137 Q Street
by sarAdora ~~~~~~~~~~
Three months later
It wasn't often that Alex attended these formal affairs. He didn't detest them; donning a tux felt good once in a while. Mostly, he was bored with the political bullshit. So much of it flew across the room, you could smell it headed your way. The Director was supposed to attend and couldn't. How he got roped into attending in his place was beyond him. He wondered where the other two assistant directors were; all three were supposed to stay for at least an hour.
At least, the food's good. He made his way to the buffet, giving his empty wineglass to a passing waiter.
"Another, sir?" the new immigrant asked, his face as fresh looking as his brand new green card.
"No," Alex declined. He still had to drive home and he was tired.
He spotted her across the room and froze. She was even more exquisite than he remembered and instantly, his heart pounded and his cock twitched. It had been three months since they released her - three long months. Surveillance lost track of her for over a week, finally catching up with her by chance at the zoo, of all places, a place they later discovered that she frequented often. He had been relieved she was okay and happy to know she was in the DC area for a while. Her lease with the Woodland Park Hotel was for a year. He wasn't sure she lived here permanently but knew she'd be back often enough to justify the contract with the hotel. He wasn't quite sure why that made him feel good.
He had beaten himself up time and again for mistaking her for the Labeau woman. That's not true, he remembered. But we should have released her as soon as her personal information was verified. It wasn't until a junior agent fresh out of Quantico noted that the woman they had mistakenly apprehended had type B negative blood, rarer than most and wondered what type the Labeau woman had. A careful check revealed that Amanda Labeau's blood type was A positive, a far cry from Neysa Zirniklis. He regretted their treatment of her. It wasn't unduly harsh as interrogations go, and she had held up well. But it had been unnecessary.
At least, you held her at Q Street and not in that hellhole where you generally stick them.
Yeah, she missed an opportunity to become some dyke's newest toy, he snorted, only partially relieved.
British Intelligence had finally caught up with Amanda Labeau and refused extradition to the U.S.. The FBI would get a crack at her once she went through their court system. Alex knew it was highly unlikely they'd get a shot at her; he was sure the Brits would put her away for a long time. The Brits were already shocked at having their banks robbed, but having them robbed by a Yank? A colonist? It was the outside of enough, the British press had reported.
He made his way across the room, nodding to the other equally bored guests, slowly getting closer to the woman he had ordered held on Q Street. She was ravishing. Her gown was a swathe of emerald green silk moiré, the same shade as her eyes and was molded to her body. She had gained a few pounds since he had seen her and in his opinion, they ended up in the right places, making her delightfully round where he thought a woman should be round. Her hair was on top of her head, a few long curls caressed her shoulders and she smelled like jasmine. She took his breath away.
"Alex!" a heavily accented voice called.
"Mikhail!" Alex smiled, recognizing one of the Russian Ambassador's many secretaries.
"Ms. Zirniklis, may I introduce Alex Morris? Alex, this is Neysa Zirniklis. She's the beauty and the brains behind the new gardens everyone is raving about. Did you see them when you arrived? You must come back during the day and inspect them closely. We are the envy of all the embassies."
"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Morris," Neysa extended her hand. "Since most of the embassies' grounds are limited to the back of their buildings... and are not exceptionally vast..." she smiled to soften her words.
"But the indoor garden and pool you created is so magnificent..." the secretary gushed.
"Enough, Mikhail. You are embarrassing me," she smiled at the diminutive man.
Alex didn't remember the huskiness of her voice. He had heard her say only a few words that time when she had been ill. He was already attracted to her; the quality and timbre of her voice intrigued him even more. For a brief moment, he wondered if it would be possible to get to know her better...
Taking her smaller hand in his, he gave her a genuine smile. "The pleasure is mine, Ms. Zirniklis..." he said, his eyes twinkling, "regardless of the size of the garden."
"Alex is with the FBI, Neysa," the Russian Ambassador's secretary added.
Neysa arched a brow and withdrew her hand from his. "What do you do for the FBI, Mr. Morris?" she asked softly, careful to keep her voice neutral. Slowly, but surely, she was putting the "incident" behind her, and until this moment, was experiencing a great deal of success.
"He's an assistant director," the secretary gushed, and that's all you can ask him. "They're filled with secrets, you know," the man winked.
"We don't have nearly as many as you do, Mikhail," Alex replied with a grin, making them all laugh.
Discovering that Neysa hadn't eaten anything, he escorted her to the buffet, filling plates for both of them with a variety of Russian delicacies. There was something familiar about him, but she couldn't put her finger on it. Even though he was with the FBI, Neysa felt comfortable with him and began to relax in his presence. She also thought he was extraordinarily handsome and wondered if he was married. He wasn't wearing a ring.
It's his voice, her conscience remembered. He reminds me of that big guy from...
I remember. Yes, he does sound a little like him.
It was a long time ago.
You don't suppose...?
He *is* FBI.
They probably have thousands of employees.
They exchanged small talk, Alex at his most charming, Neysa relaxed enough to flirt with him. She wasn't coy or shy; she openly admired him but avoided questions that were too personal. He did the same. He discovered he was still wildly attracted to her but he didn't want her to know who he was - yet. He wasn't sure what her reaction would be if she found out he had been the one who ordered her incarceration.
If? His conscience snorted. You mean when, don't you? Pursue this relationship and it's just a matter of time.
I'll chance it.
She accepted his invitation for lunch the next day but declined a ride home. He gently squeezed her hand when they said goodnight, and his heart did a serious flip-flop when she smiled at him. He didn't remember driving home.
Neysa leaned against the inside of her hotel room door. She was moving her things out at the end of the week, keeping the suite until the lease was up in case she needed it. Alex Morris complicated her plans. She decided to leave a few personal things in the suite in case she suddenly lost her mind and invited him up for a drink.