Part VI

        Need had overcome caution.  Passion had suffused both their bodies with the warmth they'd both desired.  The twenty degree temperatures of fifteen minutes before were long forgotten.  Breathless, the two lovers clung together, arm in arm, Nikita partially-astride Michael, trying not to disturb the pilot, who more than likely had enough common sense not to turn his head in an attempt to pass the time of day with his passengers.

        "Oh, Michael.  Oh god."  Nikita whispered, her body growing rigid as she was wracked by waves of  pleasure.  Climaxing discreetly was a difficult feat, to say the least.  Michael attempted to solve the problem by covering her mouth with his, but his own burgeoning climax was already in progress.

        Nikita, barely aware of her surroundings, heard him give a nearly inaudible gasp, as he held her more tightly than before.  Perspiration beaded his forehead, and he trembled with the exertion it took not to cry aloud.  Nikita, easing down from her heights, kissed Michael's forehead and tasted the salty tang of his skin.  Tears came to her eyes as she looked into his and saw the love and raw emotion that he could never truly hide from her.  She ran her fingers through his wavy hair, luxuriating in the feel and texture of it.

        "You need a comb, " she said tenderly as she continued to kiss his eyelids, then his high cheekbones and lastly his love swollen lips.  She nibbled at his lower lip.  "Are you all right?" she asked, pulling away.

        In response, Michael, unable to speak, cradled her face between his hands and pulled her lips to his again and kissed her deeply, his tongue searching for hers, demanding more of her.  Michael's free hand caressed her breast beneath her sweater, causing her to gasp with renewed desire.  Nikita felt as if he were searing her very soul with his passion, and she could only respond in kind.

        An hour later, the two lovers presented a more sedate picture.  Clothing had been buttoned and zipped.  It was then that Michael remembered the wine that he had ordered to be chilled, along with the strawberries and fudge sauce.  It was no wonder that he had forgotten. Nikita's aggressive side never failed to excite him to the point where everything else was immaterial.
        "Are you thirsty?" he asked softly.  His own mouth was dry as a dessert, but his hunger was only for her.

        "Does Sahara mean anything to you?" she asked saucily, looking around.

        Michael gave a start.  Nikita had read his thoughts exactly, and not for the first time either.  He smiled.  "Yes."  Michael walked to the small refrigerator and removed the chilling wine and strawberries.  "I'm afraid the sauce is not sauce anymore.  It's fudge."  Michael took two champagne flutes and poured two glasses of the bubbling, sparkling white wine.

        Eagerly, Nikita accepted the glass of wine that Michael offered and took a long swallow.

        "Careful, Nikita.  You know how wine affects you," Michael warned with a grin.

        "It doesn't affect me half as much as you do, Michael."  Nikita's voice grew husky with emotion, and her eyes again shimmered with tears.  She reached toward him, as if to stroke his face, then grinned and made a dive for a fat juicy strawberry, which she promptly popped into her mouth.

        "Mmm.   Almost as much as this does.  Michael, these strawberries are fabulous.  Here have one."  Michael's mouth opened in surprise.  Nikita took advantage and fed him one of the luscious fruits from her teeth.  Their lips met once again as they ‘battled' over the strawberry.  It would be difficult to say which of them won or lost that battle.
        "M'sieur Therrien, we are on approach.  Please fasten your seat belts."

        "Merci,"  Michael responded as he began to disentangle himself from his sleeping partner.  "Nikita," he said softly, kissing her awake.  "We're about to land."

        Suddenly alert, Nikita stretched her neck to look out the window.  "We are?  Where are we, Michael?  Did I fall as asleep?"  She asked with a wide yawn as she tried to stretch the kinks from her body.

        "For a few minutes," he replied, stroking the hair from her face.  He could not keep his hands from touching her.  All the times he'd stood with hands folded, all the times he'd given her no response but a blank stare had been torture for him.  He could not see her without wanting to touch her, kiss her ripe luscious mouth, or wipe the angry tears from her eyes.... tears that had been put there because of something he'd done or not done, more likely.   Nikita was his drug.  He could  not have too much of her, but he was unable to visualize ever having and sharing a life with her.  Indeed, it was beyond his ability to imagine that they would have the opportunity to enjoy long, rich lives, not as Section operatives.  He'd lost so much already.

        Nikita saw the look of sadness and pain cross his face.  "Michael, what's wrong?" she asked, gazing into his jade green eyes.

        "Nothing, I'm sorry."  Michael shook his head and attempted a half smile.

        "No,  you've nothing to be sorry for.  Talk to me, Michael.  Don't shut me out.  I know you have to shut me out sometimes.... in Section, but not here, not now."

        Nikita's acceptance of his role in manipulating her for missions cut him like a knife and hurt him more than any exhibition of anger could have.  Her purity, her compassion--she had them in abundance, but he refused to accept the absolution she offered so willingly.  He shut his eyes, trying to think what he could say to defuse her concern.  Surprised, he felt her lips on his, pliant and giving.  He surrendered to her loving kiss, returning it in full measure.

        The plane jarred as it landed.  Nikita sighed and pulled away.  "It's all right, Michael.  I understand.  So much has happened.  The future is uncertain, I know," she said, nodding her head.

        Michael took Nikita's hand and pressed a kiss into the palm.  Nikita was such an enigma.  Aggressive, sensual, tender... and she could literally read his mind and emotions, when she chose, but there had been other times when she'd been seemingly clueless as to how he felt about her.  That was his fault, of course.  He could not blame her for the cruel attempts to crush her humanity, and he could not crush her compassion without destroying himself.  It was that simple and that complicated.

        The plane taxied to a stop.

        "Let's go," he said, pulling her to her feet and toward pilot standing at the open door.

        "I hope you enjoyed your flight, M'sieur, Madame," the pilot said with a very straight face.

        Giggles erupted from Nikita's throat.  "Very much, thank you!"  Nikita saw her new surroundings for the first time.  "Where are we?" she asked, looking in amazement at the bright warm sunshine and palm trees at the far edge of the airport.

        "Monaco, Madame.  Bôn chance at the gaming tables," the pilot offered with a smile.   Michael nodded and shook the pilot's hand, giving him a large tip as he did.

        Nikita and Michael descended to the tarmac.  Nikita took a deep breath, whirled and hugged him.  "Monaco, the Riviera.  God, Michael, it's so beautiful!"

        Nikita's childlike abandon, gladdened Michael's heart and lifted, if only for a time, some of its burdens.  "You're all I can see, Nikita, and you are beautiful," he said in a voice roughened with emotion as they walked arm in arm to the waiting limo.

        "Don't we have to go through customs, Michael?" Nikita asked as the limousine left airport.  "I mean this isn't a mission.  We're just tourists, right?"

        Michael grinned, "It's been taken care of, and no, it's not a mission."

        Nikita draped her arms around Michael's neck and said, "Well, then I'd say we should settle down to enjoying this limousine ride."  She began placing little kisses about his cheeks.

        Michael emitted a small laugh, (yes, he did!) "Nikita, there isn't time  for ‘that.'  Monaco is a very small principality.  We will be at our hotel in five minutes."

        "Five minutes?"

        Michael looked into Nikita's dazzling aquamarine eyes.  "Oui.  The Hotel de Paris is located on Place du Casino, in the heart of Monte Carlo.  We're almost there.  Look," he pointed out the window.  "There is the Rock, Old Monaco.  That's where Prince Rainier lives."

        Nikita giggled, "You sound like a tour guide Michael.  I can't believe we're here together, alone and away from Section One,  and you're wasting time trying to educate me.  I don't care if we don't see anything out side our room.  I want to...."

        Michael quieted her with a kiss.  "I know what you want, Nikita.  There will be time for ‘everything.'"  Nikita, in her present state of mind, affected Michael like the finest champagne full of sparkling bubbles that rushed to his head leaving him more than a little breathless.  "We'll go to the beach, gamble, dine, gamble, drink, uh--am I omitting something?"  He grinned at the look of dismay that crossed Nikita's face.

        "I'll say you're forgetting something," Nikita said, assuming an attitude of pretended indignation.

        "Alone in a room with you...  never."  Michael said.  "There will only be one thing on my mind... you."  It was nearly impossible to keep her from his mind when they were at Section One.  He was always aware of her presence, as if they were psychically linked.  He supposed it had something to do with pheromones, but he always seemed to know when she was or was not in Section.

        "Show me, Michael."  Nikita closed her eyes as she nestled in his arms.

        Michael moaned.  Nikita's throaty, sensual voice had the power to excite him.  He had to face it.  Everything about Nikita had the power to excite him in the right circumstances.  The heaviness in his groin was evidence that her magic was still at work.  Michael kissed her fingertips, then slowly moved her hand down his chest to the area below his belt.  "There, evidence enough?" he asked her hoarsely.

        "Mmm.  I guess."  Nikita giggled, as she gave him a sensual caress.  "Oh, my.  Look it's huge!"


        "The statue, Michael.  Look at the statue."
        The limo had stopped in front of the Hotel de Paris.  "Oh, you mean the equestrian statue of Louis XIV.  It's very famous," Michael said, slipping into tour guide mode.

        Nikita arched an eyebrow.  "What did you think I meant, Michael?" she asked, caressing him again.

        Michael pushed Nikita's hand away.  "You have to stop that... for now, anyway."

        "For now," she grinned.

Part V