Strangers & Sinners
He carried her into the living room and sat on the rug in front of the tree, Sophie in his lap. "Time to open presents, Tiger," he said, handing her one.
Sophie was not neat when she unwrapped presents. She reverted to the childhood tactics that had proven successful. She tackled the wrapping paper, tearing, and ripping it. The first gift box contained six pair of warm socks.
"Now you don't have to wear mine," Nick chuckled, grabbing her foot and pinching her toes.
The next gift was a T-shirt - extra large - that read "Property of the FBI."
"Extra large, Sergei?"
"So I can get both my hands under it," he teased. Sophie blushed.
He gave her a cut glass perfume bottle, filled with the scent of gardenia and told her it was one he favored. Sophie thanked him with a kiss - she loved gardenia.
When she opened the box of CDs, she smiled broadly, wondering how he knew she liked jazz.
"Easy guess," he smiled back.
He saved the big box for last. It held a floor length, chocolate brown, silk robe with a gold, silk screen print running through it.
"It matches my hair, Sergei," she murmured.
"And your eyes, Tiger," he whispered, pulling her back against his chest, his lips covering hers.
"Thank you," she said softly. "You've given me such a happy Christmas."
"Now you have to open your gifts," she smiled, handing him one of the boxes.
It was a small box and Nick carefully unwrapped it, leaving the paper intact. He wasn't used to receiving presents.
Sophie just shook her head. "Were you ever a little boy, Sergei?"
He chuckled but when he opened the box and took out the book she had chosen, he roared with laughter. Winning Through Intimidation?
"I thought you might want a refresher course," she teased.
He tickled her, making her beg him to stop.
The next box was heavy and she told him to guess what was in it but he couldn't. Finally, he grabbed it out of her hands and ripped the paper, making her grin.
"Six cans of black olives?"
"Aphrodisiac, Sergei," she teased. "In case you run out of testosterone and need a boost."
He tackled her, pushing her onto her back and sucked every part of her flesh that he could expose. When she lay panting beneath him, he told her what a naughty tiger kitten she was and how happy that made him.
The next gift was another book, a biography of J. Edgar Hoover subtitled Secrets of the FBI.
"I think that's the book that reveals the Director's sexual proclivities," she winked, then squealed when he swatted her ass.
She also gave him CDs - jazz and the blues and her favorite Trisha Yearwood CD, "Where Your Road Leads." This made him pause and he looked at her for a long moment.
The GameBoy unit he opened had a built-in Tetris game with 24 skill levels. "I've never used one of these before," he admitted.
"I'll show you how. I got it so you have something to keep your hands busy... when I'm not around."
It took him a moment to realize what she meant but she moved out of his reach when he moved to grab her.
She was quiet as he opened the last gift, waiting for his response. It was a T-shirt - "AD" was printed on the front in big bold letters. He liked it and smiled and intuitively, turned it over. Sophie got up to move away. The back was also printed in bold letters - "Assistant Derelict."
For a big man, Nick could move very fast. He had her back in his arms in seconds. "Thank you, Kitten," he murmured, his mouth covering hers, his heart full.
"Will you wear the T-shirt?"
"With pride," he assured her.
Later, as they lay on the couch sipping eggnog, Nick told Sophie that he was surprised at the kind of work she did.
"How did you know?"
"I found your business card on Susan's desk. I thought you... were involved in other ventures."
"What did you think I did, Sergei?"
"I thought you were a hooker," he said bluntly.
"A hooker? A prostitute?" She was dumbfounded, then burst into laughter, not believing him.
"That night at the Hoover. I saw you go over to a guy at the party. You went out with him and didn't come back. I thought... maybe... you were a paid... escort."
"You really *did* think I was a hooker," she laughed. "It was too noisy to talk - I had to show him some printouts that were in my briefcase. There were a few companies I had fresh information on - I wanted him to diversify his investments. It's what I do, Sergei. I'm an investment counselor. I advise clients on how to invest in specific companies."
"Do you specialize in specific stocks?"
"No, I specialize in specific companies, then I consider their stocks. I look at the ordinary elements - price ratio, earnings, outstanding debt and so forth, but mostly, I scrutinize the company's management. That's my best indicator of how a company is doing. Sometimes, I advise my clients to look at muni's or utility bonds. Sometimes, I advise them to bank their cash in Treasury Bills until they're ready to make other choices."
"Beautiful and smart, too?" he smiled. "How did I get so lucky? Tell me this," he asked. "Where did the DOW close this week?"
"The DOW was down 115 points, the NASDAQ down 2, the S&P up 4. But those are the common indicators. I look at the obscure ones, the ones that might differ from the DOW - like the Russell and the Wilshire indices, the price of gold and steel and petrol. Those are far more important to me."
"As important as me?"
"Nothing is quite as important as you, Sergei."
She looked at him, wondering what he was thinking, wondering how they had come to this point so swiftly. "Tell me something, Sergei."
"Tell me about the woman before me," she said softly. Cupping his face, she looked into his dark brown eyes. "I have a feeling she must have hurt you very much."
He was astounded. "Why... why do you... what makes you think so?" he asked, his tone hushed.
"Because you're mostly stingy with words, Sergei. I'm trying to peel back your layers and it's very hard. Truth be told," she stated matter-of-factly, "you were probably toilet trained far too early."
Nick burst into laughter. "You think?" he grinned.
"Well, that... or that stint in the Marine Corps had too much influence on you."
"What makes you say that?" he grinned, loving this line of conversation.
"Well, your bed is as neat as a pin. I think I could bounce a quarter on it. Your clothes are lined up in your closet - all your jackets one place, the pants separate. Your dresser drawers look like a neat freak attacked them, the towels in the bathroom are hanging straight, not a thing out of place." She took a breath. "I think you should know that I'm more of a slob."
He laughed. "I noticed," he teased, picking her up and twirling her around until she was dizzy. "You wear my clothes, dragging them all over the place and getting them dirty. My socks are all stretched out from your big feet. You sleep in my bed and don't change the linens. You eat my food and spill it all over the couch."
"Sergei, that's not fair. Your clothes are too big for me and sometimes they drag on the floor. And I don't have big feet. I don't change your bed linen because you never let me out of bed long enough to... "
He covered her mouth, ending her argument. "I think I'm going to tie you to my bed and have my way with you."
"You seem to have your way with me whether we're in bed or..."
"Maybe, I'll just put your over my knee and warm your bottom," he threatened, turning her over before she could protest. He kissed her ass - thoroughly and then turned her and lifted her legs to his shoulders so he could bury his face in her folds.
"Sergei," she whispered. "Please don't stop having your way."
Tuesday, December 26
He sat at his desk, his spotless white shirt still crisp in spite of the many times he repeatedly rolled and unrolled the sleeves. He looked at his watch for the 4th time in as many minutes, wondering how much longer he could do paperwork.
"I miss her," he muttered, knowing he was acting like an adolescent. He had made love to her in the shower this morning before putting her in a cab. He promised he'd leave work early and take her out to dinner. It was only 11:30 in the morning. Dinner was light years away.
"Your 11 o'clock appointment is finally here," Susan announced after knocking on the door and simultaneously opening it.
"My 11 o'clock?" I don't have any morning appointments, he thought as he glanced at his day planner.
"It's me, Mr. Derelict," she said as she closed the door behind Susan.
He laughed, his heart suddenly light. "Of course," he smiled, rising from his desk. "I always have time for tiger kittens."
"How many tiger kittens do you know, Mr. Derelict?" she purred, moving into his open arms.
"Only one that matters, Sophie love. I am so hard for you, Kitten," he murmured pressing his body against hers.
"Susan might come in, Sergei."
"Not to worry," he replied, pulling her into his private bathroom, his hands swiftly moving under her skirt, pulling her panties down. He unzipped his pants and Sophie's hand reached in to fondle the iron ridge of his rigid cock.
"You want that, Anastasia?"
"Mmmm," she moaned.
"Turn around," his deep voice instructed.
She turned and watched him in the mirror as he pulled her sweater up and lifted her bra up and over her breasts. "You're beautiful, Tiger and I want you. You want me, too," he growled, his deep baritone firm and seductive, brooking no argument.
"Don't move," he ordered, pushing her forward until she leaned against the sink and entered her from behind. "Don't move, Tiger. Let me do the loving.
He plunged, retreated and plunged again. He had a hand on her mound, one finger pressing against her clit - the other hand kneading her breast and pinching a taut nipple. His growl and her answering sigh accompanied each deep stroke.
"Now, Sergei," she rasped.
He increased the tempo - his hips thrusting harder - faster. "Sophie... Kitten..." his roar muffled when he buried his mouth in her shoulder.
He pulled her up against him, her back to his chest, his body leaning against the wall. His hands caressed her breasts and belly, his breath hot on her neck as he waited for his heart rate to return to normal and his lungs to inhale adequate air.
"Sophie, I lo..."
"Sergei, are we going to do this every time I see you - no matter where we are?" Her breath was returning to normal though her body remained flushed from his loving.
"Probably," he murmured, finally releasing her so they could straighten their clothing.
"I'll be by your place around 7 PM," he promised.
"I'll be waiting for you."
When he saw the police cars and the yellow tape around the entrance to her building, he double-parked, his vital organs in overdrive. The adrenaline shot through him so fast he was momentarily dizzy but he shook his head, his body acting on instinct, reverting to training. He dismissed the officer trying to keep him away from the building with a flash of his FBI ID. His heart pumping, the bile sour in his mouth, he raced up the stairs and into the lobby.
Cops and medics were everywhere. Nick didn't stop to ask questions - he raced to Sophie's floor, a fierce expression on his face covering his fear.
The door to her condo was ajar. Tears touched his eyes.
"AD Verona!" A police officer recognized him. "Sir, I don't think..."
He rushed past the man. There was a medic hovering over her.
"Stay back, sir. The lady's been shot."
"Is she...? Is she...?"