...Mightier Than the Sword
A Fan Fiction Archive
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Disclaimer: I do not own The Pretender or anything related to it. It is owned by TNT, NBC, and Steve and Craig. No infringement is intended and no profit is being made. Please don’t sue me.

"The Inner Sense"
Author’s Notes: Wow, another Lyle fic! I’m getting pretty accustomed to writing about our favorite bad-boy. . . ;)
Dedication: To Mickey, because she’s the one that gave me the idea for this fic many moons ago. I hope you recognize this little bit, dear:) You’re the one who mentioned that whole "previous relationship" thing. ;)

Summary: Success comes at a high cost. Most times, it is a personal one. Few are willing to go this far, but some will surrender feelings for success. Is Mr. Lyle one of them?

The Price of Success
by: chopsticks
p g


"Knock, knock." The words were accompanied by the actual sound of knuckles striking wood twice, echoing throughout the near-barren room.

Emily jumped in surprised and quickly turned around, then smiled when she saw who her visitor was. "Lyle! What are you doing here?"

"Can’t I drop in to visit you at work?" he asked, grinning and stepping into the room. He glanced around and noticed the sparse furnishings. She was always ready to leave at a moment’s notice, just like the rest of her family. She had one photograph on her desk of her mother when she was Emily’s age now. The resemblance was obvious to anyone.

"Of course you can!" she replied, pushing back her chair and standing. It was a surprise to see him at her work. She figured he’d spend the day sleeping, what with their recent nightly activities. She wished she could do the same, but she had a job to do.

He held up a white sack and proclaimed, "I brought breakfast. I even got your favorite, a chocolate chip muffin and plain cream cheese."

"You are such a dear, you know that?" she said, coming over and peeking into the bag. Emily gasped aloud when he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her close to him, devouring her lips in a searing kiss that left her breathless.

"And now I have my favorite, too," he whispered, leaning down and gently nipping at her neck. She tilted her head back and giggled delightedly.

"Lyle!" she admonished, playfully slapping his arm. "I have to work today!"

"Mmm, I know," he said, pulling away. He held the bag out to her and she eagerly grabbed it and headed back over to her desk. She settled into the chair and pulled out the treats he had brought her. Lyle leaned against the desk beside her and watched her.

He hated himself for what he had to do soon. He really did. This had all started as a way to make sure she didn’t discover Mirage too soon, and it had snowballed from there. He found himself genuinely attracted to her, something he rarely allowed himself to feel. She was different from anybody else he had ever been with, not just because he didn’t have the intense urge to kill her, but because she had such a strong personality, even after everything she’d been through.

He was jerked out of his thoughts by her grabbing his lapels and pulling him down to her for a sweet kiss laced with chocolate and cream cheese. He desperately wanted to make something more out of it, but the clock was ticking, so he pulled away.

"What was that for?" he asked, gently brushing a crumb off of her cheek with his only thumb.

"For being so sweet," she replied, taking another bite out of the muffin covered with plain cream cheese. He smiled at her, then glanced at the clock on the wall. It was almost seven a.m. Time to put the plan into motion.

She finished off the muffin and leaned back, stretching her arms over her head. He watched with a mixture of curiosity and admiration, becoming lost in her once again. He quickly did a mental shake and stood upright and headed towards the giant bay of windows. She tracked him with her eyes, sensing that something was amiss.

"What’s wrong?" she asked timidly, almost afraid of the answer.

He held out his hand to her and said, "Come here." She complied, and grabbed his hand, intertwining her fingers with his. He smiled sadly at her and gave her a peck on the nose, something that had always annoyed her. She grinned faintly, but it was obvious she knew something bad was coming.

Lyle pulled her to him, wrapping his arms tightly around her. She did the same, returning the fierce hug. When he let her go, he revealed the knife he had been hiding up his suit sleeve. She gasped and tried to get away, but he grabbed her by the arm and held on.

"Lyle!" she cried out, anger and horror mixing in her voice.

"I’m sorry," he said coldly, the emotional walls going up again. "But it has to be done."

He was just about to stab her in the chest with the silver blade, when a janitor walked in. The janitor stopped right where he was and didn’t move for about five seconds, until it finally hit him what was going on.

"Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing?"

"God damn it," Lyle swore, then twisted his body quickly, doing a 180. Emily came flying with him, his hand still had a death grip on her arm, but she didn’t go the full 180. She made it to the window, where her body smacked against it and broke the glass. She felt herself beginning to fall and cried out in horror, but knew that Lyle still had a grip on her. It was only when she was actually out of the building and falling towards the ground that she realized that he wasn’t holding her anymore, and he never would again.

"Out of the way, old man," Lyle hissed and shoved the janitor aside, fleeing the building. He didn’t look back; he couldn’t afford to. If he did, he might have tried to help her, and that would surely get him killed, and that was the best-case scenario. No, he had to maintain his power at The Centre, and allowing emotions to cloud his thoughts was not the way to do that.

He was aiming for the top.


the end.

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