Chapter 2: Halfway Down Memory Lane

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 475
Comments: 1

CHAPTER TWO:  Halfway Down Memory Lane

“What have you gotten yourself into?” Emily asked herself, wondering if the question was for her or Maven.  Shaking her head, she considered maybe both.  None of this would end well for sure, especially since all roads led back to Maven’s main house. 

Of course, it did, she thought almost sourly over the last several days conducting her investigation based on what she had been told by the CIA Handler Jane Smith and what she knew about her mentor Maven, one of the top assassins in the world.  It stood to reason if the man wanted to disappear, he would.  No one would find him.  She had her work cut out for her. 

Nonetheless, Emily felt the need to find out what happened to him.  If he were in danger, regardless of the past, she felt obligated to help if she could.  He had done the same for here once upon a time.  She would do him a solid in return.

Besides, some things didn’t add up about what Jane told her.  Emily needed for her peace of mind to find out the truth.  Part of it was because she never tried to lay to rest the past with Maven.  It was because of that maybe she ran from everything hard in her life.  Running was what she did best. 

Emily comprehended while rehashing the past that she couldn’t move forward because of her unfinished business with her mentor.  In a way, she lingered in a sort of holding pattern. Why?  Maybe because she thought one day they might see each other again and discuss the reason for their sudden split?

How long had it been since Emily made the trek on the winding road of MD-27 stepped that would lead her to Maven’s property?  She wasn’t sure as she turned left on Bellison Road.  When Emily turned left again onto the private drive lined a gathering of trees on either side, she recalled that the land around the house was sparse of trees.  And it was still once she reached the clearing precisely as she remembered. 

The property was a lovely green with little rolling hills along the 20 or so acres of land nestled in the sleepy suburb of Damascus, Maryland.  She slowed to a stop to take it all in.  There were still no neighbors within eyesight.  The property remained secluded as Maven always desired privacy.

Her mentor owned it all of this under the assumed name Charles Swartz (because even she never knew his real name) for ten to fifteen years.  Emily cruised forward-thinking of tender youth she had been when Maven found her in the dark, forgotten alley of NYC and brought her there in seclusion to live with him.  Quite the culture shock it had been.  She had no idea such places existed.

The green farms and patchwork of trees were so far removed from the flashy lights and dingy streets of New York City.  The quiet of the place unnerved her and was the worst to get used to not hearing a police or ambulance siren every five minutes.  She often did not trust it.  Even today, it took a lot for her to get used to, but she appreciated it later.

Maven could have walked away from her way back when.  He should have let her die that night they worlds collided.  For some reason, he didn’t, and he never explained why.  To Emily, it never mattered before they split.  The question lingered in her mind still, but she gathered that maybe that mystery would never be revealed.

From that day forth, a new journey awaited them both.  Maven was a loner, though.  He never allowed anyone into his inner sanctum, no one but Emily.  Having no other skills to impart, Maven became her mentor in the dark arts of his world.  Emily was an attentive student and excelled well. 

The start of that new life began there in Maryland with her education in all things.  She discovered her passion for adventure and learning new things.  Maven had seen and done so much.  Emily absorbed his experience like a sponge and regretted none of it. Fitting that she would come back to where it began and ended for them. 

The first cursory review of the main property, she found nothing out of the ordinary and proceeded to check other holdings.  Today, Emily decided that she would conduct a more intense search through every room of the sprawling three-story brick home with its gable roof, rounded towers, large bay windows, and heavily ornamented dormers.  It was clear to her that Maven had not been to the house in a while. 

Upon considering the updated intel provided by Cobra, Emily discerned that her mentor performed an unsanctioned hit.  Since so much was left unfinished, Emily believed that Maven might be holed up in one of his other properties exclusively used for that job or, in this case, more suitable for carrying out the torment of his mark.  Signatures of Maven’s handiwork had been left on a downtown street of the District, leading her to the conclusion she never hoped to reach.  Calling cards were used for flushing out prey. Then you hoped they made a stupid mistake where the victim could be nabbed, thus ending the hunt. 

Regardless, Emily knew not where many of those secret spots were but had been aware of these forbidden places she had been allowed near.  Her search through Maven’s primary residence and safe yielded her a comprehensive listing of assets, including properties she never visited during her stay with him.  Emily checked all to find nothing of interest except for one. 

In Alexandria, Virginia, she found a warehouse burned to the ground recently.  Allegedly the old warehouse along the Potomac River caught fire due to some faulty wiring.  From the reports dug up on the scene, no one suspected foul play.  Emily sensed that professionals performed the arson as a means to hide the truth.  No bodies were found amongst the rubble.  Another dead end was what it amounted to for Emily.

She leaned her Indian motorcycle on the kickstand and killed the engine.  Emily climbed off the bike and removed her helmet with the shake of her head.  She gazed up for the second time in so many days at the house that reminded her of a mini-castle which Maven loved above them all. 

Her mentor had another mansion in the big state of Texas.  It was ranch outside Dallas, where he confided an affinity for as a younger man wanting to be a cowboy when he grew up.  He said nothing else about his upbringing other than his desire for good Tex-Mex food that he could only find in that area.  The CIA Handler was familiar with that property and indicated the Maven’s Replacements already searched for him there but turned up with no sign of him.  The property showed signs of not being used for several years. 

“Maven failed to complete a job taken?” Emily asked herself again and received the same answer of silence.  It made little sense to her.  In all the years she knew him, Maven never failed.  Oh, he’d been hurt.  More than once, he nearly died.  A hazard of the job any assassin of worth took, but you always completed the mission.  No exceptions. That’s what his reputation was based on, and so was hers.

Her key turned easily in the front door lock as it had before.  The security code had not changed either for the front gate or within the house itself.  The date they met so many years ago, May 20, 1995.  She thought of it as her rebirth day, and she and Maven celebrated it every year no matter how far apart they were. 

“No more,” she whispered with a sniffle because all the evidence she gathered was leading to where her heart and gut already whispered.  Tears surfaced at her eyes unbidden.  She swore she would not do this but could not ignore the sense of loss that she did not deserve to experience.  Maven meant so much to her despite what he had done and always shielded from her.  Nothing could change that. 

It grew tricky not to think of why she found no sign of Maven and why he did not complete his mission.  Her mentor, the strongest man she had ever known, was dead.  Was it so incomprehensible to believe?  Emily shook her head, trying to keep the bleak thought at bay.  Still, it rose to the surface.  Only his death could account for his sudden disappearance at the risk of a ruined reputation over so long a successful career.

“He’s dead,” Emily said aloud for the first time to the quiet family room and shook her head with her scowl at where the two of them used to discuss their day over his fresh ground coffee that he blended himself.  No café she’d ever found could match his brew.

Emily walked around her mentor’s house, remembering the good times she had with him.  Sure, their relationship was complicated.  At their initial meeting, rivaling one of the lowest points of her life, Emily gathered that maybe he took pity on her.  He wouldn’t have been the first person to do that.  Maven had been the first stranger encountered who treated her with kindness in a long while.  With him, Emily no longer felt faceless either.  In time under his nurturing guidance, she experienced the sort of love that she did not deserve. 

After years together, their relationship bordered on a father/daughter dynamic until it didn’t.  Emily never could see him as a father, although he treated her as a daughter.  Perhaps a part of her loved Maven as so much more from the start.  However, becoming lovers was the worst thing they could have been to each other.  Her mentor’s depraved appetites meant Emily needed to go her own way when their brief love affair fell apart.

“What are you up to, Cobra?  Still no job from you?  Did your damn replacements find him after all?” Emily inquired of no one and then chuckled tot he empty room.  She didn’t think so.  Cobra would have told her if she found Maven.  Instead, she gave Emily clues on his last job independent of the CIA. 

Emily worried about Cobra imagining that whatever job Maven failed to do hurt many people somehow.  The government could be unforgiving.  It was the reason why Maven preferred to freelance.  Emily agreed, for the most part.  She liked holding her own life in her hand and operating as she saw fit, no matter the mission.  If caught, she understood that she risked being disavowed by her country.  None of that mattered because her work was for the greater good.  Emily was willing to take the risk of being the person of last result when Cobra came knocking.

As for the witch, Jane Smith?  Well, Emily knew Cobra could take care of herself.  The woman would as soon sink some other poor fool before she ever drowned.  Cobra loathed betrayal and held her own life in very high regard above even her mission. That’s why she operated in the shadows.  Cobra made the final decisions no matter how she would claim otherwise. 

Emily watched the CIA Handler in action for years as Maven did her and the impossible jobs assigned by her.  She did this without Cobra’s knowledge, seeking an understanding of the woman’s motivations, as well as her lust for Maven whenever the woman could have him.  The CIA Handler’s perceived control over the situation could never be compromised.  She would never have appreciated that Emily learned too well from Maven to know her friends as well as her enemies.  She counted Cobra amongst the most dangerous.

Emily performed the assignments given not because of Cobra or Maven.  She comprehended the cause to which she fought very well.  The lives of Americans Emily sought to save every time she performed her part.  She never believed in Cobra, but the reason behind her work at the CIA.  Emily thought it essential to protect the interests of the American people from unknown dangers. Knowing that they all could sleep a little easier at night was always good enough for her.  Freedom, after all, held her devotion above anything else, and it wasn’t without cost.

Maven traveled as he lived at a whim or fancy.  Great pains had been taken to maintain his privacy.  Therefore, he wasn’t one simply to leave clues lying around his home on his private business.  Being careful made sense if only not to have law enforcement ever traceback evidence leading to him in any fashion.  Emily checked all condos in the metropolitan area upon her arrival from New York to see if he had been there.  The places were only safe houses and had been vacant for some time like the others.

It shocked Emily that she walked through the fully-furnished house of a man who had always been good to her in seeking her best interest.  All lay quiet in the dark of night.  Years ago, she loved the openness of the land around the property in Damascus in how peaceful it was.  An escape to a simpler time in her life where she dreamed that anything was possible.  Even happiness with a hired killer with whom she learned the same trade and carved her own future. Now the warmth within the walls that once knew love was extinguished for good.  A tomb of wood and brick remained for an old friend who was so much more. 

A smile trembled at her lips as Emily reviewed the treasures from around the world.  Paintings, busts, ancient weapons, and religious artifacts of bygone eras graced places of honor throughout the home.  He loved telling of their significance.  She liked hearing of them, too. Maven always adored traveling, and most loved beautiful things.

“What a shame,” Emily whispered to no one while wiping away a tear when gazing at his Persian rug, a Ming Dynasty vase in a corner, and a Monet painting hanging on the wall.  She remembered when they traveled to Istanbul for the rug at the famed Grand Bazaar or a private sale in Hong Kong for the vase.  The painting was a small price for a complex hit completed in Paris as if an accident.  How he pulled it off to this day, she had no idea.

Her footsteps were silent on the hardwood floors as she drifted with familiarity through the house to the den that served as Maven’s office.  A place that he warned her never to enter.  When she stepped over the threshold, Emily encountered the familiar twinge of the excitement in doing something forbidden.  Smiling a little more, she liked to live closer to the edge than most.  She would have never been a successful assassin otherwise.

Emily touched her hand over the books in the bookcase and found the one called the Secret Garden.  The book pulled back with ease, and she heard the audible click.  Emily pushed and felt the bookcase swing forward.  Lights illuminated as she walked down the narrow stone stairs revealed to her.  At the bottom, more lights came on operated by motion sensors, and more shelves were found.  Not to store books this time but with compact disks, that lined the walls in the thousands.  She dared not think of it. 

Why would Maven have such a place for the collection of videos in secret?  At first, she knew not what they were.  Slipping one the discs into the DVD player at the time (it was now a Blu-Ray player) changed everything.  Their relationship from that point on was forever altered.  Emily could no longer see Maven the same way.  Her view of him, so rosy, and heroic was tainted.

“I need food,” Maven murmured with a kiss of her creamy breast.  He nibbled on her stiff nipple as he rubbed his dark-stubbled face against her sensitive areola.

Part hiss and groan were summoned from Emily’s flushed lips. “There’s nothing to eat. We’ve already sampled the refrigerator last night where you had your way with me and what was left of the cherry Jell-O and mixed fruit I made yesterday.”

“I could feast on you all day.” Her mentor kissed her other breast and sucked her nipple into his hot mouth only to graze the sensitive flesh with his teeth.

Emily laughed as she recalled how they made use of every room in the house in every position she had fantasies of doing with him.  The last place they reserved for their lust had been Maven's master bedroom.  She never met a man so divinely skilled.  He stared up at her with his sexy brown eyes smiling like his mouth around her breast.  She ran her nails through his short hair, for she could never have enough of him.  He was terribly addictive.

“I don’t doubt it, but food does sound wonderful,” she moaned with her eyes closed.

Maven slipped his fingers down her toned belly that trembled at his touch. A gasp escaped her when a light finger trailed along the lips of her slick sex.  Maven kissed her breast again with need.  His mouth trailed up her creamy body in soft kisses until he reached her mouth.  When his pause of inactivity lengthened Emily opened her eyes as the daylight shined in on his tanned body covering hers. 

Staring into her eyes with a look of uncertainty, he asked, “Is this happening?”

Emily wondered about his doubt.  Such pleasure drove them most of the day to take what they wanted from each other.  They were unable to fight it anymore, especially after their last mission given by Cobra that narrowly cost them their lives in North Korea.  Something changed between them.  It thrilled her in the exciting current that ran between them.  Emily hoped the feeling continued to feed them toward better and even more pleasurable directions. 

“It is,” she assured without looking away from his gaze.  His thumb teased her nub, sending pleasing shockwaves through her body.  “Oh, it is!”

Maven smiled in his pleasure of how responsive she was to his touch.  He brushed her lips with his own, taking his time to taste her. “Then food you will have, my lady, and more… of me.” He kissed her deeply as he plunged a finger within her soft folds, so wet and hot for him to return.

Emily moaned as she ran her fingers through his dark hair and down his back.  His lips worked over her own as his tongue licked deep into her mouth, wanting to be inside her sweetness.  His finger was joined by another, which gently pumped inside her.  Emily rocked into his motions while she gripped the short strands of his hair and pulled his head away as he hissed his need.

“Then be quick.  Oh, how my hunger grows,” she panted with the lick of her lips.

Maven diddled her into another release where he kissed her briefly.“Will be back shortly with fresh croissant and other goodies you like.”

She already began to drift off to sleep when she heard Maven's car start and roll down the drive.  Emily was suddenly awake though.  An idea popped into her head of an opportunity never afforded her before.  From the 800-count sheets, she untangled herself and slipped down to the den Maven dared her not enter.  Emily wished that she heeded him.  Her curiosity ruined everything to come.

The disks Emily saw in real-time had grown in number considerably. Maven’s trophies of countless hits he performed via torture lined shelf after shelf from floor to ceiling.  Hundreds of the disks had been marked and categorized by date.

Since Cobra shared what she knew at Emily’s demand when she gave the Fed tail the slip, she knew Nancy Carrera; ex-wife of former Republican Senator John Carrera of Virginia was the last to hire Maven.  Mrs. Carrera also requested torture of a mark named Harrington, whom her ex-husband left her over.  To Emily, that meant returning to the house in Damascus.  Maven would have made a video of such a torture session for his last client and kept a copy for his collection. 

Sure enough, after looking for a while, Emily found a video from a few months ago in September.  Nothing could ready her for viewing the face of his female victim.  Her mascara smeared from her defiant eyes as he filleted her.  Her horrible screams echoed in Emily’s head even as she heard Maven’s voice question the woman about Harrington, or he would find her infant son and treat him the same.  Therefore, the black woman was not the mark but probably led Maven to Harrington.  However, there were no other videos stored there. 

Emily sat behind the metal desk, glaring at all the trophies upon the shelves. Shutting her eyes for a moment, she happened to glance down at a silver laptop that blended into the small computer desk.  Emily opened it with a sigh of regret knowing well what she would find.  A memory stick remained lodged in the USB port on the side. She accessed it, taking another deep breath. 

What little color Emily had in her cheeks vacated them. She found more than she bargained on the thumb drive.  A plethora of videos files surfaced, chronicling her mentor’s torment fetish. Maybe Maven converted his old death disks to conveniently maintained digital copies?  Emily didn’t know and certainly didn’t wish to dwell on it. 

She clicked the sorting option to find the last video recording saved.  It played. The metal table caught her attention for Cobra made mention of it in her retelling of intel given. Fast-forwarding Emily saw Maven strap a different black woman to it than watched prior.  Her mentor beat the victim, tried to drown her, and hung her by her arms on hooks. 

Emily slapped her hands over her mouth when Maven shaved the victim’s long hair bald and then urinated on her.  Even with skipping forwarding, she could not take watching anymore.  The tortured woman was Harrington.  Maven said her name more than once like a man in ecstasy because it was clear he tried to break the poor woman’s spirit.  

Like the first time she learned of her mentor’s sadistic pleasure in hurting people, Emily threw up into the nearest trashcan.  She shut the lid of the laptop from the muffled screams of the woman as her mentor burned the victim’s feet.  Falling to her knees, Emily felt another wave of sickness come upon her causing her to empty her stomach into the trashcan.  How could someone she cared for do such dreadful things? 

Emily struggled to understand it in the past when uncovered.  The shock of it was no less disturbing now.  What was clear?  Maven met his end because he pissed off the wrong person for performing the inhuman acts she witnessed.  Could she fault whoever ended Maven for what she saw?  Her mentor was a monster.  Not a hero.  He saved Emily, true, but how many others had he destroyed with his revelry in torture.

When Emily picked herself up and looked at all the lives lost covering the walls, an unspeakable disgust filled her.  No good Maven did for her erased all the other lives taken for his perverse pleasure.  If any were like the last, like Harrington, whose only crime was that she slept with the wrong woman’s husband, it seemed a high price to pay.  Way too high.

Emily picked up the laptop and smashed it to the floor.  She kicked over the desk with the wipe of her mouth with a shaky hand.  Suddenly, she sprinted back the way she came.  Emily understood what needed to be done.  She ran to the kitchen and lit all the gas burners but failed to let them ignite.  Instead, they ticked when she turned away. 

After shoving a stainless steel pot into the microwave, she pressed the express button for a minute count down.  Emily did not feel bad at the sparks she saw before fleeing for her life.  The explosion destroyed the house she used to love in a cleansing fire. 

Once on her classic motorcycle given to her as a gift from her mentor, Emily did not look back.  She crossed that bridge and burned the sucker down.  The past, both the good and bad, deserved the same treatment.  Tears flowed from her eyes as her heart mourned what used to be, but Emily did not bother with wiping them away.  The wind did that.  They would be her last for Maven.  She was confident that her mentor was dead. 

The only rules Emily should consider from now on were her own.  The time to embark on a path toward a future she could live with arrived.  A fresh start was needed, and this time she would be leaving all the baggage she carted around behind to burn.  Emily determined she would let nothing stand in her way to discovering what she desired.  A new life without Maven waited for her to seize it.  She would embrace it and not be afraid.


Submitted: April 25, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Amy F. Turner. All rights reserved.

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DampKitten

Wow. I like the way you wrote that. I felt like I was walking through these houses with Emily, reliving her experiences. I'm wondering how old she was when Maven found her and what it was that drove him to keep her. He was both a father and a lover. That's messed up. Clearly it had an impact on Emily. But nothing like the DVD's she discovered in his secret hideaway. A true masochist. Maven wasn't just an assassin. He was specialized. Rich as shit, apparently. I can't imagine a Monet in a private abandoned residence.

As horrific as Maven's private fetish may have been, it's odd that Emily had no clue about it without the benefit of the secret videos. You would think Maven would have ultimately introduced her to at least some form of light B&D during sex play. Or maybe he would have taught her the art of torture along with his other secrets. There were years to introduce her slowly into what undoubtedly was Maven's most affectionate calling.

Well, we found out what happened to Harrington.
Very intense, Amy

Sat, May 16th, 2020 4:40am

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Emily has many sides and I think they influence her perception. She has no illusions of who her mentor was on the surface as you say, but how well do you really know a person if they choose to withhold secrets? Maven seemed to be one of these. Not open in some areas but let Emily in to see others. Emily may have wanted to see all of him. Just like a child in a way seeking to see that one piece of forbidden fruit denied. Or perhaps she was blind as we can sometimes be with the people we love when it comes to flaws? What is not clear as Emily reveals is that she does not know why Maven took her on mentor in the first place.

Sun, May 17th, 2020 8:14am

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