❝The old law about an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.❞ - Martin Luther King Jr.
HEATHER didn’t love to kill. Each life she took, haunted her a little more, kept her awake for just a bit longer. Yet, when Heather saw Benny’s body – two bullets to the head from his own gun, Maria – she smiled. It must have looked terribly wretched, she could feel the skin around her lips contort til it started to hurt.
Her mirth lasted a minute – if that – before agonising guilt washed over her. She'd heard tales from her time in the Vault, of dirty scavvers who smiled at the corpses of the men they killed. She felt dirty, even though she had bathed specifically to seduce Benny into his suite alone. Disgust washed over her, but she didn’t regret her action.
Benny’s bodyguards proved easy pickings, she’d managed to put four bullets into the back of each of their heads before they could return the favour. As she walked out, she was surprised to see the Chairmen and gamblers continued to dance and chat and drink as if nothing happened. She shouldn’t have been that shocked, no-one here had any sense of loyalty, no-one on the Strip had any sense of loyalty; they would sooner slit their leader’s throats than they would drink beer with them.
She walked past Swank, who gave a knowing nod. Before she had killed Benny, she had given him all the evidence she had to prove what Benny had done, not because of some overbearing sense of justice, but because she needed allies. It would’ve been stupid to waltz in and shoot Benny, Swank was his right-hand man and must have had some semblance of loyalty in him, it just wasn’t worth the bullets.
As she exited, she was greeted by a golden-haired man dressed in a business suit and fedora. Normally, she would have mistaken him for a gambler and stepped around him, but, as she lifted her head, she saw it. His eyes – the fox’s eyes – she hadn’t seen them since she travelled to Nipton over two weeks ago, yet they still were the most piercing eyes she had ever seen.
“Vale, courier,” He begins, his voice low as to not rouse any suspicion from his speaking of Latin. “I’ll keep this meeting short for your sake and mine. The great Caesar bestows onto you the honour of his Mark. With this you are guaranteed safe travel within all Legion-occupied lands. He summons you to Fortification Hill and I have requested that I escort you if you would let me.”
She wanted nothing to do with the Legion, nor House, nor the NCR. They’d all use her as their ‘wild card’, a pawn who could take the shape of whatever they wanted her as. She'd been that in the Vaults, she would not be that again. Still, if she wanted any hope of cleansing Vegas, she’d need to know what the three powerhouses was doing. Heather already had exclusive access to House, and the NCR’s ambassador wanted to speak to her; she was in an amazing, yet fragile position.
“I accept, but I have to bathe first. Do you have a place for me to stay?” She said as she took the silver necklace from him. He could not hurt her, even if he was alone with her, Caesar’s Mark saw to that. If he broke his word, he would have a 9mm bullet in between his cruel eyes.
The fox only nodded, before walking off to the Ultra-Luxe, leaving her to follow him. She'd never been in the Luxe before, whenever she walked past it, she felt the hairs on her neck prick. Rumours of cannibalism were never far from the place, and, although she felt a minor need to clear the place, she’d always refrained, knowing that she couldn’t take them out alone.
Vulpes took her to a large bedroom after getting his key from the greeter, Mortimer, the man unsettling her deeply. The room was beautiful, though – almost as rich as her suite in the Lucky 38 – with white marbled walls and floors with every inch of grime and mildew scrubbed from it, leaving a pretty shine. The curtains were made with multiple layers of white voile and drawn shut and the king-sized bed was spotless with a mahogany frame and cream-coloured sheets.
She skimmed over the lavish room, finding the mahogany door to the bathroom. Without another word, she walked over to the bathroom, opening the door and then locking it. There was no way she was leaving the door open whilst in the same room as a man who saw women as breeding bitches.
The water was warm against her skin and she was, for once, thankful of the Strip’s alliance to the NCR which provided the Strip with the water of the Dam. First, she rubbed her thick, black curls with aloe vera scented shampoo. After washing it out, she coated her body with agave nectar and aloe vera soap, enjoying the sweet smell.
For a brief second, she thought she was in the Vault again...