Chapter 1: La Petite Mort
Eve Polastri knew that what she was about to do was a mistake. A foolish mistake that may even lead to her death, but she couldn’t stop herself. As much as she tried to deny it, she was obsessed with Villanelle. A part of her just wanted to see the woman behind bars, paying for Bill’s death, but there was another part of her. A part that wondered what Villanelle’s lips would feel like against hers. What the trained assassin’s arms would feel like touching her in that brash Villanelle manner. A part of her that she couldn’t extinguish no matter how hard she tried. How long could she keep up the act? How much longer could she spend late nights in the same bed as her husband, secretly thinking about Villanelle’s eyes and smell and touch. It was obvious from the moment that she received the bladed lipstick that Villanelle was seeking her out in the same way that she was doing. Eve was only left to hope that she found the invitation, and that she didn’t rent a room in a fancy hotel for nothing. She could’ve chosen a cheaper option, of course, but that wouldn’t do. When she met Villanelle and finally acted on her feelings in her daydreams, which happened quite often, it always happened somewhere nice . A cheap motel room just wouldn’t be the type of place where she could even see Villanelle existing. No, it had to be lavish. Eve wore a dress. Not just any dress, of course, but the dress that Villanelle herself bought her. It was a nice callback to the first time they met. Things were so different then. So much simpler.
Eve didn’t have any more time to reminisce as she heard a knock on the hotel room door. She took a deep breath, running a hand through her dress one last time to make sure it looked perfect, and approached the door. She opened it, meeting familiar cat-like eyes that lit up at her sight. That made Eve’s heart skip a beat. Did she want to strangle Villanelle or rip the clothes off of her? She wasn’t entirely sure yet. But yes, her clothes. They were a work of art, as usual. Villanelle wore a elegant, sparkly black blazer that she did not button underneath which was a white button up shirt, and black satin pants to match, and a heavy silver necklace that resembled a snake that bit its own tail, adorned with diamonds and emeralds. Her hair slick and styled back, appearing almost wet. She was quite a sight to behold.
“You’re wearing the dress I got you,” Villanelle remarked. She sounded awfully pleased with herself, and that made Eve want to slam the door in her face. But she couldn’t. She was mesmerized, fascinated with this breathtaking, psychopathic creature. Instead, she offered a short nod, and moved aside, inviting Villanelle to step inside.
“What, you got us a fancy room?” Villanelle said as she looked around, a smile forming at the edges of her lips.
“It’s not that fancy,” Eve hurried to say. She didn’t know why she couldn’t just let it be, but she felt like she had to show some kind of resistance around this woman. She couldn’t just jump her bones right then and there, revealing that she could overlook everything that Villanelle has done.
Still smiling, Villanelle stifled a laugh. “Relax! It’s not like I’m the one that stabbed you in the belly, remember?” She gestured to the spot where Eve stuck a knife in her. Only Villanelle could make light of something like that. That had to be an anomaly even amongst hired assassin, Eve decided.
“You showed up in my house unannounced and held a knife to my chest!” Eve shot back.
“I didn’t stab you though! And we ended up having a nice dinner together. And I saw the look in your eyes, Eve, don’t pretend like it was all that bad.” Still smug, but Eve sensed a spark of caution in Villanelle’s eyes. That made her feel good.
Then Villanelle bridged the gap between them, standing not even a few feet across from Eve, looking her up and down like a predator would its prey, but still that hint of caution present.
“So what did you invite me here for, really? Are there a bunch of MI6 guys waiting for me outside of this room with their guns out?” She asked.
“No,” Eve couldn’t help but look at Villanelle’s lips, slightly parted and almost twitching with anticipation. “This is a date.” She felt ridiculous, but she had no better way to describe it.
“Do you take all of your dates to fancy hotel rooms without your husband knowing?” Villanelle got even closer. Eve could feel her minty breath on her lips. Of course her breath was minty.
Eve managed a feeble “Yes” before Villanelle kissed her.
To say that she was feeling electric would be an understatement. It was ridiculous, feelings that girls in high school should have, not adult women. She tried to remember the last time Niko made her feel like this. It must’ve been a while ago because Eve couldn’t quite recall. Firm, but gentle. Passionate, but held back. That kiss bore many contradictions, yet it made so much sense. It was the only thing in a long time that did make sense to Eve. It awakened in her a hunger for touch that she did not feel in a long time.
Then Villanelle pulled back, examining Eve with an almost affectionate look in her eyes. “I wanted to do that for a really long time,”
Now Eve kissed Villanelle, cupping her face between her hands. She felt Villanelle pull her closer as she deepened the kiss, a soft sigh escaping her mouth. It felt like everything led to this moment, weeks of fervent google searches, cat and mouse games, and sleepless nights. Could this be what drove her all along? From that first moment their eyes met in the hospital bathroom? She tried to justify it so many times, to tell herself she just wanted revenge or that she simply wanted to put a murderer behind bars, but there was more to it, and Eve couldn’t lie to herself about it anymore.
“Sit, Oksana.” Eve pushed at Villanelle slightly, directing her towards the bed. Caught off guard by the use of her actual name, Villanelle took a few seconds to respond.
“I didn’t really take you for a t-”
After a few more moments, Villanelle sat down at the edge of the large king size hotel bed, her eyes curious and full of anticipation, clocking Eve’s every move.
Eve needed to feel in control, in some way or another. Seeing as her feelings and desires were definitely not in check, she hoped to gain some of it back by being the one setting the pace. She lifted her dress up a little, straddling Villanelle. She ran her thumb against Villanelle’s lips, studying every line and crease. She examined her eyes, hazel and so alert , as if she were in the middle of a battlefield and not sitting a hotel room bed. Eve pulled Villanelle’s blazer down, signalling her to take it off - which she did, all the while her eyes still glued to Eve.
Eve took her time unbuttoning Villanelle’s white shirt, in a way pushing Villanelle’s boundaries, trying to see how long she would stay still. Halfway through, she kissed her neck. Perfume. Villanelle let out a quiet sigh, tilting her head back, her eyes closed. Everything felt so natural to Eve, like she had done things like this her whole life, which of course she didn’t. Yet she felt free, like she could do anything. She wanted to do everything. She wanted to swallow Villanelle whole, to go over every inch of her, to make Villanelle hers. When she was done unbuttoning the shirt, she pulled back, parting the shirt so it revealed Villanelle’s chest (of course she didn’t put on a bra), which was expectedly beautiful just like everything else about her. Surprisingly enough, Villanelle kept being a good girl, even when Eve traced her nipples with the very tips of her fingers, lingering on purpose, making the most out of every moment. Even when she kissed them and sucked on them, eliciting a series of soft moans from the trained killer. The line was crossed the moment she tugged on them with her teeth, though. A shift in the power dynamics, as Villanelle pulled Eve’s dress up and took it off, throwing it out of the way. She took Eve’s bra off so elegantly one could think it’s all she did her whole life. Unlike Eve, she did not take her time, and it wasn’t long before Eve herself was the one having to stifle moans of pleasure. She ran her hand through Villanelle’s hair, pulling at it as her fingers dug into her back. In a way, she wanted to be consumed by the assassin.
Villanelle hoisted Eve up, carefully laying her back down on the bed so she could be on top of her.
“Before we really get into this, do you wanna maybe set up a safeword or something?” Villanelle asked.
Eve was baffled, completely taken out of the moment. “Excuse me, what?”
“I don’t know how you like to do it, I might go too far! Having a safeword is a good way to make sure we’re on the same page!”
She was doing this on purpose, Eve realized. Stalling, studying her boundaries. “Willy Wonka. My safeword is Willy fucking Wonka.” Eve replied, grabbing Villanelle’s face to kiss it. She bit her lips gently, and felt the woman smile into the kiss.
Villanelle grinded against Eve, biting her neck, kissing her chest, grabbing onto her thighs, squishing her butt. Eve felt like she was surrounded by Villanelle, like her entire existence focused on her in these moments. Villanelle’s hand traveled down Eve’s stomach, full of intent but not invasive, slow, ready for a sign to stop. But Eve did not give out any such signs, she wanted to go as far as Villanelle would allow. Villanelle slid her hand under Eve’s underwear, finding that the woman was rather wet. With a smug look on her face, Villanelle slid Eve’s underwear off, trailing kisses up her thighs as she made her way back, leaving small red marks on Eve’s skin. Eve sighed as Villanelle kissed, sucked and licked, holding her thighs down firmly. Everything was moving so fast, but Eve didn’t want to stop. It was an explosive whirlwind, infinitely more captivating and exciting than she ever dared to imagine in her daydreams. The assassin was precise, practicing round and flowy streaks, slowly increasing the tempo. It drove Eve wild. She reached her hands out, running them through the sheets, slowly tightening her grip as Villanelle picked up the pace. Her breathing got more and more irregular with each passing moment, morphing into a series of sighs and held breaths. The ecstatic rush was building up steadily, mirroring the tension between the two that led them to this very moment. With an arched back and a gasp, Eve felt waves of pleasure shoot through her entire body. What was it about that woman that made everything feel so intense , Eve wondered.
Villanelle came back up, the look on her face expectedly smug. “I know, I know, I'm amazing, you're in love with me, and you want us to run away together and live on a nice tropical island,” she sighed, laying down beside Eve, head propped on one elbow.
Without tearing her gaze away from the ceiling, Eve asked “Are you always just this cocky?”, still evening out her breathing.
“Well, I’m always this awesome so, yeah.” Villanelle shrugged. Eve turned to look at Villanelle. Cocky or not, she was downright gorgeous. The pleased look on her face almost made her glow , but that self assuredness poked at Eve, and she felt like she had to offer resistance again. Eve reached out to Villanelle’s face, thumb tracing the outline of her nose, her cheekbone, her jawline. Her fingers fluttering down to Villanelle’s neck. She could feel her heartbeat. Fast, excited. Eve wrapped her hand around her throat. Gently at first, then a little tighter. Without letting go, Eve sat on top of Villanelle, all the while examining the changes to her expression. Laid back at first, then curious, then almost challenging. What are you going to do, Eve?
Truth be told, Eve didn’t know what she was doing. She was acting more out of instinct, out of curiosity. Most of all she wanted to elicit a response from Villanelle, a real one, from behind her walls of cynicism. Maybe that's why sticking that knife in her all those weeks ago felt so satisfying. The look of sheer shock on her face back then was entirely genuine, bewildered even. But Eve hungered for a different kind of response this time. She leaned in to kiss Villanelle, a firm hand still grasping her throat, but not quite squeezing yet. It was a curious kind of kiss, a reaffirmation of control. Eve ran her tongue against Villanelle’s bottom lip, then sucked on it, pulling away for a squeeze of pain. Then she let go, examining the assassin’s nearly bewitched gaze before kissing her softly. While not trying to escape her grasp or flip her over, Villanelle did rebel. She managed to nick Eve’s lip, a small drop of blood already forming. That smug smile again. Eve wiped the blood with a finger. She examined it for a moment before putting her finger against Villanelle’s lips with a look in her eyes that said open . When Villanelle didn't respond, Eve tightened her grip, now not only pushing against the blood vessels but also aiming at the airways. The battle lasted for a while longer before finally Villanelle opened her mouth for Eve. She allowed Villanelle a moment of respite, letting go of her throat and allowing her to breathe before putting her finger in Villanelle’s mouth. Warm. Bitey. But not entirely unwelcoming.
Eve undid the lace of Villanelle’s satin pants with one hand, the other still grounding Villanelle through the throat. She didn't take the pants off, nor did she break eye contact. This was all about control, and while Villanelle played along - she also didn't quite submit yet. She reached under expensive lace lingerie and found Villanelle rather hot and bothered. She investigated with curious streaks, soft but full of intent. She explored different angles, clocking the ones that made the woman draw in sharper breaths, slowly discovering a rhythm that worked. Then Eve went inside of her, fingers studying, exploring, searching. As she went on, she once again tightened her choke, feeling Villanelle’s heart racing faster and faster. Her moans were becoming desperate. Needy, even. Eve kept at it, going deeper and faster, making it a little harder for Villanelle to breathe with each passing moment. When she felt that Villanelle was coming close enough she stopped and pulled out her hand. Villanelle’s eyes shot open, hungry and betrayed. Eve tasted her fingers, still not moving her eyes away from the woman under her. She tasted good, damn good. Eve smiled at Villanelle’s lustful expression and finally started to really choke her. She squeezed as hard as she could, leaning forward to apply more body mass. Villanelle looked confused, her hands grabbing Eve’s. Eve pushed harder, Villanelle’s hands now clawing at hers, trying to find an escape. Eve watched as Villanelle’s face grew red and swollen, as her gasps for air became more and desperate. She didn't let go until Villanelle’s resistance turned feeble, then allowed her one deep breath before sending her free hand back inside the woman, intent on finishing what she started. Finally, Villanelle looked astounded enough, clawing at Eve’s lower back, holding on to the bedframe, her moans a choir. When Villanelle came, Eve collapsed beside her, suddenly feeling exhausted.
“Where the hell did that come from?!” Villanelle finally exclaimed, confounded.
"In my defense, you didn't say Willy Wonka," Eve got up from the bed. “I'm going to take a shower,” In truth, Eve herself was surprised. She liked getting a little aggressive with Niko, sure, but never anything like this. Still, it felt so fucking good. She left the bathroom door open, a kind of an open invitation. Where did that come from?
Chapter 2: Did You Forget About Me?
Eve tried to forget about Villanelle in the two weeks following their hotel room 'date', but Villanelle wasn't going to take it, and instead decided to take matters into her own hands.
"Did you forget about me?”
Eve nearly dropped a jar of pickles she was holding. She put it carefully on the kitchen counter, as quietly as she could, and then turned around. Villanelle was standing behind her, arm propped up against the fridge, a serious look on her face. She was clad in a classic Villanelle outfit, a pearl satin suit jacket over a black spaghetti strap top, coupled with silk pants with flowers printed on them. Eve felt absurdly underdressed in her worn grey T-shirt and comfy underwear.
After that night at the hotel, Eve did do her best to stay away from Villanelle, which was difficult to do considering Villanelle was all she could think about. She wanted to do that again, but she was also mortified. There was a side of her that awakened that night, and it was hungry and demanding and unfamiliar. All Eve wanted to do was shut everything out, return to the life she once had and forget about everything. Anything but facing the idea that there was a whole entire part of her that she didn’t know about until now. So she ignored everything that had to do with Villanelle for the past two weeks.
“You can’t just break into my house like this, Villanelle,” Eve wanted her response to sound more explosive, more angry but the way Villanelle looked at her - it didn’t allow her to forget that she was standing in front of a psychopathic assassin. Ignoring Villanelle was probably the dumbest thing to do in the situation, but Eve just couldn’t handle facing the truth. So her reply, which she whisper-shouted at Villanelle, fell flat.
Villanelle stepped closer. “Is your husband so shit at sex that you sneak out to eat pickles in the middle of the night?” Although the remark was obviously a comedic one, her tone was dark. Too dark.
“I really love pickles,” Eve said in her defence. That got the fraction of a smile out of Villanelle. She stepped even closer to Eve, forcing her to back up against the counter.
“I think about you all the time,” Villanelle reached up to put a strand of Eve’s hair behind her ear, her eyes full of longing. “Did you get any of my presents?”
Her presents. It was impossible to miss them. Since Eve hit a few breakthroughs with the ghost killer, she was once again allowed to explore Villanelle, and everything Villanelle sent her was eventually delivered to her, after inspection. The gifts ranged from postcards to expensive perfumes (which Eve enjoyed and used rather often), to items of clothing, and even a fancy stiletto knife once. Eve kept the knife under her pillow.
“Yeah, I-I did. I really liked the knife.” Eve said. This interaction felt drastically different than the hotel room. Back there she had control, and it was a neutral environment. She could, in a sense, detach herself from everything in her life and assume a character that could be with Villanelle. But now, in her house, with her husband sleeping in the upstairs bedroom… it felt dangerous and wrong. Still, something about the fact that it was dangerous and wrong felt incredibly… right.
“Were you thinking about me?” Villanelle got even closer. Their legs touched now, and Eve could feel herself getting aroused, flashes of their last intimate encounter running through her mind. Villanelle hoisting her up, Villanelle grinding against her, Villanelle moaning in pleasure.
“I wish I could stop thinking about you,” Eve blurted before she could stop herself. Villanelle reached past Eve and carefully moved her jar of pickles aside, voicing no reply to Eve’s haste confession. Eve only realized then how much she starved for this, how much she longed for Villanelle’s presence. How much she missed those focused eyes, these delicate yet sharp features, the sheer megalomania. Now that she stood so close it sounded impossible to her that she managed two whole weeks without seeing the striking killer.
Villanelle turned Eve around in a swift motion, leaving no space between the two. She held Eve’s wrist, pressed it against her back as a means to control her, and Eve could feel the soft touch of Villanelle’s lips on the back of her neck. The kiss seamlessly turned into a bite, and Eve’s breathing became heavy with yearning. She stayed quiet, even as Villanelle bit her neck harder, even when Villanelle slid her hand under her shirt, even when her hand travelled up her belly. Villanelle grabbed at Eve’s skin as she nibbled at her ear, digging her fingers in. It felt good, that tingling bit of pain, and a quiet sigh escaped Eve’s mouth.
Villanelle let go of Eve’s wrist, her body still pressing her to the counter. Eve threw her head back against Villanelle’s shoulder as the woman reached her breasts, grabbing and kneading and teasing. The movements were a carefully concocted combination of brashness and precision, hard and demanding but always in the right spot. Then her fingers started drawing circles that grew smaller and more intense until she reached the center, pinching Eve’s nipples and twisting, making it very hard on Eve to stay quiet.
* * * * * * * * *
Villanelle could feel Eve tense up. In the past few weeks she was consumed by emotion, which wasn’t something she was particularly used to. She understood frustration and anger, even obsession, but longing was a whole new planet for her. The night in the hotel left Villanelle pretty much dumbfounded. She wasn’t expecting Eve to take control, much less choke her with such vigor. It was exciting, but incredibly intimidating as well. If Villanelle had to have one thing, it would be control, and never before was she so lacking control.
Now, finally seeing Eve again, she was feeling split. She wanted to get back at her, take something from her that was important, to make her fumble for life. She thought she might even kill Niko, both to get the boring fuck out of the picture and to make Eve terrified. Standing in front of her, touching her though - there was almost something holy about her. Villanelle couldn’t bring herself to really hurt her. Instead she opted to take some of that control back. To make Eve lose control in the safest of spaces for her.
V reached down, her fingers light as feathers on Eve’s skin, and she could feel her shuddering, the little breaths escaping her mouth more and more vulnerable. Villanelle smiled as she found that Eve was hot and wet for her already, holding her breath in anticipation for V’s next move.
“You really did miss me,” Villanelle whispered into Eve’s ear, nibbling at it teasingly.
“Shut up and make me cum,” Eve reached back, gripping Villanelle’s hair, pulling it demandingly. V’s fingers explored, studying Eve’s reaction. The way her mouth opened wider and wider, still managing to stay quiet for the time being. The way she shuddered, the way she rocked against her hand. The way her grip intensified as beads of sweat decorated her forehead. How she grew warmer and slicker against her fingers, and how intensely she was pulsating. How she reached out to hold on to the counter with her free hand and how white her knuckles were. V kept going, intensifying the movements, hitting all of the sweet spots with precision, making Eve Polastri shake and quiver. The two were moving together simultaneously, like two parts of a bigger whole. Then Eve let out a moan, all the muscles in her body tensing up, her grip on V’s hair now so strong it hurt. Villanelle felt like a god. She kissed Eve’s neck gently, accompanying the waves of pleasure that shot through Eve. V took her hand out, eager to taste the agent once more.
Villanelle heard footsteps coming down the stairs. Niko must've woken up. She ducked down just in time. She looked up at Eve, who quickly grabbed her precious jar of pickles. She was trembling slightly, still recovering from her orgasm. Villanelle couldn't hold back a smile.
“Is everything alright? I heard noises,” Niko asked.
“Yeah! Everything's fine.” Eve cleared her throat in an attempt to get it to sound more stable. “I just nearly dropped my pickles, so,”
After a few moments of pause, “Right…”
“Just go back to bed, honey, I'll be right back.” Eve sounded terribly calm. A little shaky, but entirely convincing. She kept her hands busy, fiddling with the jar until she opened it. Niko replied with a tired sigh, and headed back up the stairs. Villanelle bit the inside of her cheek. A miscalculation on her part, she realized. She thought that doing this, making Eve hers in the house she shared with Niko would bear more of an impact, but it was now clear that the two were growing distant as it was, and that Eve felt no particular warmth for this house.
When the sound of Niko’s footsteps was far enough away, Villanelle stood up again.
“You taste bored when you ignore me,” V stole a pickle from Eve, biting on it with the most amused expression she could muster.
“Hey!” Eve protested in a hushed whisper, the look on her face almost murderous. “Not my pickles!”
“Just go back to bed, honey!” Villanelle teased Eve, taking another bite out of her pickle. “You can’t keep lying to yourself forever, you know.” And without saying another word, she kissed Eve quickly on the lips, and made her way out.
If her home wasn’t enough, she had to go bigger, louder. If invading her home wasn’t so anymore, there was only one place left to conquer. One of these days MI6 were bound to receive one hell of a surprise visit, Villanelle decided.
honestly im not too sure abt this one, but i did really want to see v reclaim some form of control bc it is like very important for her. like we know eve isn't a bottom but like neither is v with most ppl, i think
Chapter 3: Aftermath
Eve and Villanelle are left to process their feelings and thoughts after their recent encounters, and come up with quite contradicting conclusions.
She left . Eve was left to stand in her kitchen in the dark with a jar of pickles in her hand and soaking wet underwear. To say the least, Eve Polastri felt like a giant clown.
“What the fuck am I doing,” She muttered under her breath, grabbing a pickle before closing the jar and putting it back in the fridge. She hovered for a moment, like her brain only just realized what had happened. Villanelle stood right there only a few moments ago. Villanelle fucked her against a kitchen counter, in the middle of the night. And she wanted it. She felt things she didn’t ever feel for Niko, and Villanelle barely had to work for any of it. She could probably just put a knife to her chest, Eve realized, and give her that prowling gaze and she’d turn into a puddle. Eve took two big bites out the pickle.
“Eve? You coming?” Niko called from upstairs.
Eve snapped out of her train of thought and tossed the rest of pickle into the trash. She headed upstairs, feeling like her body was on autopilot. She took a shower and changed her underwear before finally joining Niko, who was already snoring. She looked at him, trying to figure out if she felt anything for him at all at this point.
She loved him, she knew that much, but the more she saw of Villanelle the less he got her excited. And he must’ve felt it, because he offered to try so many things. Still, fact was he could spend 20 minutes going down on her and she felt next to nothing. She found herself growing more passive, less dominant with him. She didn’t want to consume him the way she did Villanelle. Could horny little Hugo be right? Was it all ultimately about sex? The thought made Eve want to jump off a building and onto a railing.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
“Here, take this,” Konstantin handed Villanelle an envelope.
“What, more naughty businessmen that cheat on their wives?” Villanelle was bored . Tired and bored and upset. Eve stabbed her, haunted her, consumed her every thought - and then the invasion she planned for two weeks didn’t work out the way she wanted to. She miscalculated. Overestimated the importance of home in Eve’s world. V hated being wrong.
“Open it and you’ll find out. You have nine days for this one,” He paused, waiting for her to open the envelope. Villanelle rolled her eyes and opened it, pulling out a fancy looking card;
Valentin Malmkvist. Stockholm. Former employee of the client. Killing must be quiet but intimidating. Send a message.
The corner of V’s mouth twitched into a smile. Send a message . She looked over at Konstantin, who was already smiling at her that weary Konstantin smile.
“Now don’t get carried away. They said quiet!” He gave her a pat on the back. “But yes, you can get creative with this one. And they will be paying a lot if you don’t mess this up.”
“Konstantin!” V gasped, pretending to be offended. “When did I ever disappoint you?”
“Just get it done. And no secret flights to London until we are payed, understood?”
Villanelle nodded, immediately proceeding to hug Konstantin, her heart bursting with excitement. Fucking finally.
The first thing Villanelle did when she arrived in Stockholm was go on a shopping spree. Finally having something to look forward to, she decided it’d be a good idea to spend the sizable fortune she saved from her last job dressing up in the latest of Swedish trends. She felt like herself again, for the first time in a while. Two weeks and sixteen hours, to be exact.
That evening she was sitting in her hotel room, a laptop carrying information about her target laid out on the bed beside her. In her lap was a postcard. Dearest Eve, thinking about you still. Isn't it time for another date?
She examined the card, flipping it to look at the picture on the other side. A classical painting of two women lounging, one handing the other a bloody knife. V clenched her jaw. The thought of being forgotten about made her overcome with an almost primal sense of fear. Fear quickly turned into hatred. Knowing she didn’t land her attempt at getting back at Eve made her even angrier. Fuck this . All of the attention, the little details, the gifts - Eve Polastri didn’t recognize any of that. Well, almost none of it. Of all the gifts she seemed to be particularly fond of the stiletto knife. Villanelle felt as though she was being stabbed all over again, but this time in the heart. She felt like Eve Polastri was stabbing her in the heart and twisting the knife inside her until all of her innards came out. Her mouth twitched as emotion bubbled up inside her when she tore up the card, discarding of the pieces. Feeling like a volcano about to erupt, V grabbed the nearest pillow and screamed into it as hard as she could. Once, twice, and when that wasn’t enough she started pounding her fists against the expensive, sturdy bed. She looked like an angry child that didn’t get the toy they wanted from the store, but underneath the outburst burned real feelings that Villanelle despised more than anything.
Later that evening Villanelle studied the files on the laptop. Valentin seemed to be unemployed and very invested in a bar not far from his home. Poor Valentin was about to find out just how angry death could get .
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Eve dreamed of Villanelle. She dreamed of her soft lips leaving a reddish trail along her thighs. She dreamed of her pressing up against her as her back’s against the kitchen counter. Cold, cat-like eyes looking at her in the dark. Strong arms holding her wrist to her back. Teasing bites on her neck. Eve dreamed of the look on Villanelle’s face as she sat on top of her, choking her. The look on her face when she stuck that knife inside of her. Her face when she came-
Eve Polastri woke up.
“Sorry!” Niko was trying to be quiet, unsuccessfully, as he was getting ready for work especially early in the morning. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you up.” He planted a kiss on Eve’s forehead.
Something didn’t add up.
“What time is it?” Eve mumbled, still not quite awake yet.
“Four thirty five in the morning,” He was putting his shoes on.
“Why are you up?” Eve covered her face with the blanket, trying to shut some of the world out and swim in the unbelievably satisfying feeling that the dream lent her.
“The national science tournament.” A pause. Eve could almost hear him ask ‘ Don’t you remember? ’, except he didn’t. “Go back to sleep, Eve.”
Her second round of sleep proved to be dreamless and not very refreshing. When she woke up to the sound of the alarm clock, Eve let out a frustrated groan. She turned over in bed, looking up at the ceiling, loathing the thought of another normal day after the night that she had.
Eve reached under her pillow, her fingers meeting the cold pearl handle of the stiletto knife Villanelle had sent her. She pulled it out, inspecting the beautifully crafted knife. It was elegant, engraved with the words ‘ Sorry baby ’, with a little ‘ x ’ clearly carved by her hand underneath. She ran her finger along the curves and the edges, appreciating the little details. The golden screws and the wavy, accentuated guard.
She opened it up, taking in the sight of the gentle ripples on the blade. She pressed it against her finger gently, studying its capabilities. She pressed harder, watching as her skin caved in, resisting the pressure until she increased it. She flinched when the knife pricked her skin, watching a tiny drop of blood form on her finger. Enthralled by the feeling and the sight, Eve almost felt like her mind shut off, like an estranged part of her took over. She lifted her grey T-shirt, running the edge of the knife down her stomach until she reached the spot where she stabbed Villanelle. She hovered there for a moment, her mind a blank page, before pushing it in.
had fun writing this one even though they're not even in the same country atm. i want to make their reunion something special REALLY worth waiting for.
Chapter 4: La Villanelle
The mundane reality of every day life crashes Eve and Villanelle's bubble. While Eve can't stop thinking about the assassin, Villanelle finds an outlet for her teeming rage in the new contract.
"Please, don't!” Valentin Malmkvist was very loud and very scared, trying to shout louder than the hideous EDM music echoing in from the man’s living room. ”I beg you, you don't have to so this! I never talk about SweData, I keep my mouth shut!”
Villanelle rolled her eyes. Valentin finally reached his bed in that slow crawl backing away from her. When he realized he had nowhere left to go, he let out a panicky whimper.
“Don't be pathetic,” she kicked his legs shut, her trendy new kicks a contrast to his worn far-too-tight jeans. She towered over him, angry at him for his insolence. Valentin gave her quite the fight the moment he realized she wasn’t at all interested in sleeping with him. How delusional can a man get? He thought he could overpower her, which further showed how detached from reality the man was. He must’ve never worked out or fought in his life with how easy subduing him turned out to be. Still, he was a bother . “Take your belt off.”
“What? W-what for?”
V pressed a foot to his throat, slowly putting more and more weight on it. “Are you really in a position to be asking questions right now, Valentin?”
He shook his head wildly, tears and snot running down his face. She let go of him, and he quickly obeyed. She snatched the belt out of his hands. Ugly and cheap, but it will get the job done. V folded the belt in half, stretching it. The pathetic little man flinched at the sounds. Then she stretched it to its full length, wrapping it around her hands before wrapping the belt around his neck in one sweeping motion.
“This will hurt less if you don’t resist,” She said, and started pulling at him, forcing the man to kick the floor as she led him over to the bathroom. Half dragging the man, he made terrified little sounds and tried to claw at the belt, all the while pushing his legs against the floor to keep up with her pace and lower the pressure on his throat.
Eventually she let go of him, leaving him hunched over the bath, allowing him to catch his breath. “Why don’t you just kill me?” he cried out hoarsely.
“Your boss told me to send a message,” Villanelle shrugged. “You were a really naughty boy, weren’t you, Valentin? What did you do, take a shit on his desk?”
V slapped the man. “Get in the tub!”
He obeyed faster this time, but it didn’t stop him from crying and wailing. Villanelle grabbed the shower head, turning on the water flow. She turned the tap all the way and waited for the water to grow hot enough, testing it on her hand.
“P-please! I have nothing! I’ve lost everything! They already took away everything I had!”
“Because they’re dicks! They’re dicks and they-”
“No, stupid!” The scorching hot water was hurting her hand now. “Why do you think I care?” She pointed the shower head at him and the man let out a loud growl, which Villanelle quickly muffled by shoving his belt into his mouth. He kept screaming as the boiling water soaked through his clothes. His face was red and small blisters were already forming on his stubbly neck. He jerked around, flailing his arms in every direction. Villanelle had to hold him down, grimacing, her palm and fingers subjected to the searing water stream. She resorted to kicking him hard across the chest. He stopped fighting her when his ribs cracked, and tried to curl up to a ball, still screaming in agony.
“You’re so loud, Valentin! Maybe that’s why they want me to kill you!” But the man voiced no reply and just screamed as Villanelle kept the stream of water steadily on his face. She joined him in his orchestra of screaming, mocking him. After a while, his screams turned to groans of pain, that turned into sighs. His skin was freakishly red and white-ish blisters covered wide areas. He could barely move, every motion eliciting more muffled groans. V yanked the belt out of his mouth, sacrificing a tooth in the process. The blisters looked worse and worse with every passing moment.
V wrapped the belt around his throat one last time, choking the man. He could barely keep his eyes open, but she looked at the life leaving his body nonetheless. She tightened her grip more and more, watching the veins become accentuated as his eyes were getting that familiar glassy look to them. She let go of the belt and started choking him with her own hands, feeling the pulse in his veins, his diabolically hot skin. She looked him in the eye until he was looking at nothing as his last breath escaped him.
* * * * * * * * *
Eve tossed the knife as far away as she could as pain took hold of her, ushering in a tsunami of fear. While nowhere as deep as the stab she inflicted on Villanelle, the wound was already oozing out blood.
“Fuck fuck fuck fuck-” Eve darted out of bed, pulling the bloodied blankets and sheets off of the bed. She used them to try and stop the bleeding while awkwardly stumping to the bathroom. “Holy shit!” She let out, dumping everything to the floor and reaching for the cabinet, taking out some old bandages she kept there. Her fingers were shaking as she tore off a sizable piece and put it to her wound before taping it over. She tried to wipe the blood off of her, but only ended up smearing the blood all over her stomach. Eve took off her grey shirt and dried her hands before tossing it to the floor as well. When she looked up in the mirror, she was met with the gaze of a crazy woman, and apparently she was crying, too. Eve couldn’t help but laugh at the sight. When did she get so far gone?
She tossed the dirty laundry into the washing machine and turned it on. She washed the blood from her stomach carefully with her hands, avoiding the bandage. She had a hot cup of coffee and waited until the washing machine was done. What did I just do? Her fingers glossed over the wound absentmindedly, and all she could think of was Villanelle, and how she would laugh say something along the lines of ‘ and they call me crazy’ .
When Eve finally got to work, after getting ready and hanging the laundry out to dry, she had the surreal feeling of being in a dream. Like someone else was in charge of her body, as though she experienced everything through a thin layer of glass.
“You’re very late,” Carolyn remarked when Eve arrived at the headquarters.
“They ran over a dog,” Eve answered dully.
“In the metro station?”
“It was a lap dog.”
Carolyn, deciding she didn’t care enough to ask, proceeded straight to business. “Do you remember the murder in Tuscany?”
“Cesare Greco and the notorious hair pin shoved straight through his eye?”
“Yes, that one. Come with me.”
They drove over to the morgue. They remained silent for most of the drive, until Carolyn spoke.
“There’s blood under your nails.”
Her heart skipping a beat, Eve looked down. In all of the morning chaos, she forgot to rinse her hands clean of blood. Eve clenched her fists, hiding her fingers.
“Look, whatever it is that’s going on with you - I don’t care, so long as you do your work.”
“Yes, ma’am.” The reply was almost meek.
They arrived at the morgue, flashing their MI6 tags to get in. In the center of the room stood a single body cart, and Carolyn’s friend greeted them with her usual ill fitting warmth.
“Took you bloody long enough!” Julia pulled Carolyn into a hug.
“Sorry about that, awful traffic along the way. Could we take a look at the body?”
“Absolutely, right away,”
She uncovered the body. Before the three women lay a very dead man with a hairpin stuck in his skull. His one good eye was still staring into space. The first thing Eve examined was the pin itself. It was… boring. Just a cheap, normal hair pin.
“Any ideas?” Carolyn turned to Eve.
Eve continued to look over the body. She noticed the slightest of bruising along the man’s wrists.
“Do you have the photos from the scene?” Eve asked.
“Of course, they’re back at the headquarters.” Eve turned to face Carolyn, who was still waiting for an answer.
“Well, it’s not Villanelle.”
“Why are you so sure about this?”
“Well, for one she would never repeat something she’s already done before. She’s spontaneous, she likes to tell stories with her kills and there’s no point in telling a story she already told the world. It’s beneath her,” Eve was suddenly aware of Carolyn’s gaze. After all this time she still couldn’t decipher whether it was admiration, curiosity or judgement. “Also the hairpin’s ugly. And there’s some marks that suggest resistance. Here, around the wrists.”
“Ah,” Carolyn stifled a laugh, “Remarkable, Eve.”
When they got back to the headquarters, Eve and Carolyn went over the photographs from the crime scene where the man was found. It definitely looked similar enough to Villanelle’s work, but individually nothing held up. The body was obviously staged after the fact, and the hairpin wasn’t far enough in - it didn’t feel organic.
“Do we know who this man is?” Eve asked.
“There’s suspiciously little detail about him, actually. No family, no work details. This man is worth nothing according to files.”
“So he could be-”
“One of the twelve? Maybe. But what would spark this murder? Villanelle doesn’t work with the twelve anymore.”
Eve took a few moments to think. “This could be a warning,” She started pacing around the room. “Maybe it is the twelve, and maybe they want to hunt her down. Is this man is connected to Konstantin somehow?”
“We don’t know, but I trust you’ll find out, Eve.”
“I’m home!” Eve called out when she finally got back from work that evening. She peeked into the kitchen, finding it empty. “Niko?”
Eve checked out the living room, finding it to be empty as well. It only hit her when she was two thirds of the way upstairs that Niko had that science thing. That meant she had the house all to herself. A sense of relief washed over her, so intense it nearly brought her to tears. Thank fucking god. She didn’t realize it until that moment, but she was exhausted. Exhausted of living a double life, of lying to Niko, of thinking about Villanelle or avoiding her, of having to be normal at work. Nothing in her life was normal, and she was drained of any energy left in her.
When she took a shower, Eve had to carefully take the bloodied bandage off. It was a miracle the blood didn’t seep through to her clothes, she found out. While not bleeding anymore, the wound still hurt with a dull pain that never went away. When touched, the pain became unbearably sharp. How in the world did Villanelle make it?
Eve found her knife on the bedroom floor. She must’ve forgotten to pick it up the morning. Thank god Niko isn’t here. Even though she was alone at home, Eve Polastri still felt the need to look around and make sure no one was watching her as she opened her bedroom closet and moved a bunch of boxes to reach a seperate box delicately tied with black lace.
She opened it. Inside lay all of her gifts from Villanelle. She took out the first one perfume Villanelle sent her, 'La Villanelle', and sprayed it on her wrist, before applying it to her neck and chest. She put the box on top of her bed, and lay down next to it, reading through the postcards. Some of them were your typical romantic postcards with roses and wine and lovers kissing, but others were violent, gruesome, and utterly fascinating.
Eve fell asleep with her knife in one hand and a postcard in the other, the smell of La Villanelle offering her a strange sense of comfort.
writing some murdery V was very fun, and just like exploring their characters separately and seeing how they handle (or don't handle, really, bc they're both kind of broken) their feelings. can't wait to tie their arcs together again!
Chapter 5: Ask Me Out
With the copycat killer remaining a complete mystery, Eve manages to convince Carolyn it's time for drastic measures. Villanelle on the other hand spends her downtime making life very difficult for Konstantin.
Eve Polastri went over the photos of another copycat crime scene.
“Jesus! Do you have to put it on the largest projector around?” Hugo protested, looking away from the gory replica of the Filip Petrova murder.
Also an after hours office shooting, with precisely two shots, and even the mess was arranged to resemble the scene. Still, the inaccuracies were abundant. The victim was roughed up, and judging by the rather small blood stain on the floor the victim must've been dead a while before being shot. Eve bit the inside of her cheek in concentration.
“Eve?” Still no reaction. “Do you mind turning the damn thing off?” Hugo now shouted. Eve turned to him, taking a few more moments to process what he said before turning off the projector. Her brows furrowed, Eve took a seat next to Hugo.
“Whoever it is has to have access to police files.” She finally said.
“I mean, if anyone's gonna have a way to access the files it's gonna be the twelve, right?”
“Maybe. Probably. Dammit you're right.” Eve let out a sigh and crossed her arms. “I just don’t understand why the show. If they want to take out Villanelle, wouldn’t it be better to stay off radar?”
“Why are you so sure they’re after her? Not everyone’s as obsessed with her as you are, you know.”
“Yeah, but they’re targeting her murders specifically, not the ghost, not other assassins. Maybe it’s revenge, or maybe some other assassin is tired of her stealing the show.” Eve put away the projector remote. “Do you wanna grab some dinner?”
“Eve, you have got to be the only person I know that gets hungry looking at pictures like that.” Hugo shook his head, a smile on his face.
“Which is why you like me so much.” Eve got up, “So was that a yes?”
“Fuck it, why not.”
* * * * * * * *
Konstantin entered the hotel elevator, heading for the third floor. When the elevator doors opened in their slow crawl, Konstantin was met with the receptionist, who had an extremely worried look on his face.
“Is everything good?” Konstantin asked, out of habit more than anything else. He had more pressing issues to worry about.
“So much noise, so much mess. So much to clean up.” The receptionist entered the elevator, completely ignoring Konstantin’s question, but by now he could hear it. Music. Silly, trashy 90’s music blasting even through the hotel room door. She must be taking the piss.
He knocked on the room door, which proved to be useless, before kicking the door until it busted open. Inside the hotel room were way too many people, making way too much mess, and amidst them all was none other Villanelle - who was too busy to notice him, making out with a woman who was already missing a shirt. Konstantin took a deep breath. It was far too early in the morning for this.
“Out! Out! Everybody out! Now!” He shouted.
Villanelle was waiting for this precise moment ever since she came back from her contract.
“Konstantin! Join us!” She made her way through the masses and held onto her favorite handler, leading him to a waltz dance, spinning and laughing and most importantly - making him very very frustrated. When everyone finally left, Konstantin grabbed onto her shoulders and squeezed hard enough to make her stop moving.
“What is this?” He asked.
“A party!” Villanelle answered and blew a party horn she was holding right in his face. Konstantin closed his eyes and clenched his jaw, doing his best to hold his frustration. “What? I needed to distract myself from my broken heart.” Villanelle put on a sad face.
“Are you going on about that Eve Polastri again?”
“It’s fine! Geez, don’t worry about it! Like I said, my heart is very broken, and I don’t like her anymore.” Villanelle did a little shimmy. “Aren’t you excited?”
“Well, I am excited you finished the contract so fast. Good work! The client said he likes the religious touch.” Konstantin handed Villanelle a hefty envelope filled with cash.
“Don’t we all love a good crucifixion?” V took the money with a very naughty smile.
“How about this, you take the rest of the week off. You earned it. And Monday we have a new contract to work on.”
V raised her shoulders, slightly shaking her head.
“What? What does that mean?” Konstantin looked agitated again. Delightful.
“I’m not doing any more shitty businessmen contracts.” Villanelle said, walking over to the nearest couch and falling onto it dramatically.
Konstantin chuckled nervously. “This is a joke, yes?”
V let out a little ‘pop’ sound with her lips and slowly shook her head, a fake apologetic look decorating her features. “No.”
“Because it’s so b o r i n g !”
“Yes, I’m sure working with Raymond and waiting for him to snap your neck was very exciting!”
“It was exciting, Konstantin!” V stood up again. “What is the point of killing idiots if they’re so good at doing it themselves?!”
“Then what do you propose we do, huh? Retire to the country side and raise cows?”
“You would be shit at raising cows.” Villanelle scrunched her nose. “Plus, if I retire I’m obviously going to Greece.”
“Well you’re not retiring, and we have money to make. It is final.” He gave her a serious look.
“What’s the point of all this money if you don’t even let me have the most expensive hotel room?”
Konstantin let out a tired sigh. This was going to be a long day.
* * * * * * * *
“So what is it?” Carolyn sat across the table from Eve, piles of paperwork covering the desk in her office.
“I think I know how we can make progress regarding the copycat killer.” Eve exuded confidence. She had to, if she was to convince someone like Carolyn.
A few moments of silence. “Go on.”
“The copycat killer isn’t just replicating her murders.” Eve pulled a map of Europe she printed out and put it on the desk. She pointed to Paris. “He started here not long after Villanelle resurfaced after-” Eve hesitated for only a moment, “After I stabbed her. So the kid she murdered in the hospital.” Eve moved her finger to England. “Then the man with the creepy dolls all over his house,” Amsterdam , “Then the guy she gutted in the red light district,” Sweden, “And the most recent one from yesterday evening.”
“Why not match the murders to the locations?”
“That’s the thing about him, it’s never about the details. The big picture looks the same, but the moment you dive into the little things - that’s where the inaccuracies pop up. I don’t think it’s about recreating the murders as much as it is about sending a message. I think he’s actively hunting her, but she’s always one step ahead.”
Carolyn looked over the map, taking everything in. “And your idea?”
“We can’t reach the copycat killer, we have no idea who he is or who he’s working for, but we do have a way to contact his muse.”
Carolyn narrows her eyes. “Is that so?”
“You know Konstantin for a long time, and if he finds out that his favorite assassin is in danger he might agree to work with us to uncover this mystery. If she is being hunted, we can set up a trap, get him to go where we want him to.”
Another pause. “Fascinating.”
“How do you even go about choosing a postcard to send a narcissistic serial killer?” Jess and Eve inspected the postcard section of the National Gallery museum souvenir shop. Most of the works depicted on the cards were banalle, even borderline boring. Scenery pieces and impressionist art, all undeniably beautiful works but ultimately - bland. At least in Villanelle standards. “Do you just pick the most murdery one?”
“Like you wouldn’t be impressed by a murdery art postcard,” Eve picked up a card that depicted two women in an ominously red room, one combing the other one's hair. “What do you think?”
“Too ugly, I mean they barely look human,” Jess laughed as Eve put the postcard back.
“Okay, okay, how about…” She looked through another section, “How about this one?”
“The Rokeby Venus?” Jess inspected the painting of a beautiful woman in her bed, admiring her reflection in a mirror held by a baby angel. “Maybe too much on the nose?”
Eve rolled her eyes and continued her search. She must have went over dozens of cards, almost all of which were far too mundane, until she paused, hovering over a Joaquin Sorolla card.
“I like this one,” Jess said.
“Really?” Eve pursed her lips. “Isn’t it too… vanilla?”
“Maybe she’ll like vanilla, coming from you.”
Eve sighed. “ Fine , let’s get it over with.”
* * * * * * * *
How long can one phone call take? V was already finishing up her ice cream, basking in the warm sunlight. Amsterdam sure had it’s days. She watched the canal from atop a bridge, inspecting the people around her. So many families, and so many couples. Villanelle felt miserable. As much as she tried to tell Konstantin and herself, she wasn’t anywhere near over Eve Polastri. The woman haunted her, occupying most of her thoughts. She imagined seeing her on every street, in every car, in every dream. Dark hair, that observant stare. She kept thinking back to their encounter in Eve’s house, how she shook in ecstasy.
There was a child with her family in the canals, taking the cruise on an open boat. She was smiling at her and waving her silly little hand. V smiled back, waving at the girl. That made the girl laugh. Just as they were about to disappear under the bridge, Villanelle threw the remains of her ice cream on the girl, eliciting a loud and very american ‘ Ew! ’ from her. When Villanelle looked away from the canal, she was met with a confused gaze from an elderly guy out on his afternoon stroll.
“Tourists, am I right?” She said in Dutch, rolling her eyes before he went back to minding the newspaper in his hands.
V used to love her days off. She used to love the freedom and being able to go out for fancy meals and buying fancy clothes, but it felt empty now. Everything felt meaningless when her contracts were meaningless and even the thought of having to kill another boring nobody made her blood boil. Konstantin spent most of the previous day trying to convince her to take on another contract, and she spent most of it trying to piss him off. She did manage to get one thing out of him, though - he agreed to let her rent an apartment under a fake name.
After another twenty minutes, Konstantin finally came back to her.
“What took you so long?” V put her arm around her handler.
“You’re in luck, Villanelle. Seems like the universe doesn’t want you to do another contract after all.” He handed her an envelope. This one wasn’t filled with cash.
“What is this?”
“Open it,” He said. He already looked on edge. What was that all about?
She did as he said, tearing the envelope to discover a postcard inside of it. Villanelle shot him a questioning look, to which he responded with a shrug. She inspected the card. There was a painting of two women on the beach, both wearing white dresses. They looked like two brides that just got away with murdering their husbands before running away together. V flipped the card.
I’ve been thinking about you constantly,
let’s have dinner together. I need to show you something.
She wrote her number down with one of the lipsticks V sent her and - was she imagining it? Villanelle put the card to her nose and inhaled deeply. No, she wasn’t . It smelled like her perfume. V gave Konstantin an angry look.
“Come, I’ll explain on the way back to the hotel, yes?”
To tell the truth, I have been struggling to find an interesting angle for this one and it took me a long time to even start. I deleted about three different opening paragraphs until I wrote something I was okay with. However!!! The next chapter entails a much awaited date!
Chapter 6: Blue Red
Villanelle and Eve finally have a proper date, putting all the cards on the table. Will Villanelle be convinced to work with MI6 to catch the copycat killer?
Eve knew she was running late. She wanted to make a point of it, to make Villanelle wait just a little bit longer to see her. The dress she was wearing alone should be compensation enough, she thought. A plunging red satin gown with metallic accents on the belt and short capped sleeves that she would never choose alone, and she didn't. She was a sight to behold, and she felt it. And knowing it would be Villanelle seeing her made it all the more exciting. The effort will not go unnoticed. Unrewarded.
She opened the door, immediately greeted by the hostess, a young woman in professional looking attire. This place was perfect for the occasion. It helped that Carolyn had a great deal of experience when it came to fancy meals that had need of private spaces.
“I booked a table for two under Eve Polastri,” She told the hostess.
“Follow me,” The hostess led her through the main space. Even the occupants of the non private tables looked important. Most of them had suits on, and the ones that didn't looked like they had just returned from a four day cruise on a yacht. Then she led her through a dimly lit corridor with heavy wooden doors on both sides, neon numbers buzzing above each one. Their room was room number seven. “Head in whenever you're ready, Mrs. Polastri. There's a buzzer inside for whenever you need a waiter. Have a pleasant evening.” And with that, the hostess left.
Eve let out a quiet “Thank you,”, stunned by the vibe of the place, but the woman was already out of earshot.
The door had an art deco feel to it, with gentle inlays and textures. Eve took a deep breath and held it in. Why am I so nervous? She wondered. It's not like this is the first time we meet . Still, something about this felt different. Could it actually be butterflies ? Eve decided to run away from the thought, and opened the door.
Their eyes met immediately, that distant yet ever present stare. Eve stood there by the entrance, watching as Villanelle’s eyes went down, pausing on the details and intricacies, and then went back up, slow and focused. When the assassin was done, she got up, revealing a patterned three piece suit, large red diamonds with a white outline on a greyish blue background, a white vest and a black shirt underneath. She looked stunning, confident in her element. Villanelle walked over to Eve, closing the door behind her before circling back to move the chair for her. They exchanged a look, inches away from one another, before Eve sat down. Villanelle returned to her own seat, a little smile on her lips.
“I like your dress Eve. Did you choose it yourself?” Starting a light conversation, Villanelle poured Eve a glass of red wine that was on the table.
“No,” Eve inspected the room. It was romantic and intriguing, most of the light emerging from neon stripes decorating every corner, the ceiling frame, the places where the floor met walls. There were two candles on the table, and two menus, as well as a few appetizers. Truth be told, Eve wasn't particularly hungry. Her stomach churned, both from anxiety and excitement, yet there was another sort of hunger waking up inside her.
“Did Niko help you?” The teasing little shit, Eve thought.
“No, my boss did, actually.”
“Oh,” Judging by Villanelle’s face, you'd think it's the most scandalous news she ever heard. Then she smiled, pouring herself a drink. “It's that serious lady, right? I like her.” Villanelle raised her glass.
“Of course you do,” Eve raised her glass as well, waiting for Villanelle to come up with a toast.
Earlier that day…
“Why take me along?” When Carolyn walked in her brisk pace, it was hard for Eve to keep up. The tall woman's strides meant Eve had to walk fast. Very fast.
“Honestly? Yours is the only sense of style I trust.”
“Oh,” Although Eve was too focused on keeping up to be sure, she could've sworn she saw the hint of a smile.
Carolyn brought the two to an expensive looking shop that had all sorts of suits and dresses and formal attire.
“So this is where you get all your clothes? It all makes so much sense now.”
“Some of them, yes. Sometimes I prefer to go to a tailor. But since we're short on time, this will have to do.”
Carolyn picked three dresses for Eve to try on. One blue, one green, and a red one. They were all stunning, sporting unique cuts and shapes and decorations. Eve put on the green dress in the changing stall and got out to take a look. In that lighting anything would look gorgeous, Eve realized. It accentuated all of the right features.
“I don't like it.” Carolyn did not seem impressed at all.
“What? What are you talking about, this looks gorgeous!”
“It doesn't scream confidence.” After seeing the look of confusion on Eve’s face, she continued. “Eve, you're about to have an important dinner with a psychopath whose job is to kill people, and try to convince her to work with the people whose sole purpose is to stop people like her. You're not the first person pulling this kind of stunt, so believe me when I say that this dress doesn't cut it. Put on the next one.”
Although Carolyn's answer raised more questions than it did answers, Eve obeyed. She did not approve of the blue dress either, calling it boring. When Eve put on the red dress, though, Carolyn's eyes lit up.
At the restaurant…
“You stopped sending me things,” Eve did something she never thought she'd do, and ordered a salad of all things. There she was, sitting in one of the most prestigious restaurants in London eating a fucking salad. It was a delicious salad, but still. A salad.
Villanelle smirked. “You broke my heart, Eve.” She made a sad face and caught a ravioli with her fork. “You didn't talk to me for two weeks and then I have to find out that things with Niko are shit and you didn't even tell me.”
“I don't have to tell you how things are with Niko.” Eve took a bite from her salad. “But just so you know, I stopped talking to you because it scares me.”
“I scare you?” Villanelle seemed amused.
“No, not you . What you make me feel scares me. What you make me do and think scares me. That was my attempt at fighting it. Keeping it at bay.”
A few moments of silence. “Did it work?”
“No. Not at all. I kept thinking about you and how I wanted to see you again.” Eve could feel her cheeks turn red. “To taste you. To hurt you. To hurt other people that rubbed me the wrong way.”
Villanelle’s lip twitched slightly, the look in her eyes ravenous suddenly. “It's who you are, Eve. No use fighting it.”
“I know.” Eve put down her fork. “But that's not the only reason I called you here. Do you know that there's a killer running around copying your murders?”
“What?” The look of genuine surprise on Villanelle’s face sent a tiny wave of pleasure over Eve.
Carolyn and Konstantin were having dinner at Carolyn's place. Chinese takeout and some gin, their get together was much more modest.
“You've been busy, Konstantin.” Carolyn had a sip of gin.
“So have you. How is Eve Polastri doing?”
“She's fine. Obsessive, but she gets the job done. She's got a brilliant mind, you two should go out for coffee some time.”
Konstantin’s laugh was loud and resembled a fit of coughs. “Cute. How is bringing Oksana into this going to help, hm?”
“He's been following her tracks. He is bound to catch up to her sooner or later. Better he does it on our terms.”
“And you think this justifies the threats to hurt my family?” Konstantin poured the two another drink.
“We both know family is weakness in this business. Had you not run away, I wouldn't have had to resort to threats.”
“Do you really think that it will work? That we'll catch this copycat?”
“I honestly don't know, but I do know we're better off working together. And if it's money you're worried about, then don't be. We'll pay you for her time.”
“All of this for some schmuck that can't come up with original murders?”
“All of this to keep our country safe. Cheers.” Carolyn raised her glass and downed her drink in one go.
Back at the restaurant...
“This is supposed to look like my work?” V was downright disgusted. “So brutish.” She looked through the photos from the crime scenes, judging the replicas of her murders. “How do you make sticking a hairpin in someone’s eye boring ?”
Eve smiled. “I know!” She looked at the assassin as she assessed the photos, making faces and disappointed noises. “So do you have any idea who it might be?”
V looked at Eve. “I have many fans, you know. You’re not the only one that likes the way I kill people.”
“I don’t like the way y-”
“Yes you do, Eve.” Villanelle put the photograph in her hand down. “But no, I have no idea who’s stupid enough to do this. And even though it’s cute that you’re worried about me, I’m not scared of a fake.”
“Can you see the struggle marks on the victims?”
“Yeah, it’s called being sloppy, what about it?”
“He’s strong, Villanelle. Stronger than all of the men he killed. And you’re his primary goal. He wants to make you his first original.” Eve reached out to Villanelle, putting a hand in the middle of the table.
V rolled her eyes. “Terrible. I am going to be killed by a man without a grain of originality.” She pulled out a knife and stuck it in the table between Eve Polastri’s fingers. Eve flinched. “You really think it’s that easy to kill me?” The look in her eyes was dangerous.
“No.” Eve was hypnotized by that look, by the danger. “It’s why I called you here. I need you to help me catch him.”
V snored. “I don’t do catching , baby. I kill people, if you haven't noticed.” She spoke softly, pulling the knife out and tracing the edges of Eve’s fingers.
“He doesn’t deserve to become one of your works,” Eve pointed out. “He deserves to think that he’s about to make it, to prove the world what a great assassin he is, just to have it all taken away by his inspiration. He deserves to spend the rest of his life knowing he’s beneath you.”
Villanelle seemed to like the sound of that. A lot.
Niko Polastri was exhausted. School staff meetings were never his favorite, and never did they last this long. He felt humiliated. The big subject of that month's meeting were the complaint calls. Some kid somewhere thought it'd be funny to call the school and make false complaints about him harassing her. While members of the staff that knew him fervently defended him, others eyed him with suspicion.
But it didn't matter. He was finally home. “Eve?” He called out. No response . He tried to recall if she told him about any plans that she had but came up empty - they were barely talking about their lives to each other as of late. He didn’t even tell her about the calls. She didn’t tell him anything for so long she could be running a drug cartel for all he knew. “Eve!” Still no response.
When he got to the upstairs bedroom, he saw that Eve forgot to turn the mirror light off. He got closer, inspecting the scene. Eve rarely put on makeup, which was a shame in his mind. She always looked stunning in his opinion, but it was when she felt she looked stunning that she nearly glowed. She had that look about her, that zest, that sparkle in her eyes. When he got closer, he noticed a lipstick on the table Eve must have forgotten to put back in the makeup bag. He picked it up. A pair of golden lips separated the black cap from the handle. In the back of the handle it read ‘Pat Mcgrath Labs MatteTrance - Elson’ . He opened it. The lipstick was a beautiful shade of red. Niko clenched his jaw.
Eve and Villanelle stood outside the restaurant in an alley, Villanelle pinning Eve to the wall. “You put on the lipstick I sent you,” Villanelle played with Eve’s hair, twisting it around her finger. “I think you should go home, Eve. Niko must be worried sick.”
“He knows that I’m here,” Eve lied. She didn’t know why she felt the need to lie, but she still couldn’t bring herself to make it easy for Villanelle.
Villanelle let out a ‘tsk, tsk, tsk’, pursing her lips while tracing Eve’s jaw with her finger. “You’re a really shit liar, Polastri,” She leaned in, her lips almost touching Eve’s neck and breathed in. Her perfume again. That made her smile.
“I don’t want to go home.” Eve said. Villanelle pulled back, exploring the look in her eyes.
Villanelle chuckled lightly. “I should warn you Eve, I’m pretty upset with you. I won’t be holding back.”
“Neither will I.”
Eve closed the gap between the two, kissing Villanelle slowly. Boy did she miss this feeling.
This one was a load of fun, and there's still more fun to be had for both Villanelle and Eve!
Chapter 7: Zou Bisou Bisou
Eve spends the night with Villanelle, discovering a surprisingly soft and earnest side to their sultry affair. Facing her first day with the fresh additions to her team at MI6, Eve must tackle past mistakes head on in order to get their operation going.
Villanelle turned around to face Eve, closing the door behind her, their faces so close they were nearly touching. She leaned her hand against the door, her free hand trailing down Eve’s arm until she reached the wrist. She raised it above Eve’s head, holding it against the door, and then did the same with Eve’s other hand.
“Should I search you for a knife?” V asked.
Instead of answering her question, Eve kissed Villanelle.
V gave a brief smile, increasing the pressure on Eve’s hands before freeing them to turn her around. Eve inhaled sharply, face and palms touching the cold metal sliding door to Villanelle’s newly rented studio apartment.
Villanelle slowly began to unzip Eve’s dress, still taking in the intricate details that the dress bore. It was a marvel, the red dress was satin but looked almost like velvet. She took her time, the tenderness a contrast to the way she spun her. Eve’s body tensed up with anticipation, not being able to predict the assassin’s next move. She could feel Villanelle carefully slide both of her sleeves down, taking the top part off before turning her to face her again, producing a muffled banging sound from the metal door. She traced a finger down the middle of Eve’s chest, reaching her stomach before pausing.
“Who did this to you?” She asked, her fingers fluttering over the still healing wound that Eve inflicted on herself with the knife V gifted her.
“I did,” Eve replied, her voice low and breathy. Villanelle gave Eve a puzzled look.
“Why would you do that?”
“I don’t know. I guess something took over me.”
Villanelle spent a few long moments exploring the look in Eve’s eyes, the darkness that lay underneath. Then, going down to her knees, she kissed the stab, making Eve release a slow and shaky breath. She proceeded to take Eve’s dress off and undo her beautiful red shoes. Eve put he hand on V’s shoulder, getting out of her outfit one leg at a time. There was something nearly ceremonial about it, almost holy, only the soft hum of traffic from outside and the sound of their breathing filling the silence.
“Get up,” Eve said, her voice soft and harsh at the same time. Villanelle did, slowly rising to Eve’s eye level and then looming over her. Eve walked passed Villanelle, going over to the bed side of the apartment. She sat down, eyeing Villanelle from a distance. “Take off your clothes.” There was something about Eve’s commanding voice that made Villanelle’s heart beat faster. The authority glowed around her, even though she was the one undressed. It felt like she was completely in her element.
Villanelle obeyed, starting with the jacket and adding it to the pile on the floor. She then unbuttoned her satin vest, then the white shirt underneath before throwing the two away, all the while maintaining eye contact with Eve, whose eyes darted all over her but never for too long before returning to gaze into her eyes. She undid her pants and slid her shoes off, before finally sliding her underwear down, still following Eve’s gaze.
“Come here,” Eve said, captivated by the assassin’s beautiful, trained body. She looked like a work of art, so different from Niko. She tried to be with him after that night Villanelle broke into her apartment, but couldn’t bear how boring it was. How nothing about him was as calculated and exciting.
They looked at each other as Villanelle stood in front of her, scars from years in this rough business decorating her body like little memoirs from her victims. Eve wondered what the story behind each scar was, how young was Villanelle when she got the very first scars. If she liked the pain, and if she was proud of her sizable collection.
It was now Eve’s turn to explore Villanelle’s scar from her stab. It was considerably bigger than hers, and even after all this time not yet fully healed. Eve put her thumb to it and started pushing, waiting for that flinch of pain, and when V did recoil, Eve stood up quickly and pushed the killer onto the bed before setting herself between her legs. Villanelle let out an excited sigh, the older woman’s face between her legs the last thing she was seeing before she closed her eyes and tilted her head back.
Eve woke up to the sound of her alarm. She was sprawled on top of Villanelle, her fingertips resting on her wound. In a lot of ways, the previous night felt like their first time. There was something incredibly open and intimate about it, a certain sense of tenderness that had not been there before. At the same time it was harsh and demanding and thrilling. Villanelle was starting to wake up, slowly opening her eyes.
“Good morning,” She said, her accent particularly thick as her brain was still coming to grips with the reality of a new day. Eve reached over to grab her phone, turning off the alarm. Under any other circumstances she would’ve slipped away by now, rushing over to the familiarity of her home, but they were both bound for the same destination - their team’s headquarters at MI6. The notion that they were now colleagues started seeping into Eve’s head.
“Good morning,” Eve said, sitting up. Atop Villanelle’s scars, Eve could see bruises of her own work around her thighs and chest. She felt a little ridiculous, like a teenager with little self restraint. Still, there was a part of her she couldn’t deny that felt proud of it, like she marked her as her own.
Villanelle sat up as well, running a hand through her messy hair before stretching her back like a cat. She then paused to look at Eve, admiring the sight of the woman beside her as rays of sunshine crowned her hair like a halo. Villanelle actually felt content, which was rather confusing for her.
“What?” Eve asked, suddenly feeling awkward.
“You’re beautiful,” V answered earnestly, putting a stray strand of Eve’s hair behind her ear. She got up, throwing a satin robe in Eve’s direction before putting on another robe herself.
“Coffee? Breakfast?” She asked. It all felt a little surreal, but it worked. They were in a bubble here, and it being Villanelle’s apartment and not her own or a fancy hotel made it easier for Eve to just go with things.
“I don’t do breakfast, but I’d love coffee, thank you.”
V shrugged. “Shame, Eve. It is the most important meal of the day.”
* * * * * * * *
Konstantin got in his car, setting a paper cup filled to the brim with hot black coffee in the cup holder. Working with MI6 sure had its upsides, one of which was the leased vehicle. He put Villanelle’s new address on the GPS and started the car. Villanelle’s radio silence since the evening before could either mean things were going extremely well or extremely poorly, and he hoped that Villanelle felt that she had a say in the matter. It was useless trying to get the girl to do anything she didn’t want to do, but really she had no choice. Neither of them did. He also hoped Eve Polastri wouldn’t pose too much of a distraction for the assassin.
He arrived at the apartment building and picked up his phone, dialling Villanelle. After about four rings, she answered.
“Konstantin! Good morning! Did you already miss me?” So it went well, he concluded. She sounded irrationally happy, like a child on Christmas morning about to open their gifts.
“Yes, I slept very well, the new sleeping pills are a miracle. I hope you did too?” He asked teasingly.
“Not really, to be honest. Didn’t really get a lot of sleep, if you know what I mean.” It’s not that oversharing was something he wasn’t used to, coming from Villanelle. In fact, he preferred it this way. Her silent days were when she was hardest to manage, and she had been silent for nearly three weeks.
“I’m waiting for you outside. You better hurry, Carolyn doesn’t like it when people are late.”
“Ooh! Konstantin! Are you scared of the big boss lady?”
“No, but you will be, if you get on her bad side. Come!” And without waiting for her response, he hung up the phone and focused on drinking his coffee.
She came out not long after, sporting a cocky half of a smirk. Konstantin nearly spat out his coffee when following Villanelle came out Eve, in clothes that were clearly taken out of Villanelle’s closet. They were too long for her, but it suited her in a weird way, the look both professional and captivating, with a simple striped dark grey suit pants and jacket accompanied by a white top. While not quite as at ease as Villanelle, the same sort of glow emitted from her as well.
“God help me,” he muttered just before the two got in the car. He stayed silent, looking at the two through the rear-view mirror.
“What? She needed a ride too,” Villanelle said, as they sat on opposite ends of the backseat.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience,” Eve hurried to say.
“Nonsense! We are all friends here now. Isn’t it what friends are for?” He gave her a big ol’ Konstantin smile before heading for the headquarters.
* * * * * * * *
“You want to murder someone?” Hugo seemed baffled. He spent the first half hour of Eve and Villanelle’s arrival just staring at the two with utter shock. When he introduced himself to Villanelle she squeezed his hand so strongly he let out a little squeak before clearing his throat and muttering a quiet ‘ very nice to meet you.’
“Not actually murder someone, just stage a murder. We can hire an actor and make a fake investigation file. I mean we need to give the copycat a reason to come here,” Eve said in her defense.
“Even if he does come here, how are you going to catch him? We don’t know how he chooses his victims.”
“We can just ask K-” Eve paused. “Kenny to look over the victim’s files.” She turned to look at Carolyn, who was unusually quiet the whole morning.
“Don’t look at me, I’m not the one that fired him.” She said. Eve gave her a look that said ‘ Are you really going to make me do this?’ Which the woman elegantly ignored. “Right, we have no time to waste. Get on it, Eve. I expect frequent updates.” And with that, she left the meetings room, joined by Konstantin.
Jess looked rather uneasy about being in the same room as Villanelle. “Okay, I’m going to look for our victim and get in contact with witness protection services, for his safety.”
“Who’s Kenny?” Villanelle asked after Jess exited the room, leaving Eve alone with Hugo and V.
“A good guy, used to work on your case before Eve gave him the boot. Really looked up to her, too.”
“Stop it Hugo, don’t be an ass.” Eve dreaded the thought of having to go and apologize to Kenny, but what other choice did she have? And in truth she did miss him. She could always rely on him to help her find answers for her leads, and he was one of the few people she could really talk to about everything.
“Ah yes, Eve and good boys. Heartbreaking combination, isn’t it?” Even though she didn’t say it outright, Eve knew Villanelle was talking about her husband.
“Don’t you dare,” A wave of anger washed over her. She wanted to wipe that victorious smug off of the woman’s face.
“Oof, I see. Touchy subject.” She made a face. “Well, I have outfits that are just waiting for me to buy them, so if you don’t mind,” As she was leaving the room, she stopped by Eve for a moment. “Call me if you need anything, yes?”
Eve ran a few scripts for the apology in her mind as she arrived at Kenny’s new department. Apparently, he was now dealing with drug overlords. What a waste of his talents. She asked the superintendent to call him outside, telling him to say it was his mother asking for him. It wasn’t long before she could see Kenny heading out. The moment he realized it was her, he looked angry. Hurt, even.
“What are you doing here?”
“I know that our last conversation ended on bad terms, but I really need you back on the case.”
“Oh, you need me, so I should just come on running, should I?” He crossed his arms, assuming a defensive position. “I’m quite happy here, just so you know. The administrator actually sees me as an equal, not just a tool to be used whenever she pleases.”
“Really? You’re happy?” Eve looked at the boy with disbelief. “How do drug operations compare to a world class assassin’s murders being imitated by another serial killer?”
He tried to play it off, but it was obvious he was interested. “I trusted you, Eve, I thought we were a team. Then the minute I don’t agree with you, you just toss me away.”
Eve sighed. “Look I’m sorry, Kenny. I was wrong. What I did was wrong and I miss having you on my team.” She put a hand on his shoulder. “You’re a brilliant person. You’re better than letting emotions stand in your way.”
“Like you are?” He asked, coldly.
“Please.” She said in the most genuine tone she could muster.
He kept the suspense going for a few more moments before finally speaking. “Fine. But I’m not doing this for you.” Moving his shoulder so she would take her hand off of it.
“Thank you, Kenny. Really.”
“I’m going inside to get my stuff. Also, what are you wearing?”
Eve’s eyes went wide with embarrassment. It’s not that she didn’t like the clothes. On the contrary, she felt rather powerful in them, but knowing how Kenny felt about her meeting Villanelle made her feel uncomfortable. “I just wanted to try something out. I guess I got the wrong size.” She lied.
“Right…” He said, but he didn’t dwindle on it, and instead headed back inside the department.
After a particularly long day, Eve finally got home. By the entrance stood a box with her name written on it in a familiar handwriting. A note was attached to the top of the box.
'I think these are a little more your size, lover. Vx’ Eve quickly hid the note in an inside pocket of Villanelle’s jacket. She opened the box to discover a few incredible looking outfits inside, all wrapped up and pressed. She closed the box again, praying to whatever god there was that Niko was already inside the house when the box came.
She found that she still didn’t want to head in. She missed Niko in a sense, the aura of normality about him always kept her sane, but she was scared. Scared she had gone too far, that he figured it out. Even if he didn’t, their relationship was not doing well. In the rare times they were having sex, she felt like she was using him, the worst part about it being the fact that she didn’t care. But she knew she had no choice, no alternative. She couldn’t move in with Villanelle and pretend she doesn’t have a husband. She knew she had to face him sooner or later.
Eve took a deep breath before picking up the box and opening the door. The place was eerily quiet, but the lights were on - suggesting that Niko was inside. Eve put the box in the corridor by the door, and headed inside. “Niko?” She called out.
She found him in the living room, sitting with his fingers crossed and a particularly hurt expression on his face.
“Where have you been?”
after having some trouble staring this one, it flowed surprisingly well. i'm eager to write about them coming up with the plan, and the confrontation with Niko. I also wanted to say thank you for your support to everyone that left a comment on this fic. it means a lot and keeps me going :)
Chapter 8: Ces Petits Reins
Niko finally confronts Eve about her suspicious behavior and utter lack of effort before storming out, all the while Villanelle watching in secret. Kenny hits a breakthrough in the copycat killer case, leaving the MI6 team with three potential suspects.
“Where have you been?” His tone somber, the look in his eyes hurt. “I have been waiting for you all night, I was worried sick about you!”
Eve almost felt paralyzed. It wasn’t that she was afraid he’d hurt her, but being put on the spot like this made her feel like a cornered animal. What could she say in her defense?
“I stayed at work,” More lies, “We hit a breakthrough on a case, I got too invested. I’m sorry I forgot to call you.”
A pause. “Whose clothes are these?”
“I spilled coffee all over my clothes so my boss gave me hers.” Lies, lies lies.
Niko stared at her in disbelief. “Why do you feel like you have to lie to me, Eve?” He pulled something out of his pocket. It was the lipstick Villanelle sent her, the one she wore the night before. “I’m guessing you just felt like wearing it to work?”
Eve found that her mind was a blank slate. She couldn’t think of anything to say.
“Talk to me,” Niko begged.
“I don’t know what to say,” She admitted.
“Is the thought of telling the truth so inconceivable to you?”
“You know I can’t talk about my work,” Her voice was weak, almost a whisper. Eve felt like she had sandpaper in her throat and like the walls were closing in on her.
For a few long moments he just looked at her. She could almost see him go through a rollercoaster of emotion - anger, sadness, disappointment, betrayal.
“Are you having an affair?” He finally said it. He actually said it.
“Are you?” Eve heard herself say. “All these science tournaments out of town, the evening meetings at school, the low sex drive?” Eve had no idea what had gotten into her, it felt like someone else was speaking for her.
“You wanna talk about low sex drive? You wanna talk about the bruises on your thighs four weeks ago? How you can barely stand to look at me for more than two seconds? Jesus Eve I feel like your human dildo for christ’s sake!” He got up, raising his voice, making Eve back away. “The meetings at the school? Some idiot’s been calling, making up stories about how I sexually harassed her.” He lowered his voice again. “But you don’t know that, because we don’t talk , Eve, do we. No, we just eat takeout food and usher out meaningless sentences about weather and economics and T.V. because god forbid we actually share our lives like we’re supposed to do.” He sat back down. “I’m tired.”
“I’m sorry,” Was all she could muster, frail, almost heartbroken.
“Do you even want to make this work?”
Niko was her connection to the ‘real’ world, the normal world where assassins are just characters on TV. shows. Where you would anger your boss by being late to work, not running off to Paris without permission to stab a serial killer that killed your best friend. The world where people went to vacations and had families and boring little lives. But this was the reason it all started - Eve didn't want a boring little life. But she also didn’t want to let go of the only normal part of her life left. In a way she realized that without him being an anchor for her, she’d be absolutely free to be who she really is. The thought thoroughly petrified her.
“Of course I do.” Eve took a step forward, “Let’s make dinner, I can hop over to the grocery store and buy some vegetables and meat and we can-”
“No, Eve. Not today. I’m afraid I’m not hungry.” His voice as cold as a winter storm, he stood up again. “I’m going to crash at a friend’s.” He headed for the door. He paused at the entrance, glancing over at the box Villanelle sent her. “Can you just try? Really try for once?” And with that, Niko left her alone with her thoughts.
Eve was crushed. She felt like a child that had gone too far. But far worse, a part of her realized that she wasn’t sad about Niko, not really. She loved him, or at least she thought she did, but in truth she just used him as a barrier, like a comfortable blanket shielding her from the monsters outside. Except she was the monster in this scenario. If she didn’t have him around, what was stopping her from abandoning normal life altogether? What was stopping her from acting out on every whim?
That night Eve fell asleep on the sofa, using Villanelle’s jacket as a blanket, finding strange comfort in her scent.
Villanelle was watching. Watching as Eve found the box and hid her note inside the jacket. Watching as she went inside the house. Watching as she had the fight with Niko, a satisfied smirk on her face. Watching as Eve fell asleep wrapped up in her jacket. Soon enough, Niko would be out of the picture entirely. All she needed to do was give it a little push.
When she got home, V nearly had a heart attack at the sight of Konstantin waiting for her in her kitchen, a bottle of scotch beside him. Recovering from her shock, she gave him a nasty look.
“Come, let’s have a little talk.” He gestured at the empty chair beside him. The two coffee mugs from that morning were still on the table, a gentle reminder of the time she shared with Eve. She rolled her eyes but sat down beside him, offering him a very big and very fake smile as he poured her a drink.
“What do you think you are doing?” Konstantin looked unusually tense.
“Wasn’t it you who told me to work with MI6?”
“Yes, work with them, not screw their employees behind their spouses’ backs.”
“I didn’t screw her, Konstantin, that’s just rude.” Villanelle downed the harsh drink, putting down her glass with a loud thump . “We made love. It was kind of beautiful, actually,” V proceeded to pour herself another drink.
“Like you made love to Anna before you murdered her husband?”
Villanelle splashed the contents of her glass at Konstantin, who just managed to close his eyes in time to avoid a very painful outcome. He wiped the liquid away with the back of his hand, shaking the drops off of himself.
“Don’t talk about Anna. Ever.”
“Can’t you see this is just Anna all over again?”
“That is not true.” Her voice a whisper, she could nearly feel herself shaking with anger.
“She’s using you just like she is using that dumb husband of hers!”
“That is not true! ” Villanelle yelled. “She loves me! I know she does!”
“Really?” Konstantin looked almost amused. “Is that why she stuck a knife into your belly in Paris? What was that, a gesture of love? hm?”
“What do you want from me, Konstantin?”
“She is getting in the way. You get distracted and soft when you think about her. You used to be unstoppable! Now look at you, too bored to murder business men because your make belief girlfriend doesn’t talk to you for two weeks.”
V’s lip twitched with anger, her eyes getting dangerously vacant.
“When we are done here, I don’t want you to contact Eve Polastri in any way. I want you to forget about her. No phone calls, no presents, no letters. Nichevo.”
“Or I tell our friends the twelve where you are, and get my job back while you get shot in the head or hidden in an abandoned building in some dump in Europe.”
He wasn’t joking, Villanelle realized to her dismay. “You would do that?”
“If you don’t get your shit together, then yes. I would do that. Then I can go back to my real daughter and raise her not to be a selfish clown like you.” Just as he stood up, Villanelle did too and tried to slap him. He caught her wrist just in time, but even a man his size had to struggle against her force. There were tears in her eyes, but he knew her well enough to know that these were tears of anger, not sadness.
“You don’t mean that,” She said, her brow furrowed, tears now running down her cheeks.
“I like you, Villanelle, I really do. But we both know this isn’t family. It wasn’t from the moment you put a bullet in me and threatened to kill my daughter.”
He let go of her to leave her apartment, wiping away the rest of the drink still on his face.
Eve woke up in the middle of the night to her phone ringing. She was having another dream about Villanelle, how her body looked in the moonlight and how she squirmed at her touch, cheeks red and skin glistening. She picked her phone up and answered.
“Sorry about the time, but I think I figured out the connection between the copycat’s victims.”
“Where are you?”
“At the office.”
“I’ll be there in thirty minutes.”
Even though she was exhausted, Eve was happy to have something to focus on, a lead in an investigation that felt like it had hit a wall for too long now. She was proud of herself for being able to convince Kenny to come back, and was reminded of the time when they were still hunting Villanelle, how small the operation was back then.
She appreciated the team. Having professionals stand by her side and help her crack these cases was incredible, but ultimately it felt… empty. Everything did since Paris. None of her achievements felt as extraordinary and groundbreaking. The only thing that made her feel truly alive was Villanelle.
Eve arrived at the office, tossing a homemade sandwich in Kenny’s direction. She sat down next to him, eating her own sandwich. “So what did you find?”
“I ran the victims through a facial recognition program, and it gave me a few different names for each face. Then it was just a matter of looking through some archives and finding out what was real. Turns out these are all people that different information agencies throughout Europe protect because they snitched on a trafficking circle back in the nineties.”He stopped to see if Eve was following and she gestured for him to keep going. “Their testimonies put dozens behind bars, so there’s a good motive. I ran some checks on people who were recently released from prison, trying to see if any of them match with their entry date but I couldn’t find anything.”
“This is amazing, Kenny! Do you know who the people in the circle are? Who the next victim might be?”
“It took some digging around but I did manage to find records of the whole thing. There’s four down, and three to go.”
Eve got up. “Wait, so do you think it’s a coincidence that he happened to find them in the cities where Villanelle killed people? I mean it would make sense with one person but for all of them to be scattered so perfectly? And even if they were scattered, he already eliminated one target in England.”
Kenny typed away on his computer. After about twenty minutes, during which Eve ran out to the snack machine to bring in some chocolate bars, he only seemed more confused. “It’s like he arranged for it to happen. None of the people lived near the place where he murdered them which means-”
“-He has to be one of the people that made the plea deal.” The rush. Eve was finally excited about her work.
Kenny loaded the files of the remaining three. Two men and one woman. “Are we sure the killer is a man?”
“Oh I am absolutely positive. He used brute force to kill the victims and then staged the murders to look like Villanelle’s works but that was always just superficial. Even if the woman was strong enough to do this, I don’t think she would rely on her strength with such confidence. I think we would see more lacerations and poisoning, maybe some choking with a belt.” Eve offered Kenny some chocolate. “Besides, if a woman was this obsessed with Villanelle’s kills, I think she would do it meticulously, down to the smallest details.”
“Well, we should keep track of all three anyway.” Kenny leaned back in his chair, exhaustion finally catching up with him.
“You should go home and get some rest, Kenny. You’ve done an excellent job. Thank you.”
Eve didn’t go back home that night, and instead spent her time putting up pictures and files on a board, drawing the connections between them. By the time Carolyn got there, Eve was just about done.
“Ah, Eve, I see you’ve had a breakthrough.”
“Kenny did, actually,” She laid out the information before her, explaining everything and giving a little background on each of the remaining three. “We need our eyes on them immediately.”
“Yes, I have some people I can speak to that can make this happen. In the meantime, work out the murder staging. Ask Villanelle how she’d do it.” She was about to leave when she turned on her heels, “And make sure she understands there’s no actual killing involved. I don’t have the time to soothe widows.”
When Eve checked in with Jess, the woman seemed relieved to not see Villanelle there. “Our victim is Andre Wahrmann, a German businessman. A competing businessman whose wife Andre is having an affair with ordered a hit on him through Konstantin, a friend’s old friend. Andre’s in London on a business trip to a company his competitor has been trying to work with for years. He can’t stand hotels so he’s using Airbnb.”
“This is amazing, did you come up with all of this yourself?” Eve giggled with amusement. “I really liked the adultery part, classic businessman move.”
“Thank you, thank you. Just wanted to make sure that Andre is a right prick.” She looked at Eve, who was dressed even more casually than usual having woken up in the middle of the night. “Hey, are you alright? You seem a little tired.”
“Me? I’m great, what are you talking about?” With the investigation finally having a breakthrough, Eve couldn’t slow down now. If she did, she would think of Niko, and she did not want that.
“Well, the set designers and makeup artist will need a visual, so you better talk to Villanelle about how she would go about the murder.” She handed Eve a file containing everything she needed to know about Andre Wahrmann and his Airbnb flat. “Good luck.”
Villanelle spent that day in her apartment in a particularly shitty mood, watching romantic flicks on TV. The things Konstantin said kept running through her head. She didn’t care for many people, and she knew that some wouldn’t consider it as caring at all, but she felt like Konstantin was hers . He knew her well, he knew how to work with her, and he knew the boundaries and when to let go. He was essentially the closest thing to family that she had. She could always talk to him about everything and share a laugh, and he actually liked her sense of humor, he got it. For him to turn on her like that rendered her restless.
Then her phone rang. Eve. She picked up. “Hello, Eve, how are you darling?” She managed a posh accent.
“I need to speak to you about how to stage the murder.” Straight to business. She was being cold again. But Villanelle could see right through these hot-and-cold games, knowing what she knows now about her and Niko. Eve pretending not to like her was just proof that she did, and that she detested it - but only because she didn’t know how to handle it. And that predicament sounded awfully familiar.
“Let’s have dinner together. I want something cheap and unhealthy. You’re paying.” V could picture Eve’s face, the eye roll that compensated for the slightest hint of a smile, the gears in her brain moving fast to find the best approach.
“Sure, okay, cheap and unhealthy. I can manage that. I’ll text you the address.”
so this chapter was an interesting one to write, and i got to do some research for it which is always cool. not so much villaneve this chapter but we do have this dinner coming up!
Chapter 9: Mind Games
Villanelle concocts a plan to get Niko out of the picture for good, and manages to show Eve a good time while doing it.
Eve was just about ready to moan with delight from the falafel she was eating. It may have been cheap but it was excellent, full of flavor and served inside a pita filled to the brim with salads and sauces. It was one of Eve’s favorite places to go for a bite, and she savored every single moment.
Villanelle, sitting across from her, seemed fascinated with Eve’s dedication to the food, with how passionate she was about it. Not in a million years would she have guessed that Eve Polastri liked falafel that much, of all things. And it’s not like V didn’t enjoy her falafel (and the complimentary fried chips that came with it), but it was so much more fun to just watch Eve enjoy herself for a change. She looked like that when they were having sex, V realized, which made the whole thing even better. An almost utter loss of control, a greed for pleasure than knew no bounds.
Eventually Eve snapped out of it, giving V a confused look. “You don’t like it?” Her mouth was still full and it was hard to make out the words, and Villanelle had to hold herself back from jumping her incredibly cute bones.
“No, I love it!” She took a big bite out of her pita. “This is great, thank you, Eve.”
“Do you eat a lot of mediterranean food?”
“ pffft. Loads!” V finishes her pita and moves on to her chips. “I prefer the salads though. And the cheese.” She swallows, “But I like french food the most. And their restaurants.”
They never had such a casual conversation, V suddenly realized. She didn’t really have such casual conversations with anyone apart from Konstantin. Konstantin. The thought made her feel uncomfortable.
“Yeah, that does make sense.” Eve leans back in her chair, done with the food. “I wanted to say thank you for the clothes, but you shouldn’t have sent them like that.”
“Why?” But Villanelle knew exactly why. Still, she wanted Eve to say it.
“I have a husband that I love, Villanelle.” Her tone got harsher. “A life that we’ve built over the course of years.”
“You don’t look so concerned with your love for him when you fuck me, Eve.” V enjoyed the look on Eve’s face, how white her face got before it turned red with embarrassment. V sent a hand under the table, placing it on Eve’s thigh. She didn’t move away. They locked eyes, challenging each other.
“I mean it, Villanelle.” Eve eventually placed a hand on top of V’s, gently pushing her away. “He’s a good man. I don’t want him to get hurt.”
V flashed a cruel and curious little smile. “And I’m a bad woman?” She doesn’t wait for Eve’s answer and leans in close, “Why don’t you punish me then, Polastri?”
Eve cleared her throat, cheeks turning red again. “I’m gonna go freshen up.” She leaves the table, leaving her phone in her bag on her seat. That was the moment Villanelle was waiting for all along. Without hesitation she darts for the bag, finding the phone and entering Eve’s PIN, disappointed with her for still not changing it. She sent a text to Niko. ‘Come to Pilpel on Brushfield St. I miss you. Feeling lonely. Bring the mustache.’ She tossed the phone back inside Eve’s bag and sat down, munching on the remaining fries.
When Eve came back, her expression was serious. “So. What we came here for. I need you to tell me how you’d kill your target.”
Villanelle needed time. Enough time for Niko to get there and see them. “That depends. Who am I killing?”
“Andre Wahrmann. A german businessman. Had sex with another businessman’s wife.”
V shrugged with an unsatisfied look about her. “I’m going to need more than that. Is he loud? Is he whiny? Does he have mommy issues? Does he like whores? Does he hate them?”
Eve rolled her eyes, but she cooperated. V knew that a part of her was fascinated. That she wanted to get straight to business and talk about the killing, that she would think about it at night before she went to sleep. She wondered if she would imagine herself doing the killing, or if the thought of what it feels like to be killed by Villanelle would consume her. Either way, she was going to make Eve work for it.
For every question Eve answered, Villanelle asked two more. About twenty minutes later, she finally saw him approach the restaurant. “That’s enough, Eve,” She stopped her mid sentence. “Show me that Airbnb place.” She locked eyes with Niko, who looked both enraged and petrified. When Eve turned for the exit, V signalled him to come after them, and they set out for the apartment they booked for the fake Andre Wahrmann.
Villanelle circled Eve when they got to the apartment, sneaking glances outside to make sure Niko Polastri was watching them. And he was. He seemed heartbroken already. He had some terrible things in store for him .
“This is where I kill him?” V now focused her gaze on Eve, who despite her best efforts to hide it, was clearly excited.
“Yes.” She looked at Villanelle, “How will you get into his apartment? Do you break in at night?”
“No,” V snored, still making slow circles around the woman. “Why waste the effort if he can open the door for me? I just pretend I’m a-” Villanelle changed her voice, making it sound vulnerable and slightly french, “terrified young woman followed by a scary gang of men that keep hollering at her.”
“How do you know he’ll let you in?”
V stopped in her place, her features radiating with confusion. “Have you seen me?” She gestures vaguely. Eve can’t help but smile.
“Okay, he lets you in. You pretend to be terrified out of your mind. He offers you a glass of water, what do you do next?”
Villanelle stepped closer to Eve. “I smash the glass on his face.” She got even closer, bridging the gap between the two, her body so close to Eve’s she can feel her breathing. “Then I’d hit him with the back of my hand to knock him out of balance.” Eve was getting excited, the look in her eyes growing darker and darker. V grabbed Eve’s arms, leading her back until her back hit the wall and she had nowhere to move.
“What next?” Eve sounded desperate, hands trailing slowly down Villanelle’s back. She was mesmerized, completely enchanted.
“Then I’d choke him,” Villanelle put her hands around Eve’s neck. Her heartbeat was growing faster and faster, her breath quick and uneven. V tightened her grip, making Eve close her eyes and tilt her head back. Villanelle glanced aside, flashing a dirty smile at Niko, who was still standing outside, too shocked to move. She looked back at Eve and leaned in, cusping Eve’s bottom lip between her teeth and pulling at it before letting go. “I’d feel his veins bulge and the resistance, the tiny little breaths they manage to sneak in.” She kept choking Eve until she opened her eyes, her body growing desperate for air. ”At first, anyway.” Then she held on a few moments longer before letting go. “And I’d look at him, watch him struggle until he finally drops dead.”
“Kiss me,” Was all Eve could manage, and Villanelle did. Slowly at first, gently, then harder. Deeper. She pushed her harder against the wall, slowly grinding up against her, eliciting tiny and very needy moans from the woman. Villanelle looked to Niko again, locking eyes with him as she sent a hand into Eve’s pants, fingers deftly paving the way underneath her underwear until she reaches the familiar hot spot, already wet for her. She went further, inserting herself inside Eve, going deeper with every motion. Eve’s fingers dug into the Villanelle’s back as the killer trailed kisses down her neck and along her collarbone, their bodies moving together rhythmically.
Villanelle went down to her knees, her own breathing now hasty, and took off Eve’s pants along with her underwear, recognizing the marks she left on Eve from their time in her apartment with a smug face. She slung Eve’s leg over her shoulder, working at the woman with her tongue. Every shiver and sigh only fueled Villanelle’s desire, and soon enough her fingers joined in - rough and demanding but oh so nimble . Eve wrapped her leg around Villanelle, pulling her in even closer, completely lost in the moment. She was touching her breasts with both hands, her movements clunky, her chest rising and falling faster and faster.
She came, letting out a loud “ Fuck! ”, her whole body trembling.
Niko disappeared, to Villanelle’s disappointment. She had hoped he’d barge in and confront her, give her an excuse to hurt him. But he didn’t. He wasn’t that kind of man. She couldn’t help but wonder why Eve was with him in the first place. Was there a point in time when he excited her? She couldn’t even begin picture it.
Villanelle and Eve lay beside each other on the bed. Eve was stroking V’s back, exhausted after their multiple sessions around the Airbnb apartment.
“You cannot kill him.” Eve said.
“The actor. You can’t kill him.”
“You know I don’t like being told I can’t do things.” V propped herself up on one elbow.
“I know,” Eve ran her fingers along Villanelle’s cheek. V gave in to the touch, leaning into it to kiss Eve’s fingers. “But this is really important. You can’t kill him.”
“What happens if I do accidentally kill him?”
“I’m not responsible for what Carolyn might do, but I think she might sell you out somehow.”
Villanelle frowned. It was the second time that week that someone she liked threatened to turn on her.
“I’m doing you a favor, Eve. Are you forgetting who you’re talking to? I don’t think you should be this rude.” She pulled away from Eve’s touch.
“This is my job, Villanelle, and if it wasn’t for me, you’d still be doing meaningless, boring contracts.”
“I’d rather be doing meaningless, boring contracts than not kill anyone .” She clenched her jaw.
“Even if you’re doing it for me?” There was a certain layer of vulnerability to Eve’s voice. She wanted to be the exception, and in a lot of ways she was. But just like opening up to the darkness inside her scared Eve, it frightened Villanelle that there was anyone in the world with this much power over her.
“Don’t get used to this, Polastri. This is a one time favor.”
Eve decided she would walk back home. She needed the fresh air and she needed to cool down before seeing Niko again. She stopped at a grocery store and bought potatoes and fresh meat. The cashier was smiling at her, and took Eve a while to realize that she herself was still smiling from her rendezvous with Villanelle.
It was embarrassing how well Villanelle knew how to work her. How to build up her anticipation and bring her to a state of total desperation. But this time she gave her something else. A glimpse into her mind. A taste of what it feels like both to kill and to be killed.
It was only when she was nearing home that she picked up her phone. Seven missed calls from Niko. One awaiting voicemail. Eve’s brisk pace slowed down to a crawl. Her heart was racing as she put the phone to her ear.
“ You know, I’m scared to think what you’re capable of doing to the people you hate, Eve, because if this is what you do to the people you love… Was it your idea to make me watch? Or was it hers? I’m leaving, Eve. For good. You’re free. Try not to get yourself killed. ”
Eve dropped her groceries, her mind a black hole. The cunning little bitch. That’s it. He was right. She was free now. Loose. Untethered. She had absolutely nothing holding her back. A single tear trailed down her cheek as she picked up her groceries again, and kept going for a little while longer, not sure yet what to do.
“E-excuse me, do you have a dollar, miss?” It was a homeless woman, covered in old blankets, a little sign laid in front of her. For a few long moments Eve just looked at her.
“Miss?” The woman seemed puzzled. “Are you okay miss?” No one would miss her , Eve’s thoughts trailed to dangerous places. Nobody would even notice she was gone. And she’s so weak . “Do you need help, miss?”
Eve gave her her groceries. “Here,”
“Are you sure?” But the woman already held on to the bags.
“Yes. I’m sure.”
Eve called a cab and gave them the address. “And where will you be headed, maam?”
oof this was a spicy one. so this is it, eve is entirely free, and she needs a playground to let off some steam, one way or another.
Chapter 10: Crossroads
Eve explores her dark side in Paris, free of the shackles of every day life constrictions. Meanwhile, Villanelle is upset over her being gone, and receives a surprise visit from Carolyn, who warns her not to stray away from instructions.
Eve looked outside, perched on the windowsill of her hotel room, not far from where Villanelle’s apartment used to be. She could see it from there, the familiar block of buildings, the big windows. She looked down on the street, the people walking through it, all so caught up in their own lives none of them notice her staring. She would choose one person at a time, not laying her eyes off of them. Some were just passing through, others met friends along the way and had long chats. Most seemed so fucking bored with everything. That was how she spent most her time, people watching in silence on her own.
Eve got off the windowsill and closed the curtain. She still hadn’t put her phone out of flight mode. Going offline felt incredibly good. She inspected the evening dress laid out on the hotel bed, a dress she bought when she arrived. It was light and sexy, and sported an impressive V cut in the front. She took her clothes off and put it on, inspecting herself in the full body mirror her room provided. Her hair was still up and she looked a mess. She gazed at the the woman looking back at her and her empty, lost gaze. She could barely recognize herself. At the same time she felt she looked captivating, like she hovered on the brink of this plane, but belonged to another. A distant stare, miles away. Now that seemed familiar. She let her hair down and left the hotel room.
Villanelle put her phone down angrily as she reached the same message telling her that Eve’s phone was unavailable, please try again. It was like the woman disappeared. She lay in bed all day, too upset to move. She tried going over to Eve’s house, but discovered it was empty as well. There was nothing missing in her apartment though, no clothes or even a toothbrush or a suitcase. Even the clothes she sent her were still neatly tucked in their box. Did she already find out about the Niko shtick? She knew Eve would be upset, but disappearing entirely was not an outcome that Villanelle had predicted.
It was only around noon when she heard a knock on her door. Instinctively, she went to the kitchen first and armed herself with a knife before opening the door. Eve’s boss stood there, clad in her usual straight-to-business-but-still-stylish attire.
“Carolyn! So nice to see you again, come in,” She stepped aside, allowing Carolyn to enter.
“I like the robe,” Carolyn pointed out as she was coming in, inviting herself into Villanelle’s kitchen, taking a seat at the table.
“Thank you, I like your clothes.” Villanelle sat down next to Carolyn and put her knife on the table.
“Cautious, I see.” Carolyn glanced at the knife. “Well, I’m going to get straight to the point. As you may have noticed, it appears that Eve has pissed off. However, she did send a full report about staging the murder before going offline, so the operation will be carried on as planned. We will open a faux investigation in two days. When that happens, you will be under our watch in a designated safehouse. When we pinpoint the copycat’s location, you will be sent in with a bulletproof vest. Try to keep him busy, get him to talk about himself so we have enough time to swoop in and capture him.”
“Do you know where Eve is?”
A pause. “No, I’m afraid I don’t.” Carolyn shifted in her seat, her body now facing Villanelle. “You do know you are obligated to finish this mission regardless of Eve’s whereabouts, don’t you?”
Villanelle clenched her jaw. “Don’t you think it’s stupid that your agents can just disappear? The twelve would never do that.”
“And yet here you are. Do yourself a favor, Oksana, and play your role.” Carolyn got up and headed for the exit.
“Will you tell me if you find her?” Villanelle asked before Carolyn left. The woman turned around briefly.
Eve’s heart was racing as she waited in the bathroom for her phone to get a network signal. A long list of missed calls popped up when she did. Carolyn, Jess, Hugo, Villanelle. It made Eve feel stupid that seeing her name on the list made her feel good. She was, after all, the reason she was in Paris on her own in the first place.
But Eve couldn’t pretend like it was Villanelle who ruined her marriage, not really. It has been happening for weeks, and she didn’t make an effort to stop it, even though Niko did. She always had other things on her mind. Villanelle was what made everything in her life change, but breaking up with Niko would have happened sooner or later. Still, she was angry with the woman. Angry at how obsessed with her she was. How she spent nearly every waking moment thinking about her, wondering what she’s doing and how and with whom. Her fingers were trembling as she went over the contact list on her phone all the way down to V.
Villanelle answered as soon as her phone rang. Sprawled on top of her bed, with sad french love songs in the background, her heart skipped a beat when she read the name on the screen. Eve.
“Hello?” But there came no answer from the other end of the line. She heard noises. A door closing, footsteps, the sound of Eve’s breath.
“ Take off your clothes, ” She heard Eve say in a familiar tone. Somehow it sounded colder than usual. Villanelle kept listening, confused.
“ Whatever you- ” The voice of a young woman started to speak. There was an accent there, Villanelle was sure of that, but she wasn’t able to discern it before Eve spoke again.
“ Don’t talk .”
Then V heard what sounded like a kiss, and clothes being thrown away. Villanelle bit down on her lip, both anxious and aroused. The young woman let out a sigh. V could hear the strain on the springs of the bed.
She slipped a hand under her lingerie, touching herself slowly, hesitant at first. She matched her pace with the other woman’s breath, finding her heart racing faster with each moan the woman let out.
Villanelle imagined it was her Eve was touching, with that crassness that showed up when her eyes got dark and hungry. That Eve’s hand was wrapped around her throat, that she bit her skin so hard it was bleeding. Villanelle arched her back, her own moans now competing with those of the mysterious woman Eve was fucking. She thought about Eve’s hair, about her fingers, about her lips. About her voice. Her hips rocking in tempo, she could feel herself getting close, as was the woman on the other end of the line. Then a few moments of silence before the big release, the shaky sigh, the heavy bouts of breath. V felt a jolt of pleasure run through her, her fingers wet and sticky.
She heard muffled footsteps approaching from the phone, before the line was cut off. Villanelle lay there staring at the ceiling, a smile tugging at her lips. Eve Polastri wanted to make her jealous.
The next day Eve stood in a knife shop in Paris, admiring the selection. Cutlery Marais was a professional boutique with an incredible range. There were kitchen knives, table knives, and a section that offered stiletto knives. She hovered beside it, examining the blades and the handles, all crafted masterfully.
“Are you buying a present for the husband?” The shopkeeper asked in a heavy french accent.
“My wife, actually, and yes. Do you have any recommendations?”
“Oh, the stiletto are excellent presents for women. They are très élégant. Is mademoiselle a collector?”
“Yes. She has a very refined taste, especially when it comes to knives.”
The shopkeeper opened the back of the display, searching through the selection. She took a single knife out, showing it to Eve. It was an elegant piece, the handle thin and elongated, going from a shade of black to a beautiful creme, large ripples reflecting the light on the blade itself.
“This one is my préféré. There is something about it almost erm… sexy.”
“This one is perfect. I’ll buy it.”
Konstantin and Carolyn sat across from each other in an otherwise empty restaurant, two gin and tonics on the table. The afternoon sun gave everything a golden tint.
“Do you think she’ll behave?”
“I… honestly don’t know. Villanelle doesn’t like playing by other people’s rules.” Konstantin had a sip from his glass.
“I asked you, when I gave you this job, if you think Villanelle can pull through with it. You said yes.”
“That was when that Eve Polastri was here. Now I’m not so sure.”
“She seemed rather interested in Eve’s location when I visited her.”
“What did you tell her?”
“That I had no idea where she was.”
“And do you?”
Carolyn paused. “She’s in Paris.”
“And you’re just letting her do what she wants?” Konstantin put his glass down.
“I’ll be flying over there after we’re done here to keep an eye on her, make sure she doesn’t do anything too compromising.”
“Ah...” Konstantin wagged a finger at Carolyn, “So you do still have rules! I was worried for a minute I am on the wrong side!”
Carolyn finally tended to her own glass of gin and tonic. “Keep Villanelle under control, Konstantin. For all of our sakes.”
Bar-hopping wasn’t something Eve would usually do. In fact the last time she did it was with Bill, in celebration of a breakthrough in a case they’ve been working on for quite some time. To see the two of them out together, you’d think Bill was the young one. He always had that air of youth about him.
Yet there she was, visiting her third bar that night. While not all out drunk, Eve could definitely feel a certain buzz. She felt like she was looking for something or for someone, but she couldn’t tell what or who it was. Apparently, having sex with strangers - while fun, just wasn’t it. The only thing that made her feel alive in those past few days was knowing that Villanelle could hear her with that woman.
Snapping her out of her thoughts was a man who bumped into her, drunkenly stumbling across the bar with impressive purpose. The way he crashed into her was so harsh Eve was left to wonder if she was invisible for a few moments. Then a familiar, dark feeling took hold of the deepest parts of her insides, churning in hunger. She decided, for once, not to fight it. She had been fighting it since Bill died, denying herself the right to indulge in the unknown part of her psyche. She had satisfied it once, when she stabbed Villanelle, but it had gone away as quickly as it showed up, as though a mirage. Seeing Villanelle in pain, seeing her really struggle for her life - she was suddenly petrified.
Eve followed the man, trying to assess his condition. He must have been shit faced, the way he rocked from side to side, leaning against stools and walls and oft times people to support his weight. He also reeked from alcohol, the stench like a cloud he left behind. He made his way to a side exit, and not a moment after he was out could Eve hear the distinct sound of a man puking for the life of him.
She wrapped her fingers around the knife she held in her jacket pocket, the handle cold against her skin as she pushed the exit door opened, the man leaning against the wall farther into the alley the exit led to, away from the light. He was with his back to her, too busy trying to catch his breath after a few bouts of barfing.
She took out the knife, opening it up. She was barely a few steps away from him when he turned around. He started saying something in french, most of which she did not understand, but she could discern the words whore and chinese . He started to raise his voice as she got closer, his tone growing more aggressive but then nausea seemed to take hold of him as he hunched over, taking in deep breaths. What would Villanelle do?
Eve could hear a high toned ringing in her ears, she could feel her heart racing and her head spinning lightly both from the alcohol and from the stench that arose from the man. She put a hand on his shoulder, looking into his eyes as she pushed the knife into his stomach. Just as she did it, it felt as though the darkness inside of her let go, dissolving into nothing more than petty anger and now a wave of fear washing over her.
The man looked shocked, a shaky and foul smelling breath escaping his mouth. When he tried to grab her by the shoulders she pushed him away, by now all trace of anger inside of her gone. What have I done?
Eve backed away from the man, who took two tiny steps back before stumbling over and falling down with a loud thud.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…” She was shocked, and felt like all she could do was just stare with horror. It wasn’t that she was filled with regret so much as the idea that she would be caught and thrown into prison for the rest of her life. She her hands in her pockets, sticky with warm blood that was getting colder by the second. She walked out of the alley, walking at a brisk pace. She felt like the world was closing in on her, and put all her efforts into not bursting out in a fit of tears in the middle of the street. What have I done, what am I doing?
She must have been to deep in thought to notice it at first, but there was a car trailing her. She looked over to it, terrified. A familiar face revealed itself as a car window was lowered. It was Carolyn. Eve stopped dead in her tracks, and just looked for a moment. She felt so distant from herself, like the Eve that worked in that tiny London office was lightyears away. So much has happened since. Carolyn was now one of three people in her life that reminded her of a time before that darkness. Before Bill was gone. Before Niko left. Before she knew everything her mind wanted to explore for so long.
Eve got into the car. The jazzy french tunes were a contrast to all the club music she heard all night.
“Am I fired?”
“No.” Carolyn focused her attention on Eve. “Do you want to be?”
“Good.” Carolyn took a deep breath. “You’re a brilliant agent, Eve, but you are not a killer. The way I see it, you are now arriving at a crossroads. You can either, in essence, head back to a normal life, find another job, maybe as a social worker considering your prowess in psychology. You can forget any of this ever happened, be bound to piles upon piles of non-disclosure agreements, and never usher a word of anything that’s happened in the past months to anyone. You can run back to your husband and try to get him to forgive you, and he might. You’ll be given a new identity and moved to another country under witness protection, and will have no contact with any one of us or with Villanelle.”
“Or you embrace the fact that you weren’t born to lead a normal life, and keep pushing forward. You’ll be exposed to terrible danger, to terrible sights and to terrible people. You will be working night and day and do exactly as I say, and never run off again. You will make difficult choices that will ruin people’s lives. You will be responsible for people’s deaths, and you may lose people that are close to you. If you mess up, it will be on you.”
Carolyn awaited a response from Eve, but she stayed silent, sneaking glances outside towards the alley.
“In any case, I will handle what happened today, but don’t mistake it for an act of kindness. So which will it be?”
It was only when Konstantin went to bed that he saw it; a postcard on his nightstand that had not been there before. He reached out for it. St. Petersburg. He recognized Villanelle’s handwriting immediately.
‘See you over a cup of coffee?
I hear the cruise this time of the year is fabulous. x’
Konstantin closed his eyes in defeat, rubbing his temples with exhaustion. What was she up to now.
so this is a weird one. i had a lot of help with it from a friend and rewrote some of the passages like three times and i'm still not 100% satisfied but at this point it's better to move on and get a breath of fresh air.
Chapter 11: Propositions
Eve is demoted from her position as head of the operation, and spends her time in Villanelle's empty studio apartment. Our favorite assassin is going back to her previous ways in St. Petersburg, concocting a web of plans all of her own making.
Villanelle’s apartment felt strangely empty without her. Eve realized that whatever decor the apartment held was already there by the time the assassin moved in, apart for a vintage radio unit that didn’t fit with the apartment’s tone.
She had disappeared, again. Eve couldn’t say she was surprised. Her brash decision to leave for Paris must’ve been the last straw. Not only did Villanelle have a sense of disdain for any work that did not involve killing, but the confines of working with a team of MI6 agents left no room for self expression. And without her there as an incentive to cooperate, Villanelle had no reason to stay.
She didn’t leave a note, nor did she try to contact Eve since that phone call. She had just vanished, as if she were never there to begin with. Her vanishing put Eve in a tense situation, having to beg Carolyn to delay the publishing of the faux investigation. Everything was ready, all they needed was to put it up and see which of the surviving three members of those who sought the plea deal contacts the others. Still, without Villanelle, there wasn’t a good enough way to make him confess to the killing without catching him red-handed, which put lives at risk.
So Eve spent the evening the day following her return laying down on Villanelle’s bed, staring at the ceiling and trying not to be consumed by boredom. With everything at the ready, there was almost nothing left to crack aside from the copycat’s true identity, and that would reveal itself as soon as another Villanelle murder occured.
She got up and walked over to the closet, expecting to find it empty. Except it wasn't. Most of her clothes seemed to be in place, apart from two or three outfits. Was this her way to get back at me? Eve wondered as she closed the closet doors.
Villanelle sat across from Konstantin, wearing a resolute expression. The dress she was wearing, while somewhat pompous, fit right in with St. Petersburg's latest fashion trends. The fancy restaurant V chose for the occasion overlooked the place where both the wide and narrow Neva river streams met to form it.
"Koryushka? Really?" Konstantin may have felt out of place, which was half the point in V's mind, but he fit in rather well with the other rich older men that were taking their young girlfriends out. It was one of many small ways in which Villanelle was getting back at Konstantin for what he said in London. But today it seemed like making him feel inadequate wasn't her only agenda. No, judging by the look in her eyes she had an idea . The thought made Konstantin tired.
"I love this place! So fancy and expensive !" She put her hand atop his whenever waiters came by to check on them, and Konstantin went along, resentfully playing his role.
"Why are we here, Villanelle?" Even here, in St. Petersburg in Russia, the woman refused to speak her mother tongue. He knew she had no love for this country, nor for the Parisian styled architecture of the city that paled in comparison to the real thing.
"Can't a woman take her handler out for dinner?"
"Cut the shit, Oksana." He could sense the subtle shift in her posture, the momentary glint in her eyes. "Did you not have enough people after you? All you had to do is talk to a guy that might actually be crazier than you for a few minutes!"
She examined him, the veins on his temples, the flaring of his nose, the weariness in his eyes. "Do you have contacts here?" She said while shoving a piece of bread she dipped in butter into her mouth.
"Contacts?" He let out a hoarse laugh, and she joined in, mimicking the feminine high toned giggle of the rich local girls. "I thought you were bored of killing businessmen."
V shrugged. "I'll do it beautifully," She tears her gaze away from Konstantin for a few moments, focusing on her food. "If you get me something good, someone rich and interesting might want our help. Then it won't be boring nobodies and you will get to pretend you are not past your prime."
Konstantin leaned in close, squeezing V's hand with his so hard it actually hurt. "We are killing nobodies because it's harder to find people who murder anyone for anyone, yes? If we start killing for interesting people, it's going to get a loooot easier to connect the dots, hm?"
V grabbed the butter knife and placed it above the ulnar artery. He knew she could do real damage with it, even if it was incredibly dull of a blade. "One city, one contract. Good contracts." She voices the words stiffly, toying with a thicker russian accent.
At this point, Konstantin did not have much to lose. Although the thought troubled him, he refrained from mentioning Eve Polastri. He decided to play along, see how she does. If she could get it done without leaving a trace, then for all he cared the women could get married and have a home together. He knew he pushed too far, and with Carolyn there to push Villanelle further, it was no real surprise she ran away. Whether he liked to admit it or not, he depended on her now the same way she depended on him. He could talk to Carolyn, try to smooth things over, maybe offer some information about other assassins, promise her to stay out of her way. Either way, if Villanelle was in the mood for a contract he could only benefit from giving it to her.
"Give me one day." He let go of her hand, and let out a deep breath when she moved the knife away.
"Now," Villanelle relaxed, her body language now bubbly and youthful. "Do you want dessert?"
Eve resented the thought of going back to an empty home,so instead she decided to stay in Villanelle’s apartment for a while, allowing music from a french station the radio was tuned to fill the room while she ate chinese takeout and went over the plan to catch the copycat killer again.
Carolyn wanted to keep the operation going regardless of Villanelle’s absence. Using a body double, they will admittedly have a much shorter time frame to work with, but the copycat will be distracted nonetheless and they could send in a large team to neutralize and capture him. With Carolyn taking over the operation, Eve felt uncharacteristically mopey. Running away to Paris was impulsive and did not bring her any closer to her target. Carolyn was being particularly cold towards her, forcing her to take a backseat role. Eve felt like her life was crumbling down around her piece by piece and all she could do was take it and hope for an opportunity to turn things around.
Realizing she had been reading the same line over and over again for the past ten minutes, Eve put away her laptop and walked over to the window. Being so grounded in her current situation, she felt nothing of the cold fascination she did in Paris. People were just people, entirely boring and irrelevant. Something did catch her eye, though. She saw him just for a moment and couldn't make out his features in the darkness of the room he was in, but she felt his glare and saw his silhouette. And just like that he was gone. She hovered there just a second longer before hurriedly closing the curtains all around the large studio apartment.
Villanelle felt that familiar hunger bubble up inside of her ever since she completed the Valentin contract. It had been far too long since she felt the thrill of taking someone's life. While she preferred it close and personal, V needed Konstantin to be convinced that she is committed, that she is fixed . She will have to do with the joy of setting up a perfect long range shot with a silenced sniper rifle. She also didn't want the copycat to recognize her work. Trying to combat the hunger that kept her restless, Villanelle resorted to fucking strangers. She found that while it did keep the hunger at bay for a limited amount of time, it wasn't anywhere near satisfactory, not really. They all lacked something. Either Eve’s unpredictability or her roughness or her demanding nature, they all paled in comparison. But she found that thinking about Eve while she was having fun with the strangers helped. A lot. She kept thinking back to Eve's call from what she now knew to be Paris after running a tracing software from her work laptop. Did Eve get off on knowing that she was listening? Was she imagining her instead of the woman she was with? Of course she did .
Other than having sex with strangers, Villanelle spent her time going through Eve's files on this copycat killer. She was intent on catching the bastard, on showing him who's boss. It was one thing to be inspired, and Villanelle was neither surprised nor did she really care for that at all. But it was another matter entirely when it came to how he butchered her work, replicated it on such a low surface level it infuriated her. Of all the fantasies she had of the different ways she could mess with him, killing him point-blank with a bullet to the stomach and letting him bleed to death seemed the most insulting and satisfying. Uninspired, just like him.
Villanelle thought back to the evening of her departure. She wasn't planning to leave at all. Instead she planned to murder the poor bastard playing Andre Wahrmann. She planned to sneak into his house and make him drive to the Airbnb flat. She planned to kill him just like she told Eve, and leave a teasing apologetic message. But she had carried around the feeling of being watched for a while. She dismissed it time and again, resorting to the thought it must’ve been an MI6 agent posted to watch over her, which she found was correct on a stroll through London where she implemented some techniques she learned of identifying and shaking off any possible pursuers. But the feeling kept nagging at her, slowly picking at her conscious.
When she saw him, when she clocked the look in his eyes from the building across from her apartment, the slow examining gaze, the little spark, the caution - she knew right away. She packed quickly and left most of her things in the apartment, and when she left she made a point to do the shaking maneuver again. She then hailed a cab and had it do circles before finally heading for the airport. At the airport she wore a wig she had intended to use for a contract, and used a fake ID to go with it. She threw out her phone and made a point of wiping her computer before loading a backup USB she carried around on her at all times. By all accounts, he should have no way to trace her now, especially considering her disdain for Russia.
Still, she didn’t want to catch the copycat entirely on her own. It was Eve’s project, one that she made a point to clarify the importance of before her. And with MI6’s resources, they could organize quite the revenge on the prick.
V picked up a temporary phone she bought, and dialed the number she now knew by heart.
Eve froze when she saw the number on the screen. 812? She knew the first few numbers were familiar, an area code she could almost name but the answer continued to elude her. She picked up.
“You should really get a professional phone. Doesn’t it scare you that anyone can call you? Ping your location? See the files you send to Carolyn?” Villanelle’s voice was both a murmur and a cold knife all at once. Eve closed her eyes. She had missed this voice.
“Are you safe?”
“Are you? Are you having a party in my apartment again?” Eve can almost hear her smug grin, the little breath she lets out when she feels victorious. She had missed those too.
“I’ll get a secret phone.” Eve pauses for a moment. “Did you see him?”
“He knew where to find you.”
“Maybe he saw your card. Or maybe he heard my conversation with Konstantin when we were in Amsterdam. You really shouldn’t be staying in my apartment with him around.” Her tone was now sharp like a whip.
“I can’t go back home. It’s too..”
“Lonely?” Soft again.
Eve bites down on her lip. “Yeah. Lonely.”
“You didn’t have to leave. You could have come over. I could help you. Get your mind off of him. Cook something for you. We could watch a movie-”
“You know that’s not true.” Now it was Eve’s voice that changed, growing dark and isolated. “You had no right. He was my-” She stops herself. What was he? Her life? Her love? Her window to a world she thought she belonged to? Was he just hers? “You had no right.”
Villanelle stayed quiet for a while.
“I want to catch the copycat.”
“That’s what we were doing before you went away.”
“No, I want to catch him with you . Without Carolyn, without Konstantin. Just us.”
Eve’s heart skipped a beat. This was her opportunity of taking back control over the operation. She could work with Villanelle and report to Carolyn, set her own rules. Villanelle felt too constricted when MI6 towered over her, but if she felt it was just the two of them…
“Do you have a plan?”
A bit of a slow one, but we're in for some exciting adventures now that these two have to make an effort to meet again and keep the true nature of their connection a secret now more than ever.
Chapter 12: From Russia With Love
Villanelle executes a beautiful and anonymous assassination on a small-time Russian Politician, and comes up with a nifty plan to lure the copycat into a playground of her own making. Eve gets control over the case back, and receives a present from her dangerous lover.
Eve was walking around what looked like the decrepit ruins of what used to be her home. It was dark and she was carrying a flashlight, looking for something . Thing is, finding something is much harder when you don’t know what it is. With every passing moment the anxious knot in her belly grew tighter as she searched drawers and cabinets to no avail. She was almost done searching the kitchen when she felt something fall on the top of her head. A drop of… what, exactly?
She looked up, feeling another drop hit her forehead. She reached her fingers to it and wiped the stuff away. It was hard to make out whatever it was in the dark, and her flashlight seemed to grow dimmer the longer she stayed at the house. She brought her fingers to her nose and took a whiff. Blood . A panicked breath escapes her mouth as she wipes the blood against her clothes, but suddenly it is everywhere - the walls, the kitchen surfaces, the floor - everywhere. Eve let out a scream and started up the stairs, slipping as blood rushed down at her, thick and wet and warm and absolutely terrifying.
She instinctively ran for the bedroom, where dozens upon dozens of pictures from Paris hung around. Her buying the dress. Her taking the stranger to the hotel room. Her looking at strangers from her window. Her buying a knife. Her stabbing the man. Her stabbing the man. Her stabbing the man.
All of the photos change and depict her with the knife, stabbing the drunk man outside the third bar she visited that night. And all of the pictures seem to spiral out of a single spot - her closet. She edged towards it, heart racing wildly in her chest, the taste of blood in mouth. Then she opened one door and the other, exposing the dead body of the man from Paris, staring at her expressionlessly with those glassy eyes. Something about him almost seems apologetic.
Then his eyes move, and his mouth opens, and his jaw unhinges, and a terrible flood of blood engulfs Eve Polastri.
She woke up in the middle of the night in her empty bed, drenched in sweat. She quickly sat up, reaching for the inside of her cheek - the taste of blood. She must’ve nicked it in her sleep.
That morning when Carolyn was about to enter the office, Eve blocked her way. They stepped in unison to one side and then the other, before Carolyn let out a sigh. “Yes?”
“I need to talk to you.”
“Yes, I’ve noticed.”
“I hate breakfast.”
“Have you ever tried bigos?”
The two sat next to each other on somewhat ridiculously comfortable sofa seats in the corner of an authentic Polish restaurant that also happened to be a bar.
“Well, it seems you know me better than my previous husbands did.” Carolyn sipped from a glass of gin and tonic. “What is this?”
“I want control over the copycat operation back.” Eve looked Carolyn straight in the eyes, showing no sign of hesitation.
“Why should I give it to you?”
“I have a lead on him. I saw him, near Villanelle’s apartment. And Villanelle contacted me. She still wants to catch him, only on her own terms.”
“Both you and Villanelle proved to be unreliable. Convince me you’re more useful than you are detrimental to the operation.”
“She ran away because she felt constrained. You know how to work normal people but you don’t know how to do that with Villanelle-”
“And you do?”
“Yes. I do.” Eve’s tone is adamant. “Villanelle is infatuated with me, she listens to me - she trusts me. She thinks we are similar. When she wants something, she gets it, and right now she wants to catch the copycat. With me.”
“Are you? Similar to her, I mean?”
Eve took a few moments to think. “Only in that I am willing to go to any lengths to do what I truly want. Other than that, no, I wouldn’t say I’m much like a psychopathic, cold-blooded murderer. If Paris is anything to go by, anyway.” She tried to mask it, but Eve was clearly uncomfortable mentioning the incident.
“And what is it you truly want, Eve?”
“To do my work the best way I know how.”
Carolyn took another sip. “One last chance. If you fail, you will be fired, and whatever damage is done will be yours to deal with.” She took a bite from her bigos, the cabbage-and-meat stew that Niko introduced Eve to. “This is delightful,” She took a few more mouthfuls. “I hope you manage, Eve. Truly, I do.”
Villanelle took a deep breath, lining the shot from atop a parking lot building. She was wearing a ridiculous pest control suit that ensured that no cameras in the parking lot would be able to capture her face. She had been waiting for hours, lurking outside a restaurant this small-time politician was known to frequent. In truth, it was half restaurant half whore house, if you knew the right people. The politician, Anton Makarov, crossed one too many leaders of a Bratva. She only had a few seconds, and she had to get it just right. When he got out of the car, she exhaled, trailing his head with ace precision. When there was no more air in her lungs, she pulled the trigger. A violent wave of satisfaction gripped her at the core when she heard the familiar clash of bullet and bone, and the heavy thump of a lifeless body hitting the ground. Finally. Her lips twitched with excitement.
They will clock the direction of the shot in a matter of seconds, she knew. V unzipped the suit and mounted a Yamaha motorcycle, leaving the rifle where it was and slowly ditching parts of the suit the moment she was out of camera radius. She drove through alleys and one way streets through a route she spent all of the previous night memorizing. She threw away the suit in an alley not far from a big shopping center, and ran over there on foot.
She stuck to crowds, moving from shop to shop, making sure there was nobody tailing her. Chances are she was good. She made Konstantin phone in a bug infestation in the restaurant’s perimeter, which was the perfect opportunity for V to sneak into the pest van and steal a set of uniforms. She got in and out quickly, and already ditched anything that a guard protecting Anton could’ve seen. Clean.
The Nevskiy Tsentr mall was a big one, and it took Villanelle a few minutes to get out. Walking down a main street, she entered a restaurant called Tokyo City, which despite the name did not excel at japanese dishes. Konstantin was waiting there, in a booth, eating poorly made sushi. V resented the place. So cheap and boring and - are those metal chairs? Disgusting.
“Could you not have chosen a shittier place to meet?” She sat down next to him, stealing a maki with an upset frown pulling at her features.
“It is close, isn’t it? How did it go?”
“It was wonderful, a single bullet in the brain and bam I’m gone.” V flashed a feral grin.
“Bam? Just like that?”
“I told you I could do clean. You never trust me, do you,” V stole another maki. While uninspired, the fish part was actually good. Villanelle wondered how anyone could manage to make rice the wrong way, but there she was combatting dry rice in her sushi. She spit it out discreetly into a napkin, getting rid of the taste with the help of Konstantin’s very artificial looking lemonade. It only made matters worse.
“There’s a client that will be watching the news. If he likes what he sees, he will have a job for us in Moskva.”
“A serious one?” V was desperately trying to forget the disgusting taste in her mouth.
“Very serious. You ever hear about the Solntsevskaya Brotva?”
“Don’t they work with the Russian Security Service?”
“They do. And it seems the Security Service isn’t happy with one of their leaders.”
Villanelle smiled hungrily. Russian mafia leaders were a much more interesting prey than boring businessmen with lousy security guards, even if she still had to keep a low profile and couldn’t get up close and personal. Planning the whole thing out will give her enough time to make progress with the copycat.
Eve and Kenny were the last ones left at the office, Eve avoiding her empty home and Kenny busy with trying to find anything that resembled another Villanelle assassination. They had sent a team earlier that day to check out the spot where Eve saw the man a day before, but it was empty. It appeared the man broke into the unused apartment with a set of gloves and left no feasible evidence. For once he was thorough. That made Eve suspicious - why put so much effort into this but so little attention to detail when it came to the murders themselves? Was he mocking Villanelle?
She missed working with Kenny, how quiet it was and how he made no pointless remarks. “Did you find anything Villanelle-esque?” Eve rolled up behind him on her chair, watching as he reads through hundreds of neatly sorted headlines that contained the words ‘murder’, ‘killing’, ‘assassination’, ‘dead’ and ‘death’ in various languages.
“There’s plenty of activity but nothing flashy. Nothing that screams Villanelle.” He turned around to face her, allowing the computer to compile more information. “What is it, between you and her?”
Eve looked at him, not too sure how much she could and wanted to tell.
“Just tell me the truth. Are you in danger?”
“What?” Eve can’t stifle a throaty laugh, “No! Of course not! Do you think she sends me death threats?”
“I think you’re getting close to an assassin who would very much benefit from your death.”
“Well she doesn’t seem to want me dead. I mean I think she likes me.” Saying it out loud felt silly.
“And are we sure having a psychopath like you is a good thing? She liked Anna and you saw the records.”
Just then Eve’s phone vibrates. A text message from a number she doesn’t know, but she recognizes the area code. ‘ Got you a present 📱🎁🤫💋🏠 ’
Eve rolled her eyes but couldn’t help the endearing feeling warming up inside her. She told Kenny she’s done for the day, and asked him to send her updates if comes across anything interesting before heading home.
The phone looked anything but discreet. It was a very vivid pink shade and rhinestone decorations that formed the letter E on the back. Still, the operating system was nothing she’d seen before, and it seemed to be cut off from wi-fi. In fact, she couldn’t open any normal website. What kind of phone is this?
When she went over the contacts list, there was only one name. V💘🔪 . She tapped on it.
“How do you like your present?”
“I thought you said I needed a secret phone. This phone screams notice me and if I didn’t know any better I’d think Paris Hilton sent it to me!”
“Just because it’s secret doesn’t mean it can’t be cute.” Villanelle laughs and sighs.”I need your help, Eve. Can you please find out where Vera Davenschot lives?”
“Vera Davenschot? What do you want with her?”
“Are you jealous?” Another giggle. “Relax, I’m just going to kidnap her to get our little copycat to come see me.”
“ What ? This is insane, Villanelle!”
“I’ll be doing her a favor! I mean who knows, maybe she’s his next victim.”
“How did you know about that?”
“You really should take better care of your computer, Eve, it’s so easy to just break into it. Get me her address.” And with that the assassin hung up, leaving Eve frustrated and confused. Could anything be simple with her?
Late night business class flights weren’t Villanelle’s absolute favorite, but she couldn’t deny the view; the way the night clouds were illuminated by the moon made it feel more like a cruise in the middle of the ocean.
V examined the card Konstantin gave her before they boarded the flight. The russian secret service agent seemed pleased with her work on Anton Makarov, and so they were bound for Moscow. She hadn’t been there in years, and a part of her wanted nothing more than her beloved Parisian apartment, but that was not an option. Still, the thought of handling a mafia leader sent shivers down her spine.
The agent wanted the job to be untraceable. Other than that, he didn’t care much for how she went about it. It saddened her she couldn’t go all-out Villanelle, but still, she could enjoy the thrill of a worthy opponent. She studied the file the agent had prepared for her, a detailed summary of the man’s entire life and a few long paragraphs describing his hobbies and routine. Vova Rozhkov seemed like an arrogant fool who was just too big for anyone in his organized crime militia to stand up to him. One detail in particular caught her attention, though. He seemed to frequent a certain hotel at least once every fortnight and book the same room at the exact same hour. Reports from the cleaning staff claim that the room is always left in terrible shape, with blood and other liquids all over the place, and he had to pay the hotel for quite a few broken items. Every month a sum from his bank account was wired to the hotel owner. Five thousand dollars. This was no small sum in Russia, what with the confrontation with Ukraine and their involvement in the middle east.
A horrible, crooked smile formed on her lips. Overconfident brutes were some of her favorite targets. The look of sheer astonishment in their eyes as she killed them was a treat to behold. She closed her laptop and sipped from a fancy glass of chardonnay, looking at the clouds below her.
some action, some progress on the case, some heart to heart and some lies. i really wanna up the ante on villaneve steamy times though. been too long (two whole chapters :O)
Chapter 13: Le Tourbillon De La Vie
Villanelle finds murder to be quite an arousing activity, and seeks out Eve's help in an effort to maximize her enjoyment.
Villanelle knew more or less what to expect as she walked into the lobby of the simple looking hotel. The Arium hotel looked like shit from the outside, and managed to look unbelievably annoying on the inside, with its trying-too-hard-to-be-modern decor. She wore a long beige trench coat that suggested she didn’t have much clothes underneath, a trendy black wig in a bob cut, and an oversized beret hat that hid most of her face from the security cameras. V wondered if cameras and carpets were where all of the money went with these soviet hotels, considering the food and room upkeep definitely weren’t on the top of the list.
She introduced herself as Viktoria Kedrin, and observed the sudden shift in the receptionist’s expression. It’s subtle, but she can tell that the middle aged woman was uncomfortable. Was that a spark of pity in her eyes? Another poor russian slut sent to the lion’s den? The receptionist made a phone call, and not two minutes later, Villanelle was being lead into the elevator by two big dudes in suits. She let them lead her by the hand, yanking at her like she was a thing. She had to keep things convincing in front of the hallway cameras, so she rolled along with it. She clocked three of them leading to the big, deluxe room.
The guards swiped the hotel room card, and opened the door, hauling her inside. She pretended to be scared, letting out quick and moany breaths, looking around her with big dumb eyes. She noted a room with two seperate beds- a room for the guards?- before she was brought to the main room through a small corridor. A king-sized bed, some ugly curtains with some of the most hideous patterns she’d ever witnessed, a godawful carpet, and a big ugly man with piercing blue eyes.
They let go of her and scurried off at the man’s command, going into the room V saw earlier. Vova examined her, his face so idiotic looking. She wondered how he of all people got a leading position in a dangerous mafia that works with the security service. No wonder they wanted him dead.
“Take off the hat.” He said in russian, and started to unbutton his suit jacket. Did they all have to wear matching outfits?
Villanelle took off the hat, and started to undo her trench coat when he slapped her hand.
“No. I will be doing that.” He grabbed her by the face, lifting her from her semi crouched position on the floor. It hurt. “What’s your name, whore?”
“V-V-Vika,” She mumbled, internally rolling her eyes. So predictable and boring. Still, he was big, and there were the two guys in the other room. Not so much a challenge, but it was going to be a bloodbath. He tore the buttons off of the coat she was wearing and slid it off her in one swift and brutish motion. V’s lip quivered slightly. She jumped the opportunity and pulled out the gun from the back of the lingerie she was wearing. An expensive set she was not planning on letting a brotva head tear to pieces on an ego trip.
By the time he noticed she didn’t look scared anymore, she had already cocked her silenced gun. She chose Black Rose bullets, a russian invention that peeled the outer layers of the bullet off inside the target to spread more damage.
He was about to snatch the gun from her hand when she quickly climbed on his back and shot the base of his skull. Without skipping a beat, V jumped off and ran for the bathroom, hearing the muffled thud of his fall as closed the door quietly.
“Is everything okay?” She heard one of the guards ask. Villanelle’s heart was racing with excitement. She wiped off drops of blood from her face, looking at the red smear on the back of her hand. It felt good. When no answer came, the guards got out, and Villanelle was quick to act. She swung the door open hard enough to slam the skinnier guard in the face, and then shot him in the chest, before aiming at the other guard, who looked at his dead boss with astonishment. He turned around quickly, his brain registering the faint gunshot noise just a moment too late.
“Drop the gun.” V said. She could shoot him then and there, but she wanted to drag it on just a little longer. When he still didn’t move, she raised her voice. “I said drop the fucking gun before I shoot you in the penis!”
He obeyed, putting his gun down while maintaining eye contact. His boss was done for, and his friend was dead, and the whore he was supposed to dispose of at the end of the night was aiming a gun at him. What a shitty shift.
“Do you speak English?” She asked the remaining guard. He nodded. “What’s your name?”
“Well, dear Ivan,” She stepped closer to him. “On your knees.” She pointed at the floor with her gun. He went down on his knees. She closed the gap between them, gripping his hair with the force of all of the rage she had contained in her, all of the frustration, the never ending hunger for something . He fought it, but she knew he wanted to cry in pain. “I am going to kill you, Ivan. I am going to kill you, and then I’m going to fuck your dead body.”
“What?” He cried out, his accent thick and his voice hoarse.
“I’m joking!” She shouted, laughing with disbelief. “Do you really think I want to fuck you?” She hit him in the face with the gun when he didn’t answer. “Do you?”
“No!” He finally let out.
“No,” She said softly, her sturdy grip turning into what was almost a gentle caress. Just when he relaxed enough for her to take it that he thought he was safe for a while, she pressed the gun to his forehead and shot, the blood spraying all over her. She sighed with a sense of release. She spun slowly in place, admiring her work. The pool of blood assimilating on the carpet under the big brawn’s head. The blood splattered all over the corridor wall. The drops of blood decorating her belly. She felt the tingle of satisfaction like a low hum inside her, radiating to the tips of her fingers and the edges of her lips.
Eve Polastri didn’t know what to expect when she picked up the secret phone, but the sound of Villanelle’s heavy breathing caught her off guard.
“Are you at home? ” Eve recognizes the strain on Villanelle’s voice. Her heart skips a beat. What is she doing? Where is she?
“Are you alone?”
“I am.” But is she alone?
Villanelle sighs on the other end of the line. A feverish, stirred sigh. Is she-
“Did you think about me when you were with that woman, Eve? ” Her voice is raspy, and it makes Eve’s hunger wake, the warm feeling clawing at her.
“I always think about you,” Eve is surprised at how low her voice is, how it sounds both desperate and reserved. “Are you thinking about me right now?” She avoids asking the question directly, unable to force the words out of her mouth. Are you touching yourself, thinking about me?
That makes Villanelle laugh, a playful, silky laugh that drags out into a small moan. Eve hears herself sigh heavily. “Where are you? ”
“In the living room, where are you?”
“A hotel room in Moscow. ” She murmurs before issuing the command, “Go to the bedroom. ” So gruff.
Eve heads upstairs, suddenly aware of just how hot she was growing between her legs, and how her thighs rubbed together after each step. “What are you doing in a hotel in Moscow?”
Villanelle takes a deep breath before she answers, “I shot three men and killed them,” Eve envisions it, the blood, the entry wounds, the gruesome violence of it. "And now I’m lying on this big bed, ” Eve thinks about that too, about the woman sprawled on top of a big, fancy bed, wearing- What was she wearing?
“What are you wearing?” Eve interrupts her, but she has to know. The farther away she goes into the dark second floor, the more hungry she becomes for Villanelle’s words, for her voice, for her moans.
There’s a few long moments of silence from the other side. Eve sits on top of her bed, taking off her pants with her free hand. Then she feels her phone buzzing.
“I sent you a pic, ” Then a sharp inhale.
Eve pulls the screen away from her ear and opens the unidentified messaging app. She finds it hard to breathe as she looks at Villanelle, wearing a lace lingerie set, its rose color clashing against the deeper, stark red of blood. She lies back, eyes examining every blood drop, every freckle, every muscle. A faint “Oh my god,” is all that Eve can manage as she slips a hand into her pants, fingers brushing against her clit over her underwear.
“Are you touching yourself, Eve? ” A sigh, “Are you wet? ” A moan.
Eve ditches her underwear altogether, absentmindedly throwing them across the room, her mind too preoccupied. Her fingers fervently return to their former spot, and saying she was wet would be an understatement. She thinks about Villanelle’s long, nimble fingers, about her neck, about her face when she’s lost in the ever growing sensation. And just like that, she needs to know what the other woman is thinking about, what makes her wet.
“What are you thinking about?” She speaks quickly, a little too quickly but she has to get the words out, and the gasp that she lets out surprises her.
Villanelle takes her time to think, the wait a torture for Eve. “I think about your voice when you want to hurt me,” She starts. Eve was not expecting that. She could feel herself turn a bright shade of red, her heart galloping even faster. “I think about the-” Villanelle suppresses a moan, “The way you eyes grow so... dark. How your fingers felt around my neck, ”
Now Eve is the one being loud, and she doesn’t bother stop the whine that escapes her lips. Villanelle gasps in return. “I think about you with my knife in me, I think about you thinking about me, I think about- Ah-” She is so close, Eve can almost feel it, and she feels so desperate for that release, for the control, for the sensation of the woman’s skin against hers, for the feeling of her lips trailing along her body.
“Say my name,” Eve commands in the darkest voice she can muster.
Eve can hear the bed creaking from Villanelle’s end, the fabric moving, the breathing cut off and uneven, loud and urgent.
“Say it.” She commands again.
“Eve!” Villanelle exclaims, all gasps and whines, “Eve Polastri! ” And within her release, Eve finds her own, intense and tiring and oh so thrilling.
Konstantin stood by the Princess Diana memorial fountain, examining the big statue of a bird. He had some bread on him, and he threw chunks of it into the pond, watching as the swans fought over the pieces. He felt a presence next to him, and passed the remaining bread. Carolyn smiled.
“You’ve been rather busy,” She notes, tearing small pieces from the bread and throwing it absentmindedly.
“Yes, yes, and I see that you are also busy,” Konstantin examines Carolyn’s face, but as usual it betrays nothing. “I have to ask you, why are you still after this copycat? He is what? One person going on revenge tour?”
“So it seems to be, but I think we both know things aren’t usually just what they seem to be.”
Konstantin chuckles. “So what, you think the twelve are hiring him to kill some random people that put traffickers in prison?”
“No, but I do think it’s bigger than surface level suggests. He has sources of information, he has some form of training, and quite honestly I don’t believe he’s working alone.” She passes the bread back to Konstantin. “Now, I believe you still want to see your family?”
From afar, the two might’ve seemed like a married couple, taking a romantic stroll arm in arm.
When Villanelle returns to her own hotel room, she notices there’s two unread messages on her secret phone. She opens the app.
‘Thank you for earlier. Don’t use this phone for that again, I thought there was an emergency.’
‘38 Saturnusstraat, Volendam, Holland.’
Villanelle typed away, 'Have you ever been to Amsterdam?'
ok ok ok things are picking up and we're v close to coming face to face with the copycat killer.
Chapter 14: Pelléas et Mélisande
Eve and Villanelle go on a mission at an opera, trying to gain the favor of Vera Davenschot to get to the copycat killer, and things get heated.
Eve stood in front of the mirror, still not entirely comfortable in one of the suits Villanelle bought for her. It fit her perfectly, of course, and the navy blue color complimented her, but it felt odd. She looked radiant, captivating, even charming. She tried to tell herself it was just the Holland airport restroom lighting, or maybe that the mirror itself was particularly flattering, but she couldn't tear her gaze away from herself.
She had told Carolyn she was going to Holland, that Villanelle had a plan to lure the copycat into a trap. She was given a suitcase with equipment and with Carolyn accompanying her to the London airport, she didn't have to go through the usual mass of bureaucracy, as the woman flashed her badge at security personnel.
"Keep me updated on everything. I'll be sending a team your way as soon as I can. I'll give you a meetup location. You discuss the plan with their commander." And as Carolyn walked away, she stopped and turned to Eve again, "And Eve, don't do anything brash."
Eve let her hair down, ruffling it up after the flight. She felt she looked both otherworldly and more like herself than she'd ever witnessed before. Was this how Villanelle always saw her? It felt odd. Eve picked up her suitcase and set off. Villanelle was waiting for her outside the airport, leaning against a red 1969 Dodge Charger Eve recognized from childhood movies she'd seen. Wearing a pearl color belted shell trench coat, Villanelle approached Eve with a light swagger, taking her hand in hers and planting a soft kiss on its back, never breaking her gaze away from Eve's.
"You chose my favorite," She murmured, glancing over Eve’s outfit, the corner of her mouth twisting into a half smile. Cocky. Eve felt ridiculous as her heart beat faster at the sight of the woman. It was barely a week since she last saw her but so many things have changed since. "What's in there?" Villanelle eyed Eve’s suitcase.
"Spy stuff. Tiny microphone, secret camera, earpieces." Eve watched as a spark of excitement lit in Villanelle’s eyes. Then it turned cautious. Villanelle opened up the trunk.
"She knows you're here, doesn't she." She reached out her hand, waiting for Eve to hand her the suitcase.
"It's still ours. Just ours." Eve gave Villanelle what she wanted, and headed for the passenger seat of the car, feeling unexpectedly brazen and cool.
When Villanelle sat beside her, the look in her eyes was dangerous. When she turned to face Eve she did it swiftly, the tenderness with which she held Eve’s chin between her fingers a contrast to the violence of the motion. “Don’t break my h-”
“I brought you a present,” Eve took the knife she bought for Villanelle in Paris out of her pocket. Without moving an inch, Villanelle’s gaze darted to Eve’s hand, and back to her eyes, the features of her face softening.
“What is that?”
“A knife. An expensive knife,” Eve opened the knife slowly, “I stabbed a man with it. In Paris.”
A curious smile flashed across Villanelle’s lips. “Did you kill him?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so.” Eve tensed up as memories from that night flooded her. She still had nightmares about it. In some of them, the man turned out to be Niko. She detested them.
“Why did you do it?”
“I don’t know. I thought I wanted to.” She closed the knife again, handing it to Villanelle.
“What did it feel like?” Villanelle let go of Eve, her eyes searching hers.
“It felt like a mistake.” Eve turned away, facing the road. Villanelle stayed still, her eyes still following Eve’s. “He was drunk and he was stupid and very loud, and I did a lousy job. I could have gone to prison because of a stupid drunk man.”
Villanelle took the knife, examining it. "It's beautiful.”
Konstantin’s head was throbbing with pain, radiating from the back of his head onto his eyes and teeth and back. It wasn’t the first time he was in a similar situation. He, much like Villanelle, was put through intensive training. That was years ago, though. The pain he endured then had dulled in his mind, and now he could taste the bitterness of fear filling up his mouth. They tried to get him to talk. First in russian, then in broken english, and then with their fists and shins. He remained silent.
They weren’t directly a part of the twelve, that much he concluded, but they asked him about MI6 and about his contacts. They asked him about the murder of Vova Rozhkov, and that of Anton Makarov. Maybe they were Russian Secret Service? It was no secret the service employed all kinds of people, and all kinds of organization that were far from legal.
They took him from his home in the dead of night, telling him if he makes so much as a sound they’ll shoot his family. Even though he did not resist at first, they were far from gentle. They kept him hooded, and he could not tell where they were heading. The drive was long, and at some point they boarded a helicopter. They didn’t bother to cover his ears, and that left them ringing for the following days.
His thoughts kept returning to Villanelle. Did they find him through the contacts? Was he betrayed? Was he the only one they knew of? Was she in danger? Did she note his absence? Would she risk herself to try and find him? He prayed to god she wouldn’t.
And so a cycle formed. Each day started with the first screeching of birds and a very cold shower, an interrogation, pain, and a small bit of food too ridiculous to consider a meal in a non specified time of the day. Sometimes he received no meal at all.
But Konstantin kept silent, conjuring up a space in his head where he was untouched by reality, like he was trained to do so long ago.
“What is the plan?” Eve stared at the beautiful dresses laid out on the expensive hotel bed. Villanelle must’ve chosen one of the most expensive hotels in Amsterdam, judging by the eagerness of the employees to help with every small matter and the exquisite nature of the furniture. The minimal decor screamed class, and Eve herself, used to the cheapest options one could find, felt ridiculously out of place. But a part of her liked it, how different it felt. For Villanelle it all must have been second nature by now but to Eve it was thrilling. The opportunity to be someone else entirely, to live a vastly different life.
Villanelle came up behind her, murmuring in her ear. “We are going to the Opera to impress our friend Vera Davenschot. Apparently she’s very rich. Who knew witness protection payed this well.”
Eve rolled her eyes, but let out a sigh when Villanelle wrapped her arms around her stomach, their bodies touching. “Okay, so we dazzle our friend Vera into liking us, and then what?”
Villanelle shrugged. “And then what always happens. She invites us over to dinner, probably to accidentally drink too much and have sex, and we tell her to call the copycat. Then he comes and we capture him and you get to be a good agent and I get to make him feel like a piece of shit.”
Eve put a hand on Villanelle’s arm, gentle but firm. "We tell her to call him, and then the team assigned to the case locates his signal and they capture him."
"I thought it was just ours." Villanelle teased Eve’s earlobe, pulling at it. Softly, at first, but the gesture quickly turned painful, like a warning.
"You set up the plan, but I have to cooperate with them. I have no other choice." Eve turned around and examined Villanelle, her naked body speckled with water drops. She had just come out of the shower. She must've used some sort of perfume or oil, as Eve could sense a hint of coconut.
"Are they mad at you for Paris? You were very naughty." Villanelle moved a strand of hair behind Eve's ear. "Where did you stab him?"
Eve’s fingers fluttered down Villanelle’s chest and met her belly, but instead of trailing off to the right where she knew a scar would be, they set off slightly to the left.
Villanelle chuckled lightly. “That is a really shitty place to stab someone, Eve.” Then she leaned in closer, her lips brushing against Eve’s as she spoke. “What did it really feel like?”
“It didn’t feel like anything,” Eve dragged out the words, allowing them to melt into a kiss. She felt that , the tingle inside of her, the hunger for the woman. She felt the frustration of the past weeks reaching up, threatening to consume her in a fit of lust and desire. But she pulled back. “I’m going to shower.”
The Dutch National Opera and Ballet was a beautiful building to behold, especially at night. The reflected lights shimmered on the canal waters, dancing playfully under small boats. V was rather proud of her work on Eve. Although she liked how disheveled and messy Eve looked usually, she looked no less breathtaking in the blue evening dress and her hair up in a knot, two wavy strands framing her made up face. There was also the matter of the aura she exuded. She was enjoying this, the culture, the peek into V’s world, she realized.
The VIP opera balcony offered an excellent view of the stage and an illusion of privacy. Villanelle had spend a considerable amount of money and effort to purchase the balcony ticket directly adjacent to the one Vera ordered. As she walked into the balcony, she leaned against the railing, watching as the theatre filled up with people in expensive clothing. The room filled with noise and a plethora of different perfumes. Villanelle had missed the pleasures of high society. All she did since Paris was try and get a taste of her old life back, but it was far more difficult now that she wasn’t just a fearful shadow with the guise of anonymity around her. This, however, was it .
“I didn’t know you loved opera so much.” Eve stood beside Villanelle, facing away from the the commotion.
V snored and turned around. “I hate opera, I think it’s boring and whiny. And you can’t even understand what they’re saying, so what’s the point?” She waved the server holding out a tray of sizzling drinks, and took two glasses. She handed one to Eve, and sipped on hers. “But some of the kinkiest people I met loved opera.”
Eve laughed at the remark, not as tense now as she was when she arrived. “Well, it suits you. The marvel of it all, the richness.”
“Do you like it? The richness of it?”
Eve brought her glass to her lips. “I could get used to it.”
“You’d hate it. Everyone thinks they’re so smart and all they talk about is stock values and their vacations to Africa.”
“Well what do you like then?”
Villanelle considered the question for a few moments. “I like the look on their face when you don’t play along. I like to have things, beautiful things. I like the way they want so bad for me to want them, for their looks or their money or their brain. Their sad little heartbreak when they realized they were just a toy for me to enjoy for a night. Two if they’re smart enough not to give away entirely.”
Eve edged closer to Villanelle, her eyes dark and difficult to read. “Is that what I am? A toy?”
V brushed her fingers against Eve’s, resting against the balcony railing. “No.”
Then she noticed a familiar french bob she’d seen in Vera’s facebook profile. According to facebook, she was an accountant for a private firm, and her name was Maya Bazin. An interesting choice, Villanelle noted, as when you look up that name all that comes up is porn videos featuring an actress bearing the same name. She didn’t have much information up, but her profile provided Villanelle with her email address, which led her to her phone and billing information in turn.
Villanelle made a point not to look at her direction, having to fight the urge to do so as she felt the woman’s gaze stopping on her for a little while, before moving on. V pushed herself away from the rail and took her seat, taking the opportunity to look at Eve, who looked back at her with a rebellious expression.
“You like it when they have husbands, don’t you?” Eve drank from her glass, finishing it and setting it on the low balcony wall. She was stunning, wild and unattainable even when she was dressed in clothes that Villanelle bought for her. A part of her was always withdrawn, hidden behind a wall Eve built mainly to protect herself from her truth. To live anything resembling a normal life, she had to, Villanelle assumed. “When in a way they can’t really be yours. Like Anna. You loved her the most because she did love you, but she also loved her husband. And you could never change that.”
Villanelle’s lip quivered for a moment before she regained composure. “You should sit down, Eve. The play is about to start.”
Pelléas et Mélisande was the only opera that the famous composer Claude Debussy ever completed. It centered around a love triangle between a dame lost in a forest and a prince that saved her, and his half-brother. In this interpretation, the play is set in the modern world, and the set consists mostly of metal bars arranged in different shapes, shifting between stairs and towers, moving and breathing and so unbelievably ugly .
In the darkened state of the theatre, Villanelle allows herself to sneak glances at Vera, who, as she expected, was unaccompanied. From her credit card purchase history, it seemed Vera frequented the opera on her own, and had a habit of booking a hotel room nearby. She liked her private space out of the picture, she concluded. She will have to change that, along with Eve. They had discussed it in the hotel room before heading out. Eve would have to be charming and pretend like everything coming out of Vera’s mouth was fascinating. After a series of protests, she eventually agreed to her role, and said she’ll follow her lead on this one.
Villanelle gazed at Vera just as the prince found Melisande at the waterfall and expressed his awe at her beauty. She worked at her features, softening them, the gaze becoming a silent confession of her own. Vera saw it, and Villanelle looked away, smiling. After a few moments she looked at her again, finding the faint hint of a smile on the woman’s lips. The dance repeated a few times, Villanelle holding out the gaze a bit longer each round, but still that air of innocence and desire about her.
She also felt Eve’s eyes on her, unable to see what she offered Vera, but following the woman’s replies discreetly. “Are you jealous?” V asked Eve, finally tearing her eyes away from Vera.
“No, I’m impressed. And honestly I’m kind of upset you never worked that hard to get me to like you.”
“You’re not stupid, Eve. You wouldn’t buy it for a second.” Villanelle whispered in Eve’s ear just as the break was announced.
She had to be quick, Villanelle knew, and she jumped on the opportunity, Eve following her step. She got out of the balcony and headed for the upstairs bar, saving an empty seat for Vera. She ordered two drinks and looked around her expectedly, allowing a hopeful smile as she saw the woman approach the bar. She ordered a drink for herself first, exchanging glances with Villanelle before stepping over. “Is this seat taken?”
“No!” Villanelle adopted an american accent, similar to Eve’s. “Please, by all means,”
Vera sat next to Villanelle, offering Eve a smile as well.
“Do I know you?”
“I’m afraid not. My friend and I are-” V took Eve’s hand in hers, “We’re tourists, and we absolutely love opera, and Debussy is my favorite composer,” She laughed, a nervous high-pitched laugh. “And we’ve been pretty much everywhere but- I don’t know it just feels like we’re missing something,” She gave Vera an earnest look, a lost puppy kind of look.
They spent the second half of the opera over at Vera’s balcony, sipping on their drinks and sharing conversations. by the end of the evening, the two had her phone number. Villanelle skillfully dropped a few words about cooking, and some local dishes she ached to try but never had the chance to, and Vera- or Maya, as she presented herself, was quick to say she would love to share her recipes with her and maybe cook a meal for her.
At first Eve felt ridiculous, encompassing this role of an excitable tourist- it worked better for Villanelle, her being young and experienced in this type of con. But soon enough she found her place, dropping in the odd word that made Vera laugh. The deeper into the evening, the more Villanelle made a point of keeping physical contact with Eve and with Vera, creating an exciting kind of air about it all. For a moment she believed the lie herself, that Villanelle was a young impressionable woman eager to please, that she was her quiet but promiscuous accomplice, that all of it was just an elaborate setup for a threesome. But every now and then, Villanelle would sneak her a look so full of hunger she almost took her right then and there. It made her feel good, that the assassin made a point of showing her that it was her that she really wanted.
And she longed for Villanelle, more than ever before. Drunk and so close to her but unable to act on it, Eve felt riled up, and by the end of the evening she was about ready to burst into flames. And having Villanelle slowly glide her hand so dangerously high up her thigh in the cab on their way to the hotel did little to help the situation.
Eve practically tore the dress off of Villanelle when they entered the hotel room, kissing her wildly. Villanelle’s fingers fiddled with the hem of her dress before lifting it over her head and taking it off. The whirlwind took halt as they both stood in front of each other, undressed. Their heavy breathing filling the silence of the room.
“Get on the bed,” Eve commanded with that husky voice.
Villanelle’s lip quivered, something resembling an awful smile threatening to take over her features. “No,” She said, taking Eve by the jaw and pulling her even closer. “You get on the bed.”
Eve sat on the edge of the bed complicitly, feeling her warmth grow as Villanelle straddled her, planting a sea of kisses and bites on her neck and her chest, the intensity growing with each moan that escaped Eve’s lips.
Villanelle was harsh as she pushed Eve back, as she wrapped her hands around her throat and watched her face with a curious expression. Harsh as she grinded on top of her, pinning her down. Most of all, Eve was surprised with how much she liked it, how much she wanted to give herself away completely. How much she wanted to be at the mercy of this woman. How fast it made her heart beat and how desperately she begged her not to stop.
Sorry this one took so long, but it took a long time to find an angle I really connected to and felt would work not only for this chapter but for the fic as a whole. I suspect I'll need about one or two more chapters to finish this one. Hope you enjoy!