velvet mace


chapter 6.

Sloth watched Edward with avid interest. Even though he
was doing his best to keep his expression in check, she could see the pain in
his eyes as he described, in jerking disjointed phrases, exactly what happened
to his brother the night before.

The two boys sat side by side on the bed they shared,
not touching for once, not looking at each other. The pain of their punishment
too intense for them to even think of comforting each other.

Sloth smiled. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Greed should
hire a painter to capture the moment. It was too bad that Greed didn't punish
them more often.

Greed patted Ed's knee. "Excellent. You did a good job.
Now that wasn't too hard was it?" Greed waited, expecting an answer.

Ed supplied it, "No, sir."

Sloth was disappointed. She had hoped that Ed would fail,
and she'd be allowed to repeat the experiences of the night before. That had
been a rare and wonderful experience. To hold one of her creators in her arms,
and see him respond to her body and the powerful emotions she'd forced him to
feel. It had been one of the most touching experiences she'd ever had. She wanted
it again. And again. And again.

Ah, but there was little chance of that. Greed was so
jealous of these two, so afraid that she would break them. Sloth wouldn't do
that. Not permanently.

"You know I hated to do that," said Greed. "But you forced
me to. You understand that."

Ed turned his head away, but Greed grabbed his chin and
forced him to look him in the eye. "I need to know that you understand that
Al's suffering was your fault."

"Yes, sir. I understand."

"Tell him you are sorry."

Ed turned to Al. "I'm sorry, Al. I'm so sorry. I promise
I will never do that again. Never. Please, forgive me."

Al put his arms around his brother, stroking his back
awkwardly, but he wouldn't raise his eyes to meet his brother's. Lovely. A little
resentment between brothers, like a melodic refrain in a minor key. Sloth's
respect for Greed as an artist was heightened.

"Tell him that you put your selfish desires before his
welfare." Greed's voice was soft and gentle.

Ed echoed in a rougher voice. "I put my selfish desires
before your welfare."

"Tell him that you were being childish."

"I was childish, Al. Very childish. Stupid."

Greed smiled. "Well, Al, will you forgive him?"

"Yes, sir. Ed, I forgive you."

Greed slid off his chair and knelt before the two of them.
"You know that the two of you are the most precious things I have. It hurts
me to have to punish you like this."

The boys responded almost in unison. "We are sorry for
hurting you, sir."

"I forgive you as well." Greed reached up a hand and stroked
Al's hair. "Are you still hurting this morning?"

Al shook his head.

Sloth's smile broadened. He was lying. She had been quite
brutal with him. He'd been bruised and even a hardy boy like Al couldn't bounce
back that quickly. But it was what Greed wanted to hear, and that was a bit
disappointing. Greed was such a masterful sculptor of emotions, it was sad he
couldn't fully appreciate the fruits of his labor.

There was a thudding, and loud voices came from elsewhere
in the house. Sloth perked up, recognizing the voices of the chimeras. Greed
also stood up and let go of his charges. "Sloth," he said tensely. "Lock them
in for now." He headed out.

Sloth looked over at the boys. Pretty things. Watching
the play of their expressions was more interesting than whatever might be up
with the chimeras. The boys were, after all special, very special. Her own creators.

"Sloth, please, just lock us in and go," said Ed after
a moment. "I want to be alone with my brother."

Sloth stood languidly, then stopped. There were tears
in the corners of his eyes. Ah—"You look hurt," she said quietly. "Wouldn't
you like me to hold you a bit?"

Both of them shuddered and moved an inch back on their
bed. Really, after they had gone through such effort to make her, how ironic
it was that they flinched whenever she smiled at them. Sloth loved irony almost
as much as she loved pain and pleasure.

"No," said Al firmly. "Go. Greed told you to."

Greed told her many things. She usually chose to go along
with the suggestions because it lead to interesting experiences, but she was
reluctant to leave now. "Sometimes I think you regret making me."

"Only every day," said Ed.

"Because a man died? Wasn't he your friend?" They both
winced. "Marcoh, yes, I think that was his name."

Sloth had never known Dr. Marcoh, Greed's first Alchemist,
but she knew his story well enough. The man had been working on making red stones
in the 5th lab, when the earthquake and subsequent fire had released Greed and
the chimeras. Greed had convinced Marcoh to come along with him, and help him
build his empire.

Marcoh had been a favorite of Greed's, that is, until
the boys eclipsed him. Instead of being jealous, the man had become rather protective
of the two. So when he noticed a violent alchemical reaction happening in the
next room over, he had burst through the locked door and done the most amazingly
stupid, self-sacrificing thing. He had jumped into the active circle and grabbed
Alphonse, throwing the child away from the array.

By the time he reached Ed, the boy's arm and leg had already
been dissolved. Marcoh had shoved the child out of the circle only to be caught
in the reaction himself and ripped to literally nothing. Greed thought that
he may have deliberately sacrificed himself for the older child, but they would
never know. In the end, Marcoh was quite gone, and she was born.

A life for a life—it seemed quite equivalent to her.

"Yet you made me so that I could take care of you," said
Sloth. "Didn't you make me to be your mother, and take you away from all this?"

"You aren't our mother," said Al. "And we'd never go anywhere
with you."

"You were a mistake," said Ed. "A horrible mistake."

"What hurtful things to say," pouted Sloth. She stepped
closer to them, feeling an urge to touch them and see how their flesh responded.
Last night had been amazing. Perhaps she didn't need Greeds permission—


Sloth spun at the harsh voice behind her. She turned and
saw Greed in the still open door. The look on his face was of pure fury. Entrancing.

For a moment she thought it was she who he was looking
at, but clearly it wasn't. Ed suddenly threw himself on the floor in abject
fear. "I'm sorry sir, I'm sorry."

"Sloth," said Greed, harshly. "Hold Al."

Amused, Sloth sat on the bed and wrapped her arms around
the younger brother. He jerked in her grip in a pleasantly ineffectual manner.

Greed returned his attention to Ed, who huddled on the
floor, a picture of misery and contriteness. "You knew. You knew he'd run away
—don't even pretend you didn't."

"I begged him not to, sir," said Ed.

"What do you know of him? What did he say to you last
night?" Greed leaned down and grabbed Ed's shirt lifting him to his feet. Sloth
heard the fabric begin to tear under the strain.

"Please, sir."

Again Greed turned to Sloth. "Would you like to take Al

"NO!" said both brothers at once.

"Ed," said Al, beseechingly. "Please, don't do this to
me. I can't take that again. Tell him what he wants to know."

Ed looked from Al to Greed to Al again, panic and horror
in his eyes. Sloth sucked in a deep breath of appreciation, as Ed turned completely
ashen—ah, like death. She stroked Al's hair tenderly, and Ed broke out in
sweat. How sweet.

"Ed," said Greed, his voice at it's most deadly. "Whose
side are you on?"

Something broke in Ed. She could see it. She could almost
HEAR it snap. Ed pressed himself against Greed, "Your side, sir. I love you.
I'm on your side. I'll tell you anything, anything."

Greed's eyes melted just a bit. "I love you, too," said
Greed. "But right now it is a dangerous thing for you to be so close to me.
I'm afraid my anger might get the better of me. Kneel and tell me everything."
Greed released the child's shirt.

Ed went down on his knees with his head bowed and began
talking. "Roy is Colonel Roy Mustang. He said he was a State Alchemist and that
he was investigating you. He wanted to know about arrays in the house, and he
wanted to know about you and the chimeras. I told him. He promised he'd return
and rescue me and Al."

"And why didn't you come and see me right away, as soon
as you knew who he was?'

Ed's voice broke. "I didn't want him to get hurt, sir.
I tried to convince him to stay and pretend to be a buyer and do a good job
and make you happy. I told him if he made you happy, you might not hurt him
so much. I was sorry, it was my fault he was here. I didn't want you to..."

"To kill him?" asked Greed.

"Yes, sir."

"Like I killed the last client who tried to take you away?"

"Yes, sir."

Greed sighed. "Oh, Ed." Sloth could see the painful mix
of love and anger play across his angular face. "Oh, Ed. You are the ruin of
me. Oh, Ed. I can't even bear to look at you right now." Greed covered his mouth
with his long fingers and turned completely away from the boy at his feet.

"I'm sorry, sir."


Ed gasped and shook. Al jerked in Sloth's arms, but she
held him fast.

"You have no idea what pain you cause me. You have taken
a knife to my heart and twisted it. How can you say you love me when you would
do such a horrible thing to me? Everything we have, everything we own, my EMPIRE,
it's all at risk because of you. And of all the people to call on—The military.
Why them? Ed?"

Ed said nothing.


"Because I thought they might be able to—to contain
you—like they—they—they—they—before. Then we, Al and I, we
could g-go a-a-a-a away—" The boy stuttered into silence for a breath before
bursting out: "Punish me, sir, but don't hurt Al. It's my fault, I was selfish
and stupid and cruel. I'm sorry Greed. Just please, please don't hurt other
people. Just me. Just punish me. I'll do anything you like, everything."

"Hush," said Greed sharply. He turned, just a little.
Sloth could see the tears on his cheeks. "I can't punish you, Ed. If I punished
you now, I wouldn't be able to stop. I'd KILL you, and I'm not going to kill
you. And I'm not letting you go, either. You are going to stay with me and be
my alchemist until you die of old age, a long, long, long time from now. Do
you understand?"

"Yes, sir."

"I'm NEVER letting you go, and I'm not letting anyone
or anything get between us either, because I love you. Truly love you, child.
You and your brother are the closest things to my heart."

Ed's hunched form shuddered rhythmically, and she saw
tears darkening the silk on his knees.

"Words cannot express the torment you put me though. Rebellion
was bad enough, but such sabotage. Such open distain of everything I've ever
given you. You've SPIT on me with your callous actions. Even your own brother
is horrified by what you have done."

Greed turned to Al. "Tell him what you think."

Al didn't hesitate. "I think you were a cruel, unthinking
jerk, Ed. I BEGGED you not to do it and you did. You hurt our family."

"I'm sorry," gasped Ed. "So sorry, what can I do. How
can I show you how sorry I am?"

Greed took in a deep breath. "Did you tell Roy about Sloth."

"No, sir," said Ed quickly.

Greed let out a hoarse laugh. "Of course, not. Because
if he knew about her, he'd have to send you to jail. Human transmutation is
illegal, I told you that, and not just a little bit illegal. The penalty for
it is death. Death for both you and your brother. Did you think they wouldn't
find out what you did? There is no "away" with the military. The only thing
you could HOPE to gain from them is the complete destruction of everyone and
everything you care about."

Ed seemed to squeeze himself into a smaller package.

"For a boy who's IQ tops the scale, you are an incredibly
stupid thing."

"I didn't think, sir."

"No you didn't. But it makes me wonder—are you telling
me everything now?"

"Yes sir."

"I don't think so," said Greed. "Roy Mustang was here
awfully fast—the military doesn't move like that. They are a slow and lumbering
beast; they would not be able to put an operative in my home in a single day,
and that is assuming that your letter reached its destination the day you sent
it. Is there something more you wish to say?"

Ed spoke up. "I sent more than one letter sir."

"How many."

"Six, sir."

"Six—and I only caught you the last time."

"Yes, sir."

Greed covered his face again. "So it wasn't a whim."

"No, sir."

"It wasn't a momentary lapse of reason on your part. You
stabbed me repeatedly didn't you."

"Yes, sir."

Greed took a deep breath. There was a long, long pause
and no one spoke. "It won't work," said Greed at last.


"You can't make me hate you, no matter how you try."

"Sir," said Ed. "I don't want you to hate me. I just wanted—"


"I wanted to go. I wanted to be free."

Greed suddenly swooped down and picked Ed off the ground
and pulled him to his chest, hard. "Free. What does that mean?" Greed yanked
Ed's braid roughly, and kissed him, hard. Sloth saw the boy immediately respond,
throwing every bit of skill he possessed into that kiss.

Greed pulled away. "Freedom is nothing. There is no such
thing. You would simply abandon one family in search for another. One master
for another. It gets no better than this, Ed. No better."

Greed suddenly spun Ed around and pushed him into the
bed. Then with two strides, he closed the distance. Ed let himself be bent over
the mattress. Al again tried to move, whether it was to comfort his brother,
or perhaps back away and give Greed more space, Sloth wasn't sure. In any case,
she didn't let him move.

Greed's hands grabbed the waistband of the teen's pants
and she heard ripping sounds again, as silk tore under his hard fingers. Greed
held him down with one hand in the small of his back. He raised his other hand
high above his head and then slammed it down with tremendous force on Ed's exposed

Al echoed Ed's scream.

Greed raised his hand once more and spanked him again,
and again, and again. Ed's buttocks were quite red and she could clearly make
out Greed's palm print. Again. Ed choked. Again. Then Greed stopped. His last
slap had actually broken the skin a bit. Greed licked the blood from his fingers.

Sloth was amused to find Al snuggling into her chest,
forgetting for a moment how little he wanted to be comforted by her. The feel
of her breast against his face was preferable, she guessed, to the sight of
Greed whaling on his brother.

Greed walked over to the desk. Ed made no move to change
positions or cover himself. Sloth wished that he would turn his face so that
she could see his expression, but he didn't, choosing instead to look at the

"Edward," said Greed, opening one of the drawers and pulling
out a half full bottle. "I can't promise you that you will never feel pain in
my household, because you will. Pain is a part of life. I cannot promise you
that I will indulge your every whim, because that is neither healthy, nor is
it practical. But I do promise I will always provide for you. You will always
have a home with me, and there will be pleasure and companionship and family."

Ed's whole body heaved once.

Greed poured the fluid from the bottle onto his hand,
then rubbed it over Ed's reddened and swollen backside. Ed made an aborted jerking
movement. Greed's fingers sought the cleft, then buried themselves within it.
"I can bring you both pleasure and pain, the carrot and the stick. Why choose
the stick? And why seek the carrot elsewhere?"

Greed opened his own fly one handedly and drew himself
out. "I'm too riled up to be gentle with you, but this is not meant to be punishment.
Do you understand?"

Ed nodded.

"This is one of your chances to prove to me that you are
willing to be cooperative."

"Yes, sir. Please, fuck me. I want you to."

Greed's lips tweaked just a bit. "I need this, Ed. I need
to possess you."

"I understand, sir."

"It's not punishment, this is love, the most pure form
of it." Greed withdrew his fingers and he pushed forward. Ed hissed a breath
as Greed's body slapped against his sore bottom. "We are one now, one body,
one heart, one soul." Greed began thrusting.

"Ah!" Ed cried out.

"This is the greatest gift you can give to me, and that
I can give to you."

Sloth could see the thrusts were brutal. Al should really
be watching this. As much as she enjoyed the boy's face against her chest, he
really should be a witness to this spectacle. So she pulled the child around
and made him face his brother.

Al shut his eyes.

Greed seemed to notice Al for the first time. "Watch,
Al," he said. "And pay attention. You two have always been together, I will
never separate you. Your fate and his are woven together perfectly. It is your
job to keep him in line."

Al opened his eyes. "Yes, sir. I will."

"You let him go out six times to deliver a letter, and
not one of those times did you come to tell me about it."

Al looked down.

Greed continued to thrust, ignoring the whimpers of pain
from Ed. "If you had just come to me immediately the first time he left, then
this whole ugly, sordid business could have been avoided."

"I'm sorry, sir. I was wrong. It's as much my fault as

"It is," said Greed. "I hold you JUST as much responsible
as I do him. You are not an innocent victim. You aided and abetted."

"I did, sir."

"You are as much deserving of that spanking as Ed was."

"Yes, sir."

Greed turned his attention back to Ed, speeding up his
thrusts until he threw back his head and gasped. He then pushed Ed away.

He stood up and pushed himself back into his pants, not
bothering to clean himself up. He paced the room a few times, agitated. "Ed,
tell me more about this Mustang, everything about him that you know."

"He's investigating you. He wanted to know where all the
booby traps in the house were. He said he was doing this as a favor for some
guy named Hughes, and he didn't really want to fuck me, but I made him anyway."

Greed suddenly laughed. "You raped him, did you?"

"I guilted him into it."

"How did it feel?" asked Greed.

"He was pretty good, actually," admitted Ed. "He's a really
good kisser, and he was very gentle. He tried really hard to make me happy."

Greed reached out and stroked Ed's back. "You can sit
up, my love. I'm done with you."

Ed pulled himself more fully onto the bed, and then tried
to sit up. Pain spread across his face.

"Perhaps sitting is too much right now. You may lie."

"Thank you, sir."

"Hughes, huh."

"Yes, sir."

"Any other names?"

"No, sir—just Hughes."

Greed looked over at Sloth. "Release him, dear. I have
a job for you."

Oh well, thought Sloth, letting go of Al with some reluctance.
Perhaps Greed would change his mind and let her taste the boys after she finished
this job. "What do you have in mind?" she asked.

"Lock the boys in and I'll discuss it."

Sloth followed him out into the hall, pausing to latch
the door shut. She then reached up and gently stroked the array etched into
the wood above the lock. Any alchemy performed within the boy's room would produce
an immediate alarm. Irony again, since it was the boys themselves who had created
and placed the array, knowing exactly why it was there. Greed was a natural
when it came to manipulation.

Greed continued down the hall to his own rooms. He threw
the door open with such force, it rebounded off the wall and several pictures
fell to the floor. Sloth made no effort to straighten anything out. It was not
her job.

"Martel is injured. Not badly, but she is. Roy—Mustang
did it. He can produce fire using an array printed on his gloves. If that isn't
an alchemic signature, then I am a complete ass. It shouldn't be that hard to
not only figure out where this Mustang lives, but also if he has any other signature
moves we should know about."

"I shall look for him immediately."

Greed took her shoulder. "No. You leave him to me. Mustang
shamed me. Mustang is MINE. The one I want you to look up is this Hughes. If
Mustang is reporting to him, then he'd be the one with the records on our investigation.
I want you to destroy those records."

"Do you think we can stay here?" asked Sloth. It seemed
foolish to her.

"No, of course we can't. I've already sent Law to gather
up the family and begin the move. We start to leave in two hours. We'll take
the important things—things that can be replaced we will pick up elsewhere.
The art will have to remain, but I've notified June to try to pack and store
what she can. The outermost family will be cut off, there's no help for it.
I will preserve as much of the middle circle as I can, and of course the immediate
family will all be together."

"That seems wise."

Greed covered his face with his hand. "My home—"

"You are too gentle with him," suggested Sloth. "Allow
me to punish him as he deserves."

"No," said Greed. "You need to find Hughes. Find what
he knows and destroy what evidence he has. That is your job."

"May I kill him?" she asked.

"No. No one dies unless I tell you to kill them."

Sloth sighed. "Any other restrictions? Orders?"

Greed smiled. "Send those military bastards a message
for me. Short of killing, I'll leave it you to decide what it is. They may be
running me out of my home, but they are going to hurt for it. Perhaps when you
are done, this Hughes may decide it isn't worth it to pursue us."

Sloth smiled.

Greed was right. The military was a slow, lumbering, sleepy beast. It was easy
enough to imitate a uniform. She didn't bother to disguise her features. She
smiled at the scurrying men and women. How like little ants they were, following
their paths to their destinations, never deviating from the paved routes. She
awarded those who looked in her direction with a gentle smile that was totally
at odds with the viciousness of her thoughts.

She stopped several times and asked for directions. Where
is Hughes,
she asked. The first person simply looked dumbly at her. She
resisted the temptation to strangle the bitch, and just moved on.

A second person pointed her in entirely the wrong direction.
She vowed if she ever did meet that person again, say alone, in a dark ally,
she would find out just what emotions he was capable of. Honestly, it would
be doing the military a favor, such blind faith in misconceived notions should
be stamped out for the good of all. It was a wonder the man didn't shoot himself
in the face cleaning his gun.

Hmmm. There was a thought—But Greed said no killing.

She asked a third person, and this time was lead to the
correct building. By now it was midafternoon. Greed would be upset if this operation
delayed their evacuation. Ah well, it couldn't be helped.

It turned out that Hughes worked in the basement of a
secured building. That was no trouble. When she was turned away at the front
desk, she merely asked to use the restroom. Inside she allowed herself to take
her other form, and flowed down through the drain in the middle of the floor,
through the pipes and back up to the restroom in the floor beneath.

The security in the place was laughable.

She reassembled herself, false uniform and all, in a men's
room. It would have been funny if there had been anyone in there. If there had
been, she'd have been forced to suffocate him unconscious. Pity there wasn't.

She strolled out into the hall and then casually walked
from door to door, looking at the metal plates affixed to each. How helpful.
Hughes was all the way at one end.

She knocked and then opened the door. The room was laden
with books and crammed with filing cabinets. The large desk was all but invisible
under a thick layer of papers. Clutter, the sign of a disorganized mind. She
sighed, hoping that finding the proper files wouldn't be too difficult.

The man behind the desk looked up at her with surprise.
She smiled. He looked like his desk. A short unruly beard, tousled hair, glasses
just a tad askew on his face. And his uniform had a few more pleats than were
specified in the design. Still for all the mess he was undoubtedly attractive,
in a gangly and charming sort of way.

She moved towards his desk in a way she knew was alluring,
smiling as she saw him sit up straight and pull his head back in surprise.

"Can—can I help you—" he looked her uniform. "Major,"
he said.

"Major Elric," she supplied.

His eyes widened. "Ah!" Then his brows knit again. "Elric
—that name is familiar." He placed his hands on the desk.

"Are you by any chance Hughes?"

He smiled. "Lt. Colonel Hughes, at your service. Listen
—you know this area is secure. I usually don't accept people without appointments.
What can I do for you?"

She noticed his hand pushing something out of view under
a file. "I have information regarding the Greed case you are working on," she
said. She saw a corner of what he had hidden, it appeared to be a photograph.
Boldly, she reached over and slid her hand under his and brought the picture
out. There was a very pretty little girl in ponytails. "How adorable. Is she

For a moment Hughes seemed to be tugged in two different
directions, then abruptly, he smiled a huge smile and began blathering about
his spawn. Sloth's eyes widened. The look on the man as he talked, such animation.
It was clear he loved the child very much, but his rant had a lot less to do
with the girl and a lot more to do with trying to drive Sloth off.

Her smile widened. What a clever, manipulative man. Look
how he used his body language to take up the entire space of the room, practically
pushing her out the door... and his presence, what a treat. Sloth was used to
dealing with people who tried to hold their emotions in; this was like a feast.

Ah the eyes, half hidden behind the reflection in his
glasses. That was no accident either, was it? For all the varied expressions
his face went through, his eyes remained the same, cold and piercing. Observing.

She put the picture down on the desk. "Your child is quite
lovely, almost as lovely as her father."

"Well now, major, I'm a married man," said Hughes. "There's
no point in flattery. Though, of course, I love it." Realizing she wasn't going
anywhere, he put an end to the whole farce. "So, does Greed have a message for

Sloth's lips parted in a gasp. The little devil. That
was quick. Hughes reached for the phone but she got to it quicker, yanking the
cord from the base.

"As a matter of fact he does, and how is it that you know
Greed sent me?"

"Your uniform. The color is just a bit off. Not much,
just a little. Plus, Elric is the last name of the two Alchemists who work for
Greed, and the fact that I know all the majors in Central. From the fact that
you aren't burnt and have no tattoo, I would guess you were the one Greed called

Sloth nodded. She liked this man. Liked him a lot.

"So what can I do for Greed, Sloth?"

"Well," she said. "You can start by handing over all your
files on him."

Hughes gave her a pained look. "Well, you see about that,"
he said. "I just can't do it. My job is collecting information, not giving it

Hughes stood up and skirted the desk. Sloth stepped back
until she was between him and the door. For a moment their eyes met, assessing.

"So, Sloth," said Hughes after an awkward moment. "I don't
suppose you have any hidden talents I should be aware of."

"Well," she said. "Now that you ask, there are a few."

"Such as?" asked Hughes. Almost before he could finish
his word, she transformed her arm into water and shot it in a rushing column,
straight into the man's mouth. He staggered and put his hands up to pull her
out, then attempted to shake his head. She held him fast from within, filling
his mouth to its limit, nearly popping the jaw out, but she stayed clear of
the back of his throat. She could see his nostrils flaring, he could breath
just fine.

She backed him against his desk, pushing with her watery
hand and forcing his head to arch backwards. He put a hand behind him to steady
himself, then suddenly there was a flash and she felt a sting in her neck. Blood
sprayed out as she pulled the offending object out of her carotid. A little
throwing knife, how cute. The wound closed instantly and the blood loss was

"Is that the best you can do?" she asked. "I didn't even
lose a life. Now my dear, where did you put those files?"

Hughes made a wild gesture that could be interpreted as

Sighing, she pushed him down until he was sitting on the
floor next to the desk. She kept her hand in his mouth as she flipped through
the mess he had up there. Sure enough, there were some notes pertaining to Greed's

She read them over quickly, then ran her hand over it,
saturating the paper and rendering the words a complete inky mess. "There must
be more than this," she said, moving over to the filing cabinets. Her arm stretched
as long as she needed it to, giving her complete freedom of the office.

Hughes tried to free himself, but his hands slipped against
her wrist, and he couldn't get a good grip. "Be a good boy, Mr. Hughes. That
daughter of yours needs a daddy. Don't you go making me kill you."

She pushed her hand deeper in his throat, cutting off
his air. Hughes' body jerked. She took a moment to assess the fear on his face,
before withdrawing just a bit. Hughes' nostrils flared again as he tried to
catch his breath. That was lovely as well.

A thought occurred to her. The water in his mouth began
to undulate against his tongue in a manner she knew would be caressing. She
had infinite control over herself in this form and she used it to stroke his
tongue and slip under and around it.

Hughes' reaction was delicious. His eyes bugged out wider
than they had when she'd cut off his air. His hands were trying to get IN his
mouth now. She closed off his air again. "Now, now, no struggling. Just sit
and be good."

She pilfered his office some more, eventually finding
the files she was looking for. Although she wasn't looking at him, she never
forgot about him either. She continued to tease him, manipulating the inside
of his mouth and occasionally filling his throat, enjoying the way he struggled.

It was too bad Greed said not to kill him, she was sure
his death would be a beautiful show. But this was almost as fun, especially
when he noticed her looking through the pictures of his family. She savored
the mixture of fear and protectiveness on his face. Imagine, so much emotion,
all for a child and a woman. Hughes' wife was quite pretty. Sloth felt a pang
of jealousy, but then laughed it off.

"I have children myself," she said. "Or—rather, I did
once. The details aren't important, but I do recall that I used to hold them
very dear to my heart. It would have killed me once to see them hurt. I am,
of course, past that now. I imagine you love your child though. She looks like
she will grow to be a looker."

Hughes was struggling more franticly. She closed off his
air again until he settled down.

"Did you know there is a market for children her age?
A pretty little girl like that would fetch quite a bit of money from a childless
couple. They are so impressionable at that age. Really, you tell them anything
and they believe you. That changes as they get older, but by then they have
other uses.

"Personally," continued Sloth. "I don't know why anyone
would want to have a child. They are such annoyances. So needy. Take, take,
take. I know that to be true, I remember it from my own children."

She found yet another file, and for a while she was quiet
while she read. Then she soaked it and tore it to shreds. "You have amassed
quite a bit of information on us, Hughes. What do you plan on doing with it?"

She withdrew her hand and turned it to flesh again, then
placed both hands on Hughes' shoulders. He looked her coldly in the eye. "We
are going to take you all down."

Sloth laughed.

Hughes let out an amazingly piercing scream. Sloth slammed
her hand back in, choking it off.

"You asked me what Greed's message was. I think it's time
I told you. His message is: back off. Leave him alone and he'll leave you alone.
Mess with him, and he'll mess with you. Mess with his family, and he'll mess
with yours."

She pushed Hughes down until he lay on the floor on his
back. "Shall I give you a taste of how we can mess with you?"

Hughes shook his head and attempted to push her away.

"How seriously do you take your vows, Hughes?"

Hughes brows knit. She started to remove her hand, then
hesitated. "If you scream, I will just shove it back in."

"I take them very seriously."

"Good, because I'm going to make you break them."

"No." His voice was quiet but firm.

"It wasn't a request, I'm not giving you a choice."

She grabbed his belt and pulled. He attempted to roll
away but she kept him pinned. "I'm stronger than you, Hughes. I suggest you
relax and take it."

"What kind of message is rape?"

"A loud one."

She liquefied. It was simpler this way. The pleasure would
be muted, unfortunately, but she would get satisfaction watching his face. In
this form she had no legs, no torso, no cunt. There was merely her, and not
her, separated by surface tension that could be made stronger or weaker by her
will and whim. Within the amorphous mass that was her body, she was queen. She
had no need of arms or hands. She could manipulate and shape herself internally
as well as externally.

Sloth enveloped Hughes' lower body, lifting it up and
using the currents to remove his shoes and pull his trousers down and off. When
he was naked from the waist down, she gently settled him back on the floor.

His expression was absolutely priceless. "What ARE you?"

She smiled at him. "A mother."

In the end, even the threat of her hand in his mouth wasn't
enough to keep him from screaming. She was forced to gag him again, but this
time she paid very little attention to his mouth, merely filling the orifice
as full as she could. His teeth and tongue could get no purchase and made no

What was happening to his lower body was much more interesting.
She caressed him like the waves caressed the shore, flowing around his manhood,
lifting and stroking it. Both firm and soft at the same time and despite himself
he responded. His kicks were either deflected or absorbed, it made no difference
to her. In this form pain was as muted as pleasure.

Ah but his face. His eyes in particular. His glasses had
fallen off and she could clearly see the interplay of muscles. The way his pupils
narrowed was absolutely breathtaking.

After a while, his eyes seemed to grow glassy. She took
that as her cue to take it to the next stage. It was one thing to take Al this
way. The boy was used to being filled, but she rather suspected Hughes came
from a tamer background, and his wife looked positively wholesome enough to
drink. If either of them engaged in anal play, it would be a surprise.

Sure enough, he jerked as soon as she parted his thighs
and started thrashing with greater force. It was nothing, he couldn't keep her
out, in fact she was already in. No need for lubrication, she was nothing but
lubrication. He couldn't expel her, and tightening down did him no good. She
merely pushed on his inner walls until they stretched to their limit.

Hughes threw his head back. He was hard as a rock. She
pushed in deeper, far deeper than Greed and his little manhood could. Yes, she
could imitate the other sex quite nicely. And she could do things no man could
hope to do. Things like this: she undulated inside Hughes.

Waves of force stimulated his nerves. She paid particular
attention to the hardening nub of his prostate, he responded utterly predictably.
She could see from his face that he was awash with emotions, pleasure and pain,
humilation, fear, and anger, and all because of her. Right at this moment, she
possessed him utterly. Unfortunately, the sweetest thrills pass too quickly.
Five minutes is all it took from first touch to unwanted orgasm, and after that
his emotions simplified and some of his etherial beauty faded.

She allowed her face to reform so she could smile down
at him. "Ah, well that was disappointing. I had hoped you'd have more stamina.
My fourteen year old son lasted more than twice as long as you did."

The utter revulsion on his face was precious.

"You think just because you came that I am done with you,
but I'm not."

She continued to press and manipulate him, even as he
softened. There were tears in his eyes. Oh, she could go on like this for hours,
it was deeply satisfying. She would watch his expression gradually fade from
the pinnacle of hatred and horror, to gradual numbness and acceptence.

She felt a stinging pain hit the back of her head and
her face exploded. She immediately turned completely to water, in part to gather
herself up again before she DID have to waste a life. Another bullet entered
her body and another. She looked for the source.

A young woman with Lieutenant's bars stood in the open
doorway. A file folder had fallen to the floor by her feet. The woman pulled
the trigger again and sent another bullet into Sloth.

Well, this was boring. Greed said not to kill anyone,
and if she remained on top of Hughes, this insane bitch was likely to accidentally
put a hole in the man. Sloth had no interest in taking the fall because some
little woman was trigger-happy. The message had been sent, it was time to go.

She seeped through the floorboards into a small crawlspace
beneath the floor and from there, she made it out of the building. She vaguely
wondered how Hughes was going to explain to the woman how he came to be in such
a compromising position. Ah well, it was late and Greed was waiting.