An Agent Scorned
Chapter 4

The Circle Turns

It's hard to say whether Cathy's howl was one of pain or surprise when she hit the solid floor, instead of Emma

Though hurt, Emma was far from finished. To say she had bluffed Cathy into the high reward/high risk move would have been an exaggeration. But Emma WASN'T totally out of it when she had picked up and dropped her head after the hair mare. Her first instinct was to get up and fight, but she knew she'd only be running into more damage. She'd never be able to do anything quick enough, from that position, to gain an advantage.

So she waited for Cathy's move. Seeing the big splash coming, she knew what to do.

As Cathy passed tipping point, Emma waited… waited… waited… and then rolled. Cathy's backside smacked against the bamboo.

"Ooow!"

After one roll, Emma stopped, gathered herself, and sprung into the air. She landed with her full weight – chest to chest – on Cathy. The air shot out of Cathy's lungs.

Emma sat up on Cathy's chest, pinning her to the floor, and grabbed a handful of blond hair with her left hand. She pulled back her right fist, aimed it at Cathy's face – "Never, Dr. Gale," she said through clenched teeth, "do you hear me?"– and hit her square across the jaw with a right cross. She reared 
back and hit her again.

Keeping her grip on Cathy's hair, Emma dragged her to her feet. Stunned, Cathy fought back, but was stopped by a quick knee to the stomach and the flat of Emma's right foot to the face.

Cathy was now a step slow as Emma approached throwing a flurry of rights and lefts, scoring high and low, driving her back. There was a new energy in Emma, a new drive. If she was tentative before, now she was taking the fight to Cathy.

Basically, it came down to being mad. Cathy had beaten her like no one had in a long, long time. She didn't like that. And she especially didn't like having her hair pulled. Emma was no longer thinking about escape, or saving Steed. Now she just wanted to beat Cathy. She was going to pay for that hair-pulling.

Emma scored with a right to the midsection and a left under the ribs. Cathy, trying to defend the body blows, left her head open – and Emma landed a quick right-left combination. 

She wasn't thinking, just reacting. Emma sensed the opportunity for a high-impact move. She gathered herself for a jump, and leaped straight up, twisting to her left as she raised her legs high. When she neared the nadir, her legs coiled and feet aimed at Cathy, she shot out both pistons – a drop kick.

Her right foot caught Cathy horizontally across the face as her left slammed into her chest, sending Cathy flying in a tangle of blond hair. Both women hit the floor, but Emma in a controlled roll that put her right on her feet. 

Cathy landed on her back, her head bouncing off the bamboo. Before she could react, Emma was upon her, grabbing the two lapels of her judogi and dragging her up. Cathy tried unsuccessfully to break the hold, then sent a knee up to Emma's midsection – blocked.

A solid right to Cathy's side ended her offensive. Emma then took Cathy's right wrist in her own left hand, ducked beneath Cathy, and – sending her right arm between Cathy's legs -- scooped her up in a fireman's carry.

Cathy too late realized her predicament and was helplessly lifted in the air. She bucked and struggled, but knew there was no where to go but down. Hanging on to Emma was key, and she tried to grab arms, judogi, hair, anything.

But Emma knew this, too. And, as soon as she stabilized the load, she moved her shoulders in a sharp wave from right to left, thrusting Cathy's pelvis up with her right arm and snapping Cathy's right arm down with her own left.

Cathy came crashing down on her back, her right wrist still in Emma's grasp. Emma pivoted and brought her right knee down into Cathy's chest.

"Oooof!"

She hit Cathy with a right cross and yanked her up by the arm, twisting it painfully behind her back. Emma sunk her other hand into Cathy's hair and yanked.

"Up we go," she said.

She released Cathy's arm, landed a quick shot to the kidney, and entwined both hands into Cathy's hair. The blonde tried in vain to break Emma's grip. With a sharp twist, Emma spun Cathy like a top – her head whipped around, followed by the rest of her body, arms and legs windmilling, before slamming to the floor.

Cathy hit hard and kept rolling with the momentum, smacking the bamboo with bruised legs and shoulders and elbows. She rolled to her knees and held her poor battered head in both hands.

"This can't be happening," she thought, sensing impending doom, her plan – her life – completely unraveling. "I've got to get up. I've got to–"

Coming in from the side, Emma sent the top of her foot into Cathy's ribs with a thud, like a footballer going all out on a free kick. It lifted Cathy into the air and spun to the floor on her back. Cathy groaned as she wrapped her arms around her aching midsection, her knees raised with the pain.

Again Emma lifted Cathy to her feet by the hair, but now with one hand.



Again Emma lifted Cathy to her feet by the hair, but now with one hand. Cathy offered little resistance as Emma pulled her up, reared back, and sent a solid right across her jaw.

Cathy reeled, but didn't fall.

Emma darted forward and sent a right kick to Cathy's stomach, followed by a left uppercut to the jaw. 

Cathy's head snapped back and forth in a blaze of blond hair. She stayed on her feet, flailing from side to side. Precariously, she balanced on her two feet, threw her hair back and peered, glassy-eyed, in front of her.

She just caught the determined look on Emma's face before Emma's equally determined right foot hit her square in the forehead. Cathy flew back and hit the floor with a thud.

"Oooo!" said Steed, briefly looking away, as Cathy finally slide to a stop just a few yard from his feet. 

Cathy hit hard, landing with arms and legs spread at odd angles. She moaned, quietly, but didn't move.

Emma stood over her, in battle stance, ready to deal out more punishment. 

Cathy didn't move.

"Mrs. Peel!" said Steed. "You've done it."

She looked at him, smiled, and then – remembering Cathy's story – sneered. 

Emma didn't know what to believe. Gale was clearly unbalanced, but there was too much to her story to dismiss it outright. What if the rumors of Sneed's dalliances – she'd heard them, of course – were true? What if Gale had been harassed into quitting? What if Emma did get the job only because of her looks, and held it only if she put out?

Cathy stirred, and Emma thought no more. With a spring she was upon the her foe, a knee to the midsection and a right to the jaw, then a left and another right. 

Straddling the blonde, Emma in her fury brought her left fist up for another shot.

"Mrs. Peel!" She looked at Steed. "Perhaps you might get the key now."

Emma growled at Steed and sent one more fist flying. Cathy's head rocked back and forth, finally lolling to the side.

"The key to the door I can use," said Emma, to Steed. "The one for the handcuffs, we'll see."


A Bad Dream

Cathy had never been known as a "party girl" growing up. She was sociable, and enjoyed the company of boys, but always of foremost importance were her studies. 

Not that she didn't make mistakes. Once, as a young student, she fell for a college professor who, at the time, seemed sophisticated and worldly to her. Just being with his crowd at their Oxford pub, hearing them talk about politics and literature, was exciting to her. 

One night, she sneaked back to his rooms after an afternoon at the pub, and – having had one more pint than she should have – promptly passed out on his couch. 

Her head was pounding when she came to, but that's not what stirred her. She felt something, someone…

She awoke to find him sitting over her on the couch and trying to unbutton her bra!

Her first reaction was confusion. Then outrage. Then she hit him with a right cross, sending him flying to the floor. 

"Why, Cathy," he'd said. "I was just, er, getting you some air! You seemed—"

A black eye was the most public reminder of the beating that don took, but the knee to the family jewels was the one he'd remember longest. 

He was curled in a fetal position on the floor, whimpering, when Cathy took the liberty of redecorating his rooms—with his old school cricket bat. Lamps and clocks, glassware and china, diplomas on the wall, even the photo of his dear old mum, all were smashed to bits.

Cathy reared back for one last swing, at the pig himself, but she let the bat drop. "He's not worth it," she said, and collected her things.

He was retching on the floor as she left, passing curious neighbors on the way. 

***

Perhaps that memory was replaying itself in Cathy's unconscious, 15 years later. For, when she came to this time, she fully expected to see the grinning face of that college professor sitting over her, his sweaty hands fiddling with her bra. 

Instead, it was Emma Peel. The years raced by in Cathy's mind until she'd reached the present. It all came back to her. 

Different person, same result. 

Cathy hit Emma with the same right that had knocked that dirty don off her those many years ago, and this time followed with a kick to the back of Emma's head. Grabbing two hands of flying auburn hair, she threw Emma to the floor and off her. Cathy rolled to her feet, tightening the belt around her judogi, and faced her opponent.

Emma, too, rolled into defensive position. Damn! So close. Emma was used to unhooking her own bra but, put in this position, she could see how men have always had trouble.  

Steed cursed a silent "Damn!" along with her.

The women's eyes locked as they circled. They knew each other now, intimately, like only two combatants can. They were truly two halves of one Unity. 

There had been a feeling-out process. They had tested each other, using techniques learned and developed over many years of study. They had followed the ancient strategies of the Masters, been true in form and execution.

Each woman had put forth her greatest effort, displaying the fruits of years of training and practice. They would have made their Masters proud.

But now, locked in this seemingly endless life-and-death struggle, those years of training were forgotten. Replacing them was something more primitive, a much more primal urge to…

It seems almost clichéd, like a storybook turn from some overheated teenage boy. But it's true. These two highly skilled women, black belts, masters of the martial arts, now engaged each other as only two angry women can. They came together with a primal urge to…

…rip each other's hair out!


Four hands dug into soft, shiny tresses—pulling, yanking and twisting—while knees and feet shot up, aimed at exposed soft spots. Back and forth across the floor they staggerred, red and gold hair flying, squeals of pain and growls of anger coming from the combatants.

It was like some wild, drunken dance. 

"Oh, ladies, hair-pulling?" said Steed, with a smile. "So unladylike—"

He was stopped midsentence by a sickening "crack!" As he was watching, the two women had violently yanked forward at the same moment, sending their heads crashing together, forehead into forehead.  

The head butt stunned both women, their knees sagging underneath them. Still clutching hair, and leaning against each other for support, they crumpled to the floor together. 

They landed in an embrace, arms and legs draped over one another, faces pulled close by hands buried in sleek locks.

To Steed, they looked like two lovers, asleep in each other's arms. Peaceful, somehow.  

"They're adorable!" he thought, with a smile. "But a double knockout is no help at all."

After some seconds, Cathy's right arm -- caught at an odd angle -- jerked forward. Since the fingers of her right hand were still entangled in Emma's hair, this snapped Emma's head forward, rousing her with a cry.

This revived Cathy, and their eyes opened almost simultaneously. Acting on instinct, they closed their hands on other's hair and rolled to their knees. Slowly they stood, foreheads touching and eyes inches apart, as the clung to each other by the hair. 

Pulling and yanking, neither was able to gain the advantage. Then Cathy let go with her right hand and buried a punch into Emma's unprotected stomach. Emma did the same, and now – with left hands still entwined in the other's hair – they pounded away with rights, with shots to the stomach, chest and head,. 

Still, they held on for dear life, accepting the punishment for the ability to deal it out.

A hard punch staggered Cathy backwards, but as she fell she pulled Emma by the hair to the floor with her. And the battle moved to the bamboo, where the two women rolled like coiled snakes, one on top and then the other, spinning, manes flying.

As they yanked each other's hair, their legs waged their own battle for supremacy. Wrapping around each other like serpents, they sought to squeeze and strangle the life out of their opponent. The muscles of the legs and buttocks are the strongest in the human body, especially in the female of the species, and a crushing scissors often decides the fate of a contest.

Neither could gain the advantage – yin nor yang -- as they rolled and flopped at Steed's feet.

Finally, sitting facing each other, heads pulled together, Cathy worked her feet up to Emma's shoulders. With one heel buried under each side of Emma's collarbone, Cathy pushed with both legs. She still held fast to Emma's hair as she pushed the other woman away.

Cathy was taking a gamble. Though Emma had the reach advantage, her long hair might be more of a disadvantage, Cathy thought if she pushed her far enough away, Emma might lose hold of her hair, while she could still keep a grip on Emma's longer locks.

Emma's leg flailed for traction outside of Cathy's; she wasn't quite aware of Cathy's game at this point. Then Cathy's hair slipped put of her left-hand grasp, and she understood. She struggled to keep hold with her right and reached desperately with her left.

Cathy kept pushing, to finally break Emma's grip – when Cathy's own left hand slipped from Emma's hair.

Now they held frantically onto the few locks they still had, strands falling free with the seconds. It hurt dreadfully, but they could not let go. 

With a final thrust of her left leg, Cathy yanked her hair free of Emma's grasp. Emma's right hand flew into the air -- and she was caught.

Cathy yanked Emma forward with the last few hairs of her forelock, and grabbed hold with her other hand. Digging both hands into Emma's hair, she slammed her, face first, to the bamboo.

Pulling her up by the hair, she smacked Emma across the face with a right. Then another.  

Cathy was poised on her right knee and left foot, holding Emma up by the hair with her left hand; her right fist was pulled back for another face shot. Emma, in a sitting position, was stunned,  trying to defend herself.

Instead of throwing another punch, Cathy threw her right arm forward and around Emma's head, cradling it in the crook of her elbow, pulling it forward into her chest. Then she dove forward, throwing her weight onto Emma, who fell backward to the floor. 

Cathy kept a tight hold of Emma's head, her right arm pulling it into her chest, her left hand pulling it forward by the hair. As they hit, Cathy wrapped her legs around Emma's waist, her feet linking beneath her – and she squeezed. 

Emma found her face buried in Cathy's chest, an ample breast on each side, smothering her. At the same time, Cathy's legs were crushing her midsection. Emma bucked and reared, yanked Cathy's hair and battered her with both hands. But she could not break the hold.

Air, precious air – she couldn't get enough.

Cathy endured Emma's blows, ever tightening her own hold. Emma's assault became frantic, and then died down. Her arms stopped flailing; legs fell to the bamboo. Cathy felt her breathing become less labored.

She waited a few moments, then sat up. 

Below her, Emma lay red-faced and sweating, furiously drawing in air. 

Cathy, still sitting on Emma's chest, left hand in her hair, looked up at Steed. 

"Jealous?" she asked him, holding her impressive breasts pridefully erect.

"Oh, Cathy," he said, "why won't you embrace me like that?"

She sneered at him.