Title: LIttle Red & The Big Bad Number
Sequel to: Number Nine
Universe: Numbers Series
Characters: Chloe/Lucas, Lois, Lucy
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Like the old fairy tale the four each had a character, a part to play...and Granny, Woodsman, Wolf and Red played their parts to perfection, whether they realized it or not.
Lucas Dunleavy felt less and less like the Big Bad Wolf he liked to think himself as, and more and more like a despicable ass.
Hand in his jacket's pocket, clasped tightly around the chain that seemed to burn accusingly into the skin of his palm, he kicked himself mentally for ever having let his emotions get the better of him. They never did. If anything most people he knew wondered if he had emotions, or a heart. Once the goon of one of the men he'd cheated out of a hundred grand at poker had gotten to slice him across his chest, and the dick had made some snide comment about being surprised there was actual blood coating his blade and not oil. It hadn't been the first time someone referred to Lucas as some sort of cyborg, some emotionless, inhuman thing.
He didn't do emotions, and that didn't bother him, because emotions only made people do stupid things.
Like when he stole the necklace now weighing heavily in his jacket's pocket.
In his defense he truly hadn't known that that wedding band was Chloe's father's. He'd figured it was a promise ring of sorts between her and Five that once this war was over and they were older that they'd commit. He'd wanted to remove Five and any promise made between her and him out of Chloe's mind so that he could properly steal her away. He'd thought he was being masterfully cunning. Now he felt like shit.
His gaze slid towards Chloe, who sat on the bay window and gazed outside, forehead leaning against the glass. Her hand was curled in a fist at her chest, clutching the ghost of her necklace, and Lucas was forced to look away, gulping.
He wasn't one to feel regrets, but there was just something about this girl that brought out the worst in him.
When Alfred had told the younger Lucas that there was more to the Crests, and that one day someone would come and show them the truth behind their true significance...Lucas hadn't been expecting someone like Chloe. His mind had imagined some old, withered man who smelt bad. And yet when he'd exited the building where his latest poker tournament had been held in and stumbled upon this tiny blonde beating the shit out of a guy twice her size...he'd been enthralled as he'd watched her. He had to admit though, he'd started falling in love the second she'd thrown the Mog blade at him.
Girls and knives were just an incredibly sexy combination he discovered that very second he had a weakness for.
And that blade, which he now knew was Mogadorian, was way too large for the girl.
It added to the sexiness.
Lucas had been shocked at the immediate attraction he'd felt for the girl. She was far from the first girl he'd been attracted to, but there was something that just stood out to him immediately, which demanded his full and complete attention. With the shadows of the dark alleyway nearly consuming her petite figure she'd seemed like some tiny, pissed demon girl who just really wanted to hurt him...and he'd liked it.
And then he'd kissed her, and her lips had been intoxicating, and his crest had reacted to her, and he'd known.
This was the person his Cepan had told him to wait for.
If only Alfred had warned him that the person he was waiting for would be so cute.
He hadn't been too keen on the cousins, when they'd appeared, and he'd been wary...especially when the younger one insisted immediately to be taken to his refuge. His heckles had risen and he'd refused, instead using the next couple of weeks to put his ability to see through objects to use other than in his games of poker. He watched the girls, but especially the blonde. He'd realized early on that the other two were strong but had no Legacies...and yet he'd been sure that this special person Alfred had spoken off must have some sort of Legacy. He'd trailed after Chloe, using his telekinesis to trap her in buildings and such, while using his X-Ray vision to watch her from the safety of another building.
Chloe had never once used a Legacy, instead using cunning and common sense, escaping each and every situation he placed her in by wits alone.
He'd started watching her more and more.
Watched her while she slept, while she worked, at all times...even the realization that he was behaving very much like an obsessed stalker couldn't deter him from his course of action.
He was a young male and she was a growing fixation for him...he couldn't help it...didn't really want to help it.
Sometimes he wondered if she had X-Ray vision as well, because during the beginning especially she'd act as if she could sense his gaze on her. The young blonde sometimes would even look straight in his direction, and for a split second he'd think she could see him, had caught him in the act...and yet she'd just shake her head, whisper something to herself, and continue with whatever it was she was doing.
Slowly during those weeks, Lucas had truly felt himself becoming a predator stalking its prey.
He'd wondered, time and time again, if the Big Bad Wolf had followed Little Red frequently before he made his first appearance to her. The wolf might have been minding his business, going about his life as wolves did, when a flash of red in the shadows had caught his attention, and he'd strayed from the deep of the forest to its edge to get a better look. It would've gotten its first look of the young woman with the flowing red cape making her way down the path, holding a basket with different delicacies deep within.
The wolf would have seen humans before, should know better, but there was something about this particular one that he couldn't turn his back on and return to the safety of the deep, dark forest. So the wolf followed the girl as she continued on her way to the cottage hidden in the shadows and brambles. It would watch from the shadows as she entered the cottage, closing the door, and then it would venture forth and circle the house, ingraining her scent in its nostrils, listening to the whisper of her voice carried to his large ears through the open windows. The creature would lay down to rest during the night, and hide once more when she emerged from the house in the morning, beginning her trip back to the village.
It would follow her as far as it dared, as close to the village and the woodsmen with their sharp axes as it dared, and then it would return to the forest.
But still it would follow her every time she ventured out of the village and went her way down the path towards her grandmother's house, and the routine would continue endlessly as the wolf's hunger grew.
It kept going closer to the path, praying her feet would stray...just a little.
Jerking in surprise, jolted out of his thoughts, Lucas gazed up, finding Chloe bending in front of him, waving her hand before his eyes. "Yeah?"
"Thought you'd gone catatonic on me." She gave him a lopsided smile, clearly amused at that thought, as she tilted her head slightly. "Are you okay? You've been acting oddly these last couple of days." The blonde reached out and pressed her palm against his forehead. "You don't seem feverish."
He gazed up at her silently, chewing on the inside of his cheek to keep from spouting out that he knew where her necklace was.
There was no way that he could admit that she hadn't lost it and that he'd stolen her treasure out of jealousy and strategic planning. Coming out and admitting guilt was not the way Lucas Dunleavy did things. He could find a cunning and utterly subtle way to get out of this, he just needed a couple more days to polish his plan.
"Maybe you shouldn't go tonight." She mumbled to herself, cupping his neck and then under his chin. "Just because I don't feel a fever doesn't mean you mightn't be coming down with something."
He just gazed at her, a little uncomfortable.
Ever since Alfred had died when Lucas was eleven, he'd been taking care of himself, and it was very odd to have Chloe mother him.
He knew she did the same with Lois and Lucy, but they were family, it was expected. Also, as he could tell, Lucy was the fighter, Lois the weapons expert, and while Chloe was most definitely the brain of the operation she was also the heart of it. He noticed Lois and Lucy sometimes betraying their surprised or pleased expressions whenever she was overly motherly with them, proving that like he they weren't used to this treatment.
"I don't get sick." He finally managed to put away his thoughts long enough to speak. "And anyway, if I start missing the important games my reputation is going to take a hit."
"Considering everyone hate you and are sure you're cheating, I don't think your reputation is that grand to begin with." She chided softly, reaching out and brushing his hair out of his face in that natural way that always left him feeling so confused and worked up.
"Well, I am cheating." He confessed, smiling crookedly at her.
Her smile grew. "You ever going to tell me how?"
"Nah." Lucas shook his head. "This Big Bad Wolf needs to keep some mystery to him."
Also, he was almost completely sure she wouldn't appreciate the fact that he could see through her clothes any time he wanted...and that he enjoyed her taste in underwear.
"I'm sure just the fact that you're a wolf makes you mysterious enough." Chloe assured him in a way that made it sound as if she was quite knowledgeable in these areas and he should just take her word for it.
"Well, you see, Little Red, 'mysterious enough' is never enough for me." He replied, reaching out and resting his hands on her hips, obviously surprising her as her eyes widened. "I prefer to be the most mysterious figure out there. It's part of my charm."
Her lips curled in amusement. "And here I thought it was your humility."
"Ouch." He laughed, letting her go when she pulled away, wondering if the wolf had let Red slip out of his reach like this, building confidence in her towards him.
First he let her get glimpses of him by the edge of the woods, let her know his presence, and once the sight of him didn't fill her with fear he slowly edged closer and closer, never truly straying onto the path, until she smiled when she saw him instead of flinching, eyeing him in fear. He let her slip away, building the trust between them, pretending to be tame when he was the wildest of animals, and once she finally reached out her hand and touched his pelt for the first time he'd shivered and known that no matter what, he would devour her.
Little by little she reached out for him, ran her fingers through his silky coat, and whenever he hesitated at the edge of the woods purposely she'd bend to her knees and call for him.
Little by little, with each rub of his nozzle against her skin, he marked her with his scent, warning any other forest animal away from her. He wasn't the only wolf in the woods.
"Why exactly are you all dressed up?" Lucas finally noticed, watching as she fixed her earrings while gazing into the a mirror mounted on the wall.
"I promised Roger I'd work tonight's shift. Since we stopped working the night gigs at the other bar after the robbery I have the nights off and I don't have a reason not to give him a hand." Chloe responded, gazing at her reflection, fussing with her hair. "Leslie and Carlos, the two night waiters, went and quit on him today via text message, and so he only has me to rely on and I don't mind working both shifts until he can hire someone to take their shifts. I get overtime and a bonus on top of the tips I'm getting."
"It's asking for trouble to be walking back and forth at night, especially if you're a woman." Lucas frowned, standing, mood darkening, grip tightening on the chain hidden in his jacket's pocket.
"I know, I know, this is Edge City, not Smallville. I know." Chloe rolled her eyes, reaching into her bag and pulling out her lipstick, applying the sultry red to her lips. "Roger is going to pick me up and drop me off since I'm helping him out."
"Roger." A muscle jumped in Lucas' cheek. "You know, I haven't heard of him before tonight and yet all of a sudden he's all you talk about."
"All I talk about?" Chloe sent him an amused smile. "I mentioned him twice."
"I don't like the sound of this guy. He's forcing you to work long hours and he's using it to his advantage by getting you alone in his car." Lucas declared. "One of the reasons you all were supposed to quit your jobs was so that you could concentrate on finding that lair of yours, remember? But for some reason you just don't want to say goodbye to that stupid little joint."
"Roger was good to me when I needed the job, and I'm not going to repay him by leaving him when he needs me the most, so deal with it." The blonde turned to him, hands on her hips.
Lucas' eyes narrowed, like a wolf sensing another had strayed into his territory. "I don't like it."
"You don't have to." She replied easily.
He flinched, hating himself for what he was going to do right now. "How do you think Clark would feel about this?"
Gods in heaven Lucas hated Chloe's Number, but sometimes mentioning Five's name was the only way to make the damned blonde see any reason.
Just because her boss had been nice and decent up until now didn't mean he wouldn't press his luck or advances if he saw a situation to his advantage. Lucas had lived in Edge City for years now, and sadly enough he knew that rape was one of the most common crimes that happened here. He knew Chloe could basically handle herself, but she needed to stop being so goddamned noble and trusting and learn to be wary. Just because a guy smiled at her and acted nice didn't mean he wasn't a sexual predator just waiting for her to be relaxed and unaware before pouncing and making her disappear like so many other girls had before her.
Chloe flinched, hand going to her chest before stopping halfway as she looked away, once more remembering that she didn't have her chain.
Lucas growled, hating it when she reacted that way, and he turned away from her, yanking his own chain off of his neck and tearing his crest from the gold links. The young Number pulled out Chloe's chain with her father's wedding band and Five's crest, sliding his own crest on the other side of the wedding band.
Taking in a deep breath, Lucas turned towards Chloe, finding her gazing at her reflection sadly. "Close your eyes."
She slid her gaze towards him in the mirror but he'd hidden his hands behind his back. "Why?"
"I have a gift for you." He replied.
She raised an eyebrow, obviously not too sure about this, before the blonde shook her head and closed her eyes. "If you try something perverted while my eyes are closed..."
"As if I'd do something like that." He scoffed, reaching around and resting the necklace against her chest as he fastened the chain behind her neck before placing his hands on her shoulders and leaning in to whisper in her ear. "When I finally eat you, Little Red, I want you to see everything I do to you."
She shivered slightly, lips parting in a wordless gasp.
Lucas fought the urge to lean closer, to consume the near non-extistent space between them and nibble on her ear...but he forced himself to instead shift his head slightly so he could stare at their reflections in the mirror. "Open your eyes."
Chloe's lashes fluttered open, and for a moment there was no reaction...before she gasped, eyes widening in disbelief, filling with tears, as she clasped at the pendants. "Lucas?"
He smiled, leaning his chin on the top of her head as his arms trailed down her body to wrap around her waist. "I figured that since you have some connection to the crests it would make sense for you to wear mine too."
"How-?" She let go of the pendants and turned in his embrace so that she was facing him, hands on his chest. "How did you find them?"
"Ah ah ah." He shook his head, tightening his grip around her, drawing her in closer to him. "What did I say about the wolf and his air of mystery?" He smirked. "Just be grateful its back where it belongs."
"I am." Chloe whispered, voice breaking with emotion, eyes so full of tears he began to wonder if she could even see him anymore through the liquid sheen. "Thank you Lucas. Thank you so much!" The blonde threw her arms around him tightly, burying her face in his neck, warm tears hitting his skin.
Lucas hesitated only a second before tightening his grip on her once more so that they were so close it was almost as if they were melded as one.
The Little Riding Hood was truly beginning to trust the Big Bad Wolf, she was straying from the path, picking the flowers in the meadow deep within the forest he led her to. Given the right time, Lucas knew that he could have her, could devour the young girl whole. She'd burn her cloak and clothes and with them all ties to her past (and Five)...before following Lucas to bed and the future they could have together.
"I'll drop you to the bar and pick you up after your shift ends." Lucas informed her, lips brushing against her hair. "So you text Roger Rabbit and tell him to not bother coming to get you."
Her lips curved against his skin in a smile. "Okay."
Lucas smiled and closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of her in his arms.
The Big Bad Number had Little Red where he desired her...on the cusp of taking that final step...and if the real Woodsman of this story, Five, the man with ties to her past and a hold over her so strong it could be considered the ax that could 'kill' Lucas...if Five really appeared at the end of this tale, then the Wolf was going to destroy him before he could even raise his ax.