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Disclaimer: NBC/MTM owns the Pretender, I own the words & idea
'Desert Rose' is copyright Sting, used without permission

Author's Note: Special thanks to Amiee



Sweet Intoxication
By Andrea




I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand


Kneeling by the granite slab, he played with the rose clutched in his grip.

The rose had always reminded him of her...

She had been soft, delicate, fragile. Like the petals of the silkiest rose. But that side of her had rarely shown through the thorny and cold protective shell she'd hidden behind.

I dream of fire
Those dreams that tie two hearts that will never die
And near the flames
The shadows play in the shape of the man's desire


His fingers brushed across the cool marble as he laid the single long-stemmed rose on top the grave. He could almost hear the inaudible thud of the velvety petals as he placed it on a lonely perch.

Symbolic.

This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this


It had taken him one minute to fall in love; he lusted for her. But she'd been forbidden in more ways than one.

And now she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems


The one thing he had wanted at age seventeen was freedom. Freedom from the boring life he'd led.

So I made a few deals with the Devil. Look where I am now.

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand


Trapped in a war that wasn't his, yet it was. He'd lost so much; gained so little. When a person loses everything that is precious to them, he thought ruefully, they learn something.

A lesson that cannot be acquired any other way. The painful ways that people, even though they are dead and gone, can tear at your soul. Your very being.

Sometimes I just want to give in…let the suffering wash over me, cover me like a shroud. Shield me from the hate and pain I endure daily. The disgust that others feel when the see me. I can feel it, radiating off their bodies, apparent on their faces

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love


He allowed the feelings to flood him, the emotions he kept hidden behind a mask. Similar to the mask she had used. Except his fašade was one of evilness, not coldness.

Often, when he was sitting here, anything he'd felt for her came back full force, almost knocking him over with the strength of the memory. He had so many; yet so few were happy.

Most were of her encounters with him, the times she had accused him of crimes. To be sure, he was often guilty of the accusation; not that he would admit such a fact.

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand


He had been guilty of the biggest crime, but she had no chance to wave her evidence in his face. The data she would use to incriminate him; even if it meant nothing to the Centre.

No chance.

Bitter drops of sorrow trickled down his cheeks, tracing the already moistened paths that glistened in the golden sunlight.

Sweet desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this


He was responsible for her death; responsible for the last painful seconds she had of life. He had caused her agony she never should have had to experience.

Sweet desert rose
This memory of hidden hearts and souls
This desert flower
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of love




He could still remember the heady feeling from the kill; the feeling of sweet intoxication that flowed through his veins.

It had felt so sweet, when the gun fired. So right. So perfect.

The silver bullet had hit its target - the fugitive Pretender. But instead of striking a non-vital body part, it had struck his temple. He died almost instantly, but not quick enough for the Huntress to spill her anguish over him.

He had watched horrified as she removed a flick blade and sliced into her wrists, tearing the tender flesh.

I could have stopped her

Even a year after the sorrowful event he still had the thoughts.

What would have happened, if I had intervened? What if…

The 'what ifs' drove him crazy; but he deserved it for not interfering.

Time to stop this nonsense

With a little effort he banished all thoughts of the woeful event of yesteryear. It was time to come to grips; he had allowed it to haunt him for too long. He should have dismissed all the pain when the atrocity happened, instead of allowing it to take over his thoughts every single day.

Today was the day to end his daily mourning, to free the grief that he still felt.

Today.

This desert rose
Whose shadow bears the secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume that would torture you more than this


Rising from the kneeling position he had taken, the man dusted off his dark charcoal Armani suit. Raising his concealing aurora once more, his eyes hardened; the small smile of forgiving gracing his features vanished.

Lowering silver wrap-around shades over deep brown eyes, he allowed himself one last glance at the grave stone. "Good bye, my dear sister." Lyle whispered, his eyes lingering on the name engraved into the stone: Jade Parker.











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