Catwoman's Permanent Retirement

 

By Flamingo Boy (flamingoboyfun@gmail.com)

 

 

 

PART 1

It was about ten o’clock and the last of the night class students had filtered out of the junior college over an hour ago. The only other folks on campus right now were maintenance, security (yours truly included), and a few instructors that had stayed after class for paper work or to confer with students.

 

I was making my last rounds checking out all the rest rooms to make sure that they were empty and that there were no stragglers. Unlike my fellow guards who are fat and lazy (and overall general pains in the ass), I actually took the extra thirty seconds to open all the stall doors to make sure that no one was trying to hide from me by standing on top of the toilet seat.

 

I was about ready to punch out for the evening and go home to a warm bed when my boss, Jim, calls me on the walkie-talkie.

 

“What’s up, Jim?” I say.

 

“Hey, Frank,” says Jim (he’s a real nice guy). “Sorry to bother you on your way out, but can you escort one more instructor to her car? After that, you can go home. I’ll lock up. She’s in front of the library. Her name is Miss Kyle.”

 

“10-4,” I answer. “Have a good one, Jim.”

 

“Oh… almost… forgot… all the guys are getting together at my place for the fight on Saturday. Are you in?”

 

“Absolutely. What can I bring?”

 

“Nothing… just yourself. Good night, Frank.”

 

“Good night, Jim.”

 

 

It didn’t take long to walk to library and spot the very attractive lady in her late twenties/early thirties. Even with her hair pulled back in a pony-tail and wearing a pair of glasses, she still looked hot.

 

“Ms. Kyle?” I said.

 

At first, she didn’t respond… but then she suddenly woke up. “Oh… yes… that’s me. I’m Miss Kyle… actually my name is Selina. Please forgive my brain-fart. I’m not use to be called by my last name. Everywhere else where I’ve worked is pretty informal when it comes to names.” Then she started laughing. “I’m so sorry. I must sound like a total scatterbrain. I just started working here a few days ago and I’m still a little nervous and overwhelmed. I hate being a new person.”

 

“I know what you mean, Ms. Kyle… excuse me… Selina. I just started working here a few weeks ago myself.” I offered her my hand. “My name is Frank. Frank Cas… sell… o… sello… Cassello. Frank Cassello. Welcome to the campus.”

 

I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t get the right name out! No woman has ever had an effect on me like that before.

 

“Thank you,” she smiled with a row of perfect white teeth and shook my hand in her dainty female way. “I’m so sorry to trouble you so late in the evening. I got so caught up in my work that I lost track of the time.”

 

“That’s quite all right,” I answered as I bent down to pick up the box up books that she’s standing in front of before she can do the same.

 

“You don’t have to do that. I just wanted an escort. I didn’t expect you to schlep this heavy box for me.”

 

“I know you didn’t. Where’s your car.” If this doesn’t score me major brownie points, then I don’t know what will.

 

“Just on the other side of this lot… over there.” She pointed to a pack of cars and expected me to distinguish which one was hers.

 

 

We didn’t even take a dozen steps before Ms. Kyle… I mean… Selina… shows that she’s something of a “Chatty Cathy.”

 

“I hope I’m not keeping you from anything,” she said. “I really hate to bother you but I’m a little scared to walk in this dark parking lot alone.”

 

“No bother at all. It’s part of the job.”

 

“Well… I know that this is a very safe campus… but is it really true that a girl got raped in this very lot.”

 

“She never got raped,” I corrected her. “It was a simple mugging that turned into an attempted sexual assault. It never got that far. They were a bunch of junkies looking for some easy cash to pay for their fix… but it got out of hand. As she was being chased, I heard her scream for help and I was able to get to her in time.”

 

“That’s right,” Selina tried to cover her embarrassment. “She didn’t get raped. What was I thinking? Now I remember. She was saved by a security guard… and you’re the brave man that rescued her. Wow! It’s an honor to meet a hero.”

 

“I’m no hero,” I said with true humbleness. “I was just in the right place at the right time to assist the poor young girl. If anyone is a hero… it’s her. She saved herself. She did all the right things.”

 

“What things were those?” Selina said with genuine interest. “I’d like to know… in case… God forbid… I’m ever in a similar situation.”

 

“When the three punks accosted her in the lot, she asked what they wanted. She was smart enough to give her money rather than fight back. The problem was that they wanted her money and they wanted her to get in their vehicle with them. She was smart enough to realize that if the got her to a second location, they could rape and or kill her more easily… and take their time doing it. She figured that if she was going to make a move, she should do it in the lot where her chances would be better. Always remember, Selina, never allow anyone to take you to a second location.”

 

“How did she get away, Frank?”

 

“The girl figured that, overall, they were more interested in her money, so instead of allowing herself to get close and hand them her purse, she throws her purse off to the side about ten feet away from her. When they are distracted going for her purse, she knows she has enough of a head start and she makes a break for it. Remember, Selina, never hand anything over… always toss it to the side so you can get away.”

 

“I never thought of that,” Selina seemed relieved. “I wouldn’t care if they got my money… so long as it meant that I got to stay alive and didn’t get raped… but then again… isn’t running away dangerous, too? What if one of those men had a gun? She could have taken one in the back.”

 

“But a moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary target,” I replied. “And the punk would have to take an unaimed shot as well. Even taking that extra second or two to aim would put another ten to twenty foot distance between target… and the further away you are… the harder you are to hit. She was also smart enough to run in a zigzag pattern. Then she started to scream her head off. When I heard the screams I was able to get a fix on her location.”

 

“That’s one pretty smart girl. We could all learn from her.”

 

“That’s right. If I were in her situation, I would have done the exact same thing.”

 

“No way,” Selina said in disbelief. “I can see why a helpless little girl would run away, but you are over six feet tall and weigh two hundred pounds. You would wipe the floor with those punks. As a matter of fact… now that my brain-fart is clearing… and I’m starting to remember the correct facts… you did exactly that… fought them… you put one of those punks in the hospital. You punched him in the face so hard that his nose was sticking out the other side of his head.”

 

“I only fought the punk because I had to. Apparently, one of the punks wanted more than just the girl’s money. He was so coked up that he ran after her… even though he had no chance to overtake her. By the time she got to me, he was still charging at us. He pulled out a knife and still came after us. I had no choice but to defend myself. Trust me, Selina. If three punks came up to me and said give me your money, my wallet would be tossed to the side in a heartbeat. It’s not worth risking my life for a few bucks. Now if they said we’re gonna kill you… well then… all bets are off. I’m like a cat. I’ll flee if I can… and only fight if I’m attacked or cornered.”

 

“And speaking of cats,” Selina looked around nervously as we reached her car. “I heard that the notorious Catwoman was spotted in this area a few days ago. Is that true… or do I have my facts all wrong like before?”

 

Now it was my turn to get nervous. I placed the box of books down next to her car. “It-it is true… but how did you learn that?”

 

 

Part 2

 

“This afternoon… during my lunch break. One of your co-workers… Joe… he came to my table and introduced himself. We got to talking… and he let it slip that a security guard on this campus spotted Catwoman prowling around on campus.”

 

“No… not on campus. That Joey can’t get his fact straight… I said… shit!” Then I realized that I slipped. “Damn… that Joey. He’s got a big mouth. I should have known that he couldn’t keep a secret.”

 

“Then you’re the one who saw her,” she grew more nervous. “Please tell me if that’s true, Frank. I can see an isolated incident with some unorganized punks but I don’t think I want to work here if I have to worry about being robbed by the likes of that horrible Catwoman.”

 

“You don’t have to worry about her, Selina. Catwoman would never resort to petty crimes like mugging. She’s a highly sophisticated thief and burglar. She won’t involve herself in anything unless she scores, at least, six figures… but… in the extremely unlikely event that you do run into her… just give her whatever she wants… and she won’t hurt you. Unlike psychos like the Joker and the Penguin, she doesn’t kill people… but she will beat the crap out of you if you don’t comply with her demands.”

 

“I guess that’s somewhat reassuring, Frank… but if she is some sort of upper-echelon master criminal… what does she want from this junior college campus? There’s nothing here worth stealing that would warrant her attention… is there?”

 

“That stupid, Joey,” I mutter. “I never told him that I saw her on campus… look Selina… since the cat’s already out of the bag… no pun intended… I might as well tell you the correct facts. But this can go no further… understand?”

 

“Cross my heart,” she made an imaginary x over her chest.

 

I took a deep breathe. “I’m only telling you this because… well… I know that you wouldn’t purposely tell anyone else… but if you should accidentally let it slip out… like Joey and I just did… at least you have the correct info and it won’t come to bite you on the ass later.”

 

“Look, Frank,” she touched my shoulder and it got me a little excited. “I know that we just met… and your first impression of me is of someone that likes to talk a lot… but trust me… I may have a big mouth… but I do know how to keep a secret.”

 

“Okay,” I looked around making sure that we would not be overheard. “I’m not telling you this to try to scare you… it’s not really a big deal at all… but it could be if Catwoman someone got wind of this… and it wouldn’t be good for me if she got the wrong information. Understand?”

 

“Of course.”

 

I pointed to the mall across the street. “Catwoman is going to hit the jewelry store in that shopping center in the next few days.”

 

“What makes you so sure?”

 

“A few days ago, I decided to go that mall after work. I normally go straight home… but I had this incredible craving for a double-chocolate donut… so I decided to swing by the twenty-four hour Dunkin’ Donuts. Of all the days I picked to stray from the norm… anyway... the donuts were only a couple of bucks but all I had on me was a twenty… so I had a wad of bills in my hand coming out of the shop.”

 

“When I tried to put my money in my front pocket, the wind blew a ten dollar bill out of my hand… so like an idiot, I started to chase it around. It was like a scene from a cartoon, just when I’m about to grab my bill, the wind blows it out of my reach. The next thing I know, I’m blocks away and in a dark alley behind the jewelry store.”

 

“I finally caught my sawbuck… and I when I looked up… I spotted something… or rather… someone… on the roof of the building of the jewelry store.”

 

“And that someone was… Catwoman?” Selina replied.

 

“In the flesh… my god… I couldn’t believe my eyes… she was even more gorgeous than I ever imagined… and it didn’t hurt that she wore that tight cat suit… what a totally awesome body.”

 

“Well,” Selina tried to conceal her embarrassment over my last crass and crude remark. “At least you like girls.”

 

“Sorry.” If I didn’t know any better. She seemed more jealous than upset.

 

“Then what happened?”

 

“Obviously, this was her next big score and I’m sure she wouldn’t appreciate any potential witnesses… so my first instinct was to high-tail it out of there before she spotted me. Of course… being a big-footed clutz… I kicked a beer can and she hears it. I managed to duck behind a dumpster just as he hops off the building and into the alley… and she lands as smooth and gracefully like… well… a cat.”

 

“She pulls out her whip and it makes a loud crack against the pavement. It’s totally obvious that it’s not just for show. She knows how to use that thing. I bet she could flick a fly off a man’s shoulder at ten paces without even touching his skin.”

 

“Then she says, I know someone’s here. If you come out now, I promise not to hurt you… otherwise…” Then she cracks her whip and shatters a beer bottle that was sitting on top of a dumpster… the very same one that I’m hiding behind.”

 

“My goodness,” Selina grasped. “What did you do?”

 

“I complied with her demand. I stood up. Then she tells me to step out of the shadow so she could get a better look at me…but just before I was about to reveal myself, a cop car drives by and flashes a light in the alley and demands to know who’s there. Of course, Catwoman manages to leap away before she gets spotted leaving me to explain to the cops what I’m doing… but of course… after I tell them that I was chasing after my money… and seeing that I’m in the same type of biz that they are in… they just tell me to go home and stay out of alleys. I’ll never forget Catwoman’s words that she muttered as she scrambled away… Interfering prick! I’ll teach you for spoiling my heist.”

 

“No harm done,” Selina rubbed her chin. “You managed to spook her off and prevent a burglary… and she doesn’t know what you look like.”

 

“Spooked her off? My ass!” I answered. “I didn’t spook her off… I pissed her off. She gave me the dirtiest look as she disappeared into the night. “I didn’t prevent anything. I only delayed her little score. She’ll be back to hit it again when she realizes that no report was made on her.”

 

“You never told the police that you saw Catwoman?” Selina said in disbelief. “Why not?”

 

“Would they have believed me? And even if they did… what could they do about it? She had already disappeared like a fart in the wind and… technically… no crime was committed.”

 

“But if you think she’ll hit the place again, the jewelry store could take precautions or set up a trap for her. You could get a reward for her capture.”

 

“Right,” I laughed. “When a pro like Catwoman sets her mind on stealing something she always gets the job done. There is no security system that she can’t bypass. There’s no trap that she can’t escape from. No one’s been able to catch her… not even Batman… and he’s an elite crimefighter and master detective. He’s managed to catch guys like the Joker and the Riddler… and sure they were able to escape from the prisons and nut-houses that they were in… but Batman has captured them… but never Catwoman. That’s why I’m keeping my mouth shut. I don’t want to get on her shit list by being the guy that fingered her.”

 

“You really think that she would come after you?” Selina said with genuine concern. “I thought you just told me that she doesn’t kill people.”

 

“She doesn’t kill but she’ll want to beat the crap out of me and humiliate me for spoiling her little job. She does that from time to time to get the message across that no one should cross her… and I’m just the dope to be made an example of.”

 

“There you go again,” Selina laughed. “I can see why you would be hesitant to take on three punks at once… but you’re trying to tell me that you’re afraid to fight Catwoman? A big guy like you? Come on! You got about five inches on her and about eighty pounds… and she’s just a girl.”

 

“There’s nothing only being a girl about her, Selina. She’s an accomplished fighter… very fast and agile. She’s even fought Batman to a standstill… and… like… that caped badass has mastered every form of martial arts that’s known to man. If he can’t take her down, then what chance to I have? I did my homework on her. From time to time, a few security guards have ignored calling for backup because they think that they can take her down by themselves and end up getting their asses kicked. One jerk tried to rape her, but she ended up stripping him down and raping him instead. Don’t get me wrong… the jerk had it coming… but how demoralizing and humiliating. At the risk of sounding sexist, the worst blow to the male ego is when a man is physically overpowered and beaten up by a woman… especially when it’s a big guy like me. I want no part of her. I not afraid of her… perhaps weary of her is a better word. As far as I’m concerned, she can do whatever the hell she wants… so long as I’m not involved. At times, cats are playful… but they can scratch and bite.”

 

“But, Frank, you can’t spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder to see if Catwoman is going to strike.”

 

“Who said the rest of my life? I only need to watch my back for a few days.”

 

“How’s that?”

 

“All I have to do is wait until Catwoman hits the jewelry store. She’ll have her score without complications and be happy… she’ll forget about me… and the insurance company pays off the jewelry store. Everybody wins.”

 

“I see your point, Frank. I’m sorry if I referred to you as being a coward. I guess… in this case… discretion is the better part of valor.” Then Selina folded her arms and gave me a wicked, but teasing smile. “You know… the way you talked about Catwoman… I think you have a bit of a crush on her… you’re attracted to her. Come on! Admit it.”

 

“I admit that I respect her… not for being a thief, mind you… I guess it’s her intelligence that attracts me….”

 

“Bullshit,” Selina folded her arms. “And the fact that she’s drop-dead gorgeous and has a body to die for has nothing to do with it I suppose?”

 

“Okay,” I tried not to blush. “Maybe those things, too… but I truly admire Catwoman for her intelligence… it’s near genius.”

 

“Why only near genius. Why not genius… period? Is it because only men like the Joker and the Mad Hatter can be geniuses?”

 

“Catwoman is smarter than any other costumed villain that has plagued Gotham City. She is in a class by herself and I’m sure that if she were here, she would be insulted to be included in that group. The Joker and his kind are psychos. Catwoman is the most normal villain of them all. The thing that strays her from the norm is that she dresses in a cat outfit and has an affinity to her fellow felines. Other than that, she is a total seasoned professional in her craft. Also… the Joker and his kind are also compulsive… they want to get caught. They want attention. They want publicity. Unlike Catwoman, all their crimes have to revolve around a theme. They purposely leave clues behind hoping that they can pull off the crime as well as make Batman and the police look foolish.”

 

“Catwoman simply breaks in, takes what she wants, and gets out. She doesn’t care… or want… people to know that it was her that committed the ingenious crime. She’s smart enough to realize that she’d rather avoid clashing with the police or Batman. It’s all a business to her. She keeps everything quiet… probably putting her cash away in untouchable bank accounts or investing it wisely… so that she’ll have a humongous nest egg when she finally retires.”

 

“In my opinion, Catwoman is the perfect criminal. She’s never got caught… ever.”

 

“And if that’s true,” said Selina. “And like I said before… How is she only near-genius?”

 

“She’s only near-genius in the fact that if she bothered to use all her intelligence and determination for legitimate gain, we’d probably all be working for her. She could make Donald Trump look like a penny-ante operator… if only… she weren’t so… lazy… looking for the fast and easy way. It’s a shame in a way.”

 

“Lazy?” Selina seemed perplexed. “I’ve heard many adjectives to describe Catwoman but lazy was never one of them.”

 

“Holy shit!” I looked at my watch. “It’s 10:30 already. I’ve been bending your ear for a half hour? I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to keep you.”

 

“That’s okay. I appreciate the safety tips… and your assessment of Catwoman was quite… interesting.”

 

“Just rambling. What the hell do I know, I’m just a fifteen-dollar-an-hour rent-a-cop. Is there anything else that I can help you with?”

 

“Would you be so kind as to put the box in here?” Selina used her keys to open her trunk.

 

“Wow!” I said as looked inside the empty truck. “What a huge truck. You could transport a dead body in here.”

 

“Actually, more like an unconscious body,” said Selina as her pulled out a small vial of hair spray. “By the way, Frank… Meow!”

 

“I don’t think that’s funny, Selina,” I turned around.

 

“And neither is calling me lazy,” Selina fired back. “It took three days of playing the damsel in distress and having two other pathetic guards trying to impress me with their macho-crap before I found the right one.”

 

“Huh?” Then I put two and two together. “Holy shit! You’re Catwoman!”

 

Before I could take off, she pumps a blast of hair spray in my face… only it’s not hair spray.

 

 

As my legs get weak and I start to black out, Selina has already effortless thrown me into the truck and slammed the lid down.

 

Just before I totally lose consciousness, I can hear her sing “Oh, my sweet prince… at last, I’ve found you.”

 

 

Part 3

 

 

By the time my head clears, I find myself stripped down to everything except my briefs. I’m sitting in a metal chair that’s bolted to the floor in the middle of the room. My hands are handcuffed behind my back. My ankles are tied to the legs of the chair and there’s a leather strap across my chest to insure that I stay fastened to the back.

 

Selina Kyle, now in her full Catwoman ensemble, is pacing around my chair and cracking her whip. Below her cowl, she’s wearing the most devilish shit-eating grin that I’ve ever seen.

 

“Wakie! Wakie! Frank, my love,” she said with a crack of her whip that comes within a few inches of my head that instinctively jerks my head up. “Quit faking that you’re still out. That drug wore off ten minutes ago.”

 

She walked up to me and rested her right foot right between my two inner thighs. “You’ve been a very naughty boy, Frank, darling. I couldn’t see your face at the time but I did see your uniform from the campus. It was easy to infiltrate the school until I could figure out who you were. If you came out from the darkness like I asked you to, you wouldn’t be in this situation. Do you have anything to say in your defense before I decide what I should do with you?”

 

“I did do what you said,” I answered. “It’s not my fault the cops showed up. I had nothing to do with that.” I knew that she was pissed off and I figured that the only thing that I could do was try to calm her down and diffuse my dire situation. “Look, Catwoman. I wasn’t spying on you. I was only in that alley to retrieve my ten spot. Honest. I’m very, very, very sorry that I spoiled your little heist.”

 

“Apology accepted,” she stroked my face. “I like a man that has the balls to admit that he’s wrong. Other than calling me lazy, you were very respectable to me… and for that I won’t hurt you… provided you do everything I tell you to do. I’m sorry that I had to trick you, but I had to know what you knew… if you told anyone else… if you went to the police. You see… you are right… I do plan to hit the jewelry store again… in a few hours to be precise. I just needed to know if you told anyone else what I was up to.”

 

“I swear, Catwoman. I didn’t tell anyone. I mean… I told Joey…. but only that I saw you in the area… but I never told him where I saw you. I never told him that I suspected that you were going to hit the jewelry store. Honest. It’s the truth. I didn’t rat you out. What you do is your business and none of mine. I swear.”

 

“Relax, Frank. I believe you. I know that you’re not stupid enough to lie to me.”

 

“Then why did you bring me here? What do you…?”

 

Before I can finish, she grabs my face and kisses me… deep and hard. Despite my predicament, I enjoyed it.

 

“Why did you do that?” I didn’t know what else to say.

 

“Oh, Frankie-poo,” she laughs. “You are too cute… and too precious. You can’t fool me.”

 

“I’m not trying to fool you. I’ve been honest with you all along. You just said that you believed me.”

 

“I’m not talking about finking on me. I’m talking about your other deception.”

 

“What other deception?”

 

“Come now, Frank. We both know that you’re not the coward that you pretend to be.”

 

“What do you mean… pretend? I am a coward… really!”

 

“Only on the surface… but I know that deep down… when it really matters… that you have a heart of a hero. Don’t worry. I don’t fault you for that.”

 

“No, I don’t. I mind my own business.”

 

“A real coward would have pretended that he didn’t hear that girl scream. He would never come to her rescue. He would have walked the other way and gone about his merry business. He never would have beat down that mugger down. I can’t have you spoil my plan to break into that jewelry store.”

 

“I have no intention of stopping you, Catwoman.”

 

“You say that now, Frank… but I had no choice but to bring you here. You are a very honest and good-hearted man… and eventually your conscience would get the better of you…and you would do break down and do what is right and noble… and like any other honest man, you would go to the police.”

 

“I wouldn’t have done that.”

 

“I couldn’t take that chance. The only way to ensure that you wouldn’t… short of killing you… was to hold you prisoner until I finished the job.”

 

“You don’t make sense, Catwoman. This is too extreme… even for you. Why would you risk a kidnapping rap to pull off an easy score? Okay… you wouldn’t be able to hit the store by the campus… but there must be other places that you could rip off just as easily and for just as much a payment.”

 

“It has to be that store and tonight is my last chance.” Then, like any other comic-book villainous, she got up and started pacing the room in order to gloat over her upcoming triumph.

 

“The store is a front for an organized crime family so they can fence and transport stolen jewels. This particular syndicate has come into possession of the Black Diamond… a very valuable stone that dates back to Feudal Japan. A bunch of Japanese corporations have pooled a ton of money together to hire me to get the diamond back for them… it has to do with family honor and the Samurai code or some shit like that… but it’s the largest offer I ever had. It’s so large that I can retire for good once I pull this off.”

 

I had to admit that my curiosity got the better of me. “How much?”

 

“Five hundred million dollars. Even if I live to be three hundred, I could never spend that much money.”

 

Although I dreaded to ask, I did so anyway. “And what happens to me after you pull this off?”

 

“I’ll let you go.”

 

“Just like that?”

 

“Why not?”

 

“Aren’t you afraid that I’ll go to the police? That’s why I’m here in the first place.”

 

“It won’t matter. I’ll be long gone and I’ll have a new identity. No one will find me… and even if they did, I’ll have so much money and power, that no one can touch me.”

 

“Well, it looks like you have all your ducks in a row. Congratulations… I guess.”

 

Then she slowly started to peel her costume off.

 

“What are you doing, Catwoman?”

 

“I got a few hours to kill before I go… and since I have a luscious stud-buck like you for company… I might as well take advantage.”

 

Before I can object, she rips off my brief and mounts herself on my manhood.

 

For the next two hours, she rides me let a champion bronco buster.

 

I got to admit, that she was the best I ever had.

 

 

Part 4

 

 

As soon as Catwoman leaves the room to shower and get ready for her “final score,” I’m already making my move.

 

You see, she never really captured me. I allowed her to take me here so she would have a false sense of security. She would never suspect a trap from someone she captured.

 

I set this up weeks ago. I followed her and discovered her little hideout. When she was away, I broke in and put my “tools of the trade” in strategic hiding places so they’ll be here when I need them. I very well couldn’t carry my weapons on me when she captured me as she was sure to search me and strip me down.

 

My “contractor” set up the Black Diamond caper and I knew that she would hit the mob’s front store if she believed that it was there. I knew that she would seek me out when I spoiled her first attempt.

 

I needed her to bring me here so she would feel safe… drop her guard just enough so that I could get up close and personal.

 

I stretched my fingertips under my chair and get the hair pin that I taped under the seat weeks before. I also taped a small scalpel as well… just in case she tied me with ropes.

 

It doesn’t take long to pick my handcuffs, untie my ankles and unbuckle the leather strap.

 

I went to the southeast corner of the “dungeon” and moved a large brick that I had loosened weeks before. Behind that brick was my duffle bag.

 

I just managed to put on my uniform and strap on my weapons when I heard her come back.

 

 

When Catwoman entered, I pressed the button which detonated a gas grenade that I placed in the middle of the room.

 

As I expected, she held her breath as not inhale the fumes. She waved her arms around hoping to fan away the gas and she succeeds. When she makes out my shadow in the cloud, she pulls out her whip.

 

“Don’t worry, Catwoman. You can breath. The gas is harmless. I only wanted a dramatic distraction.”

 

“Very clever,” she snapped her whip. “I don’t know how you did this. But you better come out and face me like a man, Mr. Cassello.”

 

“Castle.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“That’s my name. It’s not Frank Casello… it’s Castle. Frank Castle.”

 

“Castle? I’ve heard that name before.”

 

It was when I emerged from the smoke and she got a clear view of me that she understands it all. Her jaw nearly dropped to the ground when she saw the white death’s head on the chest of my black Kevlar suit.

 

“The Punisher?” she screamed in disbelief. “You can’t be here! This is the DC universe… not Marvel!”

 

“Consider this to be an unauthorized crossover, bitch! Consider yourself permanently retired.”

 

Before she can crack her whip, I open fire my submachine. I keep firing until the magazine is empty.

 

She drops her whip and falls to the floor in pain and bullets hit here square in the chest.

 

She finally stops screaming when she touches her chest and doesn’t see any blood… and there wouldn’t be any blood. The bullets are made of a soft rubber. I only wanted to stun her, not kill her.

 

Her stunned condition gives me enough time to grab her dropped whip and toss it over to the side so she can’t use it against me. I can’t take any chances with her. Even now, she’s proven that she’s tough and formidable. In just those few seconds, she managed to get to her knees in an upright position… but I can’t let her have any advantages. I give her a punch to the chin which knocks her back on the floor.

 

“Shit,” she mutters and holds her mouth.

 

I guess she’s not use to a man going off and hitting her.

 

Before I can crack her again, she shows her lightning quickness. She jumps up and racks one of her claws across my chest.

 

Normally, this would rip through my Kevlar and finish me off… but I came prepared.

 

The gas in that grenade is a special compound that breaks down the material in her claws and makes them brittle. They harmlessly shatter on my chest on impact. Obviously, I lied when I said the gas was a diversionary tactic.

 

I lied… so sue me!

 

While she’s trying to figure that one out, I bury my fist into her stomach and she drops to the ground like a top of bricks.

 

“Why?” she wheezed trying to catch her breathe. “Why do you want to kill me? You only hunt killers.”

 

“I’m not here to kill you. I’m just fulfilling a contract. I have to hire out once in a while. If you refuse to surrender, then my orders are to kill you… which I hope doesn’t come to that.”

 

“Who gave you those orders? Who hired you?”

 

“My employer is confidential. Being a professional you should respect that.”

 

I had to hand it to her, she was already on all fours. Talk about fortitude!

 

“Whatever they’re paying you,” she said in desperation. “I’ll double it.”

 

“I doubt you could,” I gave her a sharp kick to the ribs which dropped her again. “The money you have comes no where close to my payment should I succeed. Even if you could beat my offer, we both know that I’m honor bound not to break my contract. When I make a deal, I always see it through. When I’m bought, I stay bought. Now we can do this the easy way or the hard way, Catwoman. Put you hands behind your back. Now!”

 

“No!” Catwoman hissed as she struck out at me with lightning speed. Shit! This woman was fast!

 

Before I could react, she brought her forearm up between my legs and straight into my balls.

 

Normally, this would have dropped me like a bad habit and I’d be rolling on the floor and crying like a little bitch for a good ten minutes. I’d be walking funny for two days and using a soprano voice… if I hadn’t taken proper precautions.

 

I learned long ago that my “family jewels” were my only physically vulnerability, and in a scuffle such as this, people would go after them from time to time. That’s why I always wear a re-enforced cup.

 

Protection or not, Catwoman was a highly trained fighter, and I still felt the blow… even if it was not enough to take me down. It was enough, however, to stun me for that split second for her to give me a quick blow to my chin.

 

For a broad, she can hit pretty damn hard… but not hard enough. The barrage of rubber bullets had taken most of the wind out of her sails as well as a good portion of her punching power.

 

If this were a fair fight, I’d say that she’d have a slightly better than average chance to take me down… but this is not about honor. I need every advantage that I can get. I have to take Catwoman down.

 

I play possum… pretend that she hurt me good. And as I hoped, she turns around to run away. Flight is her only option now. She knows that she’s in no condition to engage me.

 

She takes two steps before I unleash a hard kick into the small of her back and she falls flat on her face to the floor. Then I pounce on top of her and wrap my arms around her throat. I got my hold synched in so well that all her rolling on the floor and gyrating won’t help her shake it loose.

 

“Give up, Catwoman,” I order. “Or I’ll choke the life out of you.”

 

“No!” she hisses again. She tried to break my hold, but my fingers and thumb are so well buried that she can’t pull on them for leverage. She flails her arms but she can’t reach my head or poke at my eyes or nose.

 

She struggled valiantly for a good minute even though she knew that it was no use. Damn, this woman is strong! As a matter of fact, she a woman in peak physical condition and there’s very few women out there that are stronger than he is… but I’m a man that is in peak physical condition, too… and a man with peak strength is still stronger than a woman at peak strength.

 

It’s a fact: man, in generally, always have greater upper body strength than woman. I hate to sound sexist, but show me a strong woman and I can always find a man who’s stronger. Any world record involving strength is always held by a man. The dead-lifting world record will never be held by a woman… that’s how it is… and Catwoman is not stronger than me.

 

I can feel her body starting to go limp but she still too stubborn to give up. She’s one tough broad. I’ll give her that. She probably lived on the streets when she was a kid… but that’s a cakewalk compared to Viet Nam and the shit I had to go through. Her fighting prowess is still no match for my intense military training and combat experience.

 

“Give it up, Catwoman!” I shout again. “Surrender and you will live. You have my word on that… otherwise you will die. I’m not bluffing. I don’t want to kill you, but I will if you force my hand.”

 

She makes one last desperate attempt to struggle and it forces me to put the choke on even harder. In ten seconds, she’ll either asphyxiate or her neck will snap… and she knows it, too!

 

“Last chance, Catwoman! Prisoner or casualty? What’s it gonna be?” Now, I give my hold full pressure. “Tap out now! Do it! Damn it! Give up!” I can feel that she’s down to her last few precious iotas of oxygen.

 

Catwoman make one last fist of defiance before she releases it to an open palm.

 

Then the unimaginable happened… Catwoman taps the floor with her hand and surrenders… submits to my capture… something that no other hot-shit hero in the DC universe has ever managed to do.

 

I’ve beaten Catwoman… and to my regret… I’ve have broken her, too.

 

She collapsed to the floor, thankful for the new supply of air that she’s desperate to get in her lungs. I can hear her sobs in between her gasps for air and I feel like an evil bigger heel. She didn’t deserve to be taken down in such an undignified way… but I’m a desperate man… and time is short… desperate times call for desperate measures… and by turning her over to my employer, I can save a lot of innocent lives back in my own Marvel Universe!

 

She does not resist as I force her arms behind her back and bind her with special reinforced rope. I take my time using tight, intricate, inescapable knots that I learned from an old South Vietnamese torture master… the kind of knots that get tighter and could strangle you if you struggle… but of course… my goal is not to torture her… just secure her so she can’t escape. I can’t take any chances with her getting away. If I blow this, I’ll never get another chance at her again. Still… I try to be gentle as I bind her helpless.

 

It takes a good half hour to finish my job of restraining her. I tied her ankles… her knees… her thighs. Then I wrapped my rope around her chest and shoulders to make a secure harness so that she’ll be unable to slip her tied wrists under her ass and get her arms in front of her.

 

I searched her thoroughly to make sure that she wasn’t hiding anything on her person which could cut the ropes (which I specially treated to prevent cutting… but I’m not taking any chances).

 

I studied her profile and she’s pretty proficient at escaping while being tied up… but that’s because most idiots don’t know how to do it properly. I also know that she doesn’t know how to dislocate her joints and pop them back, so she can’t escape using that tactic. I know that she can’t break the ropes and even if she could wriggle herself free, the pain involved would make her give up or it would take hours to get loose… and she doesn’t have hours! By that time, I’ll already have handed her over and if she gets away while in my contractor’s possession, that’s not my problem.

 

After checking her ropes to make sure that she’s good and secure, I took a sitting position on the floor and placed her helplessly bound body on my lap. I needed to calm her down before I leave here as I don’t want her to freak out during transport and risk hurting herself.

 

“It’s going to be alright, Catwoman.” For once, I’m being sincere and I’m not bullshitting her. “If you cooperate, you will not be harmed. I promise.”

 

She simply looks at me and nods. It appears that she wants to say something to but can’t find the words. I can see some tears starting to well up in her eyes.

 

“Are the ropes, okay?” I have no clue what else I should say. “Not too tight, are they?”

 

“I’m comfortable,” she answers softly. “Thank you.” A few seconds of quiet pass before she speaks again. “There was no Black Diamond… was there? You set that up to flush me out in the open.”

 

“I’m afraid so. Sorry.”

 

“Just as well,” she signed. “So much for my retirement… but I guess I get to retire in another way… permanently. You were right all along, Frank… I mean Punisher….”

 

“You can call me, Frank. Right about what?”

 

“I am lazy.”

 

Then she dropped her head on my chest and started balling… just like Niagara Falls… but she’s not crying to gain my sympathy. It’s because all her emotions finally caught up with her.

 

“I can’t believe it’s over,” she muttered in her sobs. “But I’m glad it’s over… otherwise I would never stop doing what I’m doing.”

 

I held her tight for a while and stroked her hair as she slowly regained her composure. For the first time in my career, I feel a sense of remorse for what I’ve done. A part of me wants to let her go… but I can’t. She’s starting to get to me. Now, I know why my employer sent me after her rather than doing it himself.

 

“I’m afraid that I’m going to have to gag you now,” I finally speak. “Sorry. Boss’s orders.” I figured that I was instructed to do this so I wouldn’t hear pleas during transport. My “boss” had all his bases covered and wasn’t taking chances either.

 

To my surprise, she didn’t argue and took it all in stride. “That’s okay. I understand. You do what you got to do… but just one thing first.”

 

“What’s that?”

 

“Take my mask off.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Please do it. I know it’s stupid… but if I’m going down… I want to go down as Selina Kyle… not Catwoman. No one has been able to take down Catwoman and I’d like to keep it that way. Please… at least… give me that. Please unmask me.”

 

Seeing that it’s a reasonable request, I pulled her cowl back so that it now hanging off the back of her head like a hood. I take a good look at her naked face… and only now do I realize just how beautiful she truly is.

 

“Anything else?” I continue to stare at her like a love-sick puppy dog.

 

“Just this.” She puts her lips to mine.

 

Unlike her pervious kiss, this one was is gentle and smooth. The make-out session lasted for a few minutes. I’m sure my employer is going to get really pissed about this… but I don’t give a shit.

 

 

“Okay,” she finally stopped. “I’m done. You can gag me now.”

 

I’ve never had so many second-thoughts in my life. “Screw the boss. It won’t be necessary… if you give me your word that you’ll stay quiet….”

 

“My word doesn’t matter,” she interrupted. “It’s best you follow your instructions and carry them out. Just gag me. I’ll be okay… really.”

 

“I’m supposed to use this nasty ball-gag,” I throw it off to the side. “But I’ll tell him that it got lost in the scuffle if he whines about it. I’ll just use a soft clothe gag… okay?”

 

“Thank you,” she manages a smile as I carefully put a small wad cloth in her mouth (enough to keep her quiet without chocking her) before I tie it off in place with a handkerchief around her head.

 

She rested her head on my chest again and I continued to hold her for a good half hour before I got up to deliver her.

 

 

Frank Castle… aka the Punisher… is a rat!

 

 

Epilogue

 

 

At the stroke of midnight, my contractor, along with the old Tibetan monk with the psionic power to open dimensional gateways (which brought me from the Marvel Universe to the DC Universe) were there to greet me.

 

My contractor looked in disbelieve as I put presented his Catwoman in a tightly bound and wrapped package and put her in his arms.

 

“Not to sound ungrateful, Punisher,” said Batman. “But I still can’t see how you were able to succeed in capturing Catwoman where I failed time and time again.”

 

“That’s because you had an emotional attachment,” I answered. “She was just a job her me.” I bit my bottom lip to help hide my lie… but there was no reason to let the Caped Crusader know that she was getting to me and I was within a hair’s breath of letting her go minutes before this drop off. “Your problem was that you are reluctant to engage her fully. You can’t get yourself to hit her. I don’t have that disadvantage.”

 

“You’re right,” Batman answered with solemn forthrightness. “I can’t bear to hit her and it would break my heart to do so. I hope that you didn’t have to rough her up too badly.”

 

“No more than usual,” I answered. “I only used as much physical force as was necessary.”

 

“Is that true, Selina?” Batman looked at his newly gained prize.

 

Catwoman, ever the trooper, nodded her head in agreement. I wanted her now more than ever.

 

“Don’t judge me too harshly for this,” Batman continued. “I had to do this because… I love her… and I think that she loves me. I can’t bear to be separated from her too long. I think about her constantly… worry about her all the time… and eventually her luck will run out and she’ll end up in prison. I can’t have that.”

 

At this point, my own heart was breaking and I just wanted to collect my reward and go home. “Look, Batman, I did the job. You don’t have to explain you’re motivation to me….”

 

“Can’t you see?” Batman continued to rattle on. “As long as she works on the opposite side of the law, we can never truly be together. I have to save her from herself. I can reform her… rehabilitant her. I can show her that she can validate herself without having to resort to steal things. I need a partner in crime fighting… and in life. Don’t get me wrong… Robin is more than capable… but there is a void in my life and I have needs that the Boy Wonder cannot fill… and Batgirl… well… she’s just that… a girl… Catwoman is a… woman! You understand… don’t you, Punisher?”

 

“Ummm…. yeah… sure.” Shit… the guy had it bad… but I can’t blame him.

 

Catwoman gave me one last look as Batman carried her off and placed her in the front seat of the Batmobile. There was no scorn and hatred in her eyes… it was contentment. She had actually forgiven for what I had done.

 

What a woman!

 

“Your payment,” Batman returned as he pulled out an envelope from his utility belt.

 

“Thanks,” I said as I opened it up and studied the piece of paper inside to make sure that it was authentic… it was.

 

It was a simple piece of paper that contained a date, time, and a location. Batman had somehow required the info for a special top secret meeting in which every major player in the organized criminal underworld would be in attendance.

 

All my rats in one place… and I can wipe them all out in one fell swoop. Such a blow would totally wipe out organized crime in North America. No more assholes with connections and being protected from the law. No more people getting caught between gang wars (like my wife and kids). No more corruption. Crime would be to a level in which convention law enforcement could deal with it.

 

There might not be a need for me anymore… and maybe… like Batman… I can sit on the sidelines and find a little female plaything for my very own… Black Widow perhaps? There’s something about the hot little Russian that stirs my loins. If dorks like Hawkeye and Daredevil could rock her world… imagine what a real man like me could do? Once I take her, she’d never want to leave my side.

 

It wouldn’t be that hard to subdue her once I relieved her of her weapons. I can design a sonic design that will blow off her “widow sting” bracelets and I can also rig it and threaten to set off the explosive charges on her belt. Then she’d have to take off her belt and throw it to the side to prevent blowing up with it. Then once, I got her tied up, I could use my extra sharp bowie knife to cut slowly off her Kevlar uniform. I wonder if she wears underwear beneath that nice, tight little black outfit?

 

This could be so much fun!

 

“Is everything alright?” said Batman.

 

“It was nice doing business with you,” I come back to the real world. “What else do you have for me? If you get me into Arkham Asylum as an inmate, I could get close enough to the Joker and put a cap in his head and end it once and for all.”

 

“The Joker is mine,” Batman snapped. “I can handle him. This was a one-time deal. Go home. I won’t be bringing you here again.”

 

 

As the monk concentrated to open the gateway back to my world, I smiled to myself.

 

It took a non-superpowered jamoke like me to get done what guys like Batman and Superman couldn’t.

 

I retired the “uncatchable” Catwoman… and soon I plan to bag the Black Widow.

 

 

And that dear reader… is why Marvel Comics rule… and DC sucks!

 

 

 

The End.

Flamingo Boy

3-14-07