A/N: Sorry for the delay, but I have been very ill and then just busy. Hopefully the next chapter won’t be so delayed. --pink
The Gotham Stock Exchange
Max relished the opportunity to dress up, and she wasn’t about to waste the opportunity. She bought an elegant black pinstripe Givenchy suit with a classic white shirt and jazzed it up with a red patent leather Prada belt and matching red pumps. It was her favorite out of the four outfits she purchased as part of her role as a trader at the Exchange. She’d been masquerading for three days, casing the joint, noting security, places and points of contact where some members of the Red Scarf Mafia could hide in plain sight as part of Bane’s plan. They agreed that it was wise not to use any Testicles on this particular job; they would sing like jaybirds if they were caught. The Red Scarf Mafia could be trusted not to talk.
On the actual day of the hit, she would be already at the Exchange when Bane arrived and took over the place. Nagoye was going to hack into the online trading desk and, using Bruce Wayne’s fingerprint, purchase a fuckton of futures stock. He had a tablet configured to run the hack and she had an identical one that they would swap out once Nagoye left the floor. She decided it was better to have a backup system running just in case. Max suggested that Bane grab hostages in order to keep from getting shot at, and the back of Bane’s motorcycle would be her way out. It could work, but she informed him that they had to get the hack done in less than ten minutes because once it was known that the Exchange was under siege, they would cut the fiber cable and the cell tower. After evading the cops—she told him that Gotham’s finest would likely capture some of his men—they were going to go to Daggett’s apartment to get another bundle of money for a job well done.
Everything went off almost without a hitch...after they cut the fiber cable, Bane decided it was best to go mobile even with eight minutes to go. Nagoye and the others packed up and grabbed hostages. Max was near the doorway, crouched on the floor, pretending to be terrified while holding on to her bag. Bane grabbed her and a woman in an orange jacket. They had motorcycles hidden in the rear of the building. Baraka barked orders and motioned for the remaining hostages to exit the Exchange slowly. The hostages were cover to allow Bane and the Red Scarf Mafia to escape.
Max slipped her bag inside her jacket, put her arms around Bane and closed her eyes. She had no helmet and she knew he was going to put the pedal to the metal, metaphorically speaking. As the people filed out of the Exchange, they edged the motorcycles up until they got to the doors. The hostages scattered and Max hugged Bane tight as he gunned the engine. The moment he was clear of the steps, he tossed the woman in the orange jacket on the ground and led Gotham’s finest on a merry chase.
Max was freezing on the back of the bike in spite of her layers of clothing. She kept her face buried between his shoulder blades, but her exposed hands were like ice. Bane pulled up next to Nagoye and extracted the tablet to check its progress. Satisfied with what he saw, Bane turned the motorcycle around and Max screamed with the abrupt movement. He took off in the other direction, bypassing Batman and several police officers who didn’t bother to give chase. Bane jumped a rail and turned around to see if anyone turned to follow him. Max held him tighter as he gunned the engine and rode the bike into the tunnel.
Once they were safely ensconced in their underground lair, Bane parked the motorcycle. Max got off the bike and immediately hugged herself in an effort to get warm. Her teeth chattered and she stamped her feet. Bane removed his helmet and coat and turned around. She gave him a weak smile. She was freezing.
“I-I-I w-w-would g-g-give you a-a-a th-th-thumbs up b-b-but…”
“That isn’t necessary,” he said, and put his arms around her. “I have to get you warm.”
“W-w-won’t h-h-happen d-d-down h-h-here…”
“I know.” He picked her up and started walking towards the exit that led to the street where her residence was located. It didn’t take long. Once there, he put her on the bed and turned on the space heater. She reached down inside her jacket and handed him the bag with the tablet. Max grabbed the edge of a blanket and rolled up in it. Bane sat on the edge of the bed and examined the tablet.
A few minutes later, Max had warmed up considerably. “By midnight, he’ll be flat broke due to the large series of put options on those futures stocks. Billionaire to bum in less than 24 hours. He won’t know how to act.”
“If you are going to break a man, you have to be certain every part of him is broken. Removing his financial security blanket is merely the first step. Mr. Wayne has lived a life of arrogant extravagance…which makes his choice to be a masked vigilante all the more interesting. If I had time, I would enjoy picking his brain.”
Max unrolled herself and got up, kicking off her heels. She undressed quickly, as they had an appointment with Daggett. Bane put the tablet on the bed and watched her. She rubbed her arms and rummaged through the closet.
“What’s our take for tonight?”
“Five hundred thousand for the hit on the Exchange.”
She put on tights and then leather pants. Then she donned an UnderArmour top and a turtleneck. Max went into the bathroom and parted her hair.
“That idiot expects to own Wayne Enterprises by sunup?”
“Of course.” Bane stood in the bathroom door, watching Max braid her hair. After a few minutes, she turned and smiled at him. The look in his eyes was one only she saw.
“I don’t suppose he’s thought this thing out, has he? ‘Cause that makes dick amount of sense.”
“Wealthy men like Daggett tend to be short-sighted.”
Max walked over to Bane and planted a fat kiss on the breath port of his mask. “I’ll say.”
Bane continued to watch her dress; it pleased him. Max sat on the bed and pulled on her boots. Then she put on her belt, holsters and wrist brace. She harnessed her Glock and S&W, sheathed her Bowie and Milan Stiletto, and put on her earrings. Bane watched Max strap up and was amused when she carefully put the earrings in her ear.
“Do those serve a purpose other than aesthetics?”
She winked at him. “Wanna see?”
Max paused for a moment. Then suddenly, she whipped off one earring and threw it. The earring pierced the wall. She walked over and retrieved it, putting it back in her ear. Bane noticed that she avoided touching the bottom of the earring.
“I can’t believe I never showed you before.”
“Ever since your demonstration with that unfortunate man in Germany, my soldiers have given you a wide berth; thus you have had little reason to exhibit any more deadly behavior.”
“They’re tipped with poison. Kirrah, to be specific.”
Bane looked at her and a crease formed under his eyes. Max knew that look. He was smiling. “Is that right?”
“You think I’m gonna give a motherfucker a chance to kill me? The earrings are tipped, as are my throwing knives.” She whipped out one of them; small, shiny and lethally sharp. “Every few days, I dip them in a small vial of Kirrah. I wear gloves when I do so. I am not taking chances. I know that when shit pops off, I may have to use them…and if it’s a choice between me and my enemy, then it’s going to be my enemy, baby. I play for keeps. You taught me that.”
Bane groaned softly. He found that sexy as hell. Max grinned at him as she replaced the blade and grabbed her leather coat and hat. A while back, Barsad presented her with a red scarf. She wrapped it around her neck and adjusted it; she wore it with pride, secretly pleased to be an honorary member of the Mafia. She put on her gloves, glad to be warm.
“You ready, baby?”
“You should get your jacket,” she said.
“I plan to.”
Max stopped in front of Bane and kissed him again. He made that wicked little growling mewl she liked and she grinned. “Let’s spend the night up here, what do you say?”
Phillip Stryver, Daggett’s anal-retentive assistant, informed them when they arrived that Selina Kyle kidnapped Daggett and took him to the roof. Max rolled her eyes and looked at Bane. “I told you she’d be salty.”
Bane motioned to Barsad. Barsad nodded and barked a set of orders. A group of Testicles headed to the roof, clearly intending to intercept. Bane looked at Stryver. “Do you have something for us?”
Stryver nodded and reached into his jacket. He always handled the transactions with Bane; Daggett didn’t like getting his hands dirty. Stryver handed Bane a thick envelope and he indicated that he should give it to Max.
Max shook her head. The usual procedure included her receiving any and all monies obtained from jobs. She maintained the budget. “You still haven’t learned yet, have you, dumbass?” she said, taking the envelope and directing his eyes to her face. “My eyes are up here, shithead.”
Stryver looked at Max’s face. “Sorry.”
She was counting the money. “Whatever.”
“You were aided in your escape by an unexpected visitor,” Stryver said.
“So I noticed,” Bane said.
Max finished counting the money. “It’s all here.” She stuffed the thick envelope inside her utility vest and zipped up her leather jacket. Bane nodded and then started walking towards the stairs, Max beside him and the Red Scarf Mafia in tow. Stryver remained behind.
Daggett was standing by the door when they walked out onto the roof. Barsad waved his hand in the air in a circular motion and the Red Scarves dispersed quickly. Selina Kyle was fighting the Testicles, aided by none other than Batman. Max snorted. Selina and Batman were winning the fight even though they were outnumbered.
She looked at Bane. “Why the fuck are those numbnuts dumbdicks attacking one at a time? No wonder they’re getting their asses kicked. Don’t those fools know what bumrushing means?”
“Pawns serve just one purpose, Max. Observe.” He grabbed his collar and started walking towards the scrapping couple just as the Red Scarf Mafia began to surround them. Max glanced back to see Daggett following them with a distinctive swagger to his gait. He was looking at her ass.
Batman clearly recognized that the newest group of men was not the same as the ones rolling around on the ground. They weren’t scrappers; they were trained killers. He jumped off the building and Selina followed after a moment’s hesitation. A few seconds later, a strange-looking helicopter rose from between the buildings and took off. Bane watched it leave. Max did as well, making a tsk-ing sound as they flew away.
“You need to kill that bitch,” she said. “Quick, fast, and in a hurry.”
“You’re right,” Bane said.
Daggett walked up, his eyes crawling over Max’s chest. She gave him the finger and he smiled.
“I pay for the privilege,” he said.
Max whipped out her Milan Stiletto but Bane grabbed her hand. “The job is finished, Mr. Daggett.”
“When are you going to be done with my construction crews?”
“When the situation calls for it. Surely you’re not questioning me.”
Daggett’s demeanor changed. “Of course not. Good job tonight, by the way. Tomorrow morning, Wayne Enterprises will be mine and I will be rid of that entitled little orphan bastard.”
“As you say, so shall it be,” Bane said. Max rolled her eyes and sheathed her knife. She wanted to carve her name into Daggett’s forehead.
Daggett glanced at her again. “Did you get your payment?”
Bane looked at him. “Kindly look at me when you address me.”
Daggett looked at him, swallowing thickly. “Were you compensated?”
“Then our business is concluded.”
Bane looked at him for a long moment and grabbed his collar. “For now.”
They left the Red Scarf Mafia and the workers in the sewers that night. Max bought food and they sat in the bedroom of the residence and ate dinner while she maintained his breathing apparatus. The new analgesics worked very well.
“We need to get rid of Miss Kyle. Based on what I saw tonight, she has aligned with Bruce Wayne. I don’t like the idea of that. He has the CleanSlate program.”
“I don’t disagree with your assessment.”
“Of course, you can use that knowledge to your benefit. I mean, how strong is the alignment? She’ll do anything to get her hands on that CleanSlate, and Bruce Wayne has it. Maybe she doesn’t know that he does. Daggett said that he told her that it doesn’t exist.”
“She can lead us to Mr. Wayne. In order for the next phase of our plan to commence, we need to be rid of him and his fascinating alter ego.”
“Better yet, have her lead Batman to us. Why should we go running around Gotham City when it’d be easier for him to come here? I’m sure Miss Kyle will trade her life for that of the Batman. For his sake, I hope he doesn’t trust her.”
“I would not want to be your enemy, Max.”
She ran her hand over his skull, tracing the tan lines. “Don’t piss me off then.”
He got up and went into the bathroom. Max adjusted the pipes on the faceplate and swabbed the insides with a solution she made just for that purpose. Then she put it on the bed and followed him into the bathroom. Bane was brushing his teeth. Max came up behind him and slid her arms around his chest. She pressed her face between his shoulder blades and closed her eyes. He reached back and curled one hand around her hip.
After watching him rinse, spit, and wipe his mouth, she said, “I don’t want you here when that bomb blows. Say you’ll leave with me.”
“I have to see this through, Max.” He squeezed her hip.
“You can see it through from a distance, baby. We can toast our success from a suite in Rapid City’s nicest hotel.”
“I’ve always been willing to die for this cause, Max. You know this.”
“I’ve been with you from the beginning and all I want is for us to make it back to Macau in one piece. You act like you can’t change your mind. I mean, can you at least give what I want some consideration? ”
“I have. I do.”
She tried to move away but he wouldn’t let her. “What if something goes wrong? I mean, so far everything has gone off without a hitch, but there’s always Murphy’s Law and the Principle of Shit Happens.”
“This will work. If we rid Gotham City of its hero, then he won’t be here to save it from annihilation. I’ll test Miss Kyle’s loyalties and get her to lead Mr. Wayne to me, and then I will finish breaking him. Then we will take control of the fusion reactor and free Gotham from oppression.”
“How will we take control of the reactor? I still don’t see how that’s going to happen. I mean, we’re not entirely sure if it exists. Barsad and Baraka haven’t been able to locate it so far.” The Red Scarf Mafia was using Daggett’s construction crews to locate the reactor and hadn’t been successful.
“An opportunity will present itself,” Bane said, squeezing her hip again. Her breasts were cushioned against his back and he never got tired of the sensation. He released Max and turned suddenly, grabbing her around the waist. “They always do.”
“Why is it that I can’t get angry with you anymore?” she said, running her fingers over his biceps. “Once upon a time, you could get under my skin in less than a minute, but now all I want to do is take care of you. Clearly, we’ve been together too long. I need to get rid of you and get me a new man; someone who requires less maintenance.”
“Let me know how that works out for you,” he said. Max was under his skin, buried so deep inside that he wasn’t entirely sure if he could allow her to leave when shit got real. She would fight him over it, but he’d cross that bridge when it became necessary to do so.
Max stared at him and put her arms around his neck. As always, she could never resist kissing him.
The next morning, Phillip Stryver called Max’s cell. She turned her eyes briefly to the phone and then back to Bane, who was lying on the bed.
“Who…was that?” he asked, his hands on her waist, hips bucking.
“Stry…ver,” she breathed, pressing down on his chest. “I’ll call him back in a little bit…grab my tits…”
A few minutes later, Stryver told her that Daggett wanted to see them immediately. When Max breathlessly asked why, Stryver replied with an abrupt, “He’ll explain when he sees you.”
Max hung up on him and looked at Bane, wiping sweat beads from his forehead. She rolled off and lay beside him, grinning happily. Morning ‘O’s were better than caffeine. “The asshole requests our presence again. Perhaps he just realized that just because Bruce Wayne is broke doesn’t mean he automatically owns Wayne Enterprises.”
“We’ll go see him. After today, we won’t need him anymore.”
“Good. Because I hate that skinny little perverted shitweasel. Can I do the honors or do I get to watch you be awesome?”
“Do you still get aroused at my brutish displays of aggression?”
“Then I shall be awesome and you can put a final touch on it.”
Max stared at him and smiled, getting warm again. She absolutely adored that man.
The housekeeper bade them entrance and asked them to wait in Daggett’s parlor. Max folded her arms and waited impatiently while Bane stood quietly, studying one of the paintings on the wall. Soon, they heard the shrill bitch-like voice of their benefactor, whining about some inside track and a woman named Miranda Tate.
“We told him it was urgent.”
“Oh, where is that masked--?”
Bane walked to the stairs to face Daggett. “Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.” Max followed and stood next to him, eyeing Daggett with as much contempt as she could muster. He looked at her chest—easy, as her jacket and utility vest weren’t zipped—and avoided her eyes. Max shook her head, glad that they were going to get rid of his ass.
“What the hell is going on?”
“The plan is proceeding as expected.”
“Oh really? Do I look like I’m running Wayne Enterprises right now? Your hit on the stock exchange? It didn’t work, my friend. And now you have my construction crews going around the city at 24 hours a day. How exactly is that supposed to help my company absorb Wayne’s?”
Bane looked over at Stryver. “Leave us.”
“Nope.” Daggett turned to Stryver and raised a finger. “You stay here. I’m in charge.”
Max bit the inside of her lip, stifling a chuckle. This man was a complete dick. He truly didn’t know who he was dealing with. Bane put his hand on Daggett’s shoulder.
“Do you feel in charge?”
The air in the room changed. Stryver walked out of it without looking back and Max didn’t bother hiding her grin. Fear broke out on Daggett’s face like a rash. His voice went small and cold, much like his balls had and he could barely look Bane in the eyes. “I’ve paid you a small fortune.”
“And this gives you…power…over me?”
“What is this?”
He curled his hand around Daggett’s neck. “Your money and infrastructure have been important…’til now.”
Daggett was scared now. “What are you?”
“I’m Gotham’s reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you’ve all been living on.”
Max closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Bane had ways of making her horny at the most inopportune times. The cadence of his voice and the low tone he was using already had her going. She no longer gave a single solitary fuck about leaving her mark on Daggett. There were more important things to worry about now. She took off her jacket and utility vest.
Daggett started hyperventilating, outright terror on his face. “You’re pure evil.”
“I’m necessary evil.”
Bane grabbed Daggett’s neck and covered his face with his other hand. Daggett started screaming and muffled cries of “No, no, no, no!” emanated from the smaller man’s mouth before Bane effortlessly twisted his neck, ending his life with one smooth move. Max stepped back, unstrapping her holster. She was perky and percolating in spite of the fact that about an hour ago, she and Bane were going at it like a pair of alley cats.
“I don’t care if it means I’m going to hell, but I never get tired of seeing you swing your dick. That was so…fucking…hot!” She unzipped her pants, pushing them down past her knees. Quickly, she kicked one pant leg over her boot, naked enough to get things accomplished. Bane turned to her and removed his coat. Max needed attending to and he wasn’t strong enough to deny her, especially when she was boldly undressing in a dead man’s parlor. Daggett could have been a piece of furniture for all Max cared. Her pussy was on fire and that was far more important than anything else.
“Take off your vest and shirt,” she said; then she started doing it herself. “Hurry up.” The shirt he wore was one of several she brought back from Macau; thick and reinforced with carbon threads. It had pockets that could hold metal plates; a modernized version of chain mail and therefore heavier than a standard shirt. Max buried her face in his neck as he lifted her against the wall and entered her in one smooth move. She locked her arms around his neck and met his gaze as he bounced her. The free leg of her half-off jeans smacked the floor with each jump.
“Harder,” she said. “Harder, baby…oh da-yum!”
Just inside the other room, Stryver listened eagerly, pressing his hand against his abdomen. Bane’s delectable side dish was very…stimulating. Daggett used to ruminate aloud at the nature of the relationship between her and Bane and if she could be persuaded to leave his side. He had been most appreciative of Max’s female charms and shared ribald commentary about what he would do to her if given the opportunity. But Stryver knew that a snowman stood a better chance of doing the foxtrot in hell.
He inhaled sharply as Max obviously hit her peak and then Bane reached his shortly thereafter. A few minutes passed as they put their clothes back on. Then Max said, “Where’s the bathroom? Did we pass one on the way in?”
Stryver stepped from behind the partition as Bane and Max stepped off the landing. Two large red splotches colored his cheeks and he was noticeably…uncomfortable. “Two doors down on your left,” he said.
Max cocked her head to one side and looked at Bane. The perv had been listening to them fuck. She turned her gaze back to the blushing Stryver and smiled, winking at him. "Tell Selina Kyle to bring her new boyfriend underground tonight. If she refuses, kill her."
Bane nodded, indicating his agreement. Max ran her thumb over her lips. "I doubt that she will, but do be sure to emphasize the fact." She looked at Bane, who sized her up with another steamy glance. "Come on, baby."
As they walked out of the room, she smiled at Stryver once more. "Good day, Mr. Stryver."
Next: Taking Over