Helen Magnus smoothed down her black dress slacks as if on autopilot. She had known what outfit she would wear that day before she had even opened her eyes to the sunlight that poured though her bedroom window. Typically, Helen wasn’t one to repeat an entire outfit twice and tended to mix pieces up with her ever expanding number of clothes, but today was a peculiar exception. Her wardrobe itself had expanded to almost the same size as her room and she almost felt ashamed of her compulsive need for more clothes. Almost.
Rifling through the racks upon racks of clothing, Magnus went about finding the exact striped ivory button up blouse she had her mind set on, clad only in her pants and black lace bra. Obviously she had no need for propriety in her bedroom as her staff, also her friends, would never step foot in her domain. It was her own sanctuary inside the Sanctuary and she intended on keeping it that way.
Feeling oddly cheerful, Helen continued her quest for the elusive blouse deeper and deeper into the closet until she was rummaging through an old chest of draws in the back corner. Her incessant searching through the musty drawers revealed the offending garment and Helen scowled. It can’t have been that long since I wore this.
She tossed the blouse over her forearm before finding her last two elements. The sleek black vest and matching tie. Helen parted the jungle of clothes as she made her way back to the lights beyond the closet’s door, knowing that the garments were stashed in her ‘Accessories’ department. Though if she started referring to sections of her wardrobe as if it were a department store, she mused, she may actually have to sell some of her items. Like that was ever going to happen.
Helen garnered her last pieces of apparel from the ginormous room of clothing and snapped the doors shut. She didn’t want to risk a Perfect Storm-esque wave of cloth pouring into her room. Her clothes were quickly ironed and the still warm fabric was draped across her figure. Nudging the tie slightly, Magnus checked over herself in the mirror and an odd thought crossed her mind; if some outfits made her look this good, she may have to start reusing some more often.
Shaking the thought that should have been more disturbing to her than it was, Helen pinned her hair and gently slipped on black Prada ankle boots before waltzing into the chaos that was the Sanctuary Network. To say her job was hectic would be an understatement and the paperwork, oh Lord, the paperwork… Helen sometimes felt that she would need a snow shovel to dig herself out of her office at the end of the day.
Thoughts were locked away behind mental barriers and Helen became Dr. Magnus, leader of the Sanctuary Network and one hundred and sixty year old badass. She settled in at her desk chair and opted to start slaving away at the five miles worth of paperwork stacked up on her desk. Will, Kate and Henry all complained at the few sheets of administration they had to fill in every once in a while and Helen mused with a slightly sadistic grin, how they would cope with the reams of paper she dealt with on a daily basis?
“Oh, that’s a smile I can relate to.”
Helen’s reflections were shattered by the deep tones of an impeccable man lounging near the doorframe. Actually, a man of his stature would never lounge, he was merely leaning his side gracefully against the antique cream wall. “Nikola? What on earth are you doing here?”
A salacious grin filled with pearly white teeth greeted Magnus. “Can’t an old friend drop by and have a drink?”
Eyes were barely granted a roll at the Serbian before Helen stacked her half completed sheets haphazardly and sat down on the window seat. “If the friend is you, Nikola, then no.”
Tesla pressed a hand to his chest, aghast. “I’m offended. Not even one spot of wine?” He squeezed his fingers together in measurement and shrugged before narrowing in on Magnus’ outfit. “Surely you’d at least drink to how splendidly our outfits match today.”
“The only way your outfit would match mine was if you were wearing a pencil skirt and stilet-“ Helen’s sentence cut off as she actually absorbed what the vampire was wearing and mirth danced in Nikola’s electric blue orbs.
Dressed as stylish as ever, Nikola was fitted to perfection in a crisp snowy dress shirt complete with pale grey stripes and pressed black slacks that dusted the tops of black Oxfords that were shined to precision. Completing his dashing look, a charcoal grey waistcoat, that teetered on the brink of being black, was fastened around his torso with glittering buttons and the Serbian dangled a recently untied black cravat from his fingertips. “It’s no pencil skirt, but we do go very well together.”
The jollity in Nikola’s eyes was too pronounced just to be coincidental enjoyment. She sent him a death stare that would send most abnormals running in fear, but Nikola was not ‘most abnormals.’ “What did you do this time?”
“Nothing.” Nikola’s hands, which were always exceptionally manicured for the hands of a scientist, shot up in surrender. “Why does everything always have to be my fault?”
“Because it usually is and it’s never for anyone’s benefit but your own.” Magnus lowered her head, but kept her eyes level.
Tesla’s raked an appreciative glance over Helen’s appearance once more before he sighed and rolled his head back on his shoulders. He wasn’t up for that particular verbal sparring match when another battlefield lay ahead. “Magnetic hypnosis.”
“You did what?”
“I know you can hear perfectly, my dear, don’t play dumb with me." Tesla’s tone was condescending.
Helen’s eyes were fiery. “Hypnosis? How dare you?”
“I was testing a theory.”
“I am not a Guinea pig for you to ‘test your theory’ on.” Magnus approached the fellow scientist with a thirst for blood. “What exactly did you do to me?”
“Haven’t you felt lighter today? As if a huge weight has been lifted from your elegant shoulders?” The corners of his mouth twitched as a startled recognition brightened Helen’s eyes. “That was the magnetic part.”
Helen strode towards the proud, yet slightly subdued, Nikola. “Magnetic- Nikola! How the hell do your bloody magnetic powers have anything to do with my damned emotions? That’s just ridiculous.”
“Is it though?” A perfect eyebrow headed upwards. “Emotions are like the wind; it’s not something you can see, yet you can feel its effects. Emotions are invisible and exert effects as well.”
“But feelings aren’t physical like the damn wind, they’re psychological. This is more Will’s realm, which for the most part you deem bogus, so I’m pretty sure I have grounds to declare you insane.” Helen mimed moving towards the telephone on her desk. “If you like, I can send for Will and ask him for an evaluation.”
Nikola grabbed for her wrists and his slightly cool grasp steadied them between their two figures. “Emotions are energy. Don’t you get it? I am the Master of the Magnet and obviously I can manipulate magnetic currents without the pesky need for an actual magnet, unlike normal humans. It was easy to fix your ‘emotional baggage’ while you were asleep and there you have it.”
Helen appeared as if she was starting to believe Nikola, before her expression snapped once again into irritation and yanked her hands away. “Say I believe all of that… What about the hypnosis?”
She could read Nikola’s face like a book. He was hoping that she had might have forgotten. Big longshot. “Alright, I might have caught you in the hallway outside your room while I waited to trial my magnetism theory and may have hypnotised you into wearing this sexy office woman getup. I might add, you do look ravishing.”
The woman had to give it to him; he sure was a persistent bastard. Not sure whether to be impressed or pissed off, Helen settled for a pained, “Nikola.”
“That is my name.”
A feeling of lightheadedness and a strange tingle washed over Helen’s self. “What the bloody hell was that?”
Nikola’s face lit up with an iridescent grin. “So it does have a physical effect as well. Very interesting.”
The scientist was off in his own little world and Helen found it upon herself to reel him back in to the land of the living. “I said, ‘what was that?’”
He wiggled his fingers in front of her face. “My incredible abilities. You’ll wake up in the morning feeling better than ever again.”
“You didn’t-?” Helen was now considering the fact that Nikola wasn’t totally ridiculous, but actually on to something. “I mean, wow.”
“Is Helen Magnus lost for words? Good heavens, I must be good.” Melodramatics and ego at their finest…
Magnus pushed at Nikola’s chest playfully and a pulse surged through her fingertips. Startled, she backed away slightly, but before she could slip away further Tesla grasped her forearms and held her still. Locked in a gaze that crackled with electricity, the two leant towards each other subconsciously and edged into each other’s personal space. Helen’s breath fanned out across her companion’s face in a caress of mint and a delicate scent reminiscent of strawberries while Nikola, unlike his usual self, licked his lips nervously.
He bridged the minute distance between the two of them and smoothed his lips delicately across Helen’s. The tantalizing touch of their mouths ignited the long buried embers of a romantic lust and the kiss rapidly turned passionate. Nikola’s tongue swept across Helen’s bottom lip and was granted access with a slight shudder hurtling down her spine. Silky smooth lips pressed harder against somewhat chapped ones as century’s old desire overtook them and Magnus’ hands twisted in his electric hair.
A moan escaped her as Nikola’s hand followed the curve of her hip and settled on the small of her back, the other gaining purchase on the back of her neck. Eventually Helen pulled back, clasping her hands behind Tesla’s own neck, gasping for breath.
Gracing Nikola’s eyes was a long lost softness as he took in her flushed cheeks. “I’d say ‘I’m sorry,’ but I’m not.”
“Neither am I. That was sort of a long time coming, wasn’t it?” A soft smile adorned Helen’s face and conveyed absolutely no regret.
“I wasn’t the one holding up proceedings here.” Laughter rang out from the two and their gaiety was extremely apparent.
The clock on a computer screen caught Helen’s eye in passing and she muttered a soft curse. “I’ve got a meeting with the other Sanctuary heads in ten minutes.”
She eyed him with firmness. “You know I can’t.”
Nikola stepped back in surrender. “Fine, but I get you the minute you’re done.”
Helen straightened her appearance up with the aid of her reflection in the window and fingered her swollen lips gingerly. “That’s something I can agree to.”
She strolled towards the door, heels clicking, and dropped a chaste kiss on Nikola’s lips. Shock quickly morphed into smug pleasure on his face and he cast an admiring eye over the exiting figure of Helen Magnus.
He was grinning like the Cheshire Cat before she tossed a parting comment over her shoulder.
“Oh, and don’t think I’m forgiving you anytime soon for the outfit stunt.”