Legal Manoeuvres In The Dark
"So," Lilah said, limbs demurely arranged in the back seat of the limousine, purse on her lap, "where can I take you?"
Her gaze rested on Faith, who looked very out of place amongst the plush cream upholstery, black leather clad legs stretched out before her. The girl had a little more colour to her cheeks, presumably thanks to a full belly. She'd barely spoken during dinner, though given her demeanour and education, she couldn't be much of a conversationalist. Still, Lilah was intrigued.
Right now, Faith was intent on investigating the contents of the mini bar, pulling out miniatures of vodka, rum and gin. "I wanna go dancing. There must be some good clubs in this town, right?"
Lilah smiled, a turn of her red swathed lips. "Of course, this is LA. I think I know just the place."
Through the intercom, Lilah gave instructions to the driver and within fifteen minutes the limousine had crawled up to the curb of a warehouse building. There were people lined up around the block. At the door, people were being turned away as the music rumbled to an almost deafening sound.
By the time they arrived Faith had knocked back most of the contents of the miniatures. She'd offered some to Lilah but Lilah had politely declined. "This it?" Faith said, squinting out the tinted windows. "Looks like a real dive."
"I hear it's the best underground venue in the city," Lilah said with a gentle shrug of her shoulders then half-turned in her seat. "Listen, Faith, you know the plan for tomorrow, so consider this a little R&R. You have the details of where you're staying tonight so I'll give you a call in the morning. And try not to incite a riot, please. We need you to keep a low profile."
"Whatever you say, boss lady." Faith's dark stare flicked over Lilah. "You not coming in?"
The lawyer's eyes slid away to her lap. "Not really my scene. Besides, I have appointments tomorrow and need an early night."
There was the protesting squeak of leather pants as Faith shifted. She was closer now, one arm slung along the back of seat, almost touching Lilah's shoulders. Faith tilted her head slightly and it made Lilah shiver in anticipation of what Faith was going to do - hit her or kiss her, she couldn't tell and wasn't sure which unnerved her more. Like earlier this evening when Faith had her pinned up against a fence, it had incited an odd mixture of fear and arousal. It was Faith's unpredictability that made her so alluring and dangerous. And such a valuable asset to the firm, which was why the next couple of days had to go without a hitch.
"Loosen up, Lilah," Faith said as she raised her hand to touch the diamond pendant at the lawyer's throat. Lilah swallowed reflexively. "Who knows? This could be fun."
In one swift movement, Faith was on Lilah's lap, one knee planted on either side of her hips.
"Faith…" Lilah faltered as the girl gave her a look that could peel off clothing. She glanced at the partition but the driver had his eyes on the road ahead. "This really isn't the time, or the place."
"So let's go, lover."
Faith reached for the door handle. Rolling off Lilah, she jumped out the limousine and waited. She was framed in the open doorway, looking every bit like a dark stain in the night. Taking a moment to rearrange her skirt and jacket, Lilah blew out an unsteady breath and stepped out with as much grace as she could muster. This was going to be interesting.
Walking straight to the front of the line, Lilah merely had to flash her business card and they were admitted without delay. Once inside, the music was thunderous, the bassline rumbling up through their feet. The floor was full of tangled bodies dancing to almost tribal rhythms and industrial techno. To say Lilah was overdressed was an understatement. There was bare flesh soaked with sweat everywhere and the humid air was almost impenetrably thick.
Seeing Lilah's disdainful expression, Faith gave a wolfish smile. "C'mon, let's get a drink."
Faith pushed her way through the press of hot bodies to the small bar on one side of the cavernous space. Lilah followed, almost losing sight of the girl several times. She signalled one of the bartenders. "I'll have a gin and tonic and a - " She glanced at Faith in question.
"And a Budweiser."
Drinks in hand, they turned to watch the crowd. Lilah soon lost interest and watched Faith instead as she collected the frothy beer at the rim of the bottle with the tip of her tongue. Faith caught her staring and made a provocative show of it before taking a swift swig of liquid.
"Want me to procure something a little stronger?" Lilah asked, aware of the prickly heat of lust creeping under her skin.
"I don't do that shit."
"Just checking. It's my job to ensure your needs are met."
Faith turned to her, an unsubtle leer on her face. Lilah was accustomed to dominating people with her height and poise and beauty but Faith clearly wasn't one to be dominated. "Take off your jacket, Ally McBeal. You're not in the courtroom now."
Lilah hoisted one eyebrow. "Why?" she enunciated very clearly.
"I wanna see what you got under that Armani suit." Faith bared her teeth in a half sneer, half smile. "Consider it one of my needs."
"Actually, it's Versace but never mind." Lilah did as requested and the jacket slipped off her shoulders. Underneath she wore a black strappy sequined camisole that glittered first pink, purple, yellow then green as the lighting shifted from one phase to another.
She felt unselfconscious as Faith's eyes lingered over her, appraising her. Lilah knew she was beautiful and the attention was flattering. It was rare that she indulged herself like this. "You're pretty toned," Faith said, tongue moving quickly over her bottom lip before disappearing again. "You work out?"
"I like to keep fit," Lilah preened slightly.
They moved away from the bar to stand against the nearest wall where the air was slightly cooler and the music quieter. Faith's arm was braced against the wall, the back of her hand millimetres away from Lilah's shoulder, so close that Lilah could almost feel the brush of her thumb.
"If you want to dance, I'll wait here," Lilah said after taking another sip of her drink. Truth be told, the pounding music was beginning to give her a tension headache. It'd been years, really, since she'd enjoyed this kind of thing. She moved in more sophisticated circles now - dinner parties, theatre and wine tastings filled her social appointments these days. Still, there was something electrifying about the frenetic, unrelenting music, the epileptic lighting and the sense of occasion here. The police could come and shut this illegal party down any minute now and that was just a little bit exciting.
"Suit yourself." Faith pushed off from the wall and headed towards the crush of bodies, squeezing her way past arms, elbows and slick torsos until she was enveloped by the palpitating mass of humanity.
Lilah couldn't say how long it was before Faith returned but there was perspiration glistening at the edges of her temples and above her lip. She had to suppress the urge to lean in and lick it off.
"I've changed my mind," Lilah murmured, "I'd like to dance."
Faith pulled her by the hand onto the crowded floor, ploughing through the other bodies without apology but everyone was so high that they didn't care. She didn't stop until they'd reached the middle of the floor, until all they could see was strangers all around and she and Lilah were forced together, hardly an inch of breathing space between them.
Faith got into the music quickly, the personification of kinetic energy as she danced, loosing herself in it. For her part, all Lilah could do was watch her, heart hammering in her chest to the rhythm of the pounding drumbeat, moving only to avoid being jostled by the errant limbs of others. Everything else seemed to fall away as she focused her attention on the girl in front of her.
Faith whirled around, turning her back on Lilah, moving against her. She felt Faith's hands on her hips, trailing a path down her thighs and slipping under the fabric of her skirt, fingers burning against the skin where her stockings ended. Lilah trembled as they moved together.
Suddenly Faith turned again, her lips a hair's breadth from Lilah's. There was a look of single-minded intent in Faith's eyes as she put her hand through the slit at the front of Lilah's skirt. That hand inched slowly up her inner thigh until Faith brushed the silk clad juncture at the top. It didn't take much to shove the material aside and Lilah let out a small gasp as Faith's fingers slid against her.
Faith's lips were on her throat now, mouthing a burning path down to her collarbone, nipping now and then with her teeth. Eyes sliding shut, Lilah tipped her head back and flexed her hips as Faith's fingers circled around her slick entrance. And she couldn't care less that this was happening on a packed dance floor. She only wished that Faith wouldn't take her hand away. But Faith did and Lilah shot her a glare of startled indignation.
"I wanna fuck you," Faith all bur screamed into her ear, struggling to be heard above the music. The words sent a sudden jolt through her.
Lilah dragged a few sticky errant hairs away from her face. "I've been hoping you'd say that since I picked you up in that bar."
Minutes later they were in the limo again and the sleek car sped quickly away once Lilah instructed the driver to take them to her home. She took a bottle of water from the mini bar and popped it open, swilling the liquid around her dehydrated mouth. She could still feel the music buzzing in her head, the bass vibrating through her bones. So she reached for Faith by the front of her shirt and kissed her, ignoring the driver's unblinking eyes in the rear mirror.
Hands seemed to be everywhere at once - pushing her skirt up, skimming over her breasts, tangling in her hair. When Faith touched her between the legs again, Lilah pushed her hand away. "We're almost there."
"Maybe I can't wait," Faith answered between rough kisses.
Lilah had no idea how long they'd been kissing but finally the driver discretely cleared his throat to let them know they'd arrived. The sound issued startlingly loud and abruptly through the speaker. They disentangled themselves as he stepped out and around the limo to open the door for them. Fully versed in the etiquette of these situations, Lilah gave a thin lipped smile in acknowledgement and led the way to her first floor apartment, Faith hot on her heels. Inside, Lilah dropped her purse and keys on the coffee table, and threw her jacket over the back of the couch. She watched Faith survey the place, checking out the valuables. It was probably the nicest apartment Faith had ever been in and Lilah felt a little surge of pride seeing it through Faith's eyes.
"I'd give you the tour, if I thought you were interested," she said as she walked towards Faith, and draped her arms over the girl's shoulders. "I hope you're not thinking about stealing anything."
Faith merely smirked, hands going straight for Lilah's zip and tugging the skirt down her slender hips. "I already told you I'm not much for talking so let's just skip to the main event."
Lilah quirked an eyebrow. "To the point - I like that."
They went upstairs to the master bedroom and Faith whistled to see it. "Shit, you really do like green." The entire décor consisted of shades of green from the olive walls to the forest green silk bed sheets. Lilah was aware of Faith's heavy stare on her back as she crossed the floor to switch on a lamp and turn on the stereo with a remote control. Soft orchestral music wafted from the wall mounted speakers, a sharp contrast to the electronic swirls of noise in the club.
"I'm developing an appreciation for black too."
Lilah wet her lips as Faith came to her, shirking her snakeskin top as she went, revealing the push up bra and subtly muscular flesh underneath. She stopped in front of Lilah and unbuckled her belt before peeling off those leather pants and throwing them onto the wooden floor. Responding in kind, Lilah removed her own top though she wore nothing under it. Her dark pink nipples were exposed immediately to the air, already puckered with arousal. She reached for her stockings but Faith put a hand on her wrist to stop her.
"Leave them on. And the heels," Faith said, her voice gritty and low.
Lilah nodded, feeling an answering gush between her legs as Faith took over divesting her of her silk underwear, yanking the delicate material down quickly and negotiating the spiked heels with care. She'd half thought Faith was going to rip them from her like a piece of rag material instead of the exquisite lingerie they were. Lilah couldn't decide whether she was sorry or not.
They backed towards the bed without touching, the anticipation almost tangible. Lilah felt the mattress press into the back of her legs and she sat on it, knees together. The slayer stood in front of her, dark eyes heavy lidded with lust, and dropped to the floor on her knees. Placing one hand on each of Lilah's thighs, Faith firmly pushed her legs apart until they were indecently wide open.
Lilah's breath hitched to see Faith's intentions written so plainly on her face. God, just the thought of it made her squirm against the expensive sheets. She was completely compliant as Faith hoisted one calf over each shoulder and dragged Lilah closer by grasping her by the hips.
All Lilah could hear was her own breathing, the music quite forgotten as she looked down, watching the way Faith's breath disturbed the neatly clipped curls that glistened with moisture, watching Faith's eyes as they were rooted upon her own, as Faith dipped her head, tongue sliding through the wetness. At the first touch, Lilah shuddered and raised her hips sharply, trying to increase the contact but Faith pushed her down, teasing her with barely-there swipes, building the pressure minutely with each press of her tongue.
As the pleasure rippled through her, Lilah let herself fall back onto the sheets, concentrating only on the liquid sensations of Faith fucking her with lips and tongue. She was only dimly conscious of the moans that tumbled from her mouth, the encouragements and exclamations that were completely redundant yet acted as an impetus for Faith to deepen her strokes. Soon Lilah found herself bucking hard, when that warm mouth was replaced with agile fingers touching her just there, just at that right place and within moments orgasm took her hard, leaving her hands shaking and her cheeks burning hot.
It was perhaps the quickest orgasm since her inexperienced teenage years, and certainly the best in recent memory. After taking a few moments to collect her scattered thoughts, Lilah propped herself up on one elbow. Faith was wiping her mouth with the back of her hand.
"Been a while, huh?" Faith said, completely without scorn.
Lilah shrugged. "My career doesn't allow a lot of time for dating."
"I get that. Married to the job." There was something approaching empathy in Faith's eyes but then she looked covetously at the bed. "Mind if I lie down? My knees are chafing."
"Be my guest."
They settled back on the silk sheets together, staring up at the ceiling, silent for a few minutes until Lilah angled her head to look at Faith. "I'm a little rusty with the girl-on-girl thing, since my college days anyway," Lilah began, “but I'm happy to return the favour."
Faith didn't return her gaze. "You don't have to. Besides, I should motor," she said in a flat tone.
There was a beat of silence. Lilah propped her head on her hand. "You could stay the night."
At that, Faith stared back at her. "Gee, Lilah, that sounded a little desperate coming from a single career woman." The malice in Faith's rebuke was as hollow as the look in her eyes. It was force of habit. But it still stung and for a split second, Lilah wasn't able to hide it.
"On second thought, I think you should go." Lilah slipped off the bed and scooped up Faith's discarded clothes, throwing them at her. The lawyer padded towards the en suite bathroom and emerged wearing a white satin robe, divested of the stockings and high heels. She folded her arms as she waited for Faith to get up but the girl wasn’t moving. Instead Faith unclasped her bra and, hooking her fingers into the elastic, pulled off her underwear.
"Objection, your honour," Faith said in a tone that could only be described as filthy. She sat up so Lilah had a clear view of the deal that was being brokered.
Somehow, Lilah found anger was now an untenable position.
There was a rap on the bars and Faith looked up with a weary glare. The guard rattled his keys at her.
"You got a visitor."
Without a word, Faith allowed him to cuff her and lead her to the interview room. She was expecting Angel - he'd promised to visit her every month but it was a little early for his usual visit. They stopped outside the door as the guard unlocked it.
"She's a real pretty one," the guard said with a wink and Faith just made a face. "You've got ten minutes."
Walking inside, Faith stopped dead in her tracks. The door was shut with a slam behind her. A table and two chairs were the only furniture in the room and at that table sat Lilah Morgan. Her hair was longer now and hairsprayed into total submission. She wore a dark grey suit and a blue shirt. In a place like this, Lilah was like a long, cool drink of water in the desert.
Faith kept her distance. "What the fuck do you want"
"Is that any way to greet a friend?" Lilah said mockingly. She stood and rounded the table, her long legs looking almost obscenely good. "I want what I've always wanted: to help you."
Faith was silent.
Lilah folded her arms and sat on the edge of the table. "Faith, you've put Wolfram & Hart in a very difficult position. There was the small matter of a contract, which you reneged on. The Senior Partners don't take kindly to breaches of contract."
"The Senior Partners can go fuck themselves."
The lawyer tilted her head thoughtfully. "Actually, not anatomically possible from what I've heard but I'll certainly pass on your regards."
"You go fuck yourself in their place then."
Lilah laughed. "You know I much prefer company in that arena."
Losing her patience, Faith turned and raised her fists to hammer on the door but she felt Lilah's hand on her shoulder. She stared at that perfectly manicured hand like it was a branding iron.
"Wait. I just want to talk."
Giving her the benefit of the doubt, Faith turned and took a seat. Lilah perched on the table again and gazed down at the slayer. "You can still rectify your mistake. We can have these charges overturned. All you have to do is say the word."
Faith's stare was hard. "And the catch is what? Signing over my eternal soul?"
"Not quite. It would be extremely… useful to have a Slayer working for our firm. Imagine it, Faith - an apartment, a car, a generous salary, non contributory pension, full health and dental scheme, all taken care of by Wolfram & Hart." Lilah leaned down, affording Faith a glimpse of tanned skin. "I know you. Deep down you crave stability. We can give that to you."
It was tempting. "When you say working, what exactly does that mean?"
"Well," Lilah said slowly, sitting up straight, her voice patronising. "you slay things. More specifically, demons we deem hazardous to our interests. I promise you that doesn't include Angel. We have much bigger things planned for him."
Lilah could see that Faith was considering the offer so she swooped in for the kill. "What if I told you there was an added incentive? Something to sweeten the deal?" She smiled shark-like, pearly white teeth in sharp contrast to the dinginess of the interview room.
"Yeah, what's that?"
Lilah lowered her eyes, a small furrow forming on her brow. She massaged her knuckles for a moment and then surprisingly reached out, taking one of Faith's cuffed hands and squeezing it. Dipping her head and glancing up through her eyelashes, Lilah did her best impersonation of Princess Diana, or so Faith thought. "If Wolfram & Hart successfully appeal against your conviction then… God, I can't believe I'm telling you this but I can't stop thinking about that night we spent together and, if you got out, I'd like to pick up where we left off."
For a second, just a split-second, it was convincing. Faith pushed back her chair and stood up. "You're fucking crazy if you think I'd fall for that."
Lilah's face smoothed, the little routine she'd tried quickly sliding away. She shrugged. "It was worth a shot but I can assure you, you won't ever get a better offer. I mean, what's your alternative? Parole when you're eighty?”
"You better go, lover, before I do something I won't regret."
Lifting her briefcase, Lilah walked towards the door, the sound of her high heels echoing around the small room. "You're even dumber than I thought. And in six months or a year's time you could be dead or worse." Lilah produced a business card from her pocket and pressed it into Faith's hand. Then she leaned down and gave Faith a quick, hard kiss on the lips. "Just in case you change your mind.”