BY : Rina76
Category: Final Fantasy Anime > Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
Dragon prints: 1511
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII Advent Children or any of the characters from the film. I am not making money from the writing of this story.

A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who’s been reading this!


Part 4.

“What is that?” Loz asks, interestedly motioning to the high-ball glass I’m swirling a straw into, mixing up the red and blue layers of liqueur and crushed ice into one deep indigo colour.

“Berry Horny. It’s a ladies’ cocktail,” I enlighten him. “Very sweet. You probably wouldn’t like it.”

“It looks kinda nice,” he offers.

“You wanna try some?”

He nods. “’Kay.”

I pass the drink over and he holds the tall, narrow glass carefully in his large hand, making sure he doesn’t unintentionally break it. He sniffs the colourful concoction, has a taste, swallows and then shudders. “Ugh. It’s like straight sugar.”

“Told you,” I say with a smirk, secretly pleased that he didn’t mind sucking on the straw after me. Means he’s not fussy about germs and that means I got a good chance of getting him to kiss me later.

He gladly returns the drink to me and I also prove I’m not germ-phobic by putting my lips where his just were and sipping, running my tongue around the tip of the straw to finish, hoping he gets my less-than-subtle hint. He might not be the brainiest guy I’ve ever met but he certainly doesn’t miss that, his ultramarine eyes dropping to my mouth and staying there. He only glances up when I say his name for the second time, having not heard the first one.

“Whuh?” He seems a little zoned out and spacey and I smile to myself, knowing my straw tactic worked the way it was supposed to. My hook is digging deeper and deeper into this big, handsome fish.

“I said, I hate asking this because it sounds so lame but I’m genuinely curious. What do you do?”

He frowns a little. “Do?”

“Apart from being a kickboxing biker. Your day job. How do you pay for those expensive outfits of yours?” I eye off his tailored jacket and pants combo. “Leather suits don’t come cheap these days.”

He debates his response for a while, eventually revealing with some reluctance, “Me and my bros, we’re kind of uh...debt collectors.”

It’s my turn to frown now. “Debt collectors?”

“Yeah. Like, if people owe money, we get it out of them.”

Beginning to sense something a little off, I say cautiously, “Get it out of them how?”

Now that I’ve shown interest in his job he talks more freely, explaining, “Well, sometimes we gotta intimidate people to make ‘em cough up; you know, threaten them, slap them around a bit. Kadaj is good with persuasive techniques. If it’s information we’re after, he can make anyone talk in ten minutes flat.”

My eyebrows zoom up. “You torture people?”

“We do whatever we’re paid to do. If anybody don’t co-operate or give us what we came for, they end up in a body bag.” Shrugging his shoulders, he finishes with a nonchalant, “Or in pieces.”

Thinking of Kadaj’s deadly twin-blade sword and Yazoo’s equally-deadly gun, I gasp, “Oh my Gods. You’re assassins! You’re professional killers, aren’t you?”

“Not always,” he protests. “Occasionally we actually protect people; be some rich dude’s security guards or whatever. Anyway, if we do have to erase someone, it’s usually Yazoo who takes them down.” His voice swells with sibling pride. “He can shoot a guy in the head from four blocks away, without them ever feeling a thing.”

I stare at him in shock. “How can you do that...kill people and not feel bad?”

“The way I figure it is, if someone is willing to pay us a bucket load of cash to wipe you out, then you musta done something to deserve it,” he states unsympathetically. “These people...They’re nothin’ but scum. The planet is better off with them gone.”

His words actually make a strange sort of sense, not that I condone cold-blooded murder for monetary gain. Him and his brothers being hit men...that explains so much; the clothes, the bikes, the weapons, the dangerously seductive and fearless vibe they all exude. They act like they’re untouchable, unbeatable and invincible. For all I know they probably are. You don’t get to be an assassin by being weak and powerless. These guys have power. All of them. You can tell just by looking at the way they walk, move and carry themselves. They’re not scared of anything. They are used to destroying, defeating and owning and I sincerely doubt that there’s a single individual in this club who could take them on in a fight and win.

Still staring at him, I ask Loz, “Have you ever ended anyone’s life yourself?”

“Yes,” he bluntly replies, looking me straight in the eye. “But it’s just a job. I ain’t like that all the time so you don’t need to be frightened of me. I’d never hurt you.” He glances away in unexpected shyness, his tone softening.

“I’d never hurt anyone I cared about.”

Even though every thing he’s saying should make me inclined to bolt in the other direction and never come back, the open honesty that Loz is showing somehow makes me trust him and I accept his words of safety as the truth. He may be the width of an incoming train and would flatten you just as easily but under all that muscle mass I glimpse a great gentleness that conflicts with his violent choice of career. I sense a deep well of affection inside him, one he rarely reveals or gives away, but if he were with the right person I think he’d give all of it, and all of his heart, proving to be a fiercely loyal, committed and protective partner and lover.

If you didn’t mind him coming home with blood on his gloves every now and again.

It spins me out big-time knowing what his occupation is but curiously, I’m not afraid. As he said; it’s just a job. Somebody’s gotta do it, I suppose. And there are far worse and much less interesting jobs he could have chosen. Like, being a delivery boy or something. I gotta admit, being employed as a hired gun actually sounds like all kinds of awesomeness. It’s bad, dangerous and totally kick-ass, like something you only see in action movies. But Loz isn’t an unreal action character on a big screen. He’s an actual person and I’m sitting right next to him, so close I can smell the leather of his suit.

Trying to comprehend how utterly surreal this whole situation is, I mutter, “I can’t believe I’m drinking with a hit man. What a fucking head-trip.”

For the first time Loz starts to appear guilty but it’s not for the reason one might think.

“Shit. I probably shouldn’t have told you all this,” he says in dismay, realising what he’s let slip and beginning to panic about it. “Don’t tell Kadaj. Please! He’ll be really mad at me and I don’t like him when he’s mad.”

“Oh, there’s no way I’m ever talking to him now I know what he specialises in,” I declare in dread. “See, you don’t scare me. HE does.”

“You’re not gonna tell anybody? What I said?”

Seeing how stressed and anxious Loz is getting, I shake my head. “It’s all right. I’ll keep your secret. But only if you buy me another drink.” I gulp down the rest of my Berry Horny and push the glass across the counter, adding, “Hell, after what I just learnt, you better make that two.”

He looks immensely thankful at my assurance of confidentiality. “Sure thing, girly. Whatever you want.” He calls over the second guy behind the bar, the one with the crew cut, replenishing our glasses.

Taking a swallow of his whiskey, Loz announces, “I told you what I do. Your turn now, Cate.”

Hearing my name in that deep sexy voice for the first time gives me a tremendous thrill, though I try hard not to let it show.

“My story? Not so exciting,” I confess. “I mean, I’m hardly a super-stealthy sniper or anything...”

“Tell me.” Loz rests his elbow on the bar and looks at me, his green gaze alert and interested. “I wanna know.”

I sigh, relenting to his request. “This sounds like such a sucky girl-job but if you must know, I’m a florist.”

Uncertainly, he ventures, “You mean, the sort that works with flowers?”

“There is no other sort,” I inform him with amusement, wondering what year he dropped out of high school. “Yes, I work with flowers. I do wedding bouquets and casket arrangements for funerals. That kind of thing.”

“You actually touch them?” he exclaims in repulsion.

“Kinda have to,” I reply with a grin, finding him more and more hilarious with each passing second.

“With your hands?”

“With my hands.”

He wrinkles his pointy nose, looking nauseous. “Gross.”

I can’t help it. I burst out laughing.

“What?” he asks, looking confused by my mirth.

“You can stand there and watch a guy get chopped into human sushi but the thought of touching a rose disgusts you?”

“Well, yeah,” he rebounds seriously, as if this is a perfectly normal reaction.

Shaking my head, I remark, “Loz...You’re strange.” Before he gets offended, I adjoin, “In a very cool way.”

He has that unbelieving ‘Is-she-kidding-me?’ look again and I smile at him to let him know I mean it, in spite of all the shocking things that he’s told me about himself and what he does.

“You’re pretty cool too. For a girl,” he confides timidly, quickly focusing back on his drink, as if afraid he might blush in front of me or something. He’s so frickin’ adorable. Like a teenage boy on his first date. Hard to believe he beats people up for a living. Then again, so do security guards and bouncers...

Still smiling at his endearing cuteness, I let my gaze wander out over the dance floor, spotting my roomie Shandi dancing and flirting with another girl now, having the time of her life and completely forgetting about me, even though she’s the one who brought me here to begin with. It’s okay, though. I’m not alone. I got somebody keeping me company and it’s damn good company too. I turn back to the off-duty assassin on the bar stool next to me, discovering him admiring my leg, his lusty gaze wandering over my knee and exposed thigh above the top of the buckled boot.

He glances up with shame in his face, knowing he’s been sprung. “Sorry. I wasn’t...uh...”

“It’s okay. Wearing this skanky shit is bound to draw attention,” I tell him uncomfortably, trying to tug the skirt down more. “I don’t normally dress this way. My wardrobe is mainly made up of t-shirts and jeans, most of them ripped or patched. Unfortunately, Shandi forced me to try something a little more...well, I’d call it sluttier but she’d probably say girlier and more feminine.”

I make an unconvinced expression. “Do I look feminine? I feel kind of like a cheap tart.”

“You don’t look like one. You look nice,” Loz abashedly assures me. “Real nice.”

“If you saw me in my usual gear you probably wouldn’t say that. You’d probably think I was a homeless boy,” I return dryly.

“No, I wouldn’t. You’d look great in anything. It’s not clothes that make you beautiful; it’s who you already are.” He says it with such innocently genuine earnestness that it makes my heart melt into a puddle of pink slush.

“And I thought there weren’t any romantic guys left in the world.” Grinning at him, I ask, “Wanna dance? I promise I won’t ditch you for a lesbian.”

Squirming awkwardly in his seat, he admits, “I don’t dance. Ever. I ain’t any good at it.”

“So don’t. Just come out and hang with me. I’m afraid that if I leave you alone at the bar some other wench will steal you away.”

“Not fuckin’ likely,” he says in a mutter.

“C’mon. Don’t make me go out there by myself, Loz,” I urge, getting off my bar stool and holding out my hand to him. “Someone else will think I’m a stripper and try to jam money down my butt-crack or slurp a jelly-shot off my tits. If that happens I’m holding you responsible. Do you really want that on your conscience?”

I guess he doesn’t. Sighing heavily, he drains his drink, puts the empty glass on the bench and stands up, stuffing his gloves into a pocket of his jacket.

“Whoa...tall...” I stammer, gazing up in awe at his towering height as he straightens before me. My head only comes up to his chest, which is magnificently wide and muscled, the open zipper right at my eye-level, letting me take a real close look at his white marble-like flesh. Having all that broad hardness in front of my face is mesmerising and I wonder to myself what he’d do if I leant in and licked it, right in that crevice running down the middle of his pecs.

“Are we dancin’ or what?” he prompts, forcing me to quit gawping at his chest like some sex-starved nympho.

“Yes. Well, /I/ am anyway. If you want to stand there like a statue that’s your choice, buddy, but you’re still coming with me,” I return, tugging on his hand.

As I’m taking him away from his safe location at the bar and into more unfamiliar territory, he grumbles, “I don’t even know why I’m doin’ this.”

“Because you can’t resist a cute chick in boots, that’s why,” I quip, leading him through the throng of bodies in the club and towards the wooden dance floor.

I notice he doesn’t object to my statement.

We are walking through a group of guys when I happen to catch one leering at me. He’s got on a western hat, a barbeque-plate sized shiny belt buckle and a checked shirt, like he thinks he’s a horse wrangler or something even though he’s probably never sat on one in his life. I roll my eyes in distaste. As I pass him by I feel a hand on my right buttock, squeezing. I gasp and whirl around. Loz stops.


“That guy just grabbed my ass!” I exclaim in outrage.

His jaw instantly hardening, he narrows his eyes at the gang of buddies we passed through. “Which guy?” he grits out.

By the low, aggressive timbre of Loz’s voice I know this is only going to end violently however I still point to the offending male loitering in the centre of the group. He’s got his back to us, pretending that he didn’t just grope me without asking but I damn well know it was him. “That one. The cock-sucking cowboy.”

Face set hard like a stone carving, Loz storms over there in two large strides. He grabs the male I identified by the shoulder, forcibly making him turn around. The guy stumbles in his spur-heeled boots. He looks annoyed.

“Hey! What the hell, dawg?”

In a strangely calm and quiet tone, Loz asks, “Did she give you permission to touch her?”

Cowboy puts on a dumb act. “Who? What are you talkin’ about, hombre?”

Loz jabs his thumb over his shoulder, motioning to me. “Her. You touched her,” he repeats patiently. “Did she give you permission?”

“Listen dude, I never...” the guy starts to say but Loz suddenly snaps out his calmness, snatching a fistful of shirt-front and roughly reefing the cowboy clear off the ground, holding him up with one massive, muscular arm.

“I SAID, DID SHE?” he roars furiously.

Gasping, I cover my mouth with both hands. If this was a scene from a film the music would grind to a halt, everyone would stop dancing and the whole club would come to a standstill to watch the drama. But this isn’t a movie so the music keeps playing and people keep dancing. In fact, the only people witnessing this are the ones in the immediate vicinity, including cowboy’s pals, who are doing exactly nothing to help him, looking just as stunned as he is right now.

His legs dangling like a puppet’s, the hat-wearing guy stares down at Loz in panicked alarm, clawing at his arm in an attempt to pry himself loose. It doesn’t work.

“Shit!” he squeaks in terror. “No, man! Leggo of me!”


“No, she didn’t give me permission!” Cowboy wheezes, the collar of his stupid shirt tightening around his neck as he’s struggling uselessly in Loz’s iron grasp.

“Apologise to her,” Loz growls threateningly, the volume of his voice lowered but no less menacing. The captive male glances to me, his frantic eyes bulging out of his head. He takes too long to answer and Loz gives him a brutal jerk, the dude’s wide-brimmed hat falling off and sailing to the floor.

“APOLOGISE, ASSHOLE!” Loz bellows, jerking him again, the guy’s head viciously snapping back and probably giving him whiplash.

The urban cowboy gulps, the colour rapidly draining from his face, looking as though he’s going to pass out any second now. Either that or piss himself with fright. “Sorry! I’m sorry!” he gabbles hysterically. “I’m fucking sorry, okay?!”

Glowering at the man he’s effortlessly lifting with only one arm, Loz finally replies in a snarl, “So you should be. Keep your Godsdamn hands to yourself from now on or I’ll break off every single one of your fingers and shove them right up your ass.”

And with that final threat, Loz opens his fist and lets the guy go, the other male dropping down a few feet to the ground in a wheezing, terrified heap.

Curling his lip, Loz gives a disgusted, “Humph,” before turning and crossing back to me. As he returns, I gaze up at his huge, still-bristling figure with my mouth half-open, not sure how to feel by that display – intimidated or impressed. I think I’m feeling a bit of both, maybe more of the latter. Nobody has ever rushed to my defence so swiftly and savagely before. I’ve never had a guy get so aggressively protective of me the way Loz just did, as though he’s my personal minder and his sole mission in life is to make sure no-one lays a hand on me and gets away with it. He wasn’t kidding when he said nobody would be able be hurt me if he was around. That guy is lucky Loz didn’t snap his weedy neck and assassinate him on the spot.

Yeah. I’m definitely impressed.

“You all right?” he inquires, beginning to look less savage and more concerned.

I nod mutely.

“Sorry ‘bout that,” he mumbles awkwardly, realising how dramatically he reacted to the situation. “Was that over the top? Was it too much? It was, wasn’t it?”

I swallow my shock, understanding that he could have done a lot of permanent, irreversible damage to that guy but for some reason didn’t. All he really did was frighten the fuck out of the dude. And everyone else watching. He freaked them all out and let them know in no uncertain terms that he’s got a claim on me – that I belong to him - and from this point on, none of those guys will dare to touch me or even look at me for fear of being grabbed and yelled at like that.

“No,” I reply at last. “No, Loz, I think you did just enough.”

He sighs deeply, his shoulders slumping. “I guess you don’t wanna be around me anymore, huh?”

I frown at him. “Why would you think that?”

“Cause you saw me get angry.” He glances down unhappily. “I know I’m scary when I’m angry.”

“Hey. I told you that you weren’t scary to me. Besides, your anger was justified,” I point out. “You were protecting me. If anything, that makes me want to be with you MORE.”

He looks back up, hardly daring to believe it. “You serious? I don’t scare you at all?”

“If you did, do you think I’d still be standing here talking to you?” To prove it, I reach down and take his hand again. “C’mon. You’re not getting out of dancing with me that easily, tough guy. Let’s go.”

Still blinking in bewilderment, he follows me onto the dance floor. Saving him, and myself, the embarrassment of staying on the fringe of the area where everyone can see us - like Shandi made me do before – I shove right into the centre of the swelling cluster of clubbers, surrounded by not only them but the liver-pulverising beat being thumped at us out of the DJ booth. Once securely camouflaged by the crowd, I start moving to the music – some electro-trance track I’ve never heard but am liking more and more as it goes on, the melody catchy and the bass rumbling like thunder just the way I prefer, lifting my spirits and sending my endorphins surging. Forget drugs; sometimes I can just get high on music. Utterly out of his comfort zone, Loz stands there looking useless, like he thinks everybody is pointing and laughing at him. But they’re not. They’re too busy trying to hook up with their own dance partners to care about a clearly self-conscious big dude dressed in black. They didn’t see him haul that guy up by the front of his shirt and they’re not paying attention to him now. I can understand how Loz feels, though. Scaring people is something he’s good at. Dancing, plainly, is not. Attempting to get his mind off his own awkwardness, I take Loz’s hands and put them on my hips - non-verbally permitting him to touch - so he can feel me move and after a while he forgets about everyone else and just watches me. Remembering how he nearly crushed my hand earlier with his overzealous grip, he holds me in front of him carefully, almost delicately, as if he doesn’t want to bruise me, and yet again I’m struck by this surprising streak of gentleness he has under that gruff appearance.

While he’s cradling my hips, I sway them just for him as I was doing earlier, smiling affectionately at my taller companion. Wanting to get a little closer to him I slide my palms up his arms, from wrist to bicep, feeling how awesomely pumped he is through the taut leather sleeves of his jacket. He must work out in the gym every single day to look like this. I give no notice to anybody else around me, just to Loz, marvelling once more at how astonishingly fine-looking he is. His body is all male but his facial features are nearly feminine in design and the only things that separate his face from Yazoo’s or Kadaj’s very similar ones are the masculine broadness of his jaw and mouth as well as the twin stripes of silver whiskers curving towards the corners of his lips. That and the seriously intense expression he adopts that makes him look like he’s frowning or scowling, even when he’s not. He’s doing that expression right now and though it may unnerve a lot of people it doesn’t have that effect on me. Rather, the opposite. I’m starting to recognise that look as something very different. Something very much like hunger, need, longing and desire all rolled into one. Knowing that he feels that way about me thrills me even more than hearing him say my name. Not that I don’t want to hear that again – only hopefully it will be accompanied by a moan next time.

Oh, yes. I’m still thinking about getting laid. Counting on it, actually.

After dressing up like a hooker and putting all this makeup on my face I’d be quite disappointed in myself if I went to bed alone tonight. I’ve made an effort to get out and there and meet new guys, hoping that it will pay off for me. Now that I’ve met Loz and captured his full concentration it’s not so much a matter of if it’s gonna happen, but when. Not just yet, though. And certainly not here. Regardless of how drunk I get I’ll never, ever, screw anybody in a club. But I can dance with them. Even if they won’t dance back. I don’t care if Loz is simply standing there, not with the possessive way he’s looking at me and holding my hips with both hands. I can feel how warm his palms are through the denim fabric of my skirt and how strong his fingers are, causing me to contemplate what those fingers might feel like on other parts of my body; whether he’d be gentle or rough or somewhere in between.

All too soon the music changes, merging to a popular pop-princess tune that frankly bores the crap out of me so I groan and stop moving.

“Fuck, I hate this song. I want to stab this bitch in the eye with her own stiletto.”

Looking relieved that his moment of dancing discomfort is over, Loz queries, “So, we can go back to the bar and drink now?”

“We sure can,” I affirm. “You owe me a second cocktail for keeping my mouth shut, remember?”

“Yeah. I remember. Berry Horny?”

“Oh, I’m gettin’ there,” I grin naughtily, making his eyes widen in surprise. Surprising him even further, I get up on the tip of my toes and lift my chin, pressing a kiss to his smooth cheek, the scent of his aftershave lingering on his skin.

“Thanks for coming up here with me, big guy. I had fun.” Murmuring in his ear, I end with, “Just for the record, I’d rather dance around you than a pole any day.”

When I pull back to look at him, he’s staring at me, as he has already frequently done tonight. But then something changes. Slowly, very slowly, a smile starts to appear, tugging his lips upwards, his eyes relaxing, causing his whole face to transform and soften. Sweet Gods, I think in amazement, as my heart skips a beat within my ribs.

When Loz smiles he’s damn near pretty.


You need to be logged in to leave a review for this story.
Report Story