An Agent Scorned​​

Chapter 1

When Emma Met Cathy

Dr. Cathy Gale

Mrs. Emma Peel


We take you back to Swinging Sixties London and `The Avengers,'  with the first explosive meeting between John Steed's two famous partners 

Emma Peel clung to the shadows, herself a shadow in the night.

​She didn’t like the situation—there was too much she didn’t know—but she had no choice. Steed had been kidnapped and she had the only clue to his whereabouts.

The message came in a phone call: "Come, alone and unarmed, or Steed dies.”

She couldn't go to the Ministry with it. If they got to Steed, they could get to anyone. And surely she was being watched, her phone tapped. She had no choice. She had to go alone.

As for being unarmed, well, a girl has to take some precautions. The small pistol in her boot might come in handy.

So here she was, in this dodgy section of town, in the middle of the night, very likely walking into a trap. But she kept on. She only knew she had to save Steed, or risk death trying, as he had for her many times before. That was her only reality.

Following the directions, she passed along a dark industrial street, coming to an even darker alley where she was supposed to turn. She came to a T, as expected, and turned right into pitch black.

But she didn't need light. Ten steps in and on her left was a door that led into the back of a building that faced the next street over. The doorknob was unlocked, as expected.

With a deep breath, she opened the door and stepped in. It closed behind her and she was in darkness. Two wary steps forward, she came to the expected staircase. Up 14 steps, and there was a second door, also was unlocked.

Emma too another deep breath, opened the door, stepped in, and closed it behind her. She stopped, and listened. An engine hummed softly somewhere, and a lorrie passed on the street, but the pounding in her ears was the only sound she heard in the room. Still, she sensed she wasn't alone. 

The room was large; the sound of the closing door had echoed before dying, and she felt air move across her face.

Now for the last of the instructions. She stepped forward from the door: One, two, three, four, five…

"That," came a voice – a woman's voice -- from behind her, "is far enough, Mrs. Peel. Turn around."

Emma stopped and turned, as told, and tried to place the voice. It was vaguely familiar.

Then the lights came on, and Emma saw the source. ​​

Dr. Cathy Gale, left. was Steed's partner 1962-64. She was replaced, famously, by Mrs. Emma Peel.

"Cathy Gale!"

Emma had always prided herself on an ability to hide her emotions. It had helped numerous times in her business and spy careers, not to mention in poker. But here, self-control deserted her. She didn't know who she was expecting find here, but Steed's former partner never occurred to her. 

Yet there she was. Tall, blond and beautiful, and pointing a very serious-looking pistol at her. 

"I see I surprised you," said Cathy, smiling. With her gun on Emma, she put a key in the door and locked it. "Then my little plan worked. I had great fun putting it together."

"Dr. Gale, I –" Mrs. Peel took a step forward, only to freeze as the other woman leveled her gun at her. 

"I suggest you stand still with your hands at your sides," said Dr. Gale. "I am quite serious."

"What do you want with me?" Emma said, coldly.

"Oh, we'll have plenty of time for that," said Cathy. "I've always wanted to meet you. I had wanted to speak with you before you suceeded me with Steed, but … circumstances prevented that."

As she was speaking, Cathy slowly circled to Emma's right, just beyond the reach of a potential kick.

"I fully trust that you came alone and didn't tell anyone about your adventure," said Cathy, now behind Mrs. Peel. "I'm sure you wouldn't risk your dear Steed — or risk sharing his eternal gratitude if you do save him."

The second part was meant as a jab, and Emma — her façade blown once already — blushed.

"And we'll overlook this," said Cathy as she deftly reached in and removed the pistol from Emma's boot — as if she'd fully expected to find it there.

She then slid her hand up the inside of Emma's thigh — eliciting a surprised "Oh!" — and performed a quick, thorough frisk. 

She stepped back, toward the center of the room.

"Turn around, Mrs. Peel. Do you recognize where you are?"

Emma looked about. The room was large, as she had sensed in the dark, a rectangle perhaps 50 feet by 100 feet, with 30-foot-high walls topped by large windows. The floor was bamboo — she'd felt it give as she walked in — and the space was enclosed in shoji sliding doors.

High up on the white walls, Emma saw hangings of Japanese caligraphy (which, fluent in the language, she could see were bits of Eastern philosophy).

This was a martial-arts training room. ​​
"A dojo, obviously," replied Emma. 

"Excellent! You've spent a good deal of time in one of these, from what I understand," said Cathy. "Now let's walk to the other end. Slowly."
With her gun, she motioned Emma to lead, and Cathy followed.

"Stop," she said, and Emma halted some paces in front of the shoji screen.  
"By now you must be wondering what this little game is all about," said Cathy, her hand on the screen handle. "I've kept you in suspense long enough. You wanted John Steed, and here he is!"
With a flourish she slid the screen to the side, and there was Steed, all right. But it was Steed as Emma had never seen him before: He was dissheveled!

He was also strung up, spread eagle, with his hands and feet handcuffed to a metal apparatus attached to the wall. He was stripped down to just his gray pants, his eyes blindfolded, mouth taped shut, ears plugged.


Emma was speechless. What was happening? Cathy Gale was holding Steed captive? Why?

Mrs. Peel instinctively stepped toward him.

Why is Steed smiling? Only Cathy knows for sure.

"No farther." Emma stopped as Cathy pointed her gun at Steed's head, and smiled. "Don't worry, Mrs. Peel. He's fine. I've only … played with him so far."
With that, she removed the blindfold, earplugs and — with a rip — the duct tape. Steed looked up; he was all right.


"Why, Mrs. Peel!" he said with a smile that belied his current state. "I do hope you're here to rescue me."

"Well, that was the plan," said Emma, with a look over at their captor. "But there are a few details left to sort out."

"Indeed there are," said Cathy. "Let me start by explaining why I brought you both here."

                                                       * * *


What a surreal scene, Emma thought to herself. 

She stood along the center axis of the dojo, perhaps three-quarters of the way to the end, not 20 paces from Steed – who was trussed up for an S&M game, or some bizarre ritual. Cathy walked between two, her gun always on one of them, and recounted a quite unbelievable story.

"Mrs. Peel, you and the rest of the Ministry were led to believe that I gave up my life as a British spy and partner to John Steed due to a desire to return to my first love, anthropology," said Cathy, who'd made her name as a scientist before turned to spydom. "Thus, I tore myself away from England and civilization, and returned to the deepest, darkest Africa to continue my research. Steed was then forced to find a new partner—enter Emma Peel.

"That, however, was not how it actually happened. Is it, John?"

"Who can remember all those details?" he said, with a smile.

"Let me refresh your memory, then," said Cathy. "I was a young widow back from Africa, a museum curator, bored out of my mind, when I met Steed. Rather, I was to find out later, when Steed went out of his way to meet me. He'd heard about me, looked me up, and started wooing me. Though I didn’t respond to his sexual overtures – he seemed harmless, at the time -- he did entice me to enter the Ministry.
"The exitement! The adventure! And the chance to work with the great John Steed! I wasn't afraid of dying, My husband, the love of my life, was gone. And, in Africa, I'd taken up the Native way of thinking – we will go when it is our time. Embrace risk, don't fear it.

"Soon, I was an agent, and doing well. I had several successful cases, and worked with a number of partners. Then, then next thing I knew, I was told I was to be Steed's partner! It was a dream come true. He was as brave and daring, and charming, as they said he was. We had several notable triumphs, and he came to see how good I was, too.

"At first, I laughed off his advances — always delivered with that devilish smile. But soon they grew wearisome. Doesn't he give up, I thought? Then I started hearing things about him, from the other women in the Ministry. 

"From the talk of it, he'd had them all — or at least the good-looking ones," Cathy said, shooting a glance at Steed. He smiled. "They even had a term, 'Steed-worthy.' And they wanted it, these tarts, they'd do anything to be with the great John Steed. He could have anyone he wanted, and he took advantage, to the fullest.

"So when I refused him, he took it as a challenge. He just couldn't accept that the great Steed could be rejected. It was an impossibility to him. His come-ons grew more insistent, and more uncomfortable for me. Finally, he gave me an ultimatum: Put out or get out.

"I was devastated. I'd been faced with prejudice and roadblocks every step in my life — men are afraid of strong women. But I always worked harder than the next guy, and in the end was usually given a fair shake.

"But not this time. This man," she said, aiming the gun at Steed's face -- Emma for the first time was afraid she was going to shoot --  "this man took it upon himself to stand in my way. 

"I complained; I went all the way to Mother. But Steed had done a brilliant job, even creating a paper trail of problems in my personal file. He cited a few bent rules and some unorthodox techniques. He even accused me of making a pass at him! Isn't that true, Steed?"

"What woman wouldn't—" he said, before Cathy cut him off with a resounding slap to the cheek.

"Oh, Dr. Gale, you do care!"

She just frowned at him. 

"In the end," she went on, "I had no choice. Either I agreed to quit as Steed's partner, and continue to work in the Ministry, or I would be summarily reassigned to a desk job. Well, I'm not one to be told what to do, so I quit. I tossed my gun on the desk and walked out.

"He ruined my career just because I wouldn't have sex with him."

Mrs. Peel now looked at Steed. Could it be? Could he have orchestrated this whole thing? It seemed mad, a wild fantasy created by a rejected admirer.   

"I see you have your doubts, " said Cathy, "You probably think I'm crazy, a classic disgruntled ex-employee, inventing a whole rationale to cover my own mistakes. Then let me go on. 

"As it turned out, Steed already had his eye on my replacement. The belle of London high society, that powerful industrialist and champion sportswoman — that's right, Steed had you picked out long before you even knew him.

"Do you remember that late and unexpected invitation to the Prince's garden party? And that small mix-up over seating? 'Oh, is this your seat? Let me introduce myself, John Steed!' That was no mix-up. All planned."

Emma shot him a look.​
​​"And your holiday down at Cannes, when he suddenly showed up in your hotel lobby? Again, no coincidence. You were tyring out your new bikini" — Emma thought, how could she know that? — "and Steed was down checking you out.

"It doesn't end there. Remember your club tennis championship? I believe you won the match."

"He said he was there with his friend the duke," said Emma, the words sounded hollow now even to herself.

"Steed is nothing if not thorough, and he was making sure you were up to his high standards," said Cathy, now more confident that Emma was starting to believe. "Once you'd joined the Ministry and handled a few simple cases, he arranged to have you as his partner. Sound familiar?

"Didn't you wonder about being promoted over some many other more senior and experienced agents? And I'm just talking about the women."

Mrs. Peel knew she'd been selected over more qualified agents, and heard the talk that her looks played a part. But she couldn't help her looks; all she could do was work hard, and prove that she belonged.

And she had. In a matter of months they'd had several major successes. She'd proved she belonged, and even filled the huge footsteps of the universally admired, even idolized, Cathy Gale. 

The whole thing sounded preposterous.

"So you've told your story," said Mrs. Peel. "What do you want, your job back?"

"Ha! I'd never work with this pig again," Cathy sneered, leveling another slap at his smiling face. Then she stopped. "You enjoy it too much.

"No, Mrs. Peel, that's not what this is about. I brought you here to warn you. To warn you what happened to me will happen to you, too."

Emma raised a defiant eyebrow.

"You too will face the ultimatum – put out or get out. Or worse. You've heard of Venus Smith, his partner before me, the nightclub singer? Did you ever wonder what happened to her

Venus Smith, popular singer and "complete amateur," worked with Steed in 1962. She soon  lost both careers, disapearring from public view even as Cathy replaced her as Steed's partner.

"That one ended up badly. She got the abortion — he paid, of course — but now she's a broken woman. And there were more before her.
 
"Or he'll just tire of you, and find someone younger. But it won't end well."


"Thank you very much, Dr. Gale," said Emma, "but I'm not a little girl and I can handle myself. Now is there anything else?"

Cathy smiled widely.

"Indeed there is, Mrs. Peel. Indeed there is. 

"The second reason I staged this was because I'd been denied a chance at giving a fitting farewell to Steed here. I left rather quickly, you see. But over the past few hours, Steed and I have come to see things eye to eye," she said, standing inches from Steed's face, gun at his temple. "Haven't we, John?"

"Absolutely, my dear," said Steed. "You've made yourself perfectly clear."

"But now there's this, Mrs. Peel," walking toward, and with her gun aimed at, Emma. "I'm a proud woman. I didn't like being replaced, and I don't think I deserved to be. So now I'm going to prove to Steed that he made a mistake. I'm going to show him just who the better woman is. Right here, right now."
Cathy looked Emma square in the eyes as she said this. She smiled, confidently, like a little girl who just pulled off a great joke. 

"What are you talking about?" asked Emma.
"Oh, Mrs. Peel, don't you see?" Cathy smiled, mirthlessly.

"It's really quite simple. I'm going to kick your ass, and Steed is going to have to watch every painful second!"
Emma stared back. Steed was silent.

"Surely you can't be serious," said Emma. "We're reasonable people here. We can find some way to settle this, no matter," she shot a look at Steed, "how badly you may have been wronged."

As Emma spoke, Cathy unbuckled and took off the fashionable black raincoat she'd been wearing. Underneath was revealed a judogi, the white outfit of a judo student, or judoka. The belt was black.

Cathy walked to an overnight bag near Steed's feet. She tucked away her raincoat and pulled out another judogi. She tossed it to Emma.

"Put it on."

Emma stared back.

"Put it on!" said Cathy, now pointing the gun on Steed's head. 

Emma was dressed all in black, with a short leather jacket over a tight catsuit, and low-heeled boots. She continued to lock eyes with Cathy as she slipped off her jacket, tossing it to Cathy's feet. She kicked off her boots, and fingered the zipper at her neck.

She shot a look at Steed.

"Oh, my apologies, Mrs. Peel," said Steed, lowering his head and, reluctantly, closing his eyes.


Emma slid the zipper down her chest, peeling the outfit off her broad shoulders, down one supple arm at a time, one long leg after the other. She stood there clad only in underwear. 
"That's a lovely bra," said Cathy.

About to thank her for the compliment -- it WAS a nice bra – Emma ignored the remark and picked up the jodogi. She slipped it on. It, too, had a black belt. 

"You ARE black belt, aren't you?" teased Cathy.

"How is this supposed to be a fair fight," asked Emma, ignoring the question, "when you've got the guns?" 

"I have no need of these anymore," said Cathy, walking toward a garbage chute on the wall. She pulled it open and dropped in both guns.

"Now, it's just you and I."

Emma, seeing the weapons fall, ran toward Steed. Wanting to take his head in her hands, she remembered what Gale had said, and held back. He gave her his puppy eyes.

"Mrs. Peel, you can't do anything without this," said Cathy, holding up the key to the cuffs. She dropped it in her bra. "You'll find the key to the door in the same place, if you're as good as they say you are. Now let's go."

Cathy marched up to Emma, stopping inches away, a cocky smile on her face. 

"Dr. Gale, surely –"​​
Cathy cut Emma's sentence short with a quick, hard, slap. Emma's head snapped around, her long hair flying. 

She looked on, stunned, as Cathy turned, walked several paces away, and spun back toward Emma. She straightened and bowed – the rei, the ritual standing bow of judo. 

It had been a long day for Emma. To find Steed was missing, to get the call about him being held, to head off into the dark night -- she'd been through a wide range of emotions.
​​

But now she was just angry. Emma was used to being in control of situations, and she'd been toyed with long enough.

Her cheek stinging, Emma stood up to her full height, straight as an arrow, feet together, palms on the front of her thighs, and – eyes locked on Cathy's -- she bowed. 

The fight was on.

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 2

Yin and Yang

The women released their bows and circled one another, warily, with respect. All judoka know that underestimating an opponent is the surest way to defeat. Both women had competed at the highest levels; each knew the other was highly skilled and dangerous.​

They were sizing each other up, testing each other's reactions, looking for an opening.

Emma at 27 was the younger of the two, and the taller. Long and lithe, her movements were graceful and yet coiled with tension. Her glossy auburn hair fell over her shoulders in a loose flip. Eyes, large and brown, were focused only on her opponent.

​Cathy was six years older and slightly shorter, more muscular and more buxom. She radiated power as she circled. Her sleek blond hair, in a tight curl above the shoulder, glowed in the artificial light. Her blue eyes were like steel.

Emma had never seen Cathy in action, but knew of her through her exploits. After returning from Africa, Cathy had competed in and won several amateur championships in judo and taekwondo.

At the Ministry, her exploits were legend. In training, some said she tried too hard to win, occasionally hurting opponents through sheer determination. Or maybe because she enjoyed it. Even the men disliked sparring with her.

As for Cathy, she had done her homework before bringing Emma here. She knew Mrs, Peel was a great athlete, amateur tennis and golf champion, martial arts expert, deadly with sword or gun. She'd proven herself on the job. But that was the challenge, that was always the challenge for Cathy: to beat the best.
Moving in concert, the women engaged. Grabbing hold of each other's judogi, they now began the test of strength, leverage and balance that is judo. They struggled mightily, each trying to find some advantage, some way to throw her opponent to the ground.​

These were trained athletes, in peak condition. Each was able to absorb the other's move and react with one of her own. Each body in balance, and in balance with the other.

As another formidable woman once wrote, "In a fight the adversaries become one, and the two duellists make up a unity," and so it was with Cathy and Emma.

Karen Blixen, writing as Isak Dinesen in "Out of Africa," described adversaries in a fight becoming "a unity, much as ying and yang form a single being.

They grappled on, flying through the air and rolling on the floor, one on top and then the other, they were two women forming one whole, yin and yang, blond and brunette, entwined, always together yet constantly in struggle.​

Steed watched with fascination as the women threw and rolled each other across the mat, neither gaining more than a momentary advantage before her adversary countered. 

After many long minutes of this, the two women found themselves, exhausted, still locked together, standing in the middle of the floor where they'd started. They only result so far was mussed hair.


Cathy looked through blond strands with rage; she was obviously frustrated. This wasn't going as planned.

"What's the matter, Dr. Gale," said Emma, flicking auburn locks out of her face. "Not as easy as the British Amateurs?"

Now Cathy redoubled her effort, desperately trying to overcome Emma, when she found an opening. She was able to cross her right leg over Emma's and throw Emma onto her back with a hiza guruma, or knee wheel. 

Too late, she realized, it was a set-up. Emma went down, but at the same time she planted her right foot in Cathy's midsection and, keeping hold of her judogi, flipped Cathy over her head and to the floor with a thud. 

Emma jumped up quickly to exploit her advantage, but Cathy was ready. On her back, she launched her right foot over her head, catching Emma square in the face and sending her onto her backside.
Eying each other, the women arose. Now they assumed taekwondo stances; the way of the foot and the fist. ​​

Cathy came with fists flying, a combination right-left-right that Emma deflected. Emma shot up her left foot at Cathy's exposed stomach, only to be blocked by a knee. Cathy spun around to her right, 360 degrees, to deliver a roundhouse kick to Emma's head, hitting only air.

Emma had ducked and, doing her own 360-spin close to the ground, performed a sweep-kick that caught Cathy's planted leg and sent her crashing to the bamboo. With a leap Emma was upon her – only this time she'd been set up. 

Cathy caught Emma's lead arm and, pivoting, flung her over her back and to the floor. Emma hit hard, and then received another hard hit: Cathy's diving elbow to her chest.  

Now Cathy rolled her body on top of Emma's, pinning her to the ground, and loaded up for a right to the face. 

But Emma, lying flat under Cathy's weight, hit her with a short open-handed left. Not enough to do damage, still it knocked Cathy off balance, and Emma used an arm drag to fling her off. 

Cathy struggled to get up, and Emma slipped her legs around Cathy's midsection, catching her in a leg scissors. Crossing her feet together, she tightened her legs like a vice around Cathy's stomach.

A guttural "Ugh!" came from Cathy – anger as much as pain. First she'd been frustrated, now she'd been caught in a basic judo move. She was mad.


Cathy's back was to the floor. Emma was on her left side, her right leg over Cathy's stomach and left leg under her back. She squeezed with all her might. ​

Emma tried topin Cathy's arms, but Cathy – alert after the first shock – fought back. She was able to spin around inside Emma's scissors, maneuvering so she was face to face with Emma, and above her. Cathy struggled to her knees, all the time Emma applying the vice to her waist, draining her air. 


Cathy made it to her feet, grabbed Emma by the front of her judogi, and lifted. Emma, refusing to release the move, found herself hauled up into the air – and then slammed back to the ground, with Cathy atop her.

This produced such a thud, Steed gave out a "Oh!"

Cathy brought a knee down on Emma's chest – "Ooof!" -- and then swung her left leg under Emma in an attempt at a head scissors. Emma, though stunned, foresaw the move and ducked below Cathy's right leg. Coming up from behind she threw her right arm around Cathy's neck in headlock. 


"Grggh!" Cathy spat. "You're like a snake!"

Cathy worked her left arm around Emma's neck, and now the two women were head-locked together -- legs entwined, arms around each others necks, blond and auburn hair mingling, literally face to face. 

"I feel I'm getting to know you better now, Dr. Gale," said Emma, her lips nearly touching Cathy's.​

"The pleasure," hissed Cathy, "is yours entirely, I'm sure."

The women somehow rolled over, onto their knees, still clutched in mutual headlocks, their free hands linked together. 

Making it to their feet, they pulled their hands apart and started pummeling each other with fists into stomachs, chests and poor trapped heads. 

The two women held on to each other for dear life as the rain of blows came down. Finally, as if in a synchronized performance, each reared back scored with a shot to the other woman's the jaw. 

They flew apart as if an explosion had taken place between them, landing on their backs with a single thud. ​

"That's GOT to hurt," said Steed, wondering what could happen next.


Each woman rolled, pushed back her hair with a hand, and looked about to see what the hell had just happened. They sighted one another, senses cleared, and up they stood.

Fists clenched, they

charged together with
a fury. Rights
and lefts flew and kicks
came from impossible
angles.

Heads of red and gold
danced around the
room like two
flowers in
a violent storm.

​​But neither could score a knockout, and they found themselves faced off again in the middle of the floor, bruised and breathing hard. 

"Ladies, ladies," said Steed, "why don't we just call it a draw? We can talk it out over a spot of tea."

His attempt at mediation was ignored, if it was heard at all. To the two women, there was nothing outside of their own confrontation, their own Unity, and there wouldn't be until it finally was finished, one way or another.

They closed again, fists at the ready. Cathy, so far thwarted by Emma, unleashed a barrage of punches and kicks, heavy blows designed to bring a quick end to the fight.

Cathy was like a machine, arms and legs pumping like pistons, forcing Emma to back up under the onslaught. But Emma was deftly able to block or avoid the worst of the attack, and this only made Cathy madder, encouraging her to take more chances.

Seeing an opening, Cathy released a big right uppercut. But Emma felt it coming; she pulled her head back at the last moment. The punch whistled past her face. This left Cathy's midsection wide open, and Emma drilled it with a short left. 


"Ooof!"
The punch knocked the air out of Cathy, and Emma took advantage with a solid right to the jaw, knocking Cathy back and down to all fours. She was sucking hard, trying to get her breath back. 

As Cathy looked up there was rage in her eyes, and now she made a run at Emma, looking to take her down with brute force. But Emma sidestepped, like a matador, and threw her hip into Cathy's. The blonde crashed head over heels onto the bamboo.

Cathy turned, anger boiling over, but as she stood she was caught with a foot to the face and sent skidding back to the floor. Cathy rolled to her feet, seething, and squared off with Emma. But now her arms heavy and head was ringing. 

Emma sensed her advantage and took the fight to her opponent. She peppered Cathy's face with jabs, and buried brutal shots in the midsection.​

​Cathy was doing her best to defend herself while still trying to land a knockout blow.​

Emma ducked under a wild right and then, spinning to her own right, did a 360-degree pirouette, delivering a left-footed kick flush to the side of Cathy's head. It hit with a smack of flesh on bone, and now it was Cathy spinning, 180 degrees to her left, where she fell to her knees. 

"That's my girl," Steed said to himself. 

Cathy made it up to her feet, but Emma – from behind -- threw her right arm around Cathy's neck and squeezed tight with her left—a chokehold. Emma hung on and pushed down, using her height for leverage, trying to drive Cathy to the floor and add her body weight to the move.

Cathy, bucking, let out a howl. She pulled at Emma's arm but couldn't break the grip. Her head pounding and chest tightening, she tried to elbow Emma, then rap her in the face with the back of her hand. Emma expected the moves – all basic -- and avoided them. She continued to tighten the vice and drive Cathy downward.

Frantic, Cathy she reached back, to claw or scratch her opponent, and came away with two handfuls of long hair. She pulled. 
"Ay!"​

Cathy threw her backside up against Emma, and—digging her hands into those auburn locks—yanked Emma over her shoulder and down to the mat.

Emma landed hard but was able to roll to her feet and turn, quickly taking a defensive posture, before Cathy could pounce. Emma pushed the hair out of 
her face, running a hand over her painful scalp.

"So that's how we're going to play, are we?"

Cathy just sneered.

"I'm not playing at all, Mrs. Peel."

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 3

Reality Sets In

Emma and Cathy squared off again. Both were breathing hard, sending much-needed oxygen to their exhausted muscles. They were also collecting their thoughts.

For Emma, all doubt was gone that there was no way out of this except by defeating Dr. Gale. This was one crazy bitch. Brilliant, dangerous -- and bonkers.

Just being able to kidnap John Steed—Britain's top and agent and perhaps all-around most capable man—was hard to believe. But then to lure Emma here to with this elaborate plot, all for some twisted quest for revenge... 

The depths of this madness, Emma couldn't fathom. But she knew one thing: She had to win, or she—and Steed—would likely never leave this room.


Cathy, too, realized she was in a fight for her life. That chokehold had been too close; a few more seconds, and it would have been over. Had she lost, she would have been facing many, many years behind bars. 

Now it wasn't simply about revenge; now it was about survival. She HAD underestimated Emma, and it almost cost her. That would not happen again. 

Emma was good, even great, but Cathy was confident in her own skills. She knew she could win if she worked cautiously, stayed to her strengths, and waited to take advantage of her adversary's inevitable mistake.

The women advanced and engaged. Cathy again went on the offensive, but no longer in a head-long rush. There wasn't going to be any quick knockout, she realized. This was going to be a fight of attrition. 

So Cathy moved ahead, throwing rights and lefts, kicks and knees, a battering machine. Emma blocked and avoided most of them—Cathy would have admired her skills, had they not been used against her—but some blows were landing.

And they were big, heavy blows.

Cathy was going for damage, now. She wanted to inflict as much harm as possible with each blow, and she was concentrating on the midsection. It would take its toll.

Emma countered, matching Cathy blow for blow, but Cathy was content with that exchange. She was delivering the harder shots, and she shrugged off the pain. It inspired her.

Cathy let a left bounce off her head and used the opening to bury a left into Emma's stomach. "Ungh!" 


Emma backed up, still blocking and countering, but her shots weren't slowing Cathy at all. Emma tried a punch/snap kick combination, catching Cathy's forehead with the ball of her foot; blond hair flew as her head snapped back. But Cathy went right back into her crouch and, grim-eyed, continued her advance.

Moving, juking, Cathy came forward. She threw a right to the midsection; Emma blocked it with an elbow. As Cathy lined up her left, for another shot to the gut, she saw Emma's right arm come down for the block.

This was her opening.

She continued with her body shot, only re-angling at the last second for an uppercut. So frequent and painful had the gut-blows become, to block this one 
Emma had dropped her guard too low. Cathy's left caught her flush under her exposed chin, snapping her head back.

Cathy then buried a right into Emma's stomach, and another left uppercut sent her flying. 

Emma twirled away, staying on her feet, with fists up. But she was hurt. She bent over in pain from the body shots. Cathy rushed to take advantage. 

She threw a combination to the body, both blocked by Emma, who now saw an opening. She reared back for a hard right cross – she needed to change the odds, fast – but the swing came up empty.

She'd been set up. Cathy ducked the expected right and slammed her right knee up into Emma's exposed midsection, doubling her over. Then she spun in a tight 360, her left elbow landing flush on Emma's face, sending her sprawling to the bamboo.

Cathy leaped in the air and came down with feet aimed at Emma's chest and head – smashing down with a double thud on bamboo as Emma rolled at the last second. From the floor Emma tried another sweep-kick, but this one Cathy saw coming and jumped over.

Landing, she put a swift right kick into Emma's stomach, then sent her back to the bamboo with a left knee to the face.

This time, Cathy leaped and landed with her left foot across Emma's stomach, Cathy's full weight crushing down upon six-pack abs. 

Emma jerked up with a scream, and then – with an open-handed right to the forehead from Cathy – slammed back to the bamboo.

Cathy was quickly down to the mat. She grabbed Emma's left arm, then slide her own left leg beneath Emma's arm and head, finally bringing down her right leg to around complete the scissors. She painfully twisted Emma's arm as she squeezed her powerful thighs across Emma's chest and neck. It was a judo submission move.

"You can give up now, Mrs. Peel, and make it a lot easier for yourself," said Cathy. "Just say I'm the better woman."

Cathy arched for all the leverage she could produce, choking off Emma's air.

"Never," Emma hissed.

Cathy's answer was a right-hand punch to Emma's exposed midsection. Now she quickly changed her hold. Removing Emma's arm from inside the scissors, she used Emma's hair to reposition her head directly between her thighs. Then she squeezed. 

The women were lying on their left sides, facing the same direction. Cathy above and in front of Emma; Emma's head peeped out from between her thighs. Cathy's left hand was entwined in Emma's hair, keeping her from pulling away. Cathy's right hand held Emma's right arm by the wrist, preventing any offensive move. Emma's left arm was pinned to the ground.

"Who is the better woman, Mrs. Peel?" said Cathy, painfully twisting Emma's auburn locks.

Emma didn't answer. Now Cathy rolled onto her back, bringing Emma with her, and grabbed each of Emma's arms by the wrist. She arched her back, bringing as much pressure to bear on Emma's head as she could. 
The women were no more than 10 feet away, and Steed could see Emma's face, red and gasping for breath. "Poor girl," he thought.​​

"Say I'm the better woman, Mrs. Peel," Cathy repeated.

"Never," was still Emma's answer.

Cathy brought the heels of her entwined feet down into Emma's stomach, slamming her to the mat. Cathy rolled over until the two of them were facing the floor. She extended her arms in front of her on the bamboo, then somersaulted – with Emma, still trapped in her head-scissors, coming along for the ride. Emma fly through the air and landed hard, bounced and hit again.

Cathy was immediately upon her. With her right hand she grabbed Emma's right arm and twisted it behind her, then she sunk her left hand into Emma's hair and yanked.

"Get up," said Cathy, literally pulling Emma to her feet by her auburn locks.
Emma tried to pry Cathy's hand out of her hair, but then came the *THUD* as Cathy buried her other hand in the small of Emma's back.   

​​
"Oooof!"

Then came another, and then one in the stomach. Cathy released Emma's arm and now, still holding her up by the hair, was pummeling her with right fists to the body. Emma flailed, trying to stop the battering, but Cathy just hit her again and again.

Finally Emma fell to her knees, Cathy's grip on her hair the only thing keeping her from slipping all the way to the floor.

As Emma kneeled before her, Cathy gathered up Emma's mass of long shiny hair in her hands. She wrapped it tightly in her right hand and hauled Emma back to her feet. 

Cathy turned her back to Emma, her right arm bent behind her to keep the grip on Emma's hair, and then snapped her arm forward. Emma came flying over her shoulder, pulled by the hair, her body flipping high into the air.

A hair mare! A move more suited to the professional women's wrestling circuit, perhaps, but Cathy executed it perfectly. Emma could only watch helplessly, and pray for a soft landing, as she went heels over head toward an inevitable meeting with the ground.

She landed on her back with a crash, not soft at all.

Emma lay stretched out on the floor, legs and arms spread at odd angles. Her long hair was splayed around her face like a halo. Her head came up a few inches and then, with a roll of the eyes, fell back down again.

Cathy, sensing the kill, reared back on her right leg, bent forward two hands to the bamboo and kicked. For just a moment, Cathy was "standing" straight up in a handstand above Emma's prone body – they formed an "L." But just for a split second. 
Then gravity took hold, and Cathy's body – straight as an arrow, feet first, back to the ground -- gained speed and fell toward Emma, lying face-up, eyes closed, stretched out on the floor. ​

It was a reverse "big splash," designed to deliver maximum force, with the heaviest and hardest parts of Cathy's body – her hips and back – slamming down onto Emma's exposed underbelly. 

In fight circles, the move was known as a "finisher."

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 4

The Circle Turns

It's hard to say whether Cathy's howl was one of pain or surprise when she hit the solid floor, instead of Emma

Though hurt, Emma was far from finished. To say she had bluffed Cathy into the high reward/high risk move would have been an exaggeration. But Emma WASN'T totally out of it when she had picked up and dropped her head after the hair mare. Her first instinct was to get up and fight, but she knew she'd only be running into more damage. She'd never be able to do anything quick enough, from that position, to gain an advantage.

So she waited for Cathy's move. Seeing the big splash coming, she knew what to do.

As Cathy passed tipping point, Emma waited… waited… waited… and then rolled. Cathy's backside smacked against the bamboo.

"Ooow!"

After one roll, Emma stopped, gathered herself, and sprung into the air. She landed with her full weight – chest to chest – on Cathy. The air shot out of Cathy's lungs.
Emma sat up on Cathy's chest, pinning her to the floor, and grabbed a handful of blond hair with her left hand. She pulled back her right fist, aimed it at Cathy's face.

"Never, Dr. Gale," she said through clenched teeth, "do you hear me?"

And Emma hit her square across the jaw with a right cross. She reared back and hit her again.

Keeping her grip on Cathy's hair, Emma dragged her to her feet. Stunned, Cathy fought back, but was stopped by a quick knee to the stomach and a right foot to the face.

Cathy was now a step slow as Emma approached throwing a flurry of rights and lefts, scoring high and low, driving her back. There was a new energy in Emma, a new drive. If she was tentative before, now she was taking the fight to Cathy.

Basically, it came down to being mad. Cathy had beaten her like no one had in a long, long time. She didn't like that. And she especially didn't like having her hair pulled. Emma was no longer thinking about escape, or saving Steed. Now she just wanted to beat Cathy. She was going to pay for that hair-pulling.

Emma scored with a right to the midsection and a left under the ribs. Cathy, trying to defend the body blows, left her head open – and Emma landed a quick right-left combination. 

She wasn't thinking, just reacting. Emma sensed the opportunity for a high-impact move. She gathered herself for a jump, and leaped straight up, twisting to her left as she raised her legs high. When she neared the nadir, her legs coiled and feet aimed at Cathy, she shot out both pistons – a drop kick.

Her right foot caught Cathy horizontally across the face as her left slammed into her chest, sending Cathy flying in a tangle of blond hair. Both women hit the floor, but Emma in a controlled roll that put her right on her feet. 

Cathy landed on her back, her head bouncing off the bamboo. Before she could react, Emma was upon her, grabbing the two lapels of her judogi and dragging her up. Cathy tried unsuccessfully to break the hold, then sent a knee up to Emma's midsection – blocked.

A solid right to Cathy's side ended her offensive. Emma then took Cathy's right wrist in her own left hand, ducked beneath Cathy, and – sending her right arm between Cathy's legs -- scooped her up in a Fireman's Carry!
Cathy too late realized her predicament and was helplessly lifted in the air. She bucked and struggled, but knew there was no where to go but down. Hanging on to Emma was key, and she tried to grab arms, judogi, hair, anything.

But Emma knew this, too. And, as soon as she stabilized the load, she moved her shoulders in a sharp wave from right to left, thrusting Cathy's pelvis up with her right arm and snapping Cathy's right arm down with her own left.

Cathy came crashing down on her back, her right wrist still in Emma's grasp. Emma pivoted and brought her right knee down into Cathy's chest.

"Oooof!"

She hit Cathy with a right cross and yanked her up by the arm, twisting it painfully behind her back. Emma sunk her other hand into Cathy's hair and yanked.

"Up we go," she said.

She released Cathy's arm, landed a quick shot to the kidney, and entwined both hands into Cathy's hair. The blonde tried in vain to break Emma's grip. With a sharp twist, Emma spun Cathy like a top – her head whipped around, followed by the rest of her body, arms and legs windmilling, before slamming to the floor.

Cathy hit hard and kept rolling with the momentum, smacking the bamboo with bruised legs and shoulders and elbows. She rolled to her knees and held her poor battered head in both hands.

"This can't be happening," she thought, sensing impending doom, her plan – her life – completely unraveling. "I've got to get up. I've got to–"

Coming in from the side, Emma sent the top of her foot into Cathy's ribs with a thud, like a footballer going all out on a free kick. It lifted Cathy into the air and spun to the floor on her back. Cathy groaned as she wrapped her arms around her aching midsection, her knees raised with the pain.

Again Emma lifted Cathy to her feet by the hair. Cathy struggled as Emma reared back and sent a solid right across her jaw.
Cathy reeled, but didn't fall.

Emma darted forward and sent a right kick to Cathy's stomach, followed by a left uppercut to the jaw. 

Cathy's head snapped back and forth in a blaze of blond hair. She stayed on her feet, flailing from side to side. Precariously, she balanced on her two feet, threw her hair back and peered, glassy-eyed, in front of her.

She just caught the determined look on Emma's face before Emma's equally determined right foot hit her square in the forehead. Cathy flew back and hit the floor with a thud.

"Oooo!" said Steed, briefly looking away, as Cathy finally slide to a stop just a few yard from his feet. 

Cathy hit hard, landing with arms and legs spread at odd angles. She moaned, quietly, but didn't move.

Emma stood over her, in battle stance, ready to deal out more punishment. 

Cathy didn't move.

"Mrs. Peel!" said Steed. "You've done it."

She looked at him, smiled, and then – remembering Cathy's story – sneered. 

Emma didn't know what to believe. Gale was clearly unbalanced, but there was too much to her story to dismiss it outright. What if the rumors of Sneed's dalliances – she'd heard them, of course – were true? What if Gale had been harassed into quitting? What if Emma did get the job only because of her looks, and held it only if she put out?

Cathy stirred, and Emma thought no more. With a spring she was upon the her foe, a knee to the midsection and a right to the jaw, then a left and another right. 

Straddling the blonde, Emma in her fury brought her left fist up for another shot.

"Mrs. Peel!" She looked at Steed. "Perhaps you might get the key now."

Emma growled at Steed and sent one more fist flying. Cathy's head rocked back and forth, finally lolling to the side.

"The key to the door I can use," said Emma, to Steed. "The one for the handcuffs, we'll see."

                                                      * * *

Cathy had never been known as a "party girl" growing up. She was sociable, and enjoyed the company of boys, but always of foremost importance were her studies. 

Not that she didn't make mistakes. Once, as a young student, she fell for a college professor who, at the time, seemed sophisticated and worldly to her. Just being with his crowd at their Oxford pub, hearing them talk about politics and literature, was exciting to her. 

One night, she sneaked back to his rooms after an afternoon at the pub, and – having had one more pint than she should have – promptly passed out on his couch. 

Her head was pounding when she came to, but that's not what stirred her. She felt something, someone…

She awoke to find him sitting over her on the couch and trying to unbutton her bra!

Her first reaction was confusion. Then outrage. Then she hit him with a right cross, sending him flying to the floor. 

"Why, Cathy," he'd said. "I was just, er, getting you some air! You seemed—"

A black eye was the most public reminder of the beating that don took, but the knee to the family jewels was the one he'd remember longest. 

He was curled in a fetal position on the floor, whimpering, when Cathy took the liberty of redecorating his rooms—with his old school cricket bat. Lamps and clocks, glassware and china, diplomas on the wall, even the photo of his dear old mum, all were smashed to bits.

Cathy reared back for one last swing, at the pig himself, but she let the bat drop. "He's not worth it," she said, and collected her things.

He was retching on the floor as she left, smiling at curious neighbors. 

                                                          * * *

Perhaps that memory was replaying itself in Cathy's unconscious, 15 years later. For, when she came to this time, she fully expected to see the grinning face of that college professor sitting over her, his sweaty hands fiddling with her bra. 

Instead, it was Emma Peel. The years raced by in Cathy's mind until she'd reached the present. It all came back to her. 

Different person, same result. 

Cathy hit Emma with the same right that had knocked that dirty don off her those many years ago, and this time followed with a kick to the back of Emma's head.

Grabbing two hands of flying auburn hair, she threw Emma to the floor and off her. Cathy rolled to her feet, tightening the belt around her judogi, and faced her opponent.

Emma, too, rolled into defensive position. Damn! So close. Emma was used to unhooking her own bra but, put in this position, she could see how men have always had trouble.  

Steed cursed a silent "Damn!" along with her.

The women's eyes locked as they circled. They knew each other now, intimately, like only two combatants can. They were truly two halves of one Unity. 

There had been a feeling-out process. They had tested each other, using techniques learned and developed over many years of study. They had followed the ancient strategies of the Masters, been true in form and execution.

Each woman had put forth her greatest effort, displaying the fruits of years of training and practice. They would have made their Masters proud.

But now, locked in this seemingly endless life-and-death struggle, those years of training were forgotten. Replacing them was something more primitive, a much more primal urge to…

It seems almost clichéd, like a storybook turn from some overheated teenage boy. But it's true. These two highly skilled women, black belts, masters of the martial arts, now engaged each other as only two angry women can. They came together with a primal urge to…

…rip each other's hair out!
Four hands dug into soft, shiny tresses—pulling, yanking and twisting—while knees and feet shot up, aimed at exposed soft spots. Back and forth across the floor they staggerred, red and gold hair flying, squeals of pain and growls of anger coming from the combatants.

It was like some wild, drunken dance. 

"Oh, ladies, hair-pulling?" said Steed, with a smile. "So unladylike—"

He was stopped midsentence by a sickening "crack!" As he was watching, the two women had violently yanked forward at the same moment, sending their heads crashing together, forehead into forehead.  

The head butt stunned both women, their knees sagging underneath them. Still clutching hair, and leaning against each other for support, they crumpled to the floor together. 

They landed in an embrace, arms and legs draped over one another, faces pulled close by hands buried in sleek locks.

To Steed, they looked like two lovers, asleep in each other's arms. Peaceful, somehow.  

"They're adorable!" he thought, with a smile. "But a double knockout is no help at all."

After some seconds, Cathy's right arm -- caught at an odd angle -- jerked forward. Since the fingers of her right hand were still entangled in Emma's hair, this snapped Emma's head forward, rousing her with a cry.

This revived Cathy, and their eyes opened almost simultaneously. Acting on instinct, they closed their hands on other's hair and rolled to their knees. Slowly they stood, foreheads touching and eyes inches apart, as the clung to each other by the hair. 

Pulling and yanking, neither was able to gain the advantage. Then Cathy let go with her right hand and buried a punch into Emma's unprotected stomach. Emma did the same, and now – with left hands still entwined in the other's hair – they pounded away with rights, with shots to the stomach, chest and head,. 

Still, they held on for dear life, accepting the punishment for the ability to deal it out.

A hard punch staggered Cathy backwards, but as she fell she pulled Emma by the hair to the floor with her. And the battle moved to the bamboo, where the two women rolled like coiled snakes, one on top and then the other, spinning, manes flying.

As they yanked each other's hair, their legs waged their own battle for supremacy. Wrapping around each other like serpents, they sought to squeeze and strangle the life out of their opponent. The muscles of the legs and buttocks are the strongest in the human body, especially in the female of the species, and a crushing scissors often decides the fate of a contest.

Neither could gain the advantage – yin nor yang -- as they rolled and flopped at Steed's feet.

Finally, sitting facing each other, heads pulled together, Cathy worked her feet up to Emma's shoulders. With one heel buried under each side of Emma's collarbone, Cathy pushed with both legs. She still held fast to Emma's hair as she pushed the other woman away.


Cathy was taking a gamble. Though Emma had the reach advantage, her long hair might be more of a disadvantage, Cathy thought if she pushed her far enough away, Emma might lose hold of her hair, while she could still keep a grip on Emma's longer locks.
Emma's leg flailed for traction outside of Cathy's; she wasn't quite aware of Cathy's game at this point. Then Cathy's hair slipped put of her left-hand grasp, and she understood. She struggled to keep hold with her right and reached desperately with her left.

Cathy kept pushing, to finally break Emma's grip – when Cathy's own left hand slipped from Emma's hair.

Now they held frantically onto the few locks they still had, strands falling free with the seconds. It hurt dreadfully, but they could not let go. 

With a final thrust of her left leg, Cathy yanked her hair free of Emma's grasp. Emma's right hand flew into the air -- and she was caught.

Cathy yanked Emma forward with the last few hairs of her forelock, and grabbed hold with her other hand. Digging both hands into Emma's hair, she slammed her, face first, to the bamboo.

Pulling her up by the hair, she smacked Emma across the face with a right. Then another.  

Cathy was poised on her right knee and left foot, holding Emma up by the hair with her left hand; her right fist was pulled back for another face shot. Emma, in a sitting position, was stunned,  trying to defend herself.

Instead of throwing another punch, Cathy threw her right arm forward and around Emma's head, cradling it in the crook of her elbow, pulling it forward into her chest. Then she dove forward, throwing her weight onto Emma, who fell backward to the floor. 

Cathy kept a tight hold of Emma's head, her right arm pulling it into her chest, her left hand pulling it forward by the hair. As they hit, Cathy wrapped her legs around Emma's waist, her feet linking beneath her – and she squeezed. 

It was a Breast Smother!
Emma found her face buried in Cathy's chest, an ample breast on each side, smothering her. At the same time, Cathy's legs were crushing her midsection. Emma bucked and reared, yanked Cathy's hair and battered her with both hands. But she could not break the hold.

Air, precious air – she couldn't get enough.


Cathy endured Emma's blows, ever tightening her own hold. Emma's assault became frantic, and then died down. Her arms stopped flailing; legs fell to the bamboo. Cathy felt her breathing become less labored.


She waited a few moments, then sat up. 


Below her, Emma lay red-faced and sweating, furiously drawing in air. 


Cathy, still sitting on Emma's chest, left hand in her hair, looked up at Steed. 


"Jealous?" she asked him, holding her impressive breasts pridefully erect.


"Oh, Cathy," he said, "why won't you embrace me like that?"


She sneered at him.​

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 5

What Naughty Girls Get

Looking down at the semiconscious Emma beneath her, Cathy slapped her, hard, with an open right hand across the left cheek. Then she smacked her on the right cheek with a backhand. Emma's glassy eyes opened and Cathy pulled her to her feet.

Holding her up by the hair with her left hand, she sunk a right into Emma's stomach, connected with a right to the jaw and another one to the gut. Emma doubled over.

Entwining both hands into Emma's hair, Cathy pulled her up into a standing position, and then drove her down face first to the bamboo. Emma's heels flew up behind her as she hit. Crunch!

Emma lay motionless, face-first on the floor, legs and arms at odd angles, long hair splayed out around her head.

Cathy stood, poised, above her.
​​​​Like a cat, Cathy was on Emma's back, sitting astride her shoulders while trapping her arms in the folds of her legs. She sat her full weight on Emma's back, pinning her to the floor, and glanced at Emma's glossy mane between her legs.

A malicious smile crossed Cathy's face as she sunk two hands deep into Emma's hair, gathering together every loose strand, and feeling its cool, rich sleekness.

"This is great stuff, I've got to hand that to you, Steed," said Cathy, running her fingers through the luxurious tresses. Auburn was the dominant color but, up close, in the light, Cathy saw a rainbow of colors.

"He's got a thing for long, beautiful hair, don't you, Steed?" said Cathy, shaking her own gorgeous mane and glancing at Steed. "I'll wager, Mrs. Peel, he's already working on you to grow it out, isn't he?"

Indeed Steed had brought it up, a couple of times, Emma recalled. After complimenting her on its beauty, he'd inquired, so innocently, "Have you ever worn it very long, Mrs. Peel? How fetching it would look down your back."

Cathy took her silence for a yes.

"I thought so. He can't wait to get HIS hands into this," Cathy said with a yank, while shooting an accusing glance at Steed. "And the longer the better -- to pull you tight, Mrs. Peel."

Emma had at last been given a moment to recover, and she bucked up in an effort to throw Cathy off. Cathy was caught by surprise -- she castigated herself for being sloppy -- and held on as if to a bucking horse.

Keeping her left hand entwined in Emma's hair, she sent a hard right slap to the side of Emma's head. Then she raised up on her knees and brought her bottom down hard on Emma's back.

"Oooof!" The air shot out of Emma as she hit, chest first.

Again Cathy rose and sat, rose and sat. Emma grunted with each one, and that ended her brief offensive.

"Much better," said Cathy. Gathering Emma's hair with two hands, she bent and sniffed the shining masses. "Oh, what a lovely fragrance, Mrs. Peel. What conditioner do you use?"

Emma had been beaten and abused, was now pinned to the mat and at Cathy's mercy. Still, she had only one answer.

"Never, Dr. Gale."

With that, Cathy took two handfuls of auburn hair and tugged up with all her might.

"Aaaiiiieee!"

Emma continued screaming as Cathy yanked out handful after handful, left and right, left and right. Long strands of auburn hair now flew through the room as Emma howled in pain.


It was a Hair Storm!
Cathy finally slammed Emma face-first into to the floor.

Emma hit with an, "Unnngh," and clasped both hands to her head, as if to keep it together. Cathy shook her hands free of any stray brunette strands.

"How big a deal is conditioner?" Cathy asked as she rose, dragging Emma up behind her by that  fragrant hair.

Standing above and behind Emma, Cathy dug in with two hands and literally hauled her up off the floor, adding several knee-shots to her back for good measure.

Getting Emma to her feet, Cathy -- keeping hold of her hair, from behind -- yanked Emma's head violently to the left and right, back and forth, up and down. It hurt immensely. Emma could barely keep her feet as she desperately clawed at Cathy's hands to break the grip.

Cathy yanked down, hard, and sent Emma crashing to the floor on her back. Twisting her hands ever tighter in Emma's locks, Cathy took off running down the length of the room -- dragging Emma behind her by the hair!

Emma slid and bounced across the bamboo as Cathy galloped. Finally Cathy stopped short, releasing Emma's hair and letting her past, rolling and banging to a stop.

Emma got to her hands and knees, shook out the cobwebs, and looked up -- to see Cathy charging forward, claws outstretched!

Without breaking stride, Cathy grabbed two handfuls of hair and raced on with Emma in tow. Emma's head jerked back and she was pulled right off her feet. Cathy stopped and set her free.

Emma sailed backwards and landed hard, the momentum sending her somersaulting over and over. She clattered to a stop, flat on her back.

Cathy stepped close, a foot on each side of Emma's head, placing her weight down on the long hair radiating out from it. She reached down, grabbed each of Emma's arms by the wrist, and pulled.


Standing on Her Hair! A notorious ladies' wrestling move.

The result was severe pain for Emma's scalp, more with each tug of her arms.
"Ahhhh!" Emma was utterly shocked at the position she was in. This move could be found in no judo manual, is taught at no dojo.

                                                               * * *

Cathy's training, however, went well beyond the conventional martial arts. In Africa, for instance, she'd studied the fighting and hunting tactics of the local tribes. To develop her upper body, she'd worked out with a 500-year-old two-handed Claymore sword, with which she was now one of the world's foremost experts.

But this move she learned from her most unusual venture -- women's professional wrestling. Or, to be more exact, joshi puroresu, Japanese women's wrestling.

She discovered it one summer, studying in Tokyo. She was completely mesmerized at these women flying through the air and slamming each other to the mat. She went, again and again, overcome with an urge to leap into the ring herself.

Finally, she did, showing up at the doors of the All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling Association  and requesting a tryout. She was denied: "No gaijin wanted." But she persisted. She offered to wrestle their best woman, no rules.

They all laughed, except one man. Cathy later found out it was one of the powerful Matsunagas brothers. He agreed to the match, and offered his sister, the wrestling star Reiko Yoshiba, as Cathy's opponent. 

Cathy, being unused to the ring and ropes, got bounced around pretty good. Reiko was strong and skilled in the martial arts, and her flying technique was particularly effective.

But Cathy had held her own, and it gave the promoters a thought: What about using this strong and beautiful gaijin -- "round-eyed" -- woman as a heel, a target for audience abuse? Japan was still very much a closed, xenophobic nation; they could take advantage of it.

The plan worked beyond their hopes. Once trained in the rules and holds -- and gimmicks -- of  joshi puroresu, Cathy became a featured attraction. She was booed and cursed from the moment she entered in the ring.

The fans' fury only increased as Cathy punished her Japanese opponent, always a fan favorite, and often her friend Reiko.

Being the heel, thought Cathy, was the life. The booing didn't bother her; in fact, she liked to taunt the ignorant fools. And her opponent had to do all the hard work -- getting slammed to the mat, kicked in the back and thrown around by the hair.

Sure, they practiced. And, while they were supposed to pull back and not really hurt each other, the moves had to look convincing enough to sell. Sometimes mistakes happened.

Eventually some of the other girls did complain about Cathy's tactics. Some responded physically -- not a good idea, against a black belt.

Cathy left anyway at the end of summer, so management didn't have to make a tough decision. The White Witch, as Cathy was known on the circuit, retired of her own accord.


                                                            * * * 

Cathy did not pull back now. She was delivering the kind of beating she'd wanted to deliver in the ring, or in the dojo, or to her sisters.

Always then there was some rule against really hurting someone. And, while winning was good, beating someone soundly was even better.

Now there were no rules. Cathy could thrash Emma as badly as she wanted to.

She was even cast in the role of heel again, with the audience of one -- Steed -- rooting against her. She saw the worried look on his face. His precious Mrs. Peel was losing, was getting beaten before his very eyes.

As if she needed incentive!

Cathy picked up her right foot, planted it on Emma's raised chest. Lifting her left foot, her right came down with full weight bewteen Emma's breast, slamming her to the bamboo.

Emma thought she might crack under the blow. She rolled to her side, clutching her breast with both hands.

Cathy grabbed two handfuls of hair and started dragging Emma, kicking and screaming, across the floor. The women were now on the far end of the room from Steed, and Cathy was bringing the fight closer to his view.

Emma scrambled to her feet and tore at Cathy's hands. This brought well-placed kicks to her open sides and stomach. Emma fell to her knees under the blows.

Cathy spun on her left heel, around and again, swinging Emma helplessly behind by her hair. Then she let go -- a Hair Toss!


Emma sailed through the air and crashed to ground on her soft front-side.
Before Emma could react, Cathy was upon her, again and again. Always by the hair, always throwing and hauling her closer to Steed.

Cathy hurled Emma down in a heap, on her stomach, face forward, not 10 feet from Steed. He looked down, concerned.

"Mrs. Peel?"

Emma struggled to rise but, Steed saw, she was badly hurt. He didn't know what Cathy had in mind.

"Dr. Gale you've certainly proved your point," he said. "Very impressive indeed. Now perhaps..."

Cathy answered by stepping on Emma's back and driving her to the floor. Standing astride Emma, Cathy kneeled and sat down on the small of Emma back. At the same time, she grabbed Emma's arms and brought them up and across the top of her thighs.

She joined her hands under Emma's chin and pulled back -- a Camel Clutch! Another pro wrestling move.
C athy slid back onto Emma's buttocks and tugged down, bending her like a bow. She was compacting Emma's spine, causing great pain, and damage, to her back and neck. Emma gasped in pain.

"You may admit it at any time, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy, pulling harder. "Not the conditioner; I mean that I'm the better woman."

With no response from Emma, Cathy adjusted the hold. Keeping her hands cupped under Emma's chin, she slid backward, her butt to the floor. Emma, now on her knees, was bent back like a bow, her head bent back almost to her feet.

Emma's arms flailed helplessly; she couldn't reach Cathy to grab or strike her. Her back felt like it might snap.

First with her right hand and then her left, Cathy transferred her grip from Emma's chin to her hair. With two hands she yanked, leaning all the way back to the floor.

Emma couldn't believe the pain, all the pressure now bearing down on her spine, and now her scalp!

Cathy stretched the bow ever more taut. And when her strength could hold out no more -- she released it!

Emma shot face first to the floor, hitting with a "crunch" and bouncing twice.

Cathy stood, turned her back to Emma, reached down and grabbed her legs. She took Emma's right leg in her left hand and, bending it at the knee, tucked the foot under her armpit; she did the same on the other side.

Emma, face down on the floor, looked back in dread. What could this be?

With Emma's legs secure, Cathy sat down on Emma's rear, and pulled back with her upper body. It was a Boston Crab!


The victim's legs sticking up and out behind her tormentor are evocative of the crustacean's claws -- very popular in joshi puroresu. As a heel, Cathy got to apply it on Japanese heroines for agonizingly long  periods. The "faces" howled and the crowd jeered.

The result was the same as the camel clutch; a crushed spine. Cathy kept sliding back until her weight was on Emma's back, then her shoulders, and then her head, tightening the hold with each move.

Emma felt ready to snap. A gutteral cry came from deep in her chest.
Cathy stood, turned her back to Emma, reached down and grabbed her legs. She took Emma's right leg in her left hand and, bending it at the knee, tucked the foot

Cathy raised at the knees and stood. Keeping Emma's legs tucked under her arms, Cathy held Emma upside-down, her head and shoulders bouncing off the bamboo.

Emma was blessedly free of the back-breaking pain, but this if anything was worse. She tried to kick free, or grab Cathy's legs.

Before Emma's efforts could have an effect, Cathy flung her shoulders backward, bending at the knees, and tugging Emma along with her. Emma's body flew forward like a catapult. She watched the floor, the far wall and the ceiling go by with dizzying speed.

With Emma high over her head and flying forward ever faster, Cathy let go -- and away Emma flew!
Next, in succession, came a scream, a rip and a thud.

The scream was from Emma when she saw she was heading directly at the Shoji screen. The rip was the sound of Emma going through the rice paper; the thud was Emma hitting the floor.

Steed cringed, and then admired the perfect likeness of Emma that had been cut into the rice paper. Her head, outstrestched arms and slim body were oulined in sillouette. Her feet sticking back into the dojo were all he could see of her.

He watched Cathy walk over, grab Emma's feet, and drag her back inside.

Up till now, Cathy had been rushing upon Emma after each move, delivering more pain before she could react.

Now, sensing the inevitable, she sauntered over to her brunette adversary. She reach down with her left hand, grabbed a shock of hair, and pulled her up.

Emma hung with two hands onto Cathy's as she was dragged to her feet. Though conscious, she was barely able to keep her feet under her.

Cathy understood, and she went to work with surgical precision. She buried a right into Emma's gut, then a left to the same spot, other side. An uppercut to the chin, a knee to small of the back, a solid left cross.​
Though still on her feet, Emma was now essentially defenseless. Cathy was hitting her at will, with hard shots, delivered to produce pain.

Standing Emma up with a straight kick to the face, Cathy scooped her up, right hand between her legs and left on her shoulder.

Emma, balanced across Cathy's right shoulder, five feet in the air, looked down through bedraggled hair. She was helpless.

Cathy's turned and stepped toward Steed. Her weight was no burden at all to this super-woman, thought Emma.

Ten feet in front of Steed, Cathy stopped.

"Had enough?" she asked, not to Emma, but to Steed. "Must I do anything else to convince you?"

"Cathy, I never doubted you!"

Cathy glared at him. Then, pushing Emma's backside up with her right hand, she prepared her for a body slam!


"No!" yelled Steed.

Heedless, Cathy flipped her heels over head and slammed her to the floor. She hit with a thump and a scream, right in front of Steed. He looked down, concerned.

Cathy showed no such concern. Reaching down with her right hand, shed grabbed Emma by the hair and pulled her to her knees. Emma barely resisted now, conscious but thoroughly out of it.

"This is what you picked over me," Cathy screamed at him, holding Emma up for display. "This pathetic wretch. Is this what you want next time your life is in danger? Is this who you expect to save you?"

"No, I, of course..." Steed stumbled on his words.

"Oh, shut up," Cathy hissed. "We all know what you wanted. This!"

With that she shoved Emma's face forward into Steed's crotch, rubbing it in. The next groan was from him.

Steed would be the first to admit that this exercise between these two beautiful women had been, er, stimulating. In fact, he'd sat in rapture since it started. Never had he witnessed anything sexier, or brutal, for that matter.

Now, he had what he'd been wishing for, dreaming of, for so long. Emma's face in his crotch! Oh, lord. The circumstances weren't what he'd call perfect, but still.

"You're enjoying this, aren't you?" Cathy screamed as she jammed Emma's face in, harder.

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 6

Emma's Motivation

Emma was stirred by something ... a painful scratching against her face. Her arms, weak, tried to push it away.

Slowly, she came to. She heard voices.

It all came back. She knew where she was, she recognized the voices. And the scratching against her face -- no! Anything but that!

When Emma had listened to the silly women at the Ministry talk of Steed, they'd hinted at his enormous, er, device. So big, some said, that not all women were equipped to handle it.

Now she felt for herself this giant appendage, swelled to its maximum, as her face was pressed agaisnt it. With disgust, she thought, he's enjoying this.

"You're a foul pig!" she heard Cathy scream, and Emma acted.

She threw her right elbow back, under Cathy's right arm, nailing her in the ribs. Cathy had been unsuspecting, totally focused on Steed, and was hit hard.

Emma, still on her knees and held by the hair, pivoted and threw a left uppercut that caught Cathy square under the chin. Emma stood and, with her left hand, tried to disentangle Cathy's right hand from her hair.

Cathy held on dearly with her right hand as she hit Emma on the side of the head with a hard left.

But Emma was driven -- she'd been down so long, and now she saw an opening. She absorbed the blow and then sent out a solid right kick to Cathy's midsection, and a knee to her face.

Cathy's head snapped back and she almost fell. Still, her right hand would not let go of Emma's hair, and Emma was pulled stumbling along.

Emma hit her with another right and a left. Then she sent a straight right kick to Cathy's right shoulder.
The blow forced Cathy's right hand open -- and Emma pulled her hair free!


She threw back her head, her great auburn mane flying, and grabbed Cathy's arm by the wrist. She twisted it, and shot a kick up into Cathy's exposed ribcage.

Still holding her by the wrist, Emma hit Cathy with a straight right to the face, and then a right to the gut. Twirling Cathy by her right arm, Emma launched her into Steed.

Cathy hit him flush with her backside. Emma had aimed it for maximum impact to Steed's family jewels -- and with excellent effect.

"Ooooooo!" Steed bellowed in pain.

Enjoying the sound, Emma rushed forward and grabbed Cathy by two handfuls of blond hair. She snapped Cathy's head forward and then threw it back, slamming her again into Steed.

Cathy hit Steed hard, bounced off, and fell back against him for support.

Steed, though smarting, didn't mind this, Cathy leaning back against him, her head inches from his face. He buried his face in her hair -- heavenly! -- and touched his lips to her bare neck, he tasted her salty skin...

"Ooof!"   

Emma stepped up, landing rights and lefts into Cathy as if she were a heavy bag. The shocks were going right through Cathy and pounding Steed, too.

A solid right stood Cathy up. Emma spun around and, reaching back with her right arm, hooked Cathy's neck in her elbow. She snapped her arm forward and flipped Cathy over her shoulder -- a snap mare! Cathy went crashing to the floor on her back.

Before Cathy's second bounce, Emma was on her. One hand in Cathy's hair and the other twisting her arm painfully behind her, Emma yanked her up, drawing a squeal from Cathy.

"Come on," growled Emma, tightening her hold and using all her leverage to pull Cathy up off the floor. Cathy's feet kicked out for traction and her squeal became a scream.

"Painful, isn't it, Dr. Gale?" asked Emma, with relish.

Hurt and angry, Emma was now out for vengeance. She was beyond all plans and tactics now. She was reacting purely from instinct. She had suffered at Cathy's hands, and she wanted Cathy to suffer right back. She wanted not just to defeat her, but to beat her.

With a final great effort, she lifted high, hoisting Cathy right off her feet.

"Aaaaaiiiiee!"

Cathy thudded down on wobbly legs, and Emma gave her no chance to set them. Digging her hands deeper in Cathy's hair, she snapped that blond head hard to the right, then to the left, up and down, back and forth.

Cathy arms flailed as she tried to stay on her feet. The pain was awful; the helplessness was worse.

Her head was snapped violently backward as Emma spun in a tight circle, keeping hold of Cathy's hair, letting centrifugal force do its work. Emma released and sent Cathy flying, back into the middle of the room.
Spinning and crashing went Cathy to the floor, landing in a clatter of legs and arms.

Her head bounced hard off the floor. She felt pain, pain everywhere; that's how she knew she was conscious. She also knew she must get up, but her arms weren't reacting.

Her vision was fuzzy, but she thought she saw movement. Blinking, she squinted. Two ... feet?

Cathy screamed again as her head was yanked skyward and she found herself on her knees being pulled up by her hair.

Those had, of course, been Emma's beautiful feet she'd spotted, and now Emma lifted them, right and left, burying knees into Cathy's midsection as she held the woman up by her hair.


Emma let go with her right hand and sent a solid fist across Cathy's jaw. She let go with her left and pummeled the blonde from both sides -- left to the chin, right to the stomach, knee to the chest, snap kick to the face.

Cathy's head flew to and fro, and she stumbled backwards, this way and that, as Emma rained down blows.
Cathy wasn't out of it, she could still think, but she couldn't react quick enough before -- "Ooof!" -- the next blow hit.

For her part, Emma couldn't see how Cathy was still standing. Another shot sent her stumbling around, but still not to the ground.

Spinning Cathy around with a solid left, Emma gathered herself, and took off at a sprint toward her opponent. A yard or so in front of Cathy she jumped, as high as she could, with her legs up and outstretched.

Emma's feet flew past Cathy's head -- and she landed on Cathy's shoulders! The blonde staggered under the weight, as Emma locked her thighs around Cathy's head and grabbed a handful of hair for balance. Emma was riding upon Cathy's shoulders, the blonde's head securely between her legs.

A standing Head Scissors!

Cathy stumbled, but stayed up, knees bending below her. Emma's thighs were locked tightly around her head; she had to pull them apart to get a good breath. Her eyes were just above Emma's legs, but were half-covered by her own hair.

Emma figured if Cathy wasn't going to go down on her own, she was going to lend her own weight to the project. Reaching
high with both hands and, stopping for a moment like a high-diver over a pool, Emma dove forward.

Down she went, pulled forward by undeniable gravity, and so too behind her came Cathy, her head caught like a vice between Emma's legs.

Cathy slammed down hard, backside first. Even Steed was amazed at the force with which she hit.

Cathy's heard jerked up, spasmodically, and her eyes opened, only to roll back and close. Her head fell to the floor.

Steed, across the room, saw this as Emma's chance.

"The key! The key!"

If she heard, she didn't react.

Quickly closing, Emma pulled Cathy up the hair and an arm. Almost dead weight, Cathy give little resistance as Emma picked her up for a body slam.

Now it was Emma carrying her rival, effortlessly, across the floor.

"Let me put the question to you, Dr. Gale," said Emma. "Who is the better woman?"

Cathy's head was spinning. She looked out through the haze and, sliding in and out of focus, she could see Steed against the wall, and the floor down below her. She struggled, weakly.

"Bitch," was the only thing to come from Cathy's lips, until she landed with thud on her backside. Then she gave forth with a guttural wail.

Cathy slammed both arms to the floor and writhed in pain. Emma looked down with rage and went back to the attack.

"Mrs. Peel!" Steed now screamed. "The key! The key!"

Emma looked up, as if from a dream, and saw Steed across the floor. He beamed his best smile at her.

"Steed," she said, walking over toward him. "Are you still hanging around?"

He lost his smile.

"I'll be with you shortly - maybe," she said, non-chalantly.

Emma had made that mistake once - going for the key too soon - and she wouldn't make it again. She sneered at Sneed and turned to Cathy, groaning lightly on the floor.

Now she turned toward Cathy. Time to end this.

                                                              * * *

Cathy had rarely lost, throughout her life. She hated losing, and she was a very bad loser.

Childhood friends learned early that beating her at checkers could mean a physical beating for themselves. Her golf clubs still lie at the bottom of the lake at her family club's 18th hole, victims of an untimely duck-hook during the junior championship.

This need to win drove Cathy to work harder than her peers, to out-study them and out-train them. This ethic, almost a fear of defeat, served Cathy well through school and academics, Africa and the world the cloak and dagger.

Now, it was all going for naught. Her great scheme for revenge, her whole life's work, were going to be shattered here, by this woman, this Peel.

The thought stirred something inside of Cathy. No, she said to herself, she isn't going to beat me. This brunette, this usurper, this bitch. No.
From somewhere inside, from some deep well of strength, fed by hatred, Cathy pulled herself back into the world.

She heard voices. Emma had moved around, toward Steed, in front of her.

"I'll be with you shortly -- maybe" -- it was Peel's voice. Anger swept over Cathy.

                                                      * * *

Turning from Steed, Emma looked down on Cathy, stretched out on her back, feet spread toward her. Cathy moaned and struggled to move.

That was enough for Emma, who clenched her fists and went for her opponent with a growl.

The right foot that Cathy shot up and caught Emma with under the chin was but a glancing blow. It snapped Emma's head back in a blaze of auburn, but otherwise only slowed Emma down a moment.

Emma shook it off and dove back down -- right into Cathy's trap.

For that moment's hesitation had given Cathy the opportunity to bring her left foot up as well, and she positioned a leg on each side of Emma's head.
 As Emma surged forward, her arms reaching madly for Cathy, she realized it was a trap -- too late! 
Cathy brought her thighs together around Emma's head, locked her ankles, and squeezed.

She caught Emma's hair flying through her legs, entwined her left hand in it, and pulled.

Now it was Cathy applying the Head Scissors! She had Emma's head in a vice, face forward, between her powerful thighs. The grip on her hair prevented
Emma from pulling out; she could do little damage reaching around Cathy's hips.

Emma swore at herself as she felt the scissors applied. Why had she bothered to even acknowledge Steed? That hesitation cost her.

She knew, beyond all things, she couldn't go to the floor. She had to stay on her feet. Then she could throw this bitch off and finish the beating.

Emma struggled to get to her feet, with Cathy firmly clamped around her head. Cathy tightened her legs and pulled Emma down by the hair, thrashing her body left and right, trying to throw Emma to the ground.

Cathy, too, knew it was over of she could just get Emma to the floor.

With a final push Emma stood, precariously, with Cathy hanging down in front of her, refusing to release her hold.

Emma swayed back and forth under Cathy's weight, stumbling. Cathy's legs were locked painfully around her head. She couldn't see through her own hair, entwined in Cathy's grasp. And she could barely breath.

Cathy pounded on Emma's head, throwing her weight back and forth to get her off her feet. Finally, with a mighty yank, the whole structure came tumbling down with a crash!
Cathy landed on her left side, her legs still tight around Emma's head. Emma landed on her right side, the fall produced a crushing blow to her skull. She tried to get up, but Cathy had the leverage. With a shrug of her hips she brought Emma crashing back to the floor -- another crushing blow to her head.

Tightly she clung to Emma's auburn locks, squeezing with all her might. Emma flailed away with her left hand, hitting and scratching, until Cathy grabbed it by the wrist, twisting it painfully. Emma's right arm was trapped underneath her.

Cathy bridged, raising her hips up off the floor, as high as she could, then slammed back down to floor. Again she raised up and slammed down. And again. And again.

Each blow delivered savage force to Emma's head, like a nut in a nut-cracker. By the third or fourth time she was seeing stars. Desperate, Emma summoned all her strength, tried to roll over, yank her hand free, anything. But it was wasted movement.

Again Cathy threw her hips to the ground, and down went Emma. More stars.

Cathy felt the life draining out of the woman. Her own muscles were fatigued with the effort. How much longer could she hold this scissors? ​

As long as needed, Cathy thought to herself. As long as needed. And she squeezed harder. Emma's desperate struggles were getting weaker and weaker.

Cathy rolled onto her back, rolling Emma at the same time onto her stomach. Emma had stopped fighting, though Cathy could feel her labored breathing. Cathy smiled. 


She pulled Emma up by the hair, and there was that beautiful face, now almost purple, sweat-covered and gasping for breath, rising up from between Cathy's legs.

"I guess, Steed," said Cathy, looking over at her captive, "this would be your dream come true, wouldn't it?"

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 7

Oxygen

"There's that unique style of yours again, Cathy," said Steed, recalling some of their cases together, the ones metioned in her personal file.

Cathy smiled and rolled to a sitting position, flipping Emma onto her back. Emma's head remained trapped between Cathy's legs, which were locked at the ankles beneath her. Emma tried to bridge up, but a right to the stomach sent her back the the bamboo.

Cathy sat up, and then sat down, hard, landing her full weight on Emma's chest.

"Ohhhh!"

Cathy reached down with her left hand, grabbing Emma's forelock, and reared back with her right fist.

Emma looked up in terror, kicked and bucked beneath her.

Steed, looking on with pity, yelled, "Cathy, no!"

Nothing stopped Cathy now. Her fist crashed down into Emma's face again and again and again. Finally, she paused, fist cocked.
Emma's head lolled to the side. Cathy pulled it up by the hair. Not out yet, she thought. Good. All the better.

Cathy untangled her legs and stood up, pulling the brunnete up after her.

Before Emma could steady herself on wobbly legs, Cathy buried a right fist into her stomach, then a left, then a big right to the jaw. The blow sent Emma spinning. Cathy greeted her on the other side with a left foot to the gut, doubling her over, and then sent her to the floor with a double forearm to the back.

Taking Emma's left arm in two hands, Cathy spun around on her left heel -- a full pirouette. As she spun, Emma's arm twisted around, in turn sending Emma's body flying feet first over her head and back down to the mat.

Keeping hold of Emma's left wrist with her own left hand, Cathy dug her hands into Emma's hair and pulled her up. She let go the hair and sent a right into Emma's gut.

Cathy ducked down under Emma, sent her right arm between Emma's legs and scooped her up in a Fireman's Carry. Emma struggled atop Cathy's shoulders, but she was at Cathy's mercy. Cathy held Emma tight by the right wrist and right leg. She lightly turned and walked a few steps toward Steed, as if she bore no burden at all.

Emma was carried helplessly along. Cathy smiled at Steed, and -- in one quick motion -- shrugged her shoulders to the left, pushed up Emma's hips up and yanked Emma's arm down.

Emma was slung down to the floor, hitting with a thud and bouncing high.
Cathy twisted Emma's left arm behind her and rolled her onto her stomach. She sunk her right hand into Emma's hair and pulled her head back, until she could look into her face.

"Say it Mrs. Peel," said Cathy, twisting Emma's arm and tugged on her hair. "Say it!"

"Never."

Cathy stood and, keeping the hold, dragged Emma up with her.

"You're making this difficult, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy.

She sank a left and right into Emma's gut -- eliciting two cries -- then pivoted and landed a straight right kick to her midsection, sending her backpeddaling.

Emma recovered her balance and looked up -- only to see Cathy's two outstretched hands closing in on her throat. Eight fingers dug into the back of Emma's neck and two thumbs pressed down on her windpipe.

Emma's mouth opened wide but only a dry "Gack!" came out. Cathy tightened the vice, tossing Emma's head to and fro as she pressed her thumbs in deeper, choking off all air.

Emma clawed at Cathy's hands but couldn't loosen the iron grip. When she thought she could take no more, Emma found herself --  horribly -- hoisted up off her feet by the throat.

Cathy held Emma high above her head, arms raised high, hands cinched around Emma's throat. Emma's legs kicked wildly, some two feet off the ground, and her hands held tight to Cathy's wrists in an effort to lessen the pressure.

Cathy stood there like Atlas, the world on her shoulders. Legs spread, back arched, she held Emma high, her thumbs digging into Emma's throat -- the brunette's full weight was bearing down on her own windpipe.

Steed, with horror, saw Emma's arms go limp and eyes roll to the back of her head. Cathy shook her, truly like a ragdoll, arms and legs and swinging lifeless, then with a thrust hurled Emma to the floor. Emma, landing with a crash on her back, gasped for breath with hands at her throat.
She was alive, at least, thought Steed.

"Don't worry, Steed," said Cathy. "I'm not done with her yet."

Like a cat playing with her prey, Cathy watched Emma struggle to her knees. Moving behind Emma, Cathy wrapped her right arm around her throat and left hand behind her head.

A chokehold! Cathy pulled Emma up off the ground by the neck and stepped back, dragging her across the floor so Emma's weight came down on her windpipe. Emma gasped, ripping at Cathy's right arm around her throat and kicking as she struggled desperately tried to stay on her feet.

"Say it, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy as Emma thrashed wildly in her grip. "Admit I'm the better woman!"

No response. Cathy yanked Emma left and right, keeping her off balance and painfully tightening the pressure. Emma resisted but was borne down under Cathy's weight. As Emma sunk to her knees, Cathy wrapped her legs around Emma's midsection, hooked them at the ankles and squeezed.

Emma fell the the floor with Cathy coiled around her like a snake wrapped around her prey, suffocating it before devouring it. Cathy's arm was like a vice around Emma's neck as powerful leg scissors crushed her waist.


Emma frantically pulled at Cathy's hair -- even yanking some strands free. But she couldn't free herself. She couldn't get air! Emma felt the strength draining from her.

Steed watched in dismay as Emma went down under Cathy's weight. He couldn't see Emma's face, hidden behind her own hair, and only knew she was breathing when he saw strands fly as she gasped for air.

Emma's struggles grew weaker and then stopped. Cathy felt Emma's muscles slacken and let her own fatigued body relax. Finally, she released her hold on Emma's neck, and Emma greedily sucked oxygen into her depleted lungs.

Cathy lay on her right side, almost lounging, with her head propped up by her left arm. Emma lay on her back next to her, Cathy's legs still cinched around her midesction. With her right hand, Cathy brushed the hair out of Emma's face, which Steed could now see was almost purple. She was breathing but her eyes remained closed.
"I'll hand her one thing," said Cathy, stroking Emma's hair as she looked down on her tortured face. "She's tough. And damn stubborn."   
   

                                                        * * * 

Emma became a school football star when she was still the youngest player on the team. Though skinny as rail, she'd almost reached her full height of 5-foot-9, and with her speed and agility was almost impossible to cover. She became a goal-scoring machine and led her side into the playoff tournament. 

Out of ideas, an opposing coach came up with a new strategy to stop Emma: physical intimidation. He picked a big brusing blonde to mark Emma, and instructed his players to hit her whenever they could.

It started from the opening kickoff and didn't stop till the final whistle. Emma was tripped, kicked and knocked to the pitch at every opportunity. And her personal escort, an American import named SueAnn, was an expert in cheap shots behind the referee's back. Punches in the back, yanks of the shorts, headbutts on head balls.

Emma's teammates and coaches complained right off, but the referee let them play on. The hostile crowd even cheered when their girls took Emma down.

The worst incident happened in the second half, after Emma had scored to tie the game at 1. Emma's team lost the ball at midfield and she was trailing the play, with SueAnn shadowing her. Once referee turned upfield, SueAnn reached out with both hands, grabbed Emma's long braid -- Emma wore her hair down to her waist in those days -- and yanked.
Emma's head snapped back and she was whipped to the turf. It was only when play turned around that anyone saw her writhing on the ground and stopped the clock. Her coach wanted to take her out, but Emma insisted on staying in, and later scored the winning goal.

Losing on the field apparently didn't sit well SueAnn. She and a handful of teammates arranged a private meeting with Emma, behind the stands. Whatever frustrations SueAnn couldn't take out on Emma on the field, she took out now.

SueAnn didn't have any kind of training, but she was big, strong and had been a bully for a long time. She had experience hurting the young, the weak and the frightened. Emma was all of these. The other girls just made sure Emma didn't escape her beating.

She got it pretty good, too. Emma had never been in a fight before in her life, and she hadn't yet developed her interest in martial arts (this, in fact, would be the spark for that). She was at SueAnn's mercy.

After five minutes of hard fists and twisted arms and pulled hair, Emma found herself pinned to the ground with SueAnn sitting on her chest.

"Say uncle," the big girl said, with a smile.

Emma just looked at her -- she had no idea what she was talking about.

"Say uncle!" the girl cried. "Say it!"

When Emma still didn't say anything, SueAnn reached down and placed her right hand over Emma mouth, closed her nose between her thumb and forefinger. Emma couldn't breathe! She panicked as the girl held tight, smiling down as Emma's eyes popped out in fear.

Finally, when Emma though she could take no more, SueAnn let go.

"Uncle! Uncle!" Emma sputtered as she sucked in the fresh, cool air. "Uncle!"

SueAnn and the other girls laughed.

But it wasn't over just yet. As Emma lays curled up, crying, wishing they'd just go away, she felt a yank on her braid. The next thing she knew, SueAnn was dragging her by the hair across dirt and grass and a gravel path as the other two ran along.

SueAnn finally threw her down in a heap, not 20 feet from the lockerroom entrance for Emma's team. And then, the whole team converged on Emma, punching, slapping and kicking her brutally, just because they could.  
At the sound of their coach yelling for them, they all ran off giggling. They left Emma groaning in the mud 

A teammate spotted Emma a few minutes later, and soon the whole team and coaching staff were out there. She was carried in to the trainer's office, where she treated.

Emma said she must've passed out from the exertion of the game. Everyone knew what a beating she'd taken during the game, but she was a wreck! The trainer was skeptical, though, and wanted her to go to the hospital. She refused.

That night, Emma made two vows to herself. One, she'd learn how to defend herself. Two, she'd never cry uncle again.

A week later, as soon as she was able, she showed up at Master Toyota's dojo. He was the only one she ever told about the fight -- she was embarassed, she thought he'd laugh. But he didn't. He listened in silence, with gravity.

When she was done, telling the story, and crying, he finally spoke.

"If you will attend me well, daughter," he said. "This will never happen to you again."
Thus Emma was started on the long road to keeping her first vow.

As for her second vow, up till now, it hadn't come up.

                                                        * * *

"I can attest to both," said Steed, "the toughness and the stubborness."

"I'll bet you can," said Cathy, untangling herself from Emma and standing up. "And because she's been such a good sport, I'm going to give her one last chance."

"One last chance?"

"To admit I'm the better woman."

"Oh, Cathy, really. Isn't this enough?"

She glared at him. "I'll decide when it's enough."

Emma lay curled on her side, finally breathing normally again. Her head swam somewhere between reality and dreamland; she felt pain all over.

Cathy reached down and grabbed her shock of aubrun hair.

"Let's go, Mrs. Peel," she said, giving it a yank, and another, harder. Emma rolled slowly to her knees, unsteadily. Cathy tugged and she fell flat again, only to be pulled up once more. "Come on!"

Emma half-crawled and was half-dragged across the room, where she was thrown to the floor in front of Steed.


"I hope you've enjoyed this, Steed," said Cathy, patting Steed on the cheek. "You're a very lucky boy."
She then turned back to Emma, who'd managed to get to her hands and knees. Once more Cathy reached for Emma's hair, entwining her left hand in it and pulling her head up. Emma moaned and clung to Cathy's left arm with her right hand, but it was all she could do to stay conscious.

Cathy stood facing Emma, legs spread, right hand on her hip as she held Emma's hair with her left. 

"You've been very tenacious, Mrs Peel. Very impressive indeed," said Cathy. "But now is the time to end it. I can't beat you up all day. I've got places to be. Now say it – say I am the better woman. Say it!"

Emma heard the words, but as sort of an echo. Her eyes were unfocused. She swayed under Cathy's grip.

Her lips moved, but nothing came out.
It was a pitiful sight. Say it, begged Steed, say it, just to end this torture.

Emma's lips came together, painfully, and her eyes welled with tears…

"You… you…" she could hardly get it out. "You… bitch! Never!"

Cathy didn't expect that response, nor did she expect the right-hand punch to the stomach that followed. The left to the chin and the two-hands-to-the-judogi flip – those were more predictable.

Still, finding herself slamming to the floor on her back at this point was NOT what she expected.

Damn this Peel! Just when she appeared finished --

Cathy's thoughts were interrupted when Emma, with two handfuls of hair, slammed the back of her head to the floor. Cathy, laying flat on her back, saw stars. Her head was ringing and she reached both hands for it.

Emma, on her knees behind Cathy, yanked her up by the hair and slammed her head down again, and again, and again. Crack! Crack! Crack!
Cathy's eyes were rolling as Emma pulled her to her feet. Holding Cathy up by the hair with her left hand, Emma fired right after right into Cathy's midsection.

Emma was a woman possessed, her teeth clenched and eyes raging. She hit Cathy until her arm ached. Spinning, both hands entwined in Cathy's hair, Emma snapped her over her shoulder. A Hair Mare!
A taste of her own medicine, thought Steed, amazed at the turn of events. "I should never underestimate you, Mrs. Peel," he thought.

Emma reached down and hauled Cathy up by the front of her judogi.

"Get up, Dr. Gale," she said, with a growl.

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 8

Worth the Wait

A right under the ribs, a left to the jaw, a knee to the gut. Emma banged away, knocking Cathy around the room.

Cathy backed away in a defensive posture. She couldn't fight back; she could hardly focus. She was trying to buy time to get her head straight, as the blows rained down.
Don't panic, she told herself, remember the keys to winning: Work cautiously, stay to your strengths, and wait for the inevitable mistake.

Wait for her mistake.

Emma landed a solid left to Cathy's jaw, then dipped down and scooped her up onto her shoulders. Using Cathy's left arm and leg as leverage, she snapped the blonde over her head and down to the bamboo.

Cathy crashed to the floor, her head bouncing once more off the bamboo. Her head rang as Emma pulled her up by the judogi, hauling her right off  her feet.

Cathy's head swung wildly; she tried to concentrate, she tried to fight back. Instinctively she grabbed at Emma's hands on her outfit. Emma brought her right arm back, cocked her fist and -- her face etched with rage -- aimed at Cathy's face.

Even as the room seemed to spin, words rolled around Cathy's head, familiar words, important words: Work cautiously, stay to your strengths and wait for her mistake. Wait for her mistake.

Emma brought her right fist forward, putting her full weight into it, trying make this the blow that knocked Cathy senseless and finish this fight.

Cathy was seriously hurt, and on the defensive, but a part of her brain was still active, still looking for an opening. It was almost a second sense, developed over decades of training and thousands of matches.

She had been pounded with everything Emma had; any other woman would have been finished long ago. But not Cathy. She took it all and was still standing, still expecting to win, She was waiting for Emma's inevitable mistake.

Emma drove forward, shifting her weight from her right hip to her left, planting her left foot as her right fist came forward, aimed at Cathy's face.

It never connected. 


Before it could, Cathy had sensed an opening -- a crucial mistake by Emma -- and sent her left knee shooting up.

Emma, too, realized her mistake at that point. But too late.

Cathy's knee went driving hard and deep into Emma's exposed crotch.
"Ohhh!" Emma's cry filled the room. She fell to her knees, and the cry continued.

"Ohhh!"

Cathy reached down and, grabbing hold of Emma's head like a football, she reared back with her right leg and sent her knee flush into Emma's face.

Emma flew backward, slamming to the ground as her feet shot upward. Before they fell, Cathy grabbed both legs by the ankle and held them high. Standing above Emma, she raised her left foot and positioned it directly above Emma's crotch. She smiled.

Emma looked up, helplessly. She tried but couldn't reach Cathy. She couldn't shake her legs free. She saw Cathy's vicious smile.

Her loud "Nooooooo!" ended in a high-pitched wail as Cathy's right heel came down with all her weight on Emma's crotch.
Steed winced at Emma's horrible, pitiable scream filled the room.

Cathy leg go her legs and they flopped to the floor. Emma curled into the fetal position, her hands on her poor, pummeled crotch. She lay moaning.

"Cathy, please, you must stop!" Steed saw that Cathy was paying no attention. She could see and hear only Emma; her whole being was focused on her hatred for Emma, her need to destroy her.

Gathering Emma's hair in her left hand, Cathy pulled her up. Emma moaned as she struggled to her feet; horrible pain still radiated from between her legs while her head pounded.

"Get up," screamed Cathy, digging both hands into Emma's locks. "You will get up!"

Hauling Emma to her feet, from behind, Cathy placed a hand beneath each of Emma's thighs and lifted. The small of Emma's back was balanced on Cathy's shoulder, her head and shoulders arched  back as Cathy held her rump high, ass up.

Cathy moved her hands to the top of Emma's legs and shoved down. At the same time, she dropped to one knee.


It was an Atomic Drop!

Emma slammed, legs spread, onto Cathy's extended right knee. Her howl of pain reached a higher pitch. 
Cathy held Emma's wrists to keep her balanced, painfully, on her knee. Emma looked a little like a child getting a horsie ride. Until, with a shove, Cathy sent her pitching forward onto her face. 

But Cathy wasn't finished. Again she pulled Emma to her feet and, this time facing her, she picked her up with an arm under each leg.

Emma's wailed "Nooo!" as she found herself slung across Cathy's shoulder again. But her scream was cut short as Cathy sent her down once more onto her outstretched knee.


A Reverse Atomic Drop!

Cathy saw Emma's face turn into a mask of pain as her crotch hit square on her knee. Emma's eyes shut tight, her eyebrows shot high and her mouthed opened wide in a howl.
Again Cathy compounded the pain by keeping Emma poised on Cathy's right knee. Her hair hung over her face as her head lolled, a low moan continuing from her mouth.

"You should've done it the easy way, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy.

The only response from Emma was a moan.

"Enough, Cathy, enough," came from Steed.

Cathy dropped Emma arms and pulled her face close.

"Say it, Mrs. Peel," she said, her nose touching Emma's. "Tell me I am the better woman!"

"Never!"

A straight, open-fisted right sent Emma to the floor on her back.

"She doesn't know what's good for her, Steed," said Cathy, standing up and walking toward Emma. "How many chances must I give her?'

Emma lay on her back moaning, her hands protectively between her legs. Cathy stepped over Emma's prone body, bent down, grabbed two handfuls of breast, and yanked.

Yet a new shriek escaped Emma's mouth as she found herself hauled to her feet, excruciatingly, by her breasts.


"My, what tiny little boobs you have, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy, maliciously, as she pulled, squeezed and twisted Emma's poor mammary glands. Lovely things to behold, and perfectly fitted to her lithe frame, they were. But, at 33Bs, they were almost girlish compared to Cathy's 37DDs. Emma knew that, having spent some quality face-time between those melons earlier.

Pulling Emma to her feet, Cathy began punching away at her poor breasts. Then she sent a powerful undercut directly into Emma's crotch.
With a howl, Emma doubled over.

Cathy quickly bent forward over her, wrapping her arms around Emma's waist and clasping her hands across her stomach.

She reared back and lifted -- and a wordless "Ungh!" came out of Emma as her legs flew up to the sky and her head dropped to the floor. She found herself hanging upside down, suspended in Cathy's arms.

With a grunt, Cathy threw her shoulders back and, keeping tight hold around Emma's waist, jerked Emma forward.
Emma's upper body was dragged forward in a wide arc, rising until her torso was just past perpendicular. There she hung for a moment, for a split-second of weightlessness, as Cathy reached full extension.

For that moment, Cathy stood poised, back arched, right leg planted, left leg out for balance and arms clasped around Emma's waist. Emma was essentially sitting on Cathy's chest, with her legs extended on each side of Cathy's head. Her upper body had jack-knifed up till she faced Cathy.

Their eyes locked, and Cathy's grimace turned into a wicked grin.

It was a Power Bomb! Among the most devastating moves of all!

Emma's hair, which had trailed behind her like an auburn wave, snapped forward and crashed softly across her face, obscuring her view -- but just for a moment.


​A split-second later, up Emma's hair flew up as she began her awful, inevitable downward plunge.
She felt weightlessness give way to the sickening feeling of falling, helplessly. Her head had been eight feet off the ground; now it sped to the bamboo, with all of Cathy's strength adding to the force of gravity.

For that split second, Emma had a chance to think over the day -- hearing Steed was missing, the note about the rendezvous, the London night, stepping into the building, the dojo, Cathy Gale, her claims about Steed, the fight -- then her body slammed to the floor.
Emma landed back first, her legs bent forward at the hips as Cathy's full weight bore down upon her. Emma's head hit, bounced and hit again before coming to rest. Her arms were outstretched behind her, and hair spread wide around her head like a halo, as eyes rolled to back and, finally, shut.

Cathy watched them close as she knelt over Emma, holding her two legs -- sticking up like celery sticks -- in her right arm.

She smiled at Steed.

"It had to end at some point," she said, looking down at Emma. "I just hope I haven't been too rough."

"Cathy, please, end this now, and I'll give you anything you want," said Steed, pleadingly.

"I like to hear you beg, Steed," said Cathy, letting Emma's legs drop and standing up. "Although, of course, there's nothing you can give me."

Cathy reached down, grabbed the scruff of Emma's judogi, and dragged the barely consciouss woman across the floor --- a good 20 feet -- dropping her in front of Steed. Emma, flat on her back with her head toward Steed, didn't move.

Cathy still above Emma and, looking Steed in the eye, slowly lowered herself down until she was sitting on Emma's chest. She tucked Emma's arms under her legs, and slide her knees up on either side of Emma's head until the hem of her judogi touched Emma's chin. 

Cathy stared down at Emma, whose eyes were still closed, a pained expression marring her lovely features.


"Wake up, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy, lightly slapping Emma's cheeks.

Steed looked on as Emma's eyes blinked and opened. He could only see her face, upside down, peeking out from between Cathy's legs. Her arms and legs flapped harmlessly. Her eyes blinked and then opened.


Emma looked up to see, horribly, Cathy smiling down at her. It was a classic Schoolgirl Pin! Emma was trapped under her opponent.

"Welcome back, Mrs. Peel. Steed was worried for you," Cathy said, grinning over at Steed, who did not smile back. "Now I'm going to give you one last chance. End this ordeal for yourself and simply admit what's plain to us all: I am the better woman.

"Just say it: I am the better woman. Say it!"

The old school fight now flashed through Emma's mind -- the beating, the big American fullback sitting on her chest, her humiliating cry of uncle. She tried to bridge up, but she had no strength. Cathy put an hand to her stomach and shoved her back to the floor.

"Do yourself a favor, Mrs Peel!" said Cathy, bending down toward Emma's face. "Say it!"

Emma's body ached and her head spun. She had been beaten, choked and humiliated, and was totally at Cathy's mercy. Her stubborn refusal could only bring more pain. 

"Say it!" screamed Cathy, her face enraged.

Emma looked up, her lips quivered, and finally she spoke:

"Never!"

"Damn you!" Cathy shouted down at her. "You stubborn bitch!"

Cathy's clenched her fists and looked up to the ceiling. Steed was worried about what she might do next.

Mastering her emotions, Cathy looked down at Emma. 

"If that's your final answer, Mrs. Peel," said Cathy, "then I think you know what happens next."

What happens next? thought Emma. Dear lord, no, she didn't know what was going to happen next. Even though she was resigned to the worst, she still feared what this crazy woman could come up with.

Cathy smiled down at Emma and slide her butt forward on Emma's chest, until the inseam of her pants covered Emma's chin. At the same time she brought her legs together around Emma's face.

"Time for you to take a nap, Mrs. Peel!" said Cathy with a wave of her right hand.

Then Emma knew what was about to happen. She looked up with horror at Cathy, who just smiled.

Emma looked back at Steed, and their eyes met. Even upside-down, Steed could see the dread in those brown eyes. They looked at him pleadingly, seeming to say words Emma never would -- "Help me, Steed!"

He shook his long-numb arms, rattling the cuffs, but there was no escape. He was helpless. He could only stand and watch whatever fate Emma was to suffer.

Emma looked back up. Cathy's eyes were cold as steel. A malicious grin spread as she slid further down and brought her legs together.

"No, please, no," begged Emma, softly.

"Sorry, my dear, but you had your chance," said Cathy. "Now, sweet dreams!"

Cathy slid forward, slowly, hiding ever more of Emma's face between her legs. 

"Dr. Gale, no, please," said Emma as the door slowly closed over her face. "You --you are ... the --"

Cathy slid her heart-shaped tush all the way down over Emma's face, shut her legs -- and Emma was gone!
Whatever else she said was lost in silence of her new tomb.

Emma briefly struggled underneath her, but Cathy easily grabbed her two hands, painfully bending back her fingers. Emma ceased to fight, and Cathy sensed that was her last gasp. She let go of Emma's hands, which dropped to the bamboo, palms out.

Having gathered Emma's hair with her left hand before closing her in, Cathy now used it to pull Emma tighter, to position her just so.

"Ah, that's better," she said with a smile.

Steed looked on in amazement. Emma was stretched out on the floor in front of him, lying flat on her back, legs spread. But, where her head should be, sat Cathy.
She collected Emma's hair in one hand and, holding it up like a trophy, smiled over at Steed like a swan proudly sitting on her egg.
The last thing Emma saw was Cathy's grinning face as the doors shut and she was enclosed in darkness.

Cathy's full weight was pressing down on Emma's face, her legs forming walls on the sides of Emma's head. Emma was entombed in a prison of flesh.

A wave of panic swept over her and Emma tried one last time to free herself, but her strength was gone. She felt Cathy grab her hands. Emma gave a silent cry and all resistence ended. Her arms fell; she couldn't left them again.

Emma fought for air. She could draw it through the folds of Cathy's judogi, but it was hard work. And there wasn't enough. She felt her strength ebbing.

And it was hot, so very hot. The engine of Cathy's great heart sent blood through pumping through her powerful body; like a furnace it burned on Emma's face. The sweat poured out.

She felt Cathy tug on her hair, pulling her head up and rubbing her face into her bottom. Emma's nose and lips were crushed against the folds of Cathy's judogi; Cathy's legs on the sides prevented her from turning away.

Emma, finally, gave way to despair. And this is how it ends? This final humilation on a day of humiliations, she thought. But it would soon be over. Emma did not expect to leave this room alive. She had failed, and both she and Steed would die.

Tears mingled with sweat, until sweet darkness came and took Emma away.

                                                         * * *

"So what do you think, Steed?" said Cathy, with a mischievous grin.


"Cathy, you never cease to amaze!" said Steed. "Where did you learn that one?"

"This one," she said, with a laugh. "A little project I did some years ago. We filmed some, shall we say, erotica. Perhaps I'll let you take a look some day."

"Er, eh, yes, I would love to" said Steed, amazed once more. Cathy Gale in fetish films? He truly would love to see these. But then he thought of Emma.

"Cathy -- what about Mrs. Peel? You'll kill her. Can she even breathe in there?"

"Oh, she can breathe, all right," said Cathy as a wave of -- exstacy? -- swept over her face. Cathy stroked Emma's hair. "Oh, yes. She can breath."

Cathy felt Emma's breath like fire. At first coming in gasps, it had become regular. Cathy spread her legs slightly to let in a little more air.

Closing her eyes in concentration, Cathy began rocking her hips back and forth, rhythmically. With two hands she tugged on Emma's hair, pulling her face closer, rubbing it against her bottom.

"Cathy," Steed said, watching this incredible scene, "what are you doing?"

"Shut-up a moment, please, Steed," said Cathy, eyes closed, as she rocked. A low moan now came from her.

"Ohhhhhhhhhh, ohhhhhhhhh, ohhhhhhhhhh!"
My lord, thought Steed, is she doing what I think she's doing?

Cathy rocked harder, now like a cowgirl on a bucking bronco. She held tight to Emma's hair, as if it was the reins, as her pelvis rose and fell. Cathy's hair flew as she rode Emma across the floor, actually bouncing several feet closer to Steed, and turning at an angle.

Emma's body was dragged along behind Cathy, dead weight, legs and arms flapping. Emma was out of it, but alive. Now and then a hand would close or a foot kick, Steed saw, as a sleeper's body will react during a nightmare.

Cathy's cries rose several octaves, became more urgent.

"Ahhhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Steed was amazed as Cathy rocked faster, up and down, pulling Emma's head in ever tighter. Emma's body rose and fell in waves, traveling from her shoulders to her back, legs and feet, which bounced up and down on the bamboo,

"Oh, my! Oh, my!" Cathy's body rocked back and forth as she rubbed harder. "Oh my, oh my, oh -- MYYYYIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
Her high-pitched wail reverberated across the room.

Steed couldn't believe he was witnessing -- Cathy had just had an orgasm on Emma's face! In his wildest dreams he hadn't thought of anything this deviant and marvelous.

But Cathy wasn't done. She rolled onto her back, keeping Emma's head locked in place between her legs, and yanked down on Emma's ponytail with her left hand. With her right she rubbed Emma's face in tight circles around her crotch.

She lay back, moaning.

"Oh lord, oh mercy..."
Multiple orgasms, Steed corrected himself.

Cathy's rocking slowed. Her wail became a low moan, and finally she fell back with a swoon.

"Oh, my!" said Cathy, with a hand to her forehead. "Wow."

She rolled back up into a sitting position, with Emma's head still trapped under her. Cathy threw her blond hair back and smoothed it down.

She looked, almost with surprise, as if she'd just noticed Steed hanging in front of her. She smiled at him.

"Got a cigarette, John?"

An Agent Scorned
Chapter 9

To Revenge

"I can't reach one at the moment," Steed replied, shaking his cuffed arms.

"Oh, of course. I forgot," said Cathy. "How I've teased you, my dear boy!"

Teasing is one way to put it, Steed thought.

"Well, I think she's about done, anyway" said Cathy, opening her legs and sitting back on Emma's chest.

Below her, Emma's face was red and covered with sweat. She breathed in, eagerly, but her eyes remained shut, her faced pained.
"She could have taken the easy way out," said Cathy. "But I think we all enjoyed it more this way."

Cathy stood and walked to her overnight bag. Emma moaned softly but remained stretched out on the floor.

Cathy came back with two cigarettes. She lit them both, placing one in Steed's mouth.

She drew in deeply, and blew a cloud of blue smoke into the air. Steed managed as well as he could, without the use of his hands.

​"Well, Steed, I'm afraid our fun is just about over," said Cathy.
"I've accomplished everything I set out to. She refused to admit I was the best woman, but I think I made that plain to us all. Don't you agree, Steed?"

"I never doubted you, Cathy," Steed replied, out of the side of his mouth.

After a last puff of hers, Cathy took Steed's cigarette and snuffed them both out.
"It's time I finished up," she told Steed.

Cathy went back to her bag and pulled out what looked to Steed like a handful of cords. She took them over to the unconscious Emma.

"Oh, no, Cathy, you're not," said Steed.

Cathy  roughly turned turned Emma over onto her front-side, and proceeded to truss her up. In a final indignity, she left Emma hog-tied, right in front of the spread-eagle Steed.
"I should take a picture of this," said Cathy. "What they would think down at the ministry!"

Steed did not share Cathy's glee at that thought.

"But now I must go," said Cathy, walking over to her bag.

"You're leaving us like this?" he said.

"I have a flight to catch. But don't worry, help is on the way," said Cathy, pulling
a watch from her bag. "My! This took much longer than I anticipated. Still, in just over three hours, you will be rescued."
"Three hours!"

"That's when the Sensei comes in to open the dojo for business," said Cathy as she slipped off her judogi. "He won't be surprised to see you."


Steed looked on, incredulously, as Cathy fished into her bra and pulled out the silver key. She set it at Steed's feet.

"I'll leave this here," said Cathy, as she slipped on one of her typical tight, black-leather outfits.

"The Sensei will release you, and you will be free to go." she said. "Which, I am sure, is what you will choose to do."

"What do you mean?" said Steed.
"Well, I suppose you COULD call in the ministry," she said, with a glance at Steed. She set down the bag and stepped closer to him. "Yes, you could call them in. But what would you tell them?

"That your former partner, whom you had run out of the ministry, kidnapped and held you hostage? Then she beat up your hand-picked replacement, humiliated and hog-tied her?

"Oh, yes, they'd love that. Would do wonders for your careers, too. Mrs. Peel could always go back to the family business," she said, looking over at the former head of Knight Industries, now laying limp and beaten.

"And I'm sure they'd find a nice desk job for you, John," she said, with a playful pat on his cheek. "You'd love it -- 9 to 5, a spot at the rail of the pub until you're pickled, then home with an equally drunk barfly. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?"

"I see what you mean," said Steed, fully understanding the implications. This woman was a genius, he thought. What an utterly devious plan!

"Besides," said Cathy, "I'll be far from these shores by the time you're able to dial a phone. And, before you can get word there, I'll be back in deepest, darkest Africa, doing my important work. It will be as if I never left."

Cathy moved to pick up her bag.

"But, Cathy, wait a moment," said Steed, pleading. "You're not going to leave me like this, are you?"

She looked back at him, quizzically.
"Leave you like what, Steed?"

"Well, you know." He looked down, leading her eyes with his.

"Oh, I see what you mean," said Cathy, a big smile flashing across her face. "You mean THIS!"

With her right hand Cathy grabbed Steed's swollen member, and squeezed.

"Ohhhh!" This moan came from Steed.
"How's that, John, better?"

Cathy slapped her left hand behind Steed's neck and pulled him close. She landed a big kiss on his open mouth as she worked him with her right hand.

Rapture!

The hours on end Steed had been teased, first as pawn to Cathy the dominatrix, then as witness to this monumental catfight, had been too much!

Now, finally, he could release all
the --
​​Cathy pulled away, quickly, leaving Steed open-mouthed, wide-eyed and painfully unsatisfied. 

"Oh, Cathy, don't stop!"

"Sorry, Steed," said Cathy, slinging her bag over a shoulder and walking over to Emma. "Perhaps Mrs. Peel will finish the job!"
Cathy walked over to Emma.

"She put up a good fight, I must say," she said, pulling Emma's head up by the hair and turning her face toward Steed.

"I didn't expect this to be such a close thing," Cathy said, recalling how Emma nearly choked her out.

"I look forward to meeting you again," she said, this time addressing her defeated foe.

That sounded ominous to Steed.
​​"Now Cathy, please..."

"No time, Steed," she said. "I really must go."


She stepped over to him and gave him a peck on the cheek.

Tucking a gun descretely in her garter, Cathy turned back once more to Steed. 

"Till we meet again!"


Then she walked out out, turning off the lights and closing the door behind her.

The room was plunged into darkness.
Steed heard Cathy's footsteps, the closing of another heavy door, and the room was silent.

He listened carefully, and was sure he could hear Emma's soft breathing. That was reassuring.

Slowly, Steed's head fell to his chest, and he drifted into slumber. He slipped in and out of sleep, in and out of dreams. Time passed by.

Steed lifted his head. Had he heard something? Or was it part of a dream? The night was overcast, and very little light came through the windows, high above. Steed could just make out Emma's outline, to his right. Did her head move?


Steed thought back on the remarkable sight he'd just witnessed. Perhaps the two women in the world he most desired, fighting over him! It was a dream come true.

But he was sorry Mrs. Peel had been dragged into it. Somehow, he felt, he himself might be partly to blame.

Oh, the poor girl! Such a beating, and treated so badly. Of course, it wasn't the first time Steed had seen Mrs. Peel tied up...
​​...but this time he thought he was somehow responsible. Steed was lost in happy thoughts of Mrs. Peel in bondage when he thought he heard something.

"Steed..."

It was soft, but he definitely heard it. Emma spoke, and she called out his name!

"Mrs. Peel! Thank goodness. Are you all right?" he asked, gently.

"Couldn't be better," she answered.

She still has her sense of humor, thought Steed, with delight. That meant she wasn't in too bad a shape.

"Where ... is she?" Emma could hardly get the words out.

"Dr. Gale? She's long gone," said Steed. "But there is help on the way."

He told her about the Sensei.

"Won't be long now."

Emma was silent for some moments. Steed wondered if she'd slipped back into sleep.

"Steed!"

"Yes, Mrs. Peel?"

"Did ... did you -- enjoy it"

Steed was now the silent one. Finally, he answered, as truthfully as possible.

"Immensely!"

"Bastard!" Emma whispered, before fading off again into unconsciousness.

                                                          * * *

At 6:01 a.m., the room still covered in the Northern winter's darkness, a door opened. A silent figure passed through it.

It was a small Asian man, somewhere between the ages of 30 and 70 -- it was hard to tell. He glided across the floor toward the two bodies on the other side of the room.

Neither body stirred; they were oblivious.

The man in robes went to Emma. He undid the rope that bound her arms to her legs -- while cradling her head so it wouldn't snap forward into the floor when it gave way. He untied her arms and legs, then lifted her gently, like a child, and carried her toward to the door he'd just come through.
​Bearing her with little effort, he passed down a hall, up a staircase and through another door. He flipped on the light to reveal a large office. At the far end was a big wooden desk, with several chairs arrayed around it.

In front of that was an Oriental rug, with facing couches on each side, a coffee table in the middle, and wing chairs at each end.

The man layed Emma on one couch, placing his hand behind her head and softly lowering it upon a pillow. He delicately brought his hands down on her chest -- and E
mma's arms shot up, instinctively. Her head rose and she gave a cry, though her eyes didn't open.

He easily caught her arms in his hands and lowered her back to the pillow.

"Relax, my daughter," he whispered. "All is well. Sleepp now."

Emma did fall back into sleep, and the man continued his examination. Perhaps a broken rib or two, he concluded, but no serious injuries. Relieved, he left Emma sleeping and went back down to the dojo.

Moments later, he came back carrying Steed as easily as he had Emma. He lowered the big man on to the opposite couch, and gave him a similar once-over. 

No emergency, he glided out to another room, from which emanated the sounds of a teapot filling with water and being set on a lit stove.

                                                           * * *

Sunlight was pouring into the room when Emma awoke.

She tried to sit up, but let out a cry of pain before she got far. She looked down and saw she was covered in a blanket. Lifting it, she saw she was dressed only in her panties and bra. Her ribs were taped; that's we're she'd felt the pain.

Emma's head fell back on the pillow. Slowly, her eyes focused, and she saw a figure sitting across from here. It resolved itself into Steed, smiling, holding a teacup.

"Mrs. Peel," he said. "Good morning!"

She saw more movement, another body coming toward her. She cringed; but, no, it wasn't Dr. Gale. Her eyes focused on a small Japanese man approaching her.

He placed a hand on her forehead and took her right wrist in his hand; he was taking her temperature and pulse.

"You are doing much better, Mrs. Peel," he said, backing away with a slight bow, turning and walking out of the room.


Emma looked Steed.


"Oh, that's the Sensei," said Steed. "This is his dojo, apparently."

"Steed, what is going on?"

"Where to start?" said Steed.
​​"How about at the beginning?" Emma said.

As the Sensei set down a cup of tea for Emma, and an ice pack for her head, Steed proceeded to give a rundown of the past 24 hours.


It started with Cathy showing up unexpectedly at his door, in the best of spirits, speaking of ending their feud and reestablishing their friendship. She even hinted at, perhaps, something deeper. They talked and drank Champagne -- then Steed found himself here. He had been drugged.

Emma asked about the riding crop and feather. Steed, with a blush, mentioned Cathy's skills as a dominatrix.

Them Emma had arrived, and she knew the rest. Steed didn't mention the final, shall we say, climactic moment before Cathy left.

He did recount Cathy's warning about what would happen if they reported this to the Ministry, and Emma had to agree.


Emma expected Cathy to pay, but not that way.

"Sensei," she asked, "do you have anything stronger?"

He bowed and went out, returning with a tray bearing two flutes and a bottle of fine Champagne.


"Compliments of Dr. Gale," he said, pouring.

"Sensei," asked Emma, "am I imagining it, or did you call me 'daughter' earlier."

"Indeed I did," he said. "Forgive me. But I also studied with Master Toyota."

He broke into Japanese, to which Emma responded in kind. It was all Greek to Steed; he just wanted to drink that wine.

The Sensei excused himself and left the room.

Emma offered up her cup for a toast. Steed raised his in reply.

She looked him in the eye, leaned close, and whispered: "To revenge."

Steed's eyes opened wide. Revenge against whom, he wondered. Cathy's story had been all too true, he knew, and he was ashamed of a lot of things he'd done. But, no -- she must mean Dr. Gale.

They had both been made the fool by Cathy. There would be payback.

In any case, he wanted to stay on the right side of Emma. Steed raised his cup and, with a clink, agreed:

`To revenge!'

THE END