled as
soon as we were alone in our office.

"I didn't want you to tell Skinner about the coats and chaps you
kept," I said to tease her.

"Me? I didn't keep both coats. I just kept the one for you. You
looked so good in it; I wanted to keep it, even if I had to pay for
it. The chaps were already missing."

"I know," I said.

"You know?" Awareness washed over her face.    "You took my coat and
the chaps, for me," she said with a sigh.

"I knew how much you like them, Scully. I'd have paid for them
before I let them go into confiscated property for some stranger to
buy at ten cents on the dollar."

"Oh, what a nice surprise."   Her lips twitched, letting me know she
was pleased.

"That's not all. Close your eyes and hold out your hand." She gave
me a glare but complied. I walked behind her and locked the door.
I pulled a key out of my pocket and dropped it into her hand.     "You
can open them now."

She looked at the key and shook her head.    "What's this for?"

"It's the key to our apartment.   I bought it for us."

"You bought us the apartment lease?" she gasped.

"No, I bought the entire building. That was the only way I could
kick the current tenant out of our place and free it up for us."

"Oh my God, you bought the building?"

"Yep, it's all ours. We can move our stuff in or buy all new stuff
for it -- whatever you want."

"I don't know what to say," she whispered.

"Just say that you'll live there with me for as long as we want.
That's all I need to hear."

"Damn, Mulder, I love that you did this, but we could have lived at
my old apartment or yours. Either one would have been all right."

"I know, but we were first together there and I wanted to make you
as happy as I am for the rest of our lives."

"Of course I'm happy with you, you big goof.   I love you," she said.

"I love you, too," I growled as I pulled her into my arms and kissed

We held each other for several minutes before she pulled away and
looked into my eyes. She wiped her lipstick from my lips with her
thumbs and hugged me again, then walked to the door and unlocked it.

I was disappointed, but knew that she was right. We would keep our
relationship professional at work and personal at home. As much as
I couldn't wait to get back to our place after work, the call of a
juicy X-File was strong.

We settled down and began perusing the files that Skinner sent down.

8:30 PM

Mulder kissed me once more and slowly pulled out of my body, rolling
to his side. We'd been home for almost an hour and about fifty-five
minutes of that time we'd been naked and in bed.

"This is harder than I thought it would be," he said.

"Oh, I don't think it's hard at all," I said as I fondled his spent

"Scully," he growled. "You know what I mean. It's hard to keep my
hands off you during the day after almost a whole month of having
you at my beck and call, day and night."

"Is that what I was to you?   Your beck and call girl?" I asked.

"What if I said yes," he teased.

"Then I'd have to insist that you be my cowboy and wear the chaps
every time we make love," I said as seriously as I could.

He swallowed hard as Junior gave a little jump. Obviously the
imagery worked for him as well as for me. "You know you could go
buy some more outfits from Tony," he suggested.

"Yes, I certainly could," I agreed.   "But I didn't think you wanted
me around another man like that."

"Scully," he gasped.   "You knew?"   He glared at me.

"Of course I did. Oh, not at first, but I didn't think you'd growl
at a woman like you did. When I actually looked at him, I realized
that his hips were far too slender and his adam's apple was too
developed to be a woman's."

He pulled me into his arms and we snuggled for a few minutes.    I was
tired and my body had been used well and satisfied.

He sighed and I knew he had something he wanted to talk about.

"I'm sorry, Scully.    I can't quit thinking about Geo," he said.

I pulled away from him and frowned. "Just what place does thoughts
of Giovanna Ferrante have in our bed?" I growled.

"Not like that, Baby," he said. "I was thinking about how many
people out there are hurt as badly as her, but turn out sane and
live happy lives. What went wrong for her?"

We lay together, bodies entwined, amid happiness that was almost
overwhelming. I knew what he meant. "I think that if Geo's mother
had lived or her grandfather found out right away, she might have
had a chance. That didn't happen for her."

I snuggled closer to him and sighed. "Did I tell you that her
mother died under mysterious circumstances? She fell down the
stairs at the Blue Room in the middle of the night and broke her
neck. It was finally ruled a 'death by misadventure', but I think
Bull pushed her or beat her to death then threw her down the steps.

"Geo didn't have a chance. She was surrounded by evil from the day
her father first gave in to his urge to rape his own flesh and
blood, and she never escaped. She wasn't lucky like us, Mulder.
She never found a love that could heal and sustain her."

"Bull was a sick bastard, all right," Mulder agreed. "Bad enough
that he was a pedophile, but an aggressive pedophile... It's a rare
type, although not unheard of."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"He was sexually and aggressively motivated, probably had a history
of antisocial behavior and poor adjustment. If we had a way to
check his background, we'd probably find that he'd committed vicious
assaults throughout his life. He didn't feel any remorse or empathy
for his victims. His kind needs to inflict pain to produce the
needed excitement. Their target of choice just happens to be
children instead of grown women because they're easier, less likely
to fight back," he said sadly.

I rubbed his stomach gently, trying to soothe him. "Growing up in a
Mafia Family probably gave him enough freedom from censure to
nurture his development. Money and power tend to bring out the
worst in some people," I replied.

"Yeah," he agreed. He thought for a moment before speaking again.
"With his type of pedophile, the power and cruelty are every bit as
important as the sex. Most rapists don't rape for the sex, but his
type does -- the power is an inevitable side product of the act. So
it's hard to say which is *most* important, but sex, power and pain
all go together for his type of offender."

"It sounds as if Geo did him a favor by killing him instead of
having him arrested. His kind doesn't last long in prison," I said.

He grunted in agreement and I dozed for a moment.

"I wonder what her grandfather did with her," he mumbled.

"I don't know, but I hope she's well taken care of, wherever she
is," I slurred. I slid into sleep and didn't give another thought
to our last case. There was a new X-File on Mulder's desk and we
had a flight out in the morning to investigate it.

11:00 PM
"I didn't know what kind of animal my son was, I swear. By the time
I was aware of the situation, it had all gone to hell and my
beautiful granddaughter, my little nipote, had killed over twenty
men." I quickly added, "Not that they didn't deserve to die, you
understand." I sat in silence for a moment, trying to gather my

"How could a man do something like that? Do something so sick, so
wicked to his own flesh and blood? Ahh!" I said, disgusted that I
needed to come to someone like this man to ask for aid. My
Godfather gave me his name as someone who could help. He was a
plague on the soul of our country, but I didn't care. I was
desperate to help my Geo. After all, this was only another business
transaction to him, but it meant happiness for my granddaughter.

"My little Geo is no longer sane. She's what they call catatonic
from a cascade memory or some such psychobabble. They say that she
will never be normal again."

I sighed and said, "I could handle that if she were happy in her
madness, but she's not. She occasionally will awaken from the
catatonia and the screaming begins. She is trapped in a never-
ending nightmare of memories until she withdraws again. I fear for
her life."

Once again I grew silent, waiting for the man to say something,
anything to give me hope. He merely nodded his head for me to

"I have asked around and you have been suggested as one that could
help me, for a price. I have been told that you possess a process
that can cleanse the mind of all memories. I have cash in a
numbered account in the Cayman Islands. I can transfer the agreed
upon amount to you at any time, but I want you to know that the
money means nothing to me compared to my Geo. If you agree to do
this and fail, I will hunt you down again and kill you with my bare
hands. Is that understood?"

The shadow-man nodded, a faint smile on his lips.

"I want her to be happy. I want her to have no memories of her
youth. Her mother and father died in a car accident and she was
raised in a convent. I want her to be deeply in love with a young
Sicilian man named Romano Salvatore. She met him when she took a
vacation to Sicily with me last year. I want her to believe that
they fell in love. I have made arrangements for their marriage.

"I want her to be happy every day for the rest of her life, happy
with Romano, happy having babies, happy in her marriage. She is to
never remember anything connected to the sexual abuse she suffered."

I waited for the nod again.

"For this I will pay you five million dollars.   Are we agreed?"
"Yes," he said as he lit another cigarette. "I understand. There
will be no mistakes made. In return, any retaliation that you would
have felt necessary towards Agents Mulder and Scully is to be

He hissed through a cloud of smoke, "That, along with your five
million dollars, is the cost of correcting something wicked."


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