Title: Fall From Grace - Part Two
Author: Geekgrrllurking
Author’s Email: Geekgrrl.lurking@gmail.com
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Jaime/Ruth
Word Count: 11400
Summary: Can true love survive an epic fall from grace?

Disclaimer: Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man and their characters are the property of NBC. The Canadian Central Experimental Farm is a real historical location and tourist attraction found in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and was referenced without permission. You should visit sometime. No infringement intended.

Author’s Notes: Chapter 3 was written for the International Day of Femslash 2009. Chapter 4 was written and posted online in 2010. Neither chapter has been archived so I've included it now. Chapter 5 and 6 are completely new and 5424 words have been written for the IDF 2012 Big Bang – Bronze level.

Author's Notes 2: Thank you to Shatterpath for allowing me to reference events in her story House Call: Extended Version. Thank you to Ardvari for German translation help.

Author's Notes 3: For those of you who have not seen the show, there is a German mystery man in the first few episodes that broke Dr. Anthony Anthros out of the Maximum Security underground prison. This man was involved with Sarah Corvus on many levels, not the least of which was sexually. We never found out who that man was or what his plans were during the short run of the show, so I took him and turned him into Steve Austin. No original Six Million Dollar Men were harmed in the making of this story, but I thought you might like a little explanation as to why Steve Austin is suddenly some weird German dude. Sorry to ruin the surprise if you haven't read the first parts, but at least you still don't know who the Berkut mole is…*evil smirk*

Chapter 3: Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Jaime Sommers raised her head and listened, picking up the tell tale sound of footsteps approaching from behind. A steady rain beat down on her, cold and hard, just like her mood this dismal summer evening. The squeak of her leather pants drowned out the sounds as she dismounted from her black Harley Sportster motorcycle, stepping silently into the shadows of the building, trying to melt into the background of the dingy alleyway.

"What the hell was I thinking?" She murmured under her breath. How many weeks had it been since she had left Ruth's warm arms? She could clearly envision her lover now, probably snuggled up on her couch watching reruns of old cop shows on television. Make that ex-lover. Jaime sighed at the mess her life had turned into and pulled up the collar of her jacket. The now familiar clink of a Zippo lighter flicking open and flaring to life caught her attention.

"Get ready." Sarah Corvus lit her smoke and inhaled deeply.

Jaime and Sarah both cocked their heads, each reaching out into the night with their unnatural hearing. More footsteps, faint and meant to be that way. Dekker was trying to sneak past them. Not a good idea at the best of times, a horrible idea tonight.

Nodding her head at Jaime to take the lead, Sarah stepped back and disappeared behind the large garbage bin, a thin trail of smoke the only thing giving away her position.

Wallace Dekker came around the corner of the building at the end of the alleyway. Jaime focused her eye, zoomed it in and easily identified her target. Dekker knew too much about the silver shipment to be kept around as a loose end and Austin wanted him neutralized. Jaime only hoped she could find a way to help the unfortunate man escape to safety.

Dekker kept looking behind him, afraid of the goons Corvus had put on his tail. The plan to shake him up and then herd him towards the alley seemed to have worked perfectly. Dekker's rumpled and torn clothes not to mention the black eye and bruises spoke volumes, and a part of Jaime felt for the poor man despite knowing this was all part of the game. She hated the game.

Stumbling and falling along the brick wall, Dekker could just make out the luscious curves and long dark hair of a woman ahead. Slipping along the rough pavement he made his way forward, hopefully to safety.

"Help me…" Dekker gasped, falling into the arms of the woman. Jaime lifted the weak man to his feet and held him tight, surprising him with her strength. She felt him struggle against her as Corvus stepped out from the shadows. Getting him quickly into a headlock, she kept him steady as Corvus circled her prey.

"Now Wally, just where do you think you're going?" Corvus dragged a long finger across his cheek, trailing across his split lip.

"Tell her!" Jaime hissed, adjusting the hold on his upper body. If he would just tell Sarah what she wanted to hear she could stop this, defuse the situation. She didn't like this, she didn't like this at all.

"I don't know anything. I swear!" Dekker croaked, clutching at the strong arm holding him tight before he felt himself being tossed up against the brick wall.

"Wrong answer." Jaime growled, holding him by this throat as she pushed him up the rough wall, leaving his feet dangling a good foot in the air.

"I can't let you have all the fun James." Corvus stepped up beside Jaime and grabbed the struggling man by the front of his jacket, tossing him over her head like a rag doll across the alley, to land hard against some garbage cans from the store behind them.

Dekker faded in and out of consciousness, barely making out a dog barking a few streets over and the boots of the two women crunching along the broken pavement of the alley as they headed towards him. A warm trickle of blood from his forehead was being washed away by the falling rain. His leg was broken he was sure, so there would be no running from this situation. Resigned to his fate, he looked up long leather clad legs and full curves into the glowing green eye of his very own angel of death. Was that a tear?

"Do it Jaime." Corvus came to stand behind her. Jaime swallowed hard and stared at the poor wreck of a man at her feet. Another step down the slippery slope, playing a stupid game she didn't even like. Except this was no game, it was life and death.

She couldn't do it. Jaime's mind wouldn't wrap around getting rid of a witness this way. In that same instant she felt the seductive swirl of another's thoughts enter her mind, like a caress, tender and intimate. Her body tightened in reaction, like it always did, and she focused on what was being projected at her from Corvus.

He knows too much Jaime. He knows our faces and about Steve and the shipment. You know what we have to do here. Sarah stared hard at the younger bionic woman, trying to bend her to her will. Didn't she understand this had to be done?

Their fragile mental link had been getting stronger and while they could hear each other's directed thoughts fairly clearly, it was still like shouting across a crowded noisy room at each. It was getting there though and Sarah knew Anthros would be pleased with the progress. She also knew once she finally bedded Jaime their connection would be better. And she was more than ready for that conversation. However right now they were running out of time, Dekker's back up would certainly be looking for him.

Losing patience Sarah bent over and grabbed the jaw of the man struggling weakly on the ground and twisted, the snapping bones of his neck clearly heard as he died with a wet gurgle. Standing up she looked back at the soaked brunette, her green eyes flashing with horror and outrage. Jaime was still so young in so many ways.

You'll get used to it sweetheart. I did. Sarah ran the back of her knuckles along Jaime's soft cheek, before retrieving her still burning cigarette from the handlebars of her motorbike before mounting up.

"Let's roll, we can make Denver by eleven if we hustle." Sarah jumped and started the bike thundering, leaving the body behind like so much debris in the alleyway. All Jaime could do was follow, another piece of her innocence broken away.

Jonas Bledsoe booted up his computer and sat his travel mug of coffee down on the desk top. Movement from the hallway outside his office door caught his attention and he knew it was going to be bad news from the look on his friend's face. Not that she had looked anything but grim for the last few weeks, but still. Ruth pushed his glass office door open and dropped the official San Francisco Police Department crime scene photos on his desk.

"Dekker is dead."

So much for a slow start to his day. Shuffling through the various images in the file, he was almost afraid to ask his next question, not wanting Ruth to suffer any more. He wondered not for the first time if he should transfer her off this case. He had no doubts that she would kill him if he did.

"Any witnesses?" Jonas finally asked, bravely meeting the troubled hazel eyes of his old friend.

"Shop owner said he heard two motorbikes take off around that time, but with the thunderstorm going on he couldn't be sure. We're going through the security tapes as we speak" Ruth sank into a chair across from the desk. It had surprised her a little the first time she had heard Jaime was riding a Harley now. She knew who would be on the security tape footage, just like Jonas did.

Jonas sighed and rubbed his eyes. He knew this would eventually happen but it didn't make it any easier. It was part of the bigger picture, he had to keep telling himself that and try not to think about the danger level that Jaime was now in.

"I have to do it Ruth. I can't protect her anymore."

Ruth bowed her head, knowing he was right. She still couldn't believe Jaime had flipped sides, did not want to consider that she had joined Sarah Corvus over staying with Berkut, staying with her. It didn't make sense on any level. Not only that, it hurt like hell.

"I know." Ruth just shook her head, resigned to what was to come.

Ruth had known the potential to go bad, to succumb to the killing machinery inside, the power she wields thrust upon her, that it would be a test that Jaime would one day face. In fact she had written a report on just that topic for Jonas and his superiors a few months ago. She had only hoped that she would be there, to help the girl through it, to find a way safely to the other side. No such luck.

Instead Jaime was dealing with killing someone for the first time with Sarah Corvus. Ruth didn't even want to contemplate what kind of a mind fuck was involved and what kind of mine field Jaime's psyche will be because of this.

Ruth sighed as Jonas' warm hand touched her shoulder in sympathy.

God this was all such a mess…

Sarah Corvus stood by the window of a small restaurant in the middle of nowhere reading a text message. She smiled grimly at the news, knowing that the time had finally come. Jaime was truly cut off from Berkut now. Looking across the room, she found the brunette currently grabbing seconds from the buffet table. Wandering over, she picked up a plate for herself and followed the girl around the tables.

"Well, it seems you've made the FBI most wanted list. Congratulations." Sarah picked up the tongs and grabbed some more leafy greens for her plate.

"What?" Jaime's eyes grew large and she stared at Corvus.

"That guy in the alley, he was an undercover agent." Sarah stared back intensely for a moment before cocking her head to the side and smiling scarily. Jaime swallowed hard.

"Oops…" Sarah turned slowly and took a scoop of ranch dressing and drizzled it over the salad on her plate.

"Well, really he should have known better than to mess with us. The security feed from the back alley apparently has you as the star of the show. I've asked my contact to send me a copy of the notice. We can start a scrapbook." Sarah dropped a bun onto her plate and shuffled down the table. "Oh, smoked salmon, my favourite."

Jaime tried to bounce back, but the news had just twisted everything again, making the whole mission that much more dangerous for her. Silently she added some roast beef to her plate and headed back to their table, Sarah followed shortly watching her carefully.

"Oh come on, lighten up. Steve has it taken care of. We need to drop into Louisville to do that little job and we can just pick up our new passports and id at the same time. Poof, no more problems."

Jaime speared an olive and tried not to cry.

Jonas watched as Ruth walked stone faced down the hallway to her office. Jae's report said that she nearly ripped the head off of the suspect in her last interrogation. Everyone was upset about Jaime's defection but for Ruth it was so much more personal.

Looking at the picture of his wife Jonas could almost hear her voice from the grave, telling him to do the decent thing. Tipping the frame down so he didn't have to look at her smiling face, Jonas ran a hand over his head and sighed.

No contact from Jaime since all this started as ordered. The death of Wally Dekker clearly tied Austin and Corvus to the silver bars and now by extension Jaime. If it had been his lover it would have killed him.

There were days he hated his life.

Several nights later the humidity hung heavy in the air, with Louisville in the throws of a summer heat wave. The languid silence was shattered by the pathetic begging and the sharp bone crunching sounds of a violent beat down.

"Please…please don't." The heavy set man had already taken quite a beating. Jaime backhanded him one more time for good measure, blood from his split lip smearing across her skin. Lifting the thug up off the ground, she tossed against the wall and held him there. As he continued to struggle against the rough brick wall to free himself, Jaime waited for the signal.

"Please lady, I'll forget everything just don't kill me…" The man begged for his life. Jaime's stomach turned slightly. This was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. "Please, I've got a family, I've got kids."

"Shut up. Do you hear me asshole. Just shut up." Jaime pressed harder against his throat and the man started to quietly cry. Sighing, she slid the man down the wall so his feet once more touched the ground. Where was Corvus?

*Now Jaime.*

"About fucking time…" she growled. Grabbing the man by his jacket, she easily tossed him over her shoulder and into a garbage dumpster.

"Tell anyone about this and I'll come back for you and your kids. Got me?" She snarled and heard the whimpering cries of the man inside the dumpster. "Good."

Leaping over the unconscious remainder of the man's cohorts, Jaime opened the back door to the Club and entered. The small hallway was dark and the heavy dance beat reverberated deep in her chest. She sent out a short mental burst to Corvus.

**Where are you?**

*In the office, second door to the left.*

Jaime saw the door and the pile of guards slumped by it, heads at awkward angles, obviously dead. A shiver ran through her and she tried not to dwell on the rising body count on this secret mission of hers. Scanning the wall and door for heat signatures, she knew that there were three people inside the office, two large targets right by the door. The third signature was very minimal, obviously Sarah's with her bionics controlling the amount of heat given off during a mission. Damn sneaky anthrocytes. She also noticed that the targets by the door seemed to have weapons. Snag in the plan.

**Here I come to save the day!**

*Yeah, yeah. Just hurry up already…*

Jaime could hear the amusement in the older woman's thoughts. Smiling to herself, she took a bit of a run and hit the cheap door with a flying kick. Wood cracked and crumbled as she came through, hitting both men with semi automatics down to the floor. A kick to the head took care of one of the men. The second one was their target if Jaime's eidetic memory drive served her correctly. He had made it to his knees just as Jaime grabbed him and tossed him over to Sarah, who slammed him against the wall.

"No more asking nicely Tomsett now that my muscle has arrived. Where is the package?" Sarah smirked, noticing his eyes shift to the bookcase behind the desk.

*Check the bookcase.*

Jaime walked over and yanked hard on the wood bookshelf. Books dropped to the floor as the case tipped over. Hidden behind was a small wall safe. She smiled and looked back at the older woman still holding the struggling man by his throat.

"Open it." Sarah snarled at the terrified man. "Don't make me ask you twice." She spun him away from the wall and shoved him towards Jaime.

Catching him before he fell, Jaime pulled him over closer to the safe. She forced his hand over the scanner and watched the red lights flick to green before the door popped open. Pushing him back, she pulled out the small package they had come for. Seeing the wad of bills there, she also grabbed that and stuffed it into her back pack.

Sarah smiled, pleased that the girl seemed to be getting the hang of her new lifestyle and thinking on her feet. Maybe it was time for another test, to see just how far she had been progressing. Eyes glittering with dark intent she headed for the door and waited.

*Do it Jaime and let's get out of here.*

Jaime elbowed Tomsett in the head and knocked him unconscious, watching as his body dropped to the ground. She turned just in time to see disappointment flicker across the older woman's face. Sighing, Corvus headed out into the noisy dance club with Jaime following not far behind.

The loud dance music still thumped, covering any noise they may have made. The place was packed, men and women bumping and grinding against each other. Progress across the dance floor was slow, and Sarah finally gave up trying to shove her way across. Deciding on another route, she turned and grabbed Jaime's hands before starting to dance to the music, pulling the brunette close.

Spinning and twisting, Jaime lost track of time. The feel of Sarah's hands running across her body, the heat rising from them as they pressed together. She found her hands on Sarah, tangling up into her hair, enjoying herself. Suddenly they were on the far side of the room, Sarah grabbed her hand and pulled her close, claiming her mouth. Panting they broke apart and headed out the front door of the club. They could just make out the sound of sirens as they started up their bikes and disappeared into the night.

Jonas paused the security tape footage from the club.

"As you can see people, Corvus and Sommers were behind this. Three dead and 8 injured at their hands a few hours ago. The owner was a Berkut informant who was about to drop the latest satellite chipsets developed by his contact in China."

Everyone looked grim around the conference table. Jae glanced over at Ruth. He was used to hearing about Sarah's rampages, the death that followed in her wake. It was still quite new for Ruth to hear about Jaime.

Ruth for her part refused to allow any emotion to affect her work, her professional badass mask firmly in place, completely in control. She knew she would fall apart later, but right now the team needed her. If anyone could predict Jaime it would be her. She was an asset to this mission and she needed to get her head in the game and worry about her heart later.

Or what was left of it anyway.

Jaime had known this was going to be a problem at some point, she had just hoped it could have been postponed a little longer. Soft lips traced the strong cord of her neck muscle and found her earlobe, gently sucking. Jaime moaned softly. Sarah was getting very good at finding her hot spots and pushing the limits, pushing her for more.

"Sarah…" Jaime panted, trying to get the blonde's attention. "Sarah, stop baby."

Corvus groaned, frustrated, but pushed away from the tempting brunette. Jaime grabbed the front of her jacket and didn't let her get very far away.

"I'm sorry Sarah. I am. I'm just not ready yet." Jaime barely whispered into the darkness of their motel room. "I want it to be right for us. I only want you in my heart when I make you mine." She leaned in and captured Sarah's mouth briefly before pulling away again. "And make no mistake, you will be mine. But I want it to be somewhere special, not on a mission with you in some seedy motel. Just give me a little more time, okay? I'm just not there yet."

Sarah sighed and nodded her head. Understandable, it was all understandable and actually kind of touching.

"Special, huh? We can do special…" She smiled and gently kissed the full lips before her one last time. Pushing away from the wall and Jaime's tempting body, Sarah flicked on the motel room lights.

"I'm going to take a shower." Sarah opened her duffle bag, grabbing her night clothes. She could just see the hilt of the anthrocyte activator device Anthros had given her just in case. She glanced over at the lithe brunette as she turned down the sheets on her bed. It was tempting to help things along, to get the girl's anthrocytes to artificially synchronize but Sarah didn't want Jaime to give in to her because of a physical need. She wanted Jaime to give herself freely.

Jaime looked up at that moment and their eyes locked. Sarah knew in that instant that she would wait for Jaime for as long as it would take. Grabbing her toiletries, she smiled softly and headed into the bathroom.

Jaime quickly changed and slipped under the cool sheets of her bed. With the earlier dancing followed by a long bike ride and the press of Sarah's sweet curves, her body was certainly not happy with her for stopping when she did. Hearing the shower turn on, Jaime knew she needed to relax and started to run her hands along her tense body. Unbidden Jaime's mind wandered, sifting through images in her head as she cupped and squeezed her breasts.

Closing her eyes Jaime slid her hand down into her pyjama bottoms, into the wet heat she found there. Stroking and touching herself, she found herself imagining a familiar blonde head with much shorter baby soft hair, bright hazel eyes dancing with mischief, and a husky voice urging her on, murmuring her love and showing it to her with every caress.

Once the memories started she couldn't stop them, it was like a flood gate had opened and Jaime's mind filled with more images of Ruth. She could easily conjure a picture her girlfriend lying across from her, naked with kiss bruised lips and the most adorable case of bed head. Or another memory of her standing by the big blue GTO, coveralls open with long sleeves hanging off her hips and a white t-shirt, dark oil smudged on her cheek, with come hither eyes beckoning silently. It didn't take long before she had been bent over a fender, Ruth tinkering under her hood, having her way with her.

Jaime's scattered thoughts finally settled on a favourite memory, that first afternoon together on her couch. She could almost feel Ruth's ragged breathing hot against her cheek as she impatiently tugged the shirt out and oh so slowly eased her hand down into Jaime's jeans, finding her wet and ready. Ruth's arm muscles bunching and flexing in the late afternoon light, her strong hands taking Jaime higher, as she lay cradled between her lover and the back of the sofa.

The couch creaked with her bionic death grip on its superstructure, as they moved together on the cushions, Jaime's other hand curled protectively over the crotch of her jeans, where she could feel the outline of Ruth's hand moving beneath.

Jaime threw her head back both then and now as she felt her body tighten from the memory, her impending orgasm starting to swirl low in her belly promising sweet release.

Jaime could almost feel the silk fabric of Ruth's blouse tearing in her hands once again, delicate buttons popping and clattering to the floor, it had been such a small sacrifice to her need to run her hands along the bare skin beneath. The smooth softness of Ruth's skin over firm muscle and bone, she had quivered and twitched with her exploring touch. There was a vulnerable trust that was shining bright in her pale yellowing eyes. Love, even then, was lurking in the shadows waiting to bloom.

It was suddenly too much. Jaime's back arched off the bed, her body contracting finally, gasping quietly as she peaked and gained her release. She rode out the waves of pleasure, as aftershocks fired through her body.

Blinking her eyes open, a heavy sadness settled over her as Jaime once more realized that she was alone. Her needs soothed, Jaime turned to stare at the rain falling down the motel window, her body calming more and more with each passing moment. She quietly sighed, struggling not to cry and waited for sleep to claim her exhausted body, to take her to pleasant dreams of Ruth.

Ruth checked the bank of computer monitors one last time, watching the various biological and mechanical levels returning to elevated but normal parameters. She found herself in this room most days before heading home for the night. It was sort of pathetic in a way but her heart wouldn't let the girl go. No matter the evidence to the contrary she couldn't believe Jaime had turned so completely from Berkut, or from her.

"The GPS and streaming visuals are still down but the remote diagnostics are working perfectly. Her levels are all good. She had a bit of a spike there a few minutes ago, but it's gone back to normal parameters." Nathan glanced up at his friend. "She's ok Ruth. See she's sleeping."

He pointed to a green wave pattern, slowly scrolling along the monitor. Ruth checked her watch. It was 9 p.m. a bit early to be sleeping already. She wondered briefly where in the world and in what time zone the girl was in now. At least she was asleep, safe for tonight and it eased an ache inside her.

"Thanks Nathan. I should head home myself." Ruth quietly turned with his sympathetic nod and left the computer lab. She only stopped briefly at her office for her laptop then walked out of Berkut HQ into the black San Francisco night. Sliding behind the wheel of her GTO she paused to gather herself, taking a big watery breath, letting the emotions finally crash through her. She refused to break down in front of those damned security cameras.

Thumping the steering wheel hard with her hand, Ruth felt the sting of tears threatening behind her eyes. Twisting the key in the ignition, the big blue car rumbled to life and Ruth slowly pulled out of the parking lot, disappearing into the traffic.


Chapter 4: Home is Where the Heart Is

"Anything to declare?" The Canadian border guard all but leered, as he slipped his sunglasses lower down his nose and admired the leather clad curves of the riders rumbling next to his booth.

It had taken almost half an hour of waiting in line before the motorbikes had finally thundered across the international bridge in the heavy weekend traffic flowing both ways between Canada and the United States. The brunette shifted in her seat, but the blonde smiled and blinked

"No place to put anything, so no," The blonde grinned and shrugged.

The guard flicked down her form and back up again. She wasn't kidding, the leather outfit clung to her like a second skin. He chuckled and glanced back at their Canadian passports.

"Well ladies, everything looks in order," The man glanced over to the brunette, who also smiled back at him. The line needed to get moving so he handed back their passports and pushed his sunglasses back up his nose. "Have a nice day."

Tucking their passports back into their jackets, both women put their helmets back on and

It took almost half an hour of waiting in line before the bikes finally roared down the road and out into the open highway.

Before long they pulled into the nearest coffee shop for a quick bathroom break and to stretch their legs before heading further down the road. Jaime Sommers sighed and ran a hand through her hair. She would have killed for a shower; the humid air had been hanging over the last few states had seemed to follow them into the large province making for sticky travelling. The leather pants didn't help.

"Hey, you ok?" Sarah Corvus handed over a cold drink and smiled softly. Long fingers trailed through the dark locks, finding tense neck muscles which she began to massage lightly.

"Yeah, I'm just getting cranky and stiff from the long drive," Jamie sighed, cocking her head to the left to let Sarah have better access to her achy muscles. "God, that feels good."

"Not much further now, I promise," Sarah grinned as Jaime's eyes fluttered shut and she sighed happily. She tried not to think about the other sounds she couldn't wait to hear the brunette make. She reluctantly moved away from Jaime, who rolled her shoulders and sighed sadly. "Toronto is probably another few hours away and then we can relax for a bit."

"What's this?" Jaime asked, the chill from the drink drawing her attention as her eyes blinked open again and

"It's an ice cap … an iced cappuccino. They're addictive. Try it." She watched as the girl took a sip of the slushy coffee drink, her eyes lighting up as the cool liquid slid down her throat and hit the spot.

Jaime stared hard at the blonde, recognizing the look Corvus was sending her. While she may never love the woman, her one time enemy was definitely more than she had bargained for. Funny smart and cunning, thinking always on her feet, strong and ruthless, not afraid to take what she needs, or kill if need be. She was crazy, most definitely, yet oddly tender. The soft look Sarah got sometimes and had right now almost made her forget the crazy part.


Leaning forward, she captured Sarah's mouth with her own cool lips.

"Thanks." Jaime smiled and took another sip of the cold drink. They still had a fair drive to get to their destination for the night.

It was Gay Pride Week in Toronto. The city was full of strangers visiting the gay village in the small area surrounding Church and Wellesley streets. Two women in leather and on motorbikes didn't even raise an eyebrow.

Thundering down Jarvis Street they quickly found parking for their bikes and walked the short distance to Church Street, easily finding the English style pub on the corner. Wandering in the place was packed with visitors to the city. Elbowing her way to the bar, Sarah glared menacingly at two women on the stools to her right, who promptly grabbed their drinks and moved out to the patio. Smiling at Jaime, they took the seats at the bar and ordered a drink.

"Steve said that our contact would make the drop here. We might as well make ourselves at home." Sarah

A blonde at the end of the bar caught Jaime's attention. Short blonde hair, same build, toned body. What the hell was Ruth doing here? The woman turned and looked at her, smiling briefly before laughing at something the woman beside her whispered in her ear. Jaime's stomach dropped. A flush of disappointment rushed through her as she realized it wasn't her.

"Hey, you ok?" Sarah ran a hand along Jaime's arm, drawing her attention away from the girl at the bar.

"Yeah, just hot all of a sudden." Jaime fanned herself. It was warm in the bar. "I'll be right back, just going find the bathroom."

"It's downstairs honey." The bartender came over with their drinks and smiled seductively at her, before Sarah's glare made her think better of her flirting.

Pulling out a phone card she'd bought from a variety store in Ohio, she quickly dialled a number from memory. It was only 6 p.m. on the west coast and she doubted Ruth would be home. She just wanted to hear her voice and had found calling her home answering machine a bitter sweet thing. Actually, it was kind of pathetic really, but she didn't care. Especially here, so far from home, it soothed the bone deep ache she carried constantly inside. The sixth ring and machine picked up, Jaime anxiously tapped the phone waiting for the voice to kick in.

'Hi it's Ruth. Leave me a message and I'll—' The machine clicked and a hum followed by the woman herself on the line. "Hello? Hang on a sec while I reset the machine…"

Jaime knew she should have hung up when the machine clicked over with a tinny feedback squawk. Hell, she knew she should hang up now, her hand even hovered at the ready, but her heart wouldn't let her.


Her voice sounded rough and husky, like she'd been asleep. Jaime could picture her napping on her couch snuggled up under her favourite blanket, the reading glasses she'd just started wearing sliding down her nose and her hair adorably askew. The image was so vivid in her mind was almost painful. Her eyes filled with unexpected tears. Home was just on the other end of the line.

"Hello, is anyone there?" A long silence, waiting for Ruth to hang up but she didn't. Jaime covered her mouth but couldn't completely muffle the shuddering sob that escaped. She missed Ruth so damn much. Seeing the woman upstairs had opened a flood gate of emotions. This had been a mistake; she needed to get back under control before Sarah found her like this.

"Jaime?" The strangled voice on the other side told a story by itself. Ruth was hurting too. The last thing she had wanted to do was hurt Ruth even more. Damn Jonas and his undercover assignment. Jaime wiped away her tears and sighed into the receiver.

"This is so hard…" Jaime whispered. Damn it she hadn't had enough time to train for this properly, deep down she was really just a civilian playing spy versus spy. None of this had been covered in her training.

"God," Ruth choked out, tears flowing freely down her cheeks as she clutched the receiver closer, as if able to reach through the line and hold her lover. "Where are you, baby?"

"Canada. Toronto," Jaime couldn't help the big sniff as she wiped away the moisture in her eyes. "We're on the move though, and I still don't know where exactly we're headed." She could hear footsteps at the top of the stairs. "I've got to go."

"No, Jaime. Wait…"

"I just… I just needed to hear your voice. I love you." Jaime whispered and hung up the phone as footsteps headed her way from upstairs. At least Ruth knew now she was ok. Hopefully Jonas would understand the break she had needed from her deep cover mission.

Turning to look up the stairs she saw a strange woman descend, look at her and smile, before slipping past to enter the women's washroom. Jaime wiped her eyes and laughed at herself as her heart beat started to return to normal.

Her life was so fucked up.

Ruth sank down onto her couch, the dial tone buzzing in her ear.

"I love you too, Jaime." Sadly she placed the handset back down on her house phone.

Staring hard at the phone, her mind started to whirl. She had waited long enough, followed the rules more than long enough. It was time to take names and kick some ass. Making her decision, Ruth pulled out her BlackBerry and scrolled through her contacts. Last she had heard, an old friend had been rising through the ranks at the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service. She narrowed her eyes and found the number she had been looking for and waited as it started to dial.

It was high time to call in a favour.


Chapter 5: Field of Dreams

Jaime Sommers never thought she would be so happy to see a place as she was pulling into Ottawa, the capital city of Canada the next day. It had been raining the last hour on the road and it was just starting to let up a little as the two motorcycles took the off ramp from Highway 417. Although the rain had cut the heat, it was still a tough drive on the bikes, but they had soldiered on, wanting to get to their destination now that they were so close. Sarah Corvus had seemed unaffected by the wet weather but as Jaime well knew, things were never as they seemed where the blonde was concerned.  

Winding their way around the side streets of the city was when Jaime saw it for the first time. She frowned and blinked, not quite believing her eyes but her internal sensors confirmed what she was seeing. A huge field of corn was growing smack dab in the middle of the small city.

They pulled up to a red light and Sarah flipped up her helmet visor and grinned at her 

"Don't look now but we're not the only experimental projects around here…" Sarah nodded towards a sign at the side of the road. Experimental Farm. 

The light changed to green and Sarah slapped her visor back down and pulled off, leaving a puzzled Jaime to follow behind. It wasn't long before she pulled into the driveway of a small suburban bungalow, where Sarah parked, killed the bike engine and pulled off her helmet. Jaime followed in beside her and did the same.


"Come on, Jaime," Sarah smirked as the brunette shook her long dark hair free. "Someone is desperately waiting to meet you."  

Instead of walking into the house, Sarah grinned wildly and crossed the road, easily hopping over the fence into the field of corn of the Experimental Farm. 

"Sarah, where the hell are you going now?" Jaime was very confused but followed, afraid she'd lose the blonde in the growing crops. Arriving at a small shed in the field, Sarah punched in a code into a small black keypad attached to the door. Sliding open with a whoosh Jaime could just make out a staircase descending into the ground. 

"Trust me. I'll watch out for you here, I promise." Sarah leaned in for a soft kiss to reassure the younger woman. Pulling back, her eyes grew serious, intense, before sliding their hands together.

*Stay close.*

Jaime swallowed and smiled back weakly, her stomach in knots, wondering just what the hell was going on around here? Corvus nodded once reassuringly before stepping through the doorway and leading the way down the cement stairs into the darkness below.

Ruth stepped into Jonas' office and quietly shut the door behind her as her boss looked up, somewhat puzzled as she made her way to his desk.

"Jaime's in Toronto, and she's not happy," Ruth aggressively leaned forward, her fists pressing into the large desk top, and she glared hard at the man she had considered a friend, wanting answers. "Neither am I."

"Ruth—"Jonas began, and jumped when Ruth's hand slapped down hard on his polished desk top, stopping him in his tracks.

"Jonas, don't!" Ruth growled, almost quivering with anger, barely keeping her edge of control. "Just don't. Now what can you tell me?"

Jonas pushed away from his keyboard and leaned back in his large chair watching her carefully. Ruth looked as tired as he felt and he knew she was two seconds from ripping him apart for his part in all this.

He looked away, torn. The woman would be relentless when she wanted information, like a dog with a bone, and he knew it. Still, he trusted her implicitly and wanted to tell her, wanted to share the burden of the mission with someone. Making his decision, Jonas opened his bottom desk drawer and pulled out a file, sliding the purple folder towards her across his desk.

Ruth frowned; it was about three inches thick. She glanced up and met his serious gaze. What the hell was going on?

"We have a mole in Berkut and I needed to plug the leak."

The door behind them slid shut, blocking the natural light from outdoors, but it only took an instant for Jaime's eye to switch to night vision as they descended the steep stairs, finding another locked doorway at the bottom. Corvus punched in a code and leaned in for a retina scan, causing the door before them to open with a quiet whoosh.

Stepping through together, the second door slid shut quickly and Jaime blinked into the bright florescent lights. She glanced around, curious. The place was dismal and grey and it oddly reminded her of coming in to work at Berkut every day. If you factored in the tight security measures it all seemed very familiar. In fact, it reeked of a secret military operation.

Jaime's stomach churned and she couldn't shake the bad feeling washing over her. Corvus squeezed her hand one last time, meeting her worried gaze before turning her attention to the man in fatigues behind the desk blocking their entrance to the facility.

"Hi, George," Sarah leaned forward as the man unwrapped a cotton swab and held it out for her to take. The blonde swirled it around her mouth and deposited it into a small tube, where it was whisked away, undoubtedly to be analyzed somewhere else in the facility. "Where's Sheba?"

"Ah, Ms. Corvus, a pleasure as always," The handsome man in fatigues sat behind a desk, his warm smile not giving away the fact that he had a handgun trained on them under the table. If Jaime's sensors hadn't picked up the perceived danger, flashing a helpful red warning light in her mind's eye about the threatening heat signature, she wouldn't have even guessed. "Sheba was reassigned for a week to fill in at the airport, a drug sniffing refresher."

On the desk a green light blinked suddenly and everyone relaxed slightly, George holstering his weapon surreptitiously.

"Sheba is a gorgeous German Sheppard, absolutely loves me for some reason." Corvus grinned, glancing over at Jaime as the guard pulled two passes from the drawer and sliding it over to the two women.

"Couldn't have anything to do with the treats you bring her, eh?" George teased, pushing a hidden button as they shared a knowing laugh and yet another door slid open. Jaime shook her head as she followed Corvus deeper still into the facility; they were certainly serious about their security around here. She hoped getting out would not be as difficult as getting in.

There were more people here, civilians and military and several doctor's in white jackets, all of them hustling and bustling through the tight hallways, files in hand and weapons on their hips. Above were security camera domes, keeping a close eye on all the comings and goings.

"Honey, we're home!" Corvus sassed, swinging the door open to reveal a medical laboratory. Several people turned and Jaime noticed many of them stopped and stared at her in particular. She felt like a piece of raw meat in front of a pack of hungry wolves.

"Ah good, you're here," Colonel Steve Austin smiled warmly, rubbing a hand into his short blonde hair. "I was beginning to worry."

"So where the hell are we and what is going on?" Jaime asked finally, unable to keep it in any longer. Steve stretched his arms out wide and grinned.

"Welcome to the Canadian bionics program, Jaime."

A mole at Berkut.

Ruth grimaced and slowly sank into the chair behind her, her anger at Jonas slipping away as as the magnitude of his words hit her. She flipped open the file and started glancing through it. Botched jobs, lost satellite feeds, stunning ambushes and stolen Berkut property, it all made sick sense.

It explained a lot, unfortunately.

"At first I thought it was just Will Anthros who had sold his information on bionics to the highest bidder, like his father before him," Jonas stood slowly and started to pace. "But then, there was more information moving out of here after he was gone. A satellite went down for that black ops mission. I blamed Nathan and put him on nights, but that was just to cover up an internal investigation I've assigned him. Then there was when Sarah Corvus set Jaime's anthrocytes off in New York. How did she know she was there in the first place?"

Ruth glanced up at that last one. If the bionics and shooting Berkut down in a blaze of shame was the plan, then there was really only one name that came to mind.

"Anthros?" Ruth asked, the only niggling doubt was how her had arranged his escape from the super-max prison.

Jonas stopped his pacing and met her worried gaze with a shake of his head. If only it was Anthros this wouldn't be as dire a situation.

"It gets worse."

"Heaven?" Jaime blinked as she realized that she recognized the petite woman coming out to join them from a side office. The girl she remembered as a spoiled brat kid was a far cry from the self-assured woman stalking towards her.

"Actually it's Kristen Garrett, Jaime. I'm the CSIS liaison on this project, part of the covert operations division," The petite woman smiled and stretched out a hand in greeting. Jaime shook it, a little shocked. Nothing was as it seemed and it was starting to annoy her. Kristen smiled softly up at her. "Sorry for the deception, but we needed to assess your abilities and so our little undercover operation took place."

"My babysitting assignment was a test?" Jaime frowned. She had almost been shot at the salon, civilians had been put in danger and if Sarah hadn't shown up and helped out, who knows what would have happened. Jaime rounded on Sarah. "You knew?"

"Hey, whoa!" Sarah put her hands up and shook her head, the picture of wounded innocence. "It was a need to know mission, and I apparently didn't need to know at the time, so don't get mad at me." Sarah glared at Steve. It still pissed her off that he kept her in the dark on that one.

Garrett just laughed and Jaime wondered yet again what she had gotten herself mixed up in.

"It was my idea, Jaime," Steve said quietly, his voice calm and soothing as if trying to settle them with the tone of his voice. "I wanted to see if you were ready to join us, if Berkut had alienated you enough yet but you said you weren't, so we respected that. However, as a test of your abilities obviously you passed with flying colours."

"You kicked major ass, as I recall," Garrett said smiling up at her. "I was assigned to find out more about you, Jaime, test your strengths and weaknesses, and to see if we would be able to one day bring you into the Canadian bionics program."

Jaime shook her head trying to take it all in. Kristen Garrett was certainly more than met the eye. This whole set up was overwhelming. An extremely well kept secret agency working on bionics, with the added benefit of two functioning bionic test subjects. Three now that she was there. The potential of what they could do as a team was almost staggering. Jaime chewed her bottom lip and tried to ignore that bad feeling welling up within her again.

No wonder Berkut was worried.

"As for where you are," Corvus grinned, a part of her honestly enjoying the irony of it all. " This is the Central Experimental Farm."

"Well, technically, we're under the Experimental Farm." Kristen smiled back. "The farm above us is operational and is a tourist attraction, a great cover for covert staff to come and go. How our facilities came into existance was due to the cold war of the 50's. Not many in the government know we are here, and certainly very few actual citizens. On paper, we are lumped in with the Agricultural Museum, which is a division of the Science and Technology Corporation of the Canadian government's Heritage Portfolio. The bionics program is a joint effort by concerned…elements of various military and spy agencies. "

"I didn't think Canada had an army," Jaime smirked, elbowing Sarah beside her. It grew quiet, several people within earshot stopping to frown at her. "Oooo-kay, that was funnier in California…"

*Don't insult our hosts. They're only nice to a point, y'know.* But Sarah grinned back.

Jaime rolled her eyes, but took note of the advice. It was never a good plan to annoy the people with guns around you. A small commotion began to their right as a door opened and a small group of men in lab coats came in.

She noticed Sarah stiffen, as she glanced up, a shiver of something sliding along her spine. Like ghost feelings tingling along her synapses. Anger? Revulsion? No, it was something even more basic.

It was fear.

Jaime turned to better study the new people who had entered the room, coming face-to-face with a man she recognized instantly.

"So this is the girl who stole my son's black heart."


Chapter 6: Through the Valley of Darkness

"Ms. Sommers, it is a pleasure to finally meet you." Dr. Anthony Anthros stood before her, his dark eyes glittering with curiosity and something else, something unreadable, as he smiled and took hold of her right hand.

"Dr. Anthros, I've heard a lot about you." Jaime felt like she needed a shower and just stopped herself from snatching her hand back from the older man's grip. He slowly released her hand, staring at her.

"I bet," Tony chuckled, the laughter not quite reaching his eyes. He moved away, circling her, as if studying his son's handiwork. "None of it is true, I'm sure."

If Jaime felt like a shower before, she definitely needed bleach now, as Anthros studied her like some specimen. Glancing up, lurking in the group of lab coats behind Dr. Anthros was a familiar face. It only took an instant for her eidetic memory banks to supply the name and most up to date information Berkut had gathered on Dr. Mark Stevens since the last time they had met.

"Mark?" Jaime's face lit up in genuine pleasure at seeing a friendly familiar face. He straightened and grinned back, obviously pleased she noticed him.

"Ah, that's right, you remember my young apprentice do you? I forgot you met in Paraguay," Tony moved between them, his gaze travelling to Steve for an instant and then back to Jaime. "I should thank you for saving his sorry hide and bringing him to our attention. Dr. Stevens has proven himself to be quite an asset in our little organization."

Jaime rubbed her right shoulder, a phantom twinge reminding her where the bullet had been lodged not all that long ago. The anthrocytes had done their job and there were no visible scars to show for the whole sordid mess. However her first Berkut mission with Antonio had left her with plenty to think about, as well as the brutal knowledge of her estimated five year life expectancy. What was Dr. Mark Stevens doing here?

"Hi, Jaime, I'm glad to see that you're ok." Mark smiled warmly at the girl, hoping she would be able to forgive him for leaving her and just disappearing with the flash drive of her bionic components. He had been unable to contact her to let her know that he had been taken that night by Steve Austin and his small band of agents. It still amazed him how his life had turned on a dime because of that damn flash drive.

"We have lots to discuss, Jaime but no need to get into that all now," Anthros' cocky grin did nothing to ease her discomfort. Something wasn't right, she could sense it. Sarah hadn't said boo and Kristen's had quietly disappeared back into her office.

"Well, I'm here to help, what's next on the agenda," Jaime shifted slightly, glancing over at Steve and Sarah, hoping that they could get out of the lab setting and go some place a little less creepy, preferably as far away from Dr. Frankenstein here, as possible.

"We'd like to run a few diagnostics on you right now to compare your anthrocytes to both Colonel Austin and Sarah's. I'm hoping Will had been able to work out a few of the kinks in the little buggers," Anthros stuffed a hand deep into his lab coat pocket and started to fidget. "The notes on the flash drive were extremely helpful but not comprehensive. Now that you're here however, we can look a little deeper at his handiwork."

Jaime frowned, not quite liking the tone of his words. She didn't even notice the small remote in his hand until it was too late. She saw a flash just before it suddenly felt like a million, tiny explosions went off throughout her body and then there was just blissful darkness.

A bionic man.

As if Sarah Corvus wasn't psycho crazy enough for this old world to deal with, there was another one roaming around out there somewhere. And they had Jaime.

This was definitely worse.

Ruth flipped the folder shut on the photos of previous failed bionic test subjects, bodies and limbs ripped out and strewn about like so much biological debris, and released a long, sad sigh. This had all been before her time and for that at least she was grateful.

It was clearer than ever that Jaime needed her help, she could feel it deep in her bones. Jonas had her lover in a mission that a seasoned pro would be well over their head in. Although she could the need for security and secrecy, it didn't mean she agreed with his choices. There was still only one thing for her to do.

"I'm going after her, Jonas," Ruth's eyes snapped up and locked with her superior officer's. "I'm already in touch with a contact and I am either going to Canada officially or I am taking some of my five weeks of vacation time effective immediately. Either way, I am out that door."

Jonas stared at her a long moment before nodding, decision made. It had been made before Ruth had even walked through that door.

"We need to see Nathan and get you set up for the mission."

Several lab assistants rushed forward and grabbed the unconscious woman before she could hit the floor. A trickle of blood began to flow from her nose, but otherwise Jaime didn't have a mark on her.

A shiver of fear rippled along Sarah's skin. She knew exactly what had just happened, having experienced it herself on several occasions.

"Fuck, she didn't sign up for this, Steve!" Corvus threw her hands up in disgust and stalked out of the room.

Steve watched her go before pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. He didn't like it any more than she did, but it was a necessary evil to ensure their survival.

"Scheisse!" Steve swore, moving to follow her and start the damage control. He turned and glared at the man who had a bad habit of making messes he had to clean up. "Don't make me regret this, Tony."

Anthros simply nodded and motioned quickly to his assistants to get the test subject into position. Once Steve had left the room, he grimaced with distaste. It galled him to be at the beck and call of his own creation.

Tony Anthros shook his head and moved to where the men had deposited the girl on a nearby gurney. It had been almost too simple. If only he had thought to do that with Austin's anthrocytes. He had learned his lesson well after that first mistake.

He reached out and threaded his fingers into the long, dark hair of Jaime Sommers, pulling her head back with a gentle tug to get a better look at her delicate features.

My, she was a beauty. Will always did have excellent taste.

"You see, Mark, always build in an off switch. That way they can be controlled." Tony murmured absently to his head assistant before he moved away from the gurney. No time to smell the roses when there was science needing his attention.

Dr. Mark Stevens nodded, silently watching as two guards raised the arms and started pushing the gurney towards one of the secure examination rooms. He didn't like anything about this situation and what tests he knew Anthros planned to perform, tests that were nothing short of torture in the name of science. He didn't like it.

He didn't like it at all.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are…"

Nathan pushed his chopsticks around the bottom of the Chinese food takeout container, idly stirring noodles out of the way as he hunted for the last cashew. He frowned as he noticed a clicking sound and then static hissed. He glanced up as a monitor that had been long black flickered and blinked bright green, with fuzzy shadows in human shapes and then went black again. He dropped his container and rolled his chair to his workstation and began punching a few codes in to try to reset the frequency.

"Come on, talk to me, sweetheart." He murmured under his breath, trying a few more tricks to get the signal clearer.

More static and then the screen flickered to life, as Jaime's onboard circuits rebooted and they could see her internal diagnostic readout.

The door behind him slid open with a soft whoosh and he turned to see Jonas and Ruth watching the same monitor, coming to the same realization. Jaime was on their grid again. He grinned with excitement.

"She's baaaaaaaaaack!"

Their arguments always ended up being settled in the bedroom.

Corvus kind of liked it that way, not that she would admit it. Weeks of frustration with Jaime keeping her at arms length and her own memories of being at the hands of Tony Anthros, and her fury at Austin for allowing all this had finally boiled over. Now, with some of that energy spent, she needed answers, she needed reassurance. Corvus wasn't foolish enough to expect the truth.

"Jaime came to help us, Steve, by her own free will. Why are you letting Anthros run his sick experiments on her?" Sarah rolled over and snuggled closer to the large man under the blankets nipping at his shoulder. A part of her wondered if Jaime would ever consider joining them in every way possible. A shiver of excitement ran through her at the seductive thought of the three of them writhing together, minds and bodies linked.

"Acht, I know, I know. He's obsessed with what Will has made without him," Steve lifted his hand up and watched the slight tremor of his hand. "I told him not to harm her, but we both need his help to fix our anthrocytes. He has me over a barrel and he knows it, damn him."

Sarah sighed and slid her hand up along his strong arm, feeling her own uncontrollable tremor chatter along her arm. They were quite the pair. She knew he was right, but still it was hard to swallow.

If Sarah still had any real feelings, she would imagine she would hate herself right about now.

Jaime felt the stab of the needle and the cool rush of something injected into her arm, and a part of her realized that she was being used and experimented on like some lab rat, but she couldn't fight her way to consciousness. She couldn't move, she couldn't fight, she couldn't even scream in horror. All she could do was sink deeper into the hidden depths of her mind.

Even there she wasn't alone and for once she was glad.

Jaime dreams were troubling, yet oddly appealing, taking her away from the nightmare of the real world. Swirls of colour, snippets of conversation, flashes of pain. Hands trembling, together clasping, whispers velvety soft in her ear. A low level buzz at the base of her scull, calling to her to open herself up, the familiar touch of her…lover?

Ice cold fear raced through her body and mixed with the hot flush of desire pooling in her guts. Her breasts ached to be touched, nipples hard and straining, phantom fingers pinching and rolling. Her mind opened cautiously, carefully and then she felt the connection, the flare of energy between herself and Sarah. But there was another voice this time. Deep, calm, safe.

She realized that he didn't know she was there. His thoughts were focused on Sarah. She was hearing them through Sarah, sharing this intimacy with her. Jaime briefly wondered if Sarah even realized what she was projecting to her.

She felt another flash of pain followed by a bone deep ache, her right arm suddenly clenching and unclenching out of her control. Trapped in her own skin, Jaime turned her thoughts to Sarah, for strength. She felt herself being almost pulled across the void, losing herself in the other woman as they mingled together, feeling the pleasure Sarah was feeling.

*I'm here Jaime. Stay with me now. It will be over soon, I promise.*

Dr. Mark Steven's stomach was churning with disgust. Not only had they pulled a quarter of Jaime's anthrocytes from her body, now Anthros was planning on experimenting with her healing powers with the lack of them in her body. The man would have been right at home in Nazi concentration camps.

He looked at Jaime's face, a slight smile on her full lips. At least she didn't seem to be suffering too much. Her right hand clenched and unclenched, tremors repeating over and over as the bionic interface tried to recalibrate. The response rate was down due to the lack of anthrocytes.

"Mark, take these to the lab and start analysing them. I think we have all the ingredients now to produce many, many more." Dr Anthros handed the small vial of glowing anthrocytes to the young doctor.

Grabbing the vial, he left the room with a heavy heart. There had to be something he could do to help her.

Ruth's plane rumbled down the runway and shot up into the clear sky. She remembered the last time she had been in Canada. It had been for a friend's wedding. They had teased her and her partner Sandy that they should do it while in town too.

Sandy was dead a year later.

Ruth sighed and glanced out the small window at the clouds hiding the city and rolling countryside from her view below as they levelled off and headed north, praying history wasn't going to repeat itself.

"Hang on, Jaime. Just hang on."

Mentally, Jaime thrashed while her body stayed frozen. Around her were visions of death and destruction, bodies everywhere, old memories ebbing and flowing. Desire washed over her, want take have, never look back at the carnage. She glanced down at a gun in her hands, and looked up to see a parachute opening as she leaps from a plane.

Jaime's stomach lurched at that one.

She could feel a hand run across Sarah's toned abs, thick fingers tickling along the line of coarse hair there. Jaime gasped, wanting more contact. She reached out with her mind, clinging closer to the pleasure.

**Oh, God. Touch me, touch us…**

Jaime could feel Sarah's chuckle in her chest, her fingers sliding through short blonde hair. She felt her lips move, the words as if she had spoken them herself.

"Tell me you love me."

Dr. Anthros had one last experiment scheduled for the day, electro shock to see how Jaime's bionic systems reacted to large amounts of electricity. How it affected the bionic interface with the anthrocytes and if limited amounts of the anthrocytes would be able to maintain the woman's bionics.

A few days recovery and then he could begin a whole new round of tests. He smiled to himself, looking forward to it. Pulling the defibrillator paddles from the machine, Anthros placed them on Jaime's body.

"Stand back, people." Anthros called out and nodded to his assistant. They flicked a switch and a low level hum could just be heard. After a moment the assistant checked a readout and then nodded once again at her superior.

"Paddles charged and ready, doctor."

"Very good," Anthros braced his arms and smiled. "Clear."

Jaime's body arched up from the bed in reaction, and then fell back. Heart monitors showed a brief flat line and then it came back to normal rhythm.

Anthros frowned, not what he was expecting. There must be added shielding he hadn't discovered. Clearly he needed more voltage.

"Take it up to the next power level, Jenn."

The assistant hesitated a moment, glancing down at the prone woman a moment. Was he trying to really kill the test subject? Anthros looked at her impatiently and she quickly scurried to do as she was told.

Her body burned, a thousand flames licking at her skin, peeling layer upon layer back to reveal her pulsing flesh. Jaime wasn't exactly sure if it was pleasure or pain, so she struggled to hold onto the silken thread of Sarah's thoughts as best she could.

*Jaime, I'm here. Focus on us now.*

A wave of intense pain rose and faded, leaving behind the sense of strong hands on her body, urging her higher. Her legs spread, and slowly filled, needing the intimate phantom touch to push away the fear and horror of what was happening to her real body.

She tangled around Sarah's thoughts, wrapping herself in the building pleasure like a blanket. They rose together, meeting each thrust over and over, riding the edge of desire, both of them needing the release, for different reasons.

**Please, I need…**

*I know, baby. Come then, come with me now. **

Jaime felt Sarah laugh, pleasure filling both of them, as they both teetered on the brink, hanging there entwined before finally shattering over the edge. As Sarah relaxed, still riding the wave of pleasure rolling through her body, Jaime could start to think clearly again. That's when he noticed her, finally.


She felt his mind then for the first time, strange and dark, almost alien. Where Sarah was fire and chaos, Steve was ice and control. Conversation snippets in a strange language, harsh and guttural rolled through her mind. There were fleeting visions of a land far away, of rolling fields and horses playing, and a woman's face, laughing and carefree. Then there was a fireball and pain.

Lots and lots of pain.

Jaime shied away from Steve's mind, mingling back with Sarah. And then their mutual connection was severed and she was alone again.

That's when Jaime realized the searing pain was actually her own.

The twinkling city lights at night were little comfort that evening as Mark sat on his apartment balcony and nursed a beer. He stared down at his cell phone for what seemed like the millionth time.

He had sworn he would never call the number given to him by an old CIA buddy, just in case he wanted in from the cold. Mark snorted. He had left that pipe dream behind when he disappeared with the flash drive, but he had still kept the number. He knew they wouldn't want to listen to him, just kill him for what he knew or drop him into a super-max facility never to see the light of day again.

His mind returned to the stench of burning flesh, the memory flashing through him of the way Anthros had simply laughed and upped the power on the paddles once again made him shudder.

That wasn't what he had signed up for.

Even death would be preferable than having to live with the memories of who knows what Anthros had planned. Taking a final swallow of his beer, Mark grabbed the phone and started punching the numbers.

He owed Jaime his life. He needed to do this for her sake.

Mark chewed his lower lip as the phone on the other end rang twice and then picked up.