Nikita turned the chilled glass of white wine in her fingers. The light from the recesses above her in the intimate restaurant shone dully in the liquid. She took a small sip, rolling it over her tongue slowly. Closing her eyes she followed her minds musings about the flavor. She rode waves of oak and fruit and smiled at the crispness. Her whole world had changed. She was trying to find something like a life in the small moments away from Division, life in glasses of wine and meals and moments away, living.
Division was not a place to live. There was no breath that was not monitored or relationship that was not watched if not outright orchestrated. Nikita, as an agent with some small measure of trust, was given a certain degree which she used to try to work out how to taste life as she tasted the wine in her glass. Fully, and unfortunately in small doses. Human relations were not a part of Division life.
Imagines of Kelly flashed through her mind. Her friend and partner in the field, Kelly had been one of her only true friends at Division. The attractive blonde had fallen for a young man in operations. They began a secretive affair that she had sold Michael as just a cover, a convenient "pairing" to keep either from dealing with entangling relationships from without. Michael believed it was just a cover. Not everyone did. Percy was not convinced. Jacob, Kelly's boyfriend died in a "home invasion." Percy was not the type to allow for the possibility of shared loyalties. Relationships were not allowed at Division. Kelly came to Nikita's apartment and wept. When Percy thought she was ready again, he sent her out. She never came back from that mission. Kelly died and Nikita woke up to the truth.
"Your salad, ma'am." The waiter smiled, pulling Nikita out of her thoughts.
Nikita nodded her thanks to the server who placed the tofu and kale salad in front of her. While this was not the finest restaurant in the city, they had a healthy selection of vegetarian dishes. She was just savoring the aroma and taste and texture of the first mouthful when a dark haired man dressed in an off the rack dark suit and open necked white shirt came in leading a young woman clothed in a dress made for dancing and trimmed in a burgundy fur.
The scowling thick necked man stopped and lifted and dropped his hand. The girl reacted as if he yanked her leash. She moved up beside him and lowered her chin. A waiter showed them to the table opposite hers. Nikita looked up through her eyelashes. The young woman was high. That much was almost as certain as there was a sky above. Her skin was pale, her eyes too bright, stumbling slightly before she took her seat to the right of the man. Nikita's fork stopped midway as she studied the brunette.
Nikita swallowed hard. The girl across from her, fidgeting slightly looking at the frowning man beside her was none other than Alexandra Udinov. The years had turned the young girl she rescued into a woman, but Nikita knew without a doubt it was her.
The last time she had seen Alexandra was when she gave her over for safekeeping. It was her one little act of rebellion prior to Kelly, the one little attempt to cling to shreds of her own soul. This was the girl she was supposed to have killed but instead secreted away in the night.
The man growled out a few sentences. Nikita watched intently. A few minutes was all it took to tell Nikita what she needed to know. The way the girl leaned in his direction. His proprietary mannerism. A small cellophane bag pulled from his pocket, slid across the table top toward Alex. Turning the bag over in her hand, she shot up from her chair and headed off toward the restroom in the back of the restaurant.
Nikita wiped her lips with the napkin in her lap and followed. She stared at the stall door as she pretended to check her lipstick. Alex stumbled slightly as she moved to the sink. She washed her hands slowly and methodically as she became aware of the other woman in the room. Nikita felt the eyes heavy on her. She was being assessed.
Alexandra looked at the woman and smiled. "See something you like?" she asked seductively.
Nikita looked at her evenly. "And if I did?"
The younger woman turned and ran her hand over Nikita's shoulder. "I am worth every penny." Her lips slipped slowly, with small breaths over Nikita's jaw. Slight puffs of air ignited nerves Nikita had thought dead.
"Tonight?" Nikita asked.
"I am... engaged for the evening." Alexandra offered as she nibbled Nikita's earlobe. "I'm worth the wait too," she whispered.
The breath and the lips tickling at the soft skin under her ear was exciting. Nikita moaned quietly. Her fingers reached out and stroked at the younger woman's side. "When?" she whispered.
"Tomorrow night. Morgan's." she smiled.
"The bar at the end of the block." Alex's fingers moved up Nikita's thigh slowly and pressed at the top, a very short, very tantalizing distance from Nikita's center.
Nikita felt wet and weak. All the plans she had to set Alexandra's life right were a million miles from her mind as Alex's soft lips caressed hers.
"You haven't told me your name." Nikita's eyes searched hers and after a beat, she leaned forward gently tucking a lock of hair behind the younger woman's ear.
Alexandra left the bathroom with a brief backward glance. Nikita leaned into the sink catching her breath. Never had anyone taken her breath away with a few touches. She would spend the evening keeping her eye on the Russian heiress and now sex slave.