An Agent Scorned
Chapter 9

To Revenge

"I can't reach one at the moment," Steed replied, shaking his cuffed arms.

"Oh, of course. I forgot," said Cathy. "How I've teased you, my dear boy!"

Teasing is one way to put it, Steed thought.

"Well, I think she's about done, anyway" said Cathy, opening her legs and sitting back on Emma's chest.

Below her, Emma's face was red and covered with sweat. She breathed in, eagerly, but her eyes remained shut, her faced pained.

"She could have taken the easy way out," said Cathy. "But I think we all enjoyed it more this way."

Cathy stood and walked to her overnight bag. Emma moaned softly but remained stretched out on the floor. Cathy came back with two cigarettes; she lit them both, placing one in Steed's mouth.

She drew in deeply, and blew a cloud of blue smoke into the air. Steed managed as well as he could, without the use of his hands.

"Well, Steed, our fun is about over," said Cathy. "I've accomplished everything I set out to. She refused to admit I was the best woman, but I think I made that plain to us all. Don't you agree, Steed?"

"I never doubted you, Cathy," Steed replied, out of the side of his mouth.

After a last puff of hers, Cathy took Steed's cigarette and snuffed them both out.

She walked up to Emma and, grabbing the collar of Emma's judogi with one hand, dragged her over to the chin-up bar next to Steed's. Cathy went to her bag and pulled out four handcuffs, just like those holding Steed.

"Oh, no, Cathy, you're not," said Steed.

Cathy picked Emma up off the floor and, hefting her lightly, positioned her under the crossbar. Holding her upright with her left arm around her waist, Cathy cuffed Emma's right hand to the crossbar. She cuffed her left hand, and then both ankles.

Emma was now hanging spread eagle next to Steed. Her head fell to her chest, face covered by a curtain of auburn hair.
Cathy walked around in front of them and surveyed her work. She giggled.

"I should take a picture of this," said Cathy. "What they would think down at the ministry!"

Steed did not share Cathy's glee at that thought.

"But now I must go," said Cathy, walking over to her bag.

"You're leaving us like this?"

"I have a flight to catch. But don't worry, Steed, help is on the way," Cathy zipped up the bag and slipped on her raincoat. She pulled a watch from a pocket. "In only – my! This took a lot longer than I anticipated. In just over three hours, you will be rescued."

"Three hours!"

"That's when Master Hasegawa comes in to open the dojo for business. He won't be surprised to see you," she said, as Steed looked on, incredulous.

"I am leaving this here," said Cathy, fishing into her bra and pulling out the silver key. She set it at Steed's feet. "He will release you and you will be free to go. Which, I am sure, is what you will choose to do.

"I suppose, of course, you COULD call in the ministry," she said, with a glance up at Steed. She set down the bag and stepped closer to him. "Yes, you could call them in. But what would you tell them?

"That you're former partner, whom you had run out of the ministry, kidnapped and held you hostage? Then she beat up your hand-picked replacement, humiliated her, and hung her up next to you?

"Oh, yes, they'd love that. Would do wonders for your careers, too. Mrs. Peel could always go back to the family business," she said, looking over at the former head of Knight Industries, now hanging limp and beaten.

"And I'm sure they'd find a nice desk job for you, John," she said, with a playful pat on his cheek. "You'd love it – 9 to 5, a spot at the rail of the local pub until you're pickled, then home with an equally drunk barfly. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?"

"I see what you mean," said Steed, fully understanding the implications. This woman was a genius, he thought. What an utterly devious plan!

"Besides," said Cathy, "I'll be far from these shores by the time you're able to dial a phone. And, before you can get word there, I'll be back in deepest, darkest Africa, doing my important work. It will be as if I never left.

"No one has seen me here in London, and no one will miss me down in Africa. There, I am alone among the Kukuyu, a stone-age tribe that has no concept of time, much less any idea of our Western calendar. They live in the ever-present now. I am 'Memsahib,' moving in and out of their lives, but meaning little to them as I don't bring, or take away, food."

Cathy moved to pick up her bag.

"But, Cathy, wait a moment," said Steed, pleading. "You're not going to leave me like … this, are you?"

She looked back at him, quizzically.

"Like what, Steed?"

"Well, you know." He looked down, leading her eyes with his.

"Oh, I see what you mean," said Cathy, a big smile flashing across her face. "You mean THIS!"

With her right hand Cathy grabbed Steed's swollen member, and squeezed.

"Ohhhh!" This moan came from Steed.

"How's that, John, better?"

Cathy slapped her left hand behind Steed's neck and pulled him close. She landed a big, open-mouthed kiss on his mouth as she worked him with her right hand.

Rapture! The hours on end Steed had been teased, first as pawn to Cathy the dominatrix, then as witness to this monumental catfight. Now, finally, he could release all the –

Cathy pulled away, quickly, leaving Steed open-mouthed, wide-eyed and painfully unsatisfied. 

"Oh, Cathy, don't stop!"

"Sorry, Steed," said Cathy, slinging her bag over a shoulder and walking over to Emma. "Perhaps Mrs. Peel will finish the job."

Cathy pulled Emma's head up by the hair, turning her face toward Steed. She gave Emma a kiss on the cheek.

"You put up a good fight, I must say," said Cathy, addressing her defeated foe. "I look forward to meeting you again."

That sounded ominous to Steed.

"Cathy…"

"No time, Steed," she said, stepping up and giving him a peck on the cheek. "Till we meet again."

With that she turned and walked down the length of the room, back to the door through which Emma had entered, so long ago. She slid the key in and opened the door, shutting out the lights before exiting and closing the door behind her.

The room was plunged into blackness.


Past as Prologue

Steed heard 14 steps down, two forward, and then another door opened and closed. He heard a few more faint footfalls outside, then the sound died away. Except for the purring of an engine somewhere, the room was silent.

He could hear Emma's soft breathing, which was reassuring.

Slowly, Steed's head fell to his chest, and he drifted into slumber. He slipped in and out of sleep, in and out of dreams. Time passed by.

Steed lifted his head. Had he heard something? Or was it part of a dream? The night was overcast, and very little light came through the windows, high above. Steed could just make out Emma's outline, to his right. Did her head move?

"Steed…"

It was soft, but he definitely heard it. She spoke, and called out his name!

"Mrs. Peel! Thank goodness. Are you … all right?" he asked, gently.

"Couldn't … be better," she answered.

She still has her sense of humor, thought Steed, with delight. That meant she wasn't in too bad a shape.

"Where, where…" Emma could hardly get the words out.

"Dr. Gale? She's long gone," said Steed. "But there is help on the way."

He told her about Master Hasegawa.

"Won't be long now."

Emma was silent for some moments. Steed wondered if she'd slipped back into sleep.

"Steed…"

"Yes, Mrs. Peel?"

"Did .. did you … enjoy it"

Steed was now the silent one. Finally, he answered, as truthfully as possible.

"Immensely!"

"Bastard…" Emma whispered, before fading off again into unconsciousness.

***

At 6:01 a.m., the room still covered in the Northern winter's darkness, a door opened off to Emma's right. A figure passed through it.

It was a small Asian man, somewhere between the ages of 30 and 70 – it was hard to tell -- wearing a long robe. He silently glided across the floor toward the two bodies hanging against the wall.

Neither body stirred; they were oblivious.

The man in robes picked up the key and turned to Emma. He released each of her feet, then her wrists, and she fell into his arms. He lifted her gently, like a child, and carried her toward to the door he'd just come through.

Bearing her with little effort, he passed down a hall, up a staircase and through another door. He flipped on the light to reveal a large office. At the far end was a big wooden desk, with several chairs arrayed around it.

In front of that was an Oriental rug, with facing couches on each side, a coffee table in the middle, and wing chairs at each end.

The Master delicately layed Emma on one couch, placing his hand behind her head and softly lowering it upon a pillow.

He then rose above her and brought his hands down on her chest, he moved them slowly across her flesh, almost caressingly…

Emma's arms shot up, instinctively. Her head rose and she gave a cry, though her eyes didn't open.

He easily caught her arms in his hands and lowered her back to the pillow.

"Relax, my daughter," he whispered. "All is well. Now sleep…"

Emma did fall back into sleep, and Master Hasegawa continued his examination. Perhaps a broken rib or two, he concluded, but no serious injuries. Relieved, he left Emma sleeping and went back down to the dojo.

Moments later, he came back carrying Steed as easily as he had Emma. He lowered the big man on to the opposite couch, and gave him a similar once-over. 

No emergency, Master Hasegawa glided out to another room, from which emanated the sounds of a teapot filling with water and being set on a lit stove.

***

Sunlight was pouring into the room when Emma awoke, blinking.

She tried to sit up, but let out a cry of pain before she got far. She looked down and saw she was covered in a blanket. Lifting it, she saw she was dressed only in her panties and bra. Her ribs were taped; that's we're she'd felt the pain, trying to sit up.

Emma's head fell back on the pillow. Slowly, her eyes focused, and she saw a figure sitting across from here. It resolved itself into Steed, smiling, holding a teacup.

"Mrs. Peel," he said. "Good morning!"

She saw more movement, another body coming toward her. She cringed; but, no, it wasn't Dr. Gale. Her eyes focused on a small Japanese man approaching her.

He placed a hand on her forehead and took her right wrist in his hand; he was taking her temperature and pulse.

"You are doing much better, Mrs. Peel," he said, backing away with a slight bow, turning and walking out of the room.
Emma didn't know who this man was, but somehow felt comforted by him.

"Steed, what is going on?"

"Where to start?" said Steed.

"How about from the beginning?" Emma said as the Master set down a cup of tea in front of her, and gave her an ice pack for her head.

Steed proceeded to give a rundown of the past 24 hours, how Cathy had showed up unexpectedly at his door, in the best of spirits, speaking of ending their feud and reestablishing their friendship. She even hinted at, perhaps, something deeper. They drank Champagne and talked … then Steed found himself here.

Emma asked about the riding crop and feather. Steed, with a blush, mentioned Cathy's skills as a dominatrix.

Them Emma had arrived, and she knew the rest. Steed didn't mention the final, shall we say,  climactic moment before Cathy left.

He did recount Cathy's warning about what would happen if they reported this to the Ministry, and Emma had to agree.
Emma expected Cathy to pay, but not that way.

"Master Hasegawa," she asked, "do you have anything stronger?"

He bowed and went out, returning with a tray bearing a sleek caraf and two small cups. He poured a clear liquid into each, steam rising as he did.

The Master handed Emma a cup; it was warm. She breathed it in – sake, which she knew so well.

Steed picked up his cup.

"Won't you join us?" he asked of Master Hasegawa.

"It is too early for me," answered the Master.

"Master," asked Emma, "am I imagining it, or did you call me 'daughter' earlier."

"Indeed I did," he said. "Forgive me. But I also studied with Master Toyota."

He broke into Japanese, to which Emma responded in kind. It was all Greek to Steed; he finished his sake and poured another as the others chatted away.

Master Hasegawa excused himself and left the room.

Mrs. Peel emptied her cup and held it out for Steed to refill. After downing his own, he filled both.

Emma offered up her cup for a toast. Steed raised his in reply.

She looked him in the eye, leaned close, and whispered: "To revenge."

Steed's eyes opened wide. Revenge against whom, he wondered. Cathy's story had been all too true, he knew, and he was ashamed of a lot of things he'd done. But, no – she must mean Dr. Gale.

They had both been made the fool by Cathy. There would be payback.

In any case, he wanted to stay on the right side of Emma. Steed raised his cup and, with a clink, agreed.

"To revenge!"