Disclaimer: These characters are not mine, they are Marvel's. No sue.

Devation From the Chosen Paths...
by Vendetta

Vendetta laid tiredly in the lumpy bed, her body rolled on its side and the soft valley that is created at her waist rose and fell softly with each deep breath the beautiful, young woman took. Her eyes, tired and worn, were shut lazily and the lids stained a rich purple with exhaustion. She could not remember the last time her body had felt safe enough to relax and sleep the deep, dream filled sleep she had indulged herself with, perhaps she had never, but now, the world around so soft and far away, she felt a deep peace in her heart. She was no longer Vendetta, a bad name and a work of painful art; she wasn't Jade Gallows or Barbra Castle, stolen identities that she used as a mask to cover her tracks.

The world was far away and she was only a woman, a woman laying next to a man in his bed, their hearts beating out of time from each other but their minds focusing on the same, final objective: To rid the world of crime with their own brands of talent and strengths. He brought punishment out on those who ran in the world of organized crime, the ones who terrorized the innocent and let the slow hand of justice to aid their crumbling of the social hierarchy. She had written out a vendetta to the world, a death wish to all who wish to abuse and expose women for their own good. Through her time as Vendetta she had caused millions of dollars in collateral damage and released a small state worth of sex slaves from their captors.

Frank Castle laid behind Jade's back, his eyes startlingly bright and alert for this time in the morning. His naked chest, broad and well muscled, was covered by a soft fall of the dark and stained sheets. The woman next to him was one type of woman he had never met before that fate full day. The first to sleep in his bed all night since the passing of his beloved wife, and the first to meet his bed with out the knowledge of intercourse hanging over them. He had yet to claim this young woman as his own, he was unsure if he wanted to. The past of the mysterious woman with fake names and dark eyes was as shrouded as the stigma that surrounded his alias.

The man known to the underworld as the Punisher rolled onto his side, watching the gentle features of the woman next to him. True, he thought to himself, she was beautiful, but nothing like the wife he longed for so much. She was stronger than him first off, some gene therapy or mutate caused it, all they knew was she wasn't a mutant and that what had happened to her had given her strength and reflexes on par to those of Spiderman, a psychotic nature that defeated Frank's with out contest and intelligence that made the likes of Reed Richards and Hank McCoy look like preschoolers. She was nothing like Maria, nothing at all.

Maria was quite, demure, beautiful in an innocent way, Jade was none of those things. She was loud, angry and beautiful in the same way a poisonous spider is, something wonderful to look at but something you never, under any circumstances, touch. And yet, she was laying next to him, almost naked and sleeping soundly, innocently, beautifully.

With a soft, wide hand, Frank brushed the smooth skin of her bare shoulder, knowing her hips were sore from having a bad fall in the battle that they had participated in that night. She had been pushed from the second story of a building, falling on the battle van and then to the ground. He had been impressed when she was still moving, not to mention still able to run down a fleeing mafioso member. Frank touched her skin, noting the fact it was cold and in accordance he pulled up the thin sheet that covered their bodies.

The young woman stirred in her sleep, her eyes fluttering under the slowly lightening lids, and as Frank removed his hand she slowly lulled on to her back, her right hand across her chest, clutching the stained and soiled sheets to her chest as it rose and fell slowly. Her left hand was knitted into her rich, dark red hair, her arm bent and out to her side. A lock of her bright, shoulder length hair laid over her eyes, covering her pale skin with a silk soft red veil.

She moaned softly, her eyes fluttering and slowly opening to the night. "Mm..." she muttered softly, the fog of sleep blinding her to the world around her for the moment, not something that happens often, but then again this isn't something that happens often either. Not many women can say that they have woken in the Punisher's bed with him next to them, many have woken with him next to him, but as a general rule they were never taken to the warehouse for the shag, his response was always "Your's", but then again, this is her place too, at least for the moment.

Frank wasn't thinking when he reached out, his hand combing through the bright red hair, his fingers almost surprised at the softness that the red locks brushed against his hand. Vendetta closed her eyes and let him run his hands over her cheek and pull her closer, his lips pressing against her forehead.

Vendetta's eyes sprung open, her bright and shimmering eyes glaring at Frank. "Castle..." she reminded, her voice harsh, yet still dream blocked and rich. "Stop touching me," she pushed him back away from her, moving herself back to the other side of the bed, putting as much distance between them as she could with out forcing one of them out from the sheets.

The ice glare from Frank matched the one she was giving him, her eyes narrowed and slightly colder but still, Frank being himself and mister I can do anything, tried to salvage the situation. "Hey, look..." he tried to think of something to say but what could he really say? I've wanted to do that for months? I want you? Fuck me now? All that would be accomplished by admitting those things would be his ass being kicked, severely and painfully as Vendetta probably wouldn't give him time to grab one of the many guns around. She was faster than him and much stronger, there for hand to hand against the vixen laying across from him between the sickeningly soiled sheets would be pointless; he might as well just jump off the building and break his own neck, save her the trouble.

"I'm going for a shower," she muttered sliding from the bed and standing up. Frank watched her causally, looking over her body and just marveling at it. No small wonder why she is good at what she does, tricking men into trusting her for an innocent hooker before she kills them. That tactic was the way the two of them managed to bring down the largest prostitution ring in all of New York. Of course Frank didn't give a fuck about the whores, but he did care about the arms smuggling that was going on.

Her long form disappeared into the rather dingy and disgusting bathroom but Frank knew she didn't care, he had, after all, seen her apartment which wasn't any better than the warehouse. Same amount of crap, smaller space to store it all.

The small black kitten that Vendetta had kept as a companion, only after Frank had shot the other one between it's one good and one dead eyes, hopped up onto the bed, meowing loudly as it looked at Frank for something. The man looked down on the kitten as it toddled clumsily up the sheets, falling a few times. When it finally reached the point where it couldn't climb over the piles of stained cotton the small animal looked at Frank with a cute expression, something even the Punisher couldn't say no to. He picked the kitten up and laid it on the pillow Vendetta had been sleeping on, laying back down on his back, one hand over his naked chest, the other under his head.

The kitten mewed and nuzzled the pillow as Frank heard the shower turn on. He closed his eyes and wondered idly what the woman looked like naked. He knew she had a tattoo on her left breast, an 8 from her days as a slave. From what she remembered, or said she remembered, it stood for "Venus 8", Venus being the Goddess of Love and Sex. He had seen the tattoo twice; once just after they had met and she had given him the alias of "Barbra Castle" to him and he told her to take off the Punisher Skull shirt and just now when he kissed her forehead, his eyes being able to catch the dark mark on her other wise perfect skin. With remorse he groaned and rolled over, almost laying on the small kitten who mewed and hissed in protest, yet didn't claw.

As Frank laid on his stomach the kitten slowly climbed onto his back, curling up on the nap of his neck and luckily for both the animal and Frank, it hadn't used its claws. The two animals, one human, one feline, fell asleep once more and didn't even stir as the young woman wearing only a towel walked out of the bathroom.

Vendetta felt relieved that Frank was asleep, it probably wouldn't do either of them any good for him to see her like this, not that it would do much harm. She had to admit, if only to herself and very grudgingly, she did find him attractive. Frank was the perfect example of tall and dark; maybe not the most handsome man she had ever seen, but most likely the one in the best physical condition.

The well toned form was very tempting, but even with her past and the pain, Vendetta was never one to give in, if even to herself. She watched as the kitten and the man slept with a small smile pulled across her soft, pink lips.

Her bare feet padded along the cement floors of the warehouse as she went to her bag, pulling out a clean pair of small, black panties, pulling the lycra undergarment over her finely toned legs, the pale skin hairless and smooth. She pulled the sides up and smoothed them over the soft curve of her hips, letting the towel drop in the process. She slipped into her sports bra, zipping up the front and adjusting herself as necessary. She pulled on a pair of army green cargos and slipped on a shirt, walking back into the room where the massive Frank Castle slept with a tiny black kitten on his neck.

She smiled to herself once more, sliding onto the bed and taking the kitten from its rest on Frank's neck, purring and mewing softly to the groggy pet. The kitten batted at Vendetta's forehead but without its claws and the young woman giggled.

The red head leaned against the head board, looking at the vigilante at her side. It wouldn't take much to turn him in, but why would she? Once he was on the inside, he'd be having more fun than she is; she couldn't do that. She could, however, smile at the sleeping face, finding the relaxed yet still hard features very pleasing, and so she did. The young woman put the kitten on the pillow between her and Frank and watched the sleeping man, his chest expanding at the sides, his body rising and falling with each deep breath.

She couldn't help herself as she reached out and brushed her fingers down his cheek, a smile forming on his lips as he murmured and moaned. She smiled back and sighed heavily, letting her head fall back against the head board, soft falls of red hair trailing over her slender and fine features. Her soft eyes closed softly and leaned over, kissing his cheek softly as the kitten mewed at its mistress in confusion. Vendetta laughed a little and then sighed.

Vendetta laid back down shortly, feeling the rhythmic movements of Frank's breathing in time with her lulling her to sleep. Her eyes closed softly and next to the man known as Castle she slept; both perfect, both innocent. Not hunter and huntress, the Punisher and Vendetta, just man and woman, laying together under the soiled sheets.

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