Strangers & Sinners
She was out the door before he picked up the phone.
"Damn!" he swore, running after her and almost collided with the Deputy Director who was about to enter his office.
"I need a word with you, Nick. It can't wait."
It was hours later before he could leave the office. The Deputy Director had dropped a file on his desk, made impossible demands, and stormed out. As usual, AD Verona had to clean up someone else's mess and he did, cursing the deputy director to hell until the task was complete.
His assistant had long since left the office so Nick sat at her desk to write a note of instructions for her. He had a feeling he was going to be late to work the next morning. He was going after Anna Sophia, come hell or high water.
And then, he spotted it. It was tucked under the stapler. Sophie had left her business card. He couldn't believe what she did for a living. How could I have been so wrong about her? Christ! I am a total and complete ass! What the hell made me think she was a hooker?
His heart was lighter when he left the office. He knew he could make things right with her if he could just talk to her for a few minutes. I'll reason with her, he told himself. She'll understand.
What do you want her to understand, *Sergei?*
That we need to spend more time together, that maybe, we have a...
A... what? A bond, a relationship, a future, a life together, a what? His conscience asked, impartial and neutral, moving toward indulgence, then rapidly snorting with disgust.
A chance. That's what we have. We have a chance at something... good.
He headed straight for Arlington and was happy to find a different desk clerk on duty at the Presidential Arms.
"Would you ring Miss Bergdorf's room, please?" he asked politely.
"Is she with that condo group that stayed here for a few weeks while their building was being cleared of asbestos?" The man barely looked up from his newspaper, a toothpick moving between his lips as he spoke.
"Yes, she was." The little bit of patience Nick had was rapidly dwindling at the indifference the clerk showed.
"Well, she ain't here, now," the man said, turning a page, checking the next day's odds at Tropical racetrack in Miami. He cursed, ignoring the man scowling at him. "Shit! Maybe, I should've bet the 4th race instead of the 3rd. What the hell?" he yelped when Nick put a heavy hand on his scrawny neck.
"Where is she?" the AD demanded.
"Uh... they're... they all went back," he stuttered, gulping air. "They all went back to their condo building. They fixed the place and they moved out couple hours ago."
"You better not be lying to me," Nick warned.
"I'm not, I swear," he swallowed hard, rubbing his neck.
"If I find out you lied, I'll be back," he said softly, frightening the clerk even more. Nick left on that ominous note, his long black trench coat flapping behind him. Noting the address on her business card, he headed for Sophie's building.
It was a lovely old building, pre-war and as solid as they come. He had to park half a block away but that didn't deter him. He knew where she lived and now he could confront her.
You gotta get in her door, first, his conscience stated.
The stone steps led to double doors and Nick skipped up them, entering a lobby that probably hadn't been refurbished in fifty years. But it was clean and homey and comfortable looking and he had a feeling it was a safe place to live.
He thought the draperies were a little too dark and heavy looking, but they matched the same look of the huge furniture of the '40's. Large comfortable chairs were situated in front of a fireplace, its fire adding warmth and a glow to the room. Small occasional tables were on either side of the four couches and a long walnut table against a far wall held a huge coffee urn. He hoped it held hot coffee as well - he could use a cup.
The guard at the door stopped him. "May I be of assistance, sir?" he asked, suspecting the man standing before him was a gentleman.
Nick smiled. He liked the idea that Sophie's building had a security guard at the front door.
"I'm Nick Verona, Assistant Director of the FBI," he announced, showing his badge, hoping his I.D. would cut through the formalities and he could get to Sophie a little sooner.
"I'm here to see Anna Sophia Bergdorf."
"You just missed her, sir. She's not home at the moment."
Nick frowned. "Did she happen to mention when she would be back?"
"Don't expect her for a few days," he looked at Nick's I.D. photo, "Mr. Verona. She went out of town on a business trip. Pretty sure she said she'd be back Christmas Eve."
Goddammit! "Christmas Eve is a Sunday. You sure she said Christmas Eve?"
"Yes, sir, Ms Bergdorf sometimes works on Saturdays and she might have had one of those airline tickets that make you stay over Saturday night, you know the kind I mean?"
Nick nodded. Oh, yeah! Been there, done that. The Bureau often made agents stay out of town over a Saturday night to cut quarterly expenses.
"Do you know where she went? Did she leave a number where she could be reached?"
"No, sir, she didn't. Say, would you like to leave a message? I'll make sure she gets it as soon as she gets back."
"Thanks, I appreciate that." He handed the man his business card. "On second thought, do me a favor," he smiled, slipping the guard a twenty-dollar bill. "Call me at any of those numbers the moment Ms Bergdorf returns. I'd like to see her as soon as possible."
"Sure thing," the guard smiled, palming the twenty.
"And it's not necessary for her to know you called. Do you understand?"
"No problem, Mr. Verona. Happy to help the FBI any time."
By the time he got back to his condominium, his elation at finding her building had long since dissipated. He was hungry for her and she had gone out of town.
Dammit, Sophie! Why did you leave?
For the remainder of the evening, nothing went right. Supper was a sandwich - he didn't feel like wine and the damn beer was warm. By the time he found the TV remote he was no longer interested in watching anything. Spotting the red stains on the couch, he remembered how they got there, sighing wistfully, hungry for her all over again.
He sat in the chair across from the couch and pulled his sweats down. He was already hard. Stroking himself, he thought about how she had sucked him between her lips and loved him. It had been one of the most intense orgasms of their weekend together.
Weekend? It was probably the most intense orgasm you ever had, you ass! The voice of his memory insisted.
Could be, he readily conceded, his fist working up to a steady rhythm.
Remember what she did when she sat in this chair last night? It was a whisper in his head.
Oh yeah! I remember. She spread her legs and flaunted her beautiful sex at me, he groaned, partly due to the memory, partly to his hand stroking his cock. She was pink folds and golden brown curls and sweet, sweet nectar.
Then she touched herself, the voice whispered again.
"Christ!" he yelled, remembering what she looked like when she did that. "Sophie, where are you? I need you," he growled, his hand moving faster, his hips arching. "Where the fuck are you?"
He yelled her name when he spilled his seed, coating his hands, his sweats, and the seat of the chair. It took a while before he had the energy to clean up the mess and then he tried to wash the red stains out of the leather couch. The end result wasn't bad and he tossed a flannel blanket over it. It would do until he could get the couch cleaned.
Dragging himself up to bed, he laid down, bone weary and emotionally drained. The scent of her lingered on the bed linen and he wrapped his arms around the pillow she used. He closed his eyes, determined to see her again, and slept soundly, dreaming of his tiger kitten.