Joined: 29 Jun 2012
|Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:57 pm Post subject: Winter, part twelve
|After uploading the information Ivan requested, information she had memorized, Winter verified it had been received by the gaming server, and walked out of the gamer's lounge. Winter's presence there always caused sighs and moans, due to her several times faster reflexes and rapid scanning lupine vision. For her games were not games. It was a massacre she caused whenever she set foot in the lounge, which was a mere rouse so that she could upload data to the master server, the lounge being a front for the Communist country she worked for.
When she was finished there, Winter staggered back to her apartment on Seventh street- not because she had too much to drink, but because she was so weary in her soul that she couldn't even walk straight. Winter froze in her doorway, letting some papers she was holding fall to the floor.
Remember your training.
Winter brought her spy- mind into focus, pushing out all those weary, yet turbulent and unfulfilled emotions that swirled about in her troubled Naakaanee mind. Suddenly a calm swept over her hurting, weary mind, a calm that brought with the recollection of her duties, her training mindset, her spy's focus. Winter walked into her apartment, kicking the papers out far enough to shut the door, then bending down to pick them back up.
Winter set the papers on her kitchen table, and turning to open a small drawer under her sink, she pulled out a pack of Lucky Strikes cigarettes and a small lighter. A tremor shook the cigarette as she opened her muzzle just enough to put the filtered end between her lips. As Winter's eyes closed, she recalled being fed pieces of bloody meat by human hands, not having to run through a maze, or kill for it, of even to use her countries money to buy it.
Winter ached to feel that again. To feel... Worthy of being cared for.
Winter lit the cigarette that bounced lightly as the tremor crept into her jaw as well. Sucking with her muzzle, then opening her muzzle just enough to draw in air as it swept through the smoke, carrying it deep into her lungs as her virgin throat burned, just slightly from the smoke. Winter exhaled through her nose, feeling the tingling sensation that was nicotine being deposited in her nasal passages.
Closing her eyes, Winter saw the punk skidding across the concrete, his head slamming into a threaded metal stud jutting up out of the concrete, his head stopping, but his body still moving. Winter smiled and chuckled a little bit as she realized he might have been paralyzed.
Winter clenched her fist tightly as she realized that wasn't anything she should be laughing at. But he had wanted to hurt her... Winter had shed so much blood in her short lifetime... Hey, at least he was still alive.
Winter took another drag of the cigarette as her lips temporarily got sucked against her teeth as she drew on the cigarette, the tip glowing a bright orange, actually lighting the dark kitchen up just a little as she sucked the smoke down into her lungs, then out through her nose.
Winter stood there, in her spotless kitchen, her sensitive lupine nose not detecting anything but the lingering antiseptic scent of household cleansers. No grease, no oils, no sugars and no mold. No cockroaches.
Winter rotated her right arm and nearly fell over when she heard a crunching noise and the accompanying pain.
“Ah... Ah!” Winter said, the cigarette hanging off of her dried out lower lip, her saliva having formed a bond to it.
Winter regulated her breathing, the cigarette smoke ascending up into her eyes as she had an all new reason to wince. “Gah!” She said, waving her hand in the air, trying to dissipate the smoke, but the burning did not subside- and it wouldn't for a few seconds and she squinted, the tears squeezing past her eyelids.
Pulling the cigarette from her lower lip, it pulling and tugging, feeling like it took some black skin with it, Winter winced again and sat down in a chair by her table- the only chair in the apartment besides the chair that sat in front of the TV she never really watched.
Winter sat there, her head low, her yellow eyes burning, reflecting a small amount of light that filtered in through a street lamp outside, filtering through her corneas as they gave it a near light golden-yellow twinge, something that would have taken just about anyone's breath away, had they of seen it.
But nobody saw it. Winter sat all alone in her apartment, a nearly still, ever so gentle breeze blew in through her window that was cracked to keep any errant scents from lingering in her apartment, tickled the fur on her arm as she slowly turned to look at it.
Winter stared at the fur as individual strands danced in the evening breeze, the cigarette burning closer to the filter, the night silence only broken by the sound of a passing car, every once in a while. When Winter heard a voice outside of her fifth floor apartment, her head turned to face it like she was a purpose- built robot, her head turning so quickly, her eyes focusing instantly, she would have appeared other- worldly had anyone had been watching her.
It was a black man, dressed like some sort of new aged pimp, his silver coat shining in the moonlight between street lamps as he walked jovially with a distinct swagger, a smile on his face, twirling his pimp stick, singing a song about smacking bitches...
Winter's head followed him as he turned a corner and disappeared. Winter began to smell burning fur when she flicked her hand and dropped the cigarette, which fell to the linoleum floor, it releasing a shower of sparks as the burning embers broke off from the end of the cigarette and bounced across the floor, until they went out, choked dim by the frigid air in her apartment.
Winter closed her eyes again, thinking about Dave. Without opening them, she rubbed the cigarette out, melting a part of the floor and smearing the melted linoleum as she smothered the cherry with her bare pad. The pain was intense, but it didn't last, and Winter betrayed no sign of it at all.
It helped to distract her from the pain in her mind.
A tear rolled down Winter's face, the warm saline fluid trickling and cascading down the hollow white strands of fur that glowed in the sunlight, falling to the floor, the warm liquid already cold. She did that sometimes... Cried without feeling it. Or without knowing it. She blamed it on allergies, or a head cold, although those things were rare in her kind.
Winter recalled Dave's drivers license, the one she had lifted from his pocket when he was trying to put a bandage on her back. David Lavrovo, she thought. What an interesting name. Sounded like the last name from a human from Belarus...
Winter smiled at that. Her face lit up, relaxing, Winter realizing how dark it was in her kitchen, standing up to flick the light switch on. Winter stretched her arms out, getting more than a little pissed at the nagging pain in her shoulder- but recalled it was on the order of several magnitudes less than it had been just a week ago.
Winter dared not write any of the information down. Not his class M license number, nor his address, and especially not his name. Winter closed her eyes and sighed. She had a friend who could run his name through a database to find his criminal record, and she could use that to find out more about him. But... Why? Why would she want to do that?
Winter knew that an empty drop box mailbox after a discharge meant her next assignment was likely weeks away. Something easy Ivan had said. She had time. And... She wanted to know what that scruffy, warm hearted but unkempt man had done in the past. If anything, it would help her to forget him, seeing his dark side and all.
Yeah. That was it. To help her forget... To purposely put his criminal record in place of his face, or his warm, caring eyes. Yeah. Snickers bar... Winter laughed, her voice screaming out of her muzzle when she realized it was about three AM, Winter grabbing her muzzle, her light yellow eyes wide with embarrassment.
“Sorry...” Winter said softly, to no one but the mice outside.
Winter leaned back in her chair, her tail twitching when it touched the ground. Winter grimaced as she realized how out of her societal boundaries it was to be so obsessed with a human. And how weird it was of him to drag her two hundred and thirty pound self into his apartment, and feed her, caring for her gunshot wound- knowing she had tangled with the Feds. He was either really decent deep down, or really stupid. Winter smiled as she realized it was probably a combination of the two, remembering his beer cereal and shuddering, the pungent scent of the malt liquor strong in her nose.
Winter crossed her legs and wagged her foot, allowing her mind to wander, with thoughts of dragging Dave along, shopping for clothes. She laughed again, and grabbed her muzzle again, the laugh shooting out of her nose as her eyes went wide, her smile wide, and genuine.
Not allowing the crushing reality of her true occupation to snuff those fanciful fantasies, Winter rose from her chair and jumped into bed, the springs in the mattress bobbing her Naakaanee body a few times before it finally settled down.
Winter sighed as she turned her head, wriggling under the blankets and curling up into a white furry ball, still dressed in her clothes- she had nowhere to be tomorrow so she didn't care. A pinprick of warmth radiated through her heart as she smiled, her eyes tightly closed, the blankets reflecting her body heat back down through her fur and into her skin.
Winter slept good that night. Better than she had since she completed the exhaustive PT in Belarus that one night. When Winter awoke, her heart was filled with joy. A joy that she had not known, and was terrified of losing. As she brewed her Starbucks coffee, she ran her hands across the stainless kitchen sink basin, the basin spotless, the faucet spotless. Winter's soft yellow eyes had a glow in them that was as soft as her smile, there- she felt it, too, she was absolutely radiant.
Swirling her pink toed foot on the kitchen floor, Winter bent her back a little and smiled at the reflection she saw in the pristine chrome faucet, her white face distorted in the smooth lines, her yellow eyes painting a soft yellow hue that did not match up anatomically with the distorted lines of her face, which Winter giggled at, shooting her hand out and touching the sink, her claw hitting it with a click that chipped some of her pink paint.
“Aw, shoot.” Winter said, feel embarrassed for her youthful playfulness with the kitchen faucet, turning to return to her bathroom, where she looked intently at the medicine cabinet, trying to find the bottle of Zoya Jessika that she had opened before, amongst the nine other bottles, all lined up in a row.
Finding the bottle who's fluid line was just a little lower than the others, a soul killing nagging crept into her heart, taking advantage of her guard being down, of her joy that was so foreign to her- that left her vulnerable. She was only feeling this way because of a human, a human who couldn't even get past what she was. Yeah. He was kind to her. But if he couldn't bring himself to do what he wanted to do, what make Winter think that he could ever accept her if he knew the truth about her? The best she could do was to keep lying to him. And what would that do? A relationship built on a false foundation. Yeah. Great idea, Winter.
Winter pushed the entire thing out of her mind, imagining a long rap sheet, filled with rapes and robberies, beating old human ladies and killing her own kind. Maybe he wanted her to trust him so that he could hurt her when she was at her most vulnerable... That's what humans did... And, her own kind, to be sure. Winter shook her head and sighed. Memories of the genuine concern in his eyes when she was hurting doused those thoughts, even though her spy- mind told her anyone can act any way- and never to trust someone who wasn't part of the Belarusian spy network. And even then...
If he never touched her... If he never did what his own body ached to do... She would still love him. She still cared. Something in his soul just resonated in her own. His once cold demeanor giving way to a warmth that she could relate to. Maybe he had done the same things she had... Winter smiled at that. Two rotten killers, frolicking in the summer fields, just bouncing and smiling...
Winter scoffed at that. Lowering her head and shaking it, groaning at how stupid her thoughts had been the past twenty minutes, Winter swung open a cupboard and grabbed a white coffee mug, out of the row of bland, white coffee mugs. She pulled the glass coffee jar from under the brewing station and filled the cup to the top. Looking forward, out the window, Winter sipped the top of the coffee, making wet sucking noises as she sucked it in through her muzzle, ignoring the burning on her lips.
“Ahhhh!” Winter said, savoring the coffee. “That's good stuff.” She said, walking up to the window. The streets were now bustling with traffic, most of it streaks of yellow taxicabs, the sidewalks littered with pedestrians, all dressed warmly. Occasionally Winter would watch one of her own kind walking through the streets, their eyes usually dull as they focused intently ahead of them, not looking at anyone they passed, although those people tried their best not to gawk at the tall wolves that walked right past them.
Usually her kind wore summer clothes year round. In the summer, they were mildly uncomfortable, and in the winter they were nice. Better than a strip of leather over their privates, as they walked around with a ten foot long spear, their eyes darting to and fro as they looked for prey...
Winter scoffed as she pulled her smartphone out of her pocket and checked for any messages. There was one. It was sent to her last night while she slept. She must have slept well... Usually it would have woken her up.
Winter thumbed through the passwords and things she had to enter to open it. It was from Ivan. (Take a few weeks off to rest, Winter. We have a new order for jeans coming in next month.) In Cyrillic, Winter's native written language. Decoded, it meant she had a few weeks to go about town and go shopping, to watch a movie... To let her guard down just a *little*. Something she enjoyed a *lot*.
An order of jeans meant a new mission... New intel that needed gathering. It likely wouldn't be available for gathering until next month, which is why she had to wait. Winter locked the phone and set it on her table, feeling extraordinarily guilty for reaching for the pack of cigarettes, pulling one out with her pink claws, and closing her lips around it. Lighting it, Winter took a drag and walked up to the window, so close she had to point her muzzle down, as she grabbed her right bicep with her left hand.
Watching people was one of her favorite things. It's why she didn't watch much TV. Watching them in real life was much more interesting for her. Seeing them talking, or giggling, smiling- those were all things she longed to do. For real. Not a manifestation of her spy- mind, drilled into her mind since she was a juvenile.
Winter shook her arms a little and leaned against the window, watching those people, her intense, light yellow eyes studying them as if they were prey, or she was looking through a microscope at a highly interesting specimen of some kind. She preferred the microscope analogy.
Winter sighed and turned, picking up the coffee mug and taking another sip, closing her eyes as she enjoyed the Dark Roast coffee. Caffeine was something her kind had to get used to. People had to understand that finishing just ¼ of a cup of coffee was the same as them finishing about two whole cups. Their bodies not used to it, a wired Naakaanee darting his head around was something pretty scary to behold, unless you were another Naakaanee- then it was just funny.
Having a high tolerance for it, Winter drank half the mug and felt the surge ripple through her body. Oh yeah. That's the stuff.
Winter looked down at her toe claws- they were perfectly pink, no chips at all. Winter splayed her toes out and smiled, then looked through her kitchen window at all the cars driving about. A single black Cadillac driving for her apartment caught her eye. Winter set the cup down and reaching up under a cupboard, she pulled out a three inch tall secret drawer that contained some weapons.
Selecting her Glock- which had never failed her. It was as reliable as the setting sun... And her Christopher Reeve serrated knife that she had bought from the Goodwill store. Shoving two extra magazines in her back pockets, Winter pulled the slide back and made sure there was a round in the chamber. There was.
Walking out of her apartment after tucking the pistol in her waist band, shutting the door quietly while looking around, making sure nobody she did not know was around. Yeah, she had memorized everybody's face who lived there. The maintenance personnel, even the frequent visitors. The Naakaanee had great memories, and they had to, their world was one fraught with peril.
Winter smiled warmly to one of her neighbors and waved, the person just trying to be polite, Winter sensing their discomfort around her. She regretted it, but she could do nothing to change what she was. But, she still smiled, as warmly as she could.
Winter pretended to be looking at her toe claws as she stood motionless, listening for someone to enter the apartment through the main door downstairs, the long winding staircase snaking it's way up through the middle of the apartment complex, the door easily heard shutting from even five stories up. Scratching her head, pretending to be contemplating going to a different shade (She most assuredly was not, the shade of pink she wore was the perfect blend of distraction and beauty she felt.) while still hearing nothing.
Winter shrugged and trotted down the stairs, not flying down them like she was trained to do to escape, but trotting, trying not to cause too much distraction to herself.
Sliding her hand on the rail of the stairs, Winter backed against the railing as a group of people who lived three doors down walked up the stairs. Tow of them smiled at her and quickly looked away, the other two didn't even make eye contact. Winter sighed softly as she began trotting back down the stairs.
Could it be just a regular black Cadillac? Winter thought to herself. It's possible... Anything's possible.
When winter got to the ground floor she took her time checking her mailbox. Fidgeting with the key, her intense yellow eyes burned unwittingly with the possibility of government Agents being dispatched to her apartment, and having to fight them, and kill them. Reaching inside, Winter found a single add for a proposition that was on the ballots, prop forty- two, giving the Naakaanee some sort of new freedom when it came to buying property. The add had a picture of a regular wolf on it. A regular wolf. Yeah, it was only his head, Winter winced when she thought about how hard it would have been to just get a real Naakaanee to pose for the stupid add...
Winter decided to read the entire add, holding it up high enough to have a clear view of the glass door as well as the add so that nobody would think it suspicious. Winter pretended to squint to see the fine print. She could read it just fine. Better than most people.
After reading it four times, slowly, over the course of fifteen minutes, she didn't see the black Cadillac, and she did not see any new faces enter, save one or two, who were with people she knew anyway.
Winter sighed and let her tired arm flop to her side as she glared out the glass door, her face weary and just slightly irritable. Was she going to go through this every time a black Cadillac drove by her apartment? Winter crumpled the card up and dropped it in the garbage receptacle as she passed it.
Thoughts of Dave and his dingy apartment again caused her to take in a great deal of air, releasing it in the form of a sigh. Winter turned, then walked back out of the apartment complex, glancing both ways without ever turning her head, and making sure nobody was waiting for her. Hailing a Cab, Winter told the driver to take her to downtown Manhattan.
Check out my new series Winter: