Chapter 1

Author's Note: This is an idea I've been toying with for a while, and I finally decided to give it a try. I'd appreciate it if you'd give it a try, too. :) As always, reviews are very welcome! Enjoy.

Warnings: Femmeslash, gore, and possible graphic sex and torture abound. Don't read if such things bother you!

There was a little myth floating around this city. One of my favorites, actually. Bits and pieces of it varied from person to person, as is the tendency with myths and legends, but there was one thing that remained consistent: a red car.

Now, the driver of the vehicle was a constantly changing aspect of the tale. A young male, all muscles and tan skin – no, no. A tall man, with graying hair and little real muscle tone. Or, maybe, a female. Pretty, ugly, chunky, sexy, blonde, brunette, D-cup, B-cup. No one knew what they saw. Yet, in every telling of the flawed story, the driver was bad news. The why of it all was never static enough to consider this a consistent part of the legend, however. Some say the driver killed whoever was closest to the car. Others thought differently, promoting tales of kidnappings or robberies or anything else they could come up with.

It was all hilarious to me, though. Each reason brought up another debate, another group of inconsistencies. Did the driver, clearly a male, kill only females? What if he only kills males? As a robber, did he go after banks? Or was it always petty convenience stores?

None of it mattered, of course. It was just a myth. Some people were cautious around red vehicles, but that was the legend's only effect on society. Nobody outside of the city even knew it existed. But, if anyone had cared to pay more attention to the details of each individual telling, had picked out the truths from the mass of lies, had bothered to put it all together, it would have explained why so many people tended to go missing in this particular area.

At this, I just laughed harder.

Thinking about the legend only brought a smile to my face now, though, as I sat outside a night club in my fourth generation, gorgeous red Viper. I'd gotten it almost as soon as it had come out the year before, but I'd always been driving red Vipers. Red was my favorite color, after all - not to mention my trademark.

The car was off to make my presence at the end of this dark alley just a bit less conspicuous. It was nearly morning, so there was no one going into the club, and everyone coming out was either drunk off their ass or too high on whatever they'd gotten in there to notice anything but the equally fucked up person supporting them. It was always funny to watch, since walking just wasn't their friend. I imagined driving wasn't much better.

I looked at my face in the rear-view mirror, growing bored with the unchanging task of staring at the door, of watching and waiting. The light of a nearby streetlamp glinted on the dark lenses of the sunglasses I wore, covering the vivid crimson of my eyes, and my lips parted in a wide ivory grin as the redness flickered like a flame behind the tinted plastic. I was always tempted to leave the glasses off, to terrify the world with my blood-red stare, but I knew better. I was the stuff of legend, you know. If I made myself too conspicuous, where would the fun be in all of this?

My eyes flicked away from the mirror at the sound of the heavy door creaking open again. The alley was empty now but for the single girl staggering into the dim morning, supported only by her small hand on the brick of the wall. She squinted into the darkness as if even that were too bright for her – ocean-blue irises, richer than any I'd seen before. My breath caught; my smile evolved into something more gruesome.

This was it. This was who I'd come for.

I slipped out of the car and into the chill of the early morning, the sharp snap of a stiletto heel on the asphalt bringing her head around. "Hey, babe," I said, my voice and my face all worry and concern. "You don't look so good. Do you need some help finding your car?"

"No," she slurred, finally sliding out from between the door and the wall, allowing the rusty metal to shriek and slam shut. She leaned heavily against the wall, her palms flat against it and her fingers spread wide. "No, no. I'm...I think I'm good." She took a step forward, but, unsteady on her own six-inch spike heels, she lilted off to the side and fell to her knees before she could take another.

I rushed forward, still one giant mask of concern, but she was laughing. "Oh, honey," I said as I knelt before her, resting a hand gently on her shoulder – warm. I liked that. "You're not going to try to drive, are you?"

"Sure I am," she said through her laughter, nodding drunkenly and nearly knocking herself to the ground. "I'm perfectly fine. I just...I tripped a little." She rose to her feet in one quick, unsteady sweep, but she managed to keep her balance by some miracle. She blew a strand of dark brown hair out of her eye and grinned proudly. "See? Perfectly fine."

I stood with her and frowned, though I was roaring with laughter on the inside. "Let me give you a ride, sweetie," I said, nearly pleading. "There's no way you can make it home like this."

"Do I even know you?" She was regarding me grimly, those gorgeous blue eyes scanning my face in search of the familiar. "You keep..." She paused to stifle a burp, but a wisp of alcohol-laden breath slipped through, and I briefly wished I didn't have such acute senses. "You keep talking to me like we're friends, but I don't think we're friends."

"I don't think we've met," I said, putting on a smile now, "but I'm pretty sure I've seen you before. You go to Archer University, don't you?"

She looked thoroughly surprised. "Yeah."

Good guess on my part, then. I had to stifle the wicked edge that tried to sneak its way into my smile. "I thought I'd seen you before," I said excitedly. I offered my hand to her and grinned. "I'm Carly Kay."

She looked at my hand for a moment, suspicious, but she soon took it in a lopsided grip. "I'm Lauren Dexter."

"Nice to-" I gave her hand a too-hard shake and pulled her off balance, and she tumbled against me. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" She sagged in my arms, struggling to find her footing, and I felt a vague sense of gratification at her level of intoxication. She wasn't heavy, but in this form, I didn't look like I could lift a kitten without trouble.

"It's...It's all right," she stammered, pushing against my shoulders to stabilize herself.

My hands slipped from their tight grip around her to a more comfortable position on either side of her waist, and I frowned down at her. "Are you sure you don't want a ride? You might not make it home if you try to drive yourself." I was hopeful – if she refused, I could certainly get her into the car by force with relative ease, but where was the fun in that? The lure was all part of the game – but never part of the legend.

She eyed me for a moment, her hands still on my shoulders and her drunken gaze surprisingly intense. "Do you promise you won't rape and kill me?"

I snorted, just barely able to restrain the hysterical laughter that swelled in my throat. Oh, the irony! The beautiful irony! "Of course I won't. Why would anyone do that to a sweet little thing like you?"

She contemplated my smile, the sunglasses that hid half of my face, everything; and finally, she nodded, nearly knocking herself to the ground again. "Okay."

A grin swept across my face, and I wondered just what emotions lurked there. "Let me help you to my car."


By the time we reached my borrowed home near the center of the city, the girl was passed out in the passenger's seat, drooling all over the door. A snort of laughter escaped me as I eyed her in the darkness of the garage. Maybe I should have held out for a man tonight, or at least a stronger woman. This one was way too soft. But those eyes...

I turned the car off and slipped silently from my seat, circling the car to open her door. "Are we there?" she asked as she jerked awake, looking up at me with eyes hazy with disorientation. "Are we home?"

"Sure, sure," I said dismissively, repressing a smile. The silly girl hadn't even given me her address before blacking out. "We're home."

"It's dark," she slurred as she took my proffered hand and staggered out. Her squinting eyes landed on my face, and she asked suspiciously, "Why are you wearing sunglasses in the dark? There's no sun here!"

"I have a condition." I smiled as I tugged her out of the way of the car door and closed it. "Now, come with me. We need to get you to bed."

She was surprisingly eager to follow as I led her up the stairs and into the house by the hand. Was she really so out of it that she didn't recognize that this wasn't her house? Did she really not have a clue what was going on?

"Do you know where my room is?" she slurred, nearly tripping over the carpet.

"Of course," I told her, throwing a warm smile at her over my shoulder. "You told me before you fell asleep." I paused before a door at the end of a hallway, and she bumped into my back hard enough to knock me face-first against the wood.

"Sorry," she said, and I curbed my glare at her drunkenly sweet smile.

"Don't worry about it," I said as kindly as I could, pulling the door open as I stepped away from it. Her hand still held securely in mine, I started down the basement stairs.

"Hey. This isn't my room." Her voice was a bit more lucid now, and I looked back to find her scanning the room with alarm in her wide eyes. "This...Is this even my house?" She stopped and tried to pull her hand from mine, but I tightened my grip.

"Calm down," I told her tightly. This would be so much easier, so much tidier, if she would just walk the last few feet to the table. "This is right where you need to be. Everything's going to be fine."

"No!" she yelled, fighting even harder to break free. She lost her balance, her feet slipping out from beneath her, and she landed on her ass on the stairs. "Lemme go!" Still, she struggled, going so far as to claw at my hand with her perfectly manicured nails.

I heaved a sigh of annoyance. "Fine," I ground out, and tossed her down the stairs with a flick of my wrist. The descent was loud, her cries at the bottom even louder, but it wasn't like anyone could hear us here. I hadn't been using this place for the past year for no reason.

"What are you doing?" she shrieked, already staggering to her feet, a hand against the cement wall to hold her steady. "What do you want from me?" Her eyes shone with tears, and I grinned.

My steps down the stairway were slow and easy. "Come on, sweetie," I mocked. "Don't you want me to get you to bed?"

"Where are we?" she shrilled, her back flat against the wall now, as if she could faze through it and escape. "What are you doing? What do you want from me?"

"Babe, you're starting to sound like a broken record," I said with a cruel smile as my heels finally clicked against the stone floor. "It would be better for both of us if you just stopped talking."

She pressed herself harder against the wall, and the lucid terror in her eyes was more intoxicating to me than any liquor she'd had that night. I could smell it on the air, hot and sweaty and oh-so sweet, and I breathed deeply through my nose. I took one careful step forward.

"Let me go!" she shouted. Her tears flowed freely now, her fair face reddening – the rum to my Coke, the gin to my vermouth.

"No," I said simply, and slammed her head against the wall with a swift thrust of my hand. Everything seemed to move in slow motion; her eyes rolled back, her body crumpled; her tears darkened the cement of the floor.

"I told you it would be better for us if you stopped talking," I sighed, kneeling next to her. "And really, couldn't you have waited just a second longer to throw your little fit? The table's right there."

I slid her into my arms and stood easily, regarding the stainless steel operation table with a smile. "You know, I wasn't so sure about you before," I began as I made my over to the table, "but I think I like the way you scream." I lowered her gently onto the cool surface, the steel glinting in the blinding light of the lamp overhead, and stroked her tear-streaked cheek with the back of my hand. Would licking the tears away be too horror movie-esque, I wondered? "I think we'll have plenty of fun together. Don't you?"