Cat couldn’t help but stare at the shorter blonde woman across from her. She was pale, with curly hair that a curling iron couldn’t achieve. She wore an emerald green dress that complimented her complexion and her body. Green was always her color, and she knew it. Her eyes were a beautiful, vivid green, and they were staring back at Cat with equal intensity. Neither woman said a word to each other after their initial greeting.
Jeremy and Rick continued to talk, as if a staring contest wasn’t happening around them. The air was tense, but not in a negative way. They knew each other, and it could be said that they were friends, but they wouldn’t let the men know that. Cat knew that the blonde was there on business, and the blonde was questioning Cat’s taste in men.
It was no secret that Cat looked to be out of Trager’s league, and in a way Cat was. He looked like a greasy weasel next to Catarina’s elegance, and the blonde woman took note of this. It threw her off to see the doctor sitting so closely and comfortably with him, and when she arrived it looked like they were having a nice conversation.
They both had to bite their tongue when Jeremy introduced the two to each other.
They both sat in silence, letting the men have their fun while they silently sent signals to each other. Sooner or later, one would give and get up to use the bathroom, and that one would be the blonde.
She got up and excused herself, letting her hand run across her date’s shoulder seductively, and Cat couldn’t help but smirk internally at the action. She knew it was all an act, and she knew exactly why the blonde was with Jeremy that night. What she didn’t know, however, was that Trager knew the blonde too. He was well aware of the little games being played that night, and what she was really doing there.
When Cat got up a few minutes later, he didn’t question it. As a matter of fact, he almost expected it.
Cat entered the restroom only to see the blonde leaning against the stone wall, a look of amusement on her face and smugness in her eyes. Cat knew that the blonde’s true feelings could always be found in her eyes, and right now she knew that she was completely entertained by Cat’s situation.
“What’re you doing here, Dr. Greene?” Cat asked. The blonde shrugged.
“The same could be asked for you.” Cat let her shoulders drop slightly at the blonde’s answer. Dr. Greene had no idea the predicament she was in, and it would be hard to explain how she got herself into this situation. If anything, the blonde would be disappointed in her friend’s reckless decisions.
“I’m on a date.” Cat said simply, to which the blonde scoffed.
“Last time we spoke you sounded like you hated that man.” Dr. Greene pointed out, and Cat nodded.
“I do hate him.”
“That’s not what I was seeing out there when Blaire was looking for him.” Cat glared at the woman in green. She was angry, even though she knew that she was right. Cat was enjoying herself, falling for the man even though he was the bane of her existence only a few hours before. She hoped that she could get through the night without feeling any more for him. She hoped she could get over the attraction she felt for him now that she knew him a bit better.
“Does Albert know you’re here?” Cat countered, changing the conversation so she didn’t have to ponder her new feelings. Dr. Greene smiled at this.
“Of course he does, he even helped me snag this guy. I wouldn’t want him getting the wrong idea.” Her words had a double meaning, Cat knew that much, even if she was telling the truth. Dr. Greene loved Albert with her whole heart, almost obsessively so. She couldn’t imagine the blonde being with someone other than him. It was almost as if the heavens had created them together, binding them and making them perfect for one another. Albert felt as if he were better than everyone else, carrying a god complex that would make an actual deity blush, and Dr. Greene was an extremely loyal woman. She was smart and devoted to him, she’d do anything for him, and it helped that she was beautiful, too. He was a man that wanted to be worshipped, and she was a woman who wanted to worship him.
“I didn’t think you were capable of feeling attraction, Cat.” Ivy taunted, watching as her friend walked to the wall she was leaning on.
“For him? Yeah, I didn’t think I was capable either.” She responded, her voice softer than she wanted it to be. She wanted it to sound like she was agreeing with Ivy, like she didn’t feel anything for Trager, yet she did. After their time alone she did, and she was starting to fear those feelings. She feared him, and she feared how he was making her feel. He was sleazy and dangerous, and Cat knew this. He represented everything she loathed in a person, yet she fell for a sob story, one that she knew had been an exaggeration, though what parts of it were lies was a mystery to her. “I’m assuming you’re here for business purposes?” She asked, quickly changing the subject to distract Ivy from her response.
A knowing twinkle flashed in Ivy’s eyes, and Cat couldn’t help but inwardly scold herself. Ivy was a smart woman, almost as smart as Cat herself, if not more. Anything Cat did, Ivy would pick up on.
“Of course. I managed to get Blaire to open up a bit about the morphogenic engine, among other things.” Cat grimaced at the thought of what Ivy had to do to get Jeremy Blaire to talk about Murkoff secrets. She knew that her last statement wasn’t a threat, but she knew where Ivy was going with this.
“You want a sample of my fear toxin.” Cat accused, to which Ivy nodded, a smirk present on her face.
“We both know that Al and I’s company’s been very interested in your work for a while-”
“And I’ve made it clear that I have no interest in genetically engineering weapons.” Cat countered.
“I think we both know that Murkoff’s going down at some point or another, and you’ll need a company that’s willing to cover your ass when it happens.” Ivy told her, not bothering to sugar coat what she was saying. Ivy, in the right circumstances, is as blunt as Cat. She had a sharp tongue that could no doubt get her out of any situation, but when it came down to it, she wasn’t afraid to say just what everyone was thinking, harsh or not. “And it’ll happen, trust me.”
“I believe you. When the time comes, I’ll be there. Now, for the toxin…”
“I’ll pay top dollar for that shit.” Ivy cut in, looking as if she were ready to pounce. Cat smirked, knowing damn well that Ivy was desperate for it, and with her field of study the toxins would do her well.
He maintained the appearance of not caring that Cat was back, but she noticed how his eyes lit up at the mere sight of her coming back to the table. She felt her heart speed up, but this wasn’t due to her newfound fondness for the man; she was scared.
He reminded her of what she was: a scared girl.
“You took a while in there, Ives.” Blaire slurred, leaning in for what seemed like a kiss. Ivy declined politely, to the best of her ability, that is. She gently pushed the man away from her, which only brought a lopsided smile to his face, and more begging from him.
Cat sat close to Trager, his arm over her shoulders. His touch brought goosebumps to her arms, but she didn’t bother making her discomfort known. She was there for J.J., she would remind herself of this over and over, but deep down she was slipping.
How much of the night was part of her act? How much of it was how she genuinely felt? Was she falling too deep into the role she created for herself, or was she actually relating to the monster next to her? Was this some sick form of Stockholm syndrome?
Ivy and Jeremy’s now obvious bickering brought Cat out of her thoughts, as was the soothing sensation of Trager’s fingers caressing her shoulder.
“How much did you guys drink while we were in there?” Cat asked sincerely, concerned for her friend who she knew would blow her cover if this continued.
“I’m still finishing my first glass,” Trager began, holding up the nearly empty wine glass for her to see. “Jer on the other hand…” She didn’t need him to finish his sentence. She could see the larger glass surrounded by smaller shot glasses and she understood. Though, she wasn’t entirely sure what Jeremy thought this night was going to be. Cat sure as hell wasn’t going to go partying with these two, and she was sure Trager would rather be in her bed than in a club after dinner.
She couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, even if it disgusted her to think that way.
“I think we better get going.” Ivy smiled, giving Cat a knowing glance. It was a look that told her that 1) Ivy was getting what she wanted and even more that night, and 2) she caught on to how Cat truly felt about Trager, and she understood Cat completely now. She figured it out before Cat had even known that there was something to figure out in the first place.
“I agree, get that idiot to bed.” Trager smiled, both at the idea of him being alone with Cat again and at the fact that they’d get to leave earlier. Ivy went to signal a waiter, but Trager stopped her.
“I got it.” He told her, and she furrowed her brow.
“Alright.” She muttered, practically dragging Jeremy out of the booth and toward their car. She had his keys, and she knew that she could easily overpower him if he tried to take the keys. She silently thanked her dear Albert for that.
With Ivy and Jeremy out of the way, Cat and Trager were alone again.
One word coursed through her mind as she sat in silence with him:
They talked a bit more on the car ride back to her place. She told him a bit more about Gotham, and even mentioned that she knew Ivy from college.
“If all goes well, I wanna do this again.” He admitted, this time leaving it up to her to decide whether she wants what he wants. While she was in the bathroom with Ivy, he listened to Jeremy brag about the absolute bombshell Ivy was, and he listened, knowing damn well that Ivy was a taken woman who wouldn’t dare look at a rat like Jeremy if he wasn’t in the position of power he was in. When Jeremy mentioned how he knew Cat was probably one of those kinky goth girls, he couldn’t help but feel a bit possessive. All this time, he talked about Cat that way, but the moment Jeremy said it he felt like taking his tongue and handing it to Ivy (free of charge, nonetheless!). This whole endeavor had truly warped his mind further, and he wasn’t sure what to do anymore.
What would happen if she rejected his offer like she did many times before? Would they just finish the deal and go on as if nothing happened? He was sure he couldn’t do that. She got under his skin and he was sure she felt the same way about him.
“You’re not hiding some secret weapon to coerce me into this one, right?” She asked, her voice quiet. The bright red from the traffic light painted her body, casting long shadows onto her face and making her look more like a ghost than a live person. She was beautiful, and he wondered if she even cared that she was beautiful. If she said no he wouldn’t know what to do. He wanted to keep her all to himself, even though he knew she would never allow that so long as she was alive. He would tear her apart.
“No, not this time. It’s all up to you, babe.” He responded, trying his best to keep calm. He didn’t want to scare her, even if she’d probably like it. She looked at him, her blue eyes doe-like yet full of fear.
“Fine.” She told him in a voice barely above a whisper, her wording as if he were asking her all night.
The roads were empty and dark, with no one behind them, and no one in front of them. She was leaning closer, and for a brief moment he wasn’t sure what to do. He wondered if it were a trap, but he realized he was the only one setting traps, or at least, to his knowledge.
He leaned in, pressing his lips to hers which she reciprocated enthusiastically. As they collided, the light turned green, painting the whole scene in the color, as if the world was telling them that this was right . This wasn’t their first kiss, that one was stolen by him and she was far from thrilled with it, but this one was different. It felt like their first real kiss, one where they both felt electricity coursing through them with every slight touch, and as her hands slipped into his hair, he knew that he had her.
Her heart was racing and she felt as if she was going to cry. She was having a panic attack, and the words of her friend came to the forefront of her mind. She was reminded over and over of why she should hate him, why she should be afraid of him! At the same time, she felt as if she finally found someone who could understand her on a deeper level, someone who was like her whether she liked it or not. She was attracted to him in every sense of the word, and the one thing she longed to see was the look of fear in his eyes when they finally came together. She wanted him to feel the emotion she felt whenever she was around him. Yes, he was obnoxious at times, but that hate she felt for him was what led her to that moment. That hate for him made her hope she’d see him everyday, even if it was subconscious.
When they pulled apart the light was red again.
As they sat in silence, panting away to regain lost air, Cat had made up her mind. The vial in her bag would stay in her bag.
She only hoped Michelle could forgive her.