“First t’ings first...” Bella Donna Boudreaux said, addressing her High Council later than night. They waited until Bandit was out on a job before attempting to figure out what to do about the situation. “We should tell Remy what’s goin’ on so maybe he’ll get out of town for a few days.”
“I’ll take care of dat, Bel.” Mercy LeBeau said, pulling out her cell phone. She moved to a corner of the room and spoke quietly with Remy for a few minutes while the others continued to talk.
“Can I ask you somethin’, Bel?” Theoren Marceaux asked.
“Of course, Theoren.” Bel replied.
“Wit’ your telepathy an’ everythin’, how did you not know dis guy was usin’ you?”
Bella Donna sighed. “I can’ read his mind. It’s like tryin’ to read Remy’s. His powers block out any attempt I make, so I really have no idea what he’s t’inkin’ or plannin’ at any given time unless he tells me. Otherwise...”
Theoren nodded. That had been a question on his mind for awhile. Bel’s answer made a lot of sense to him; she was generally a better judge of character and could see through a lot of things. The idea that she fell for Donyell’s antics hook, line and sinker had baffled more in the Guild that just Theoren.
Mercy got off the phone with Remy and returned. “Remy’s headin’ out of town immediately. He wants us to keep him informed.”
“Okay.” Bella Donna nodded. “We have to figure out what we’re going to do.”
“Well, y’know, Bel, you could always...I don’ know...be de leader an’ stand up to him.” Emil Lapin commented in his usual obnoxious way. “Remy made you our leader when he stepped down...an’ you should put your foot down an’ end his nonsense b’fore he’s de death of us all an’ de ruination of de Guild.”
“I hate to admit it, but de rabbit has a point.” Gris-Gris said darkly. His comment prompted Emil to stick his tongue out at him, something he pointedly ignored. “Donyell has way too much control over us...an’ he wasn’ de one who was put in charge. Jus’ b’cause he’s datin’ you, dat don’ give him de right to waltz in an’ take over your job.”
“We don’ like him, Bel...we never have.” Singer admitted. “We put up wit’ him an’ his orders out of respect for you, but he’s startin’ to get out of hand.”
“He’s actin’ like he owns de Guild. Gettin’ to be so he’s almost as bad as Candra was, for cryin’ out loud.” Mercy said. “An’ you know dat’s unacceptable. We’ve come way too far to get thrown back like dat.”
Bella Donna, for the first time in months, listened to what her High Council was trying to tell her. “Je sais. I haven’ been a very good leader since he came into my life.” She shook her head with more than a little self-disgust. “It’s time I stepped up an’ did what Remy put me in dis chair to do, non?”
The High Council nodded. It was going to be very, very interesting to see what Donyell did when Bel stood up to him. They couldn’t wait.
Donyell showed up a couple of hours later, loot in hand. Bel had asked him to come to the safehouse when he was done, although she wouldn’t say why. He stood outside for a few moments, his long dark hair falling in his face. He looked at the safehouse and smiled. It was decidedly too dark and quiet. The only light on was the one in Bella Donna’s office. He entered and headed up to Bel’s office. He peeked into a few rooms as he went. Nothing. The High Council was nowhere to be found…but it looked like a major scuffle had taken place. Bel had done her job. Such a gullible and obedient girl.
Donyell knocked on Bel’s office door and entered when she bid him to come in. His jubilant mood disappeared instantly when he got inside.
Bella Donna was standing, leaning against her desk leisurely, her bo-staff in hand. Lined up, on the walls on either side of the room, was the High Council, all of them very much alive...and armed.
“Bel...what’s this...?” Donyell asked as Gris shut and locked the door, essentially trapping Donyell in the room with them.
Bel smiled that wickedly sly smile of hers, her violet eyes glowing dangerously. “You’re good, Donyell. Good enough to get into de Guild an’ good enough to fool me. Dat’s impressive. Not many can claim to be good enough for either of dose t’ings. However, your lucky streak jus’ ended.”
“I told you to kill them.” Donyell protested.
“I know. I heard you. An’ so did dey. But see, your ability to order me ‘round ended when I found out you went to MY Guild an’ asked dem to kill Gambit an’ not tell me anythin’ ‘bout it. You might have succeeded...had dese guys not been dere. De others...dey don’ know as much. Dey might have done as you asked wit’out questionin’ it. But dese guys been in de Guilds since de minute dey were born. An’ dey don’ follow orders from anyone but deir leader. An’ dat would be me, Donyell. Not you.” Bella Donna told him, her voice dripping with venom.
“Remy told me to move on. An’ I did. I realize now I was a fool to fall for your charms an’ I should have moved further.” Bel continued. “You wormed your way into de Guild...b’cause you were good at it...an’ since den you’ve been slowly takin’ my job from me. I was too blind to see it, but lookin’ back...you’ve always known exactly what you were doin’. An’ it’s over.”
“What do you mean?” Donyell asked, his hand on his knife.
“Your little control game is over. Our relationship is over. I am de leader of dis Guild an’ dat’s de way it’s gon’ stay. You are a threat to our future an’ you cannot be allowed to remain within our fold. I’m givin’ you one hour to get out of dis city. If you don’, you will have de entire Guild on your tail an’ dey will have orders to kill on sight. Do I make myself clear, Mr. Taylor?”
“Perfectly.” Donyell pulled his knife and lunged at Bel in the same instant, attempting to kill her.
Bel didn’t quite move in time and gasped as a searing pain ripped through her stomach. The High Council rushed to attack Donyell, but he was too quickly out the open window with a flip of his trench coat.
They stopped at the window and then looked back at their injured Matriarch, who simply glared at them.
No further order was needed. The ten High Council members exited the building quicker than Donyell himself had and took off after him, using rooftops and alleys to move faster. They had the advantage of knowing the city a lot better than he did, and they took that advantage for all it was worth.
Tante Mattie tended to the injured Bella Donna while the Guild went after Donyell.
“I was so stupid...!” Bel berated herself.
“Shh, child. Dese t’ings happen. You ain’ perfect. No one is. An’ he was good. You said dat yourself, didn’ you?”
“Well den. Don’ be so hard on yourself. De Guild would follow you anywhere an’ you know it. Take pride in dat an’ in yourself. You’re a good leader.” Mattie told her. “Dere. All finished. You’re good as new. Are you gon’ help dem?”
“Non. I ain’ any more capable of killin’ him as I am of killin’ Remy. Dey’ll do it. I already know dey hate him. I trust dem to get de job done.” Bel told her.
“Tres bien.” Mattie smiled. “Jus’ wait den. I’ll make some coffee.”
Donyell had never run so fast in his life. He wasn’t nearly as well-trained as the High Council was. He wasn’t trying to get out of the city though. He was just trying to find a place to hide where they wouldn’t find him. What he didn’t know was, they weren’t just chasing him. They were surrounding him.
He didn’t hear anything after awhile. The streets around him were silent. He took that as a sign and stopped to catch his breath.
“Your first mistake was tryin’ to gain control over de Guild.” A dark voice said from the shadows.
Donyell looked up but couldn’t see anything.
“Your second mistake was tryin’ to order de Guild to do somethin’ ‘gainst our leader’s wishes.” Another dark voice said from a different direction.
He couldn’t see the owner of that voice either.
“Your third mistake was orderin’ Bel to kill us.” A third dark voice continued, again in a different direction.
By this point, he was spinning around, trying to see where the voices were coming from and failing.
“An’ your las’ mistake was tryin’ to kill Bel.” A fourth voice, in yet another direction said.
“Show yourselves!” Donyell screamed in panic.
“As you wish.” The first voice said.
With that, the ten High Council thieves and assassins stepped out of the shadows, weapons drawn. They had him surrounded.
“She gave me an hour!” Donyell complained.
“Dat bet was off de second you stabbed her, an’ you know it.” Gris-Gris said. “We have our orders.”
Donyell was not in a good position. He was outnumbered and out-powered…and he knew they were all better than him at what they did. “If you let me go…I could reward you all quite supremely..."
“Right.” The ten thieves and assassins said in unison.
“Hate to tell ya dis, Donny, but you’re history.” Emil said.
Mercy looked at the four assassins and nodded. As the highest-ranking member of the High Council, it was her call. Gris, Fifolet, Singer and Questa nodded back and simultaneously fired their guns at Donyell. Being the professionals they were, none of them missed their mark.
Donyell sunk to the street in a pool of blood; his body twitched several times and then fell lifelessly still.
“Checkmate.” Theoren said to the silence.
A short while later, the Council joined Tante Mattie and Bella Donna in the kitchen of the safehouse. Both women looked up when they paraded in from outside.
“Mission accomplished.” Mercy said. “It’s over an’ de threat has been eliminated.”
“Bon.” Bel smiled. “From now on, de Guild gets run by me an’ only me. Boyfriends be damned.”
“Perhaps you should date outside work, huh Bel?” Questa commented with a grin.
“You know, Q-ball, dat’s a really good idea.” Bella Donna laughed.