Photo: aleshin / Fotolia.com

Photo: aleshin / Fotolia.com

Category: Jack/Irina
Summary: This is a rather dark story about the time when Jack and Irina met, her dealings with her handler, and how she was ordered to seduce Jack…

Author’s Note: This story deals with a various number of dark issues like rape. Please don’t read this story if you are sensitive regarding that subject.

 

Attention
This is one of my older stories written before 2006. My style in this story differs greatly, due to lack of experience. One of these days, if I get the time, I plan on revising these older stories thoroughly.

Until then, please excuse the many flaws, and rest assured, I know better now. ;) (Or at least I hope so.)

 


‘Six months, you have known him for six months.’

As if that was enough of a reason for her. The young woman watched her face in the mirror while she recalled the sentence her handler had thrown into her face two days earlier. Absently she put on mascara for the second time, hoping that the trembling of her hands would not ruin her make-up again and force her to start anew.
It was true, Irina Derevko had known her target Jack Bristow for six months now. Six long months that she had been away from her home country Russia. Six long months which she had spent studying and flirting with the man she was supposed to spy on. A long time for some people, a very short time for her.
She had barely seen Jack once a week during the first three months due to his job. His affection for her had still been reduced to mere interest, and of everything one could reproach Jack of, rushing into a relationship was definitely not one of them. He had taken it so slowly that there had been times, Irina thought, he was merely interested in a friendship with her.

She had long had permission to kiss him when he had finally signaled his romantic interest in her. After their first kiss they had spend more time together and they had met more often. Yet, it was still way too early for what her handler had ordered her to do now.

Irina was constantly bugged, mainly for her own safety in case her cover was blown, but also to control her. The KGB respected her as a highly marked asset, that didn’t mean that they trusted her though. Russia did never trust anybody – not even her own secret agents out in the field.
Those bugs were the reason for her misery. A week ago Jack had tried to seduce her, but she had rejected him softly, telling him that it was still too early for her – which had been true. She felt that it was still too early. Her handler though had ordered her to allow him to seduce her next time. And they had both known that next time was going to be tonight.

Jack had invited her into a beautiful restaurant, which was not very famous, but known to not only offer the most delicious food in the city, but also the most romantic atmosphere.
Irina placed the mascara in front of her mirror and applied a subdued/discreet lipstick. Pretending that the thought of having to sleep with Jack Bristow tonight didn’t make her nervous would have been a lie. She was beyond nervousness, close to hysteria. Too early, her mind repeated over and over again, but the choice was not hers to make.
Although she had grown a truthful affection for Jack over the past months, sleeping with him was something she wasn’t ready for yet.

Of course, when taking this assignment, she had known what she was going into. Her superiors had never made it a secret that, sooner or later, she would have to sleep with the man she chose. And they had prepared her properly. She remembered the hours she had spend reading books about sex and seduction techniques. A male advisor had answered all her questions and given her advise about what drove men crazy. Being a sensual and seductive lover, that she had been told, was the most important part in her relationship. It was easier to gain a man’s heart by offering him the best sex he had ever had.
Yet, though all these exercises, she had never been allowed to actually apply what she had learned. After she had agreed to take the assignment, her superiors had strictly forbidden her to use what she learned.

“We want him to ask as little questions as necessary about your past in order to keep your problems to a minimum,” they had told her. “Therefore it is absolutely necessary that he thinks, he is the only man you have ever been with. And the easiest way to achieve that is, if you physically remain a virgin.”

Knowing that she didn’t have a choice, she had obeyed that order. Her theoretical knowledge on how to perform to a man’s satisfaction was immense – her practical knowledge was close to nil.

Irina stared at the woman in her mirror who looked so astoundingly beautiful and innocent and was so unlike her real personality. Laura Bowen was a kind, generous woman with a good heart who never rose her voice. She had nothing of the hot temper of Irina, or the fierceness of her alter ego. She was a part Irina was forced to play every time she met Jack, an illusion designed after studies of his psychological profile. They had created the perfect woman for him; a woman they were sure he wouldn’t be able to resist. And so far they had been right.

The knock at the door of her small room in dorm startled Irina. She placed the lipstick back on the small commode in front of the mirror and put on the smile she had learned to hide her true feelings with. Opening the door, she found Jack looking at her, a soft smile playing across his features.

“Hi,” Irina smiled almost shyly, “come in for a second, I will be ready in a minute.”

Jack entered her room and watched her order her hair. For about the millionth time he wondered what he had done to deserve a woman as beautiful as her. There was something about her that made her special, different from the other women he knew. At times she seemed to be so fragile and weak to him, then, at other times there was something reckless and dangerous about her. He was fascinated by both aspects of her personality, but was curious to get to know her dangerous side. Even though Laura was the shy, innocent student most of the time, the adventurous part of her fascinated him more. Something inside her seemed to hold her back to show him all of her though. He assumed that she had been hurt in her past, therefore he gave her time.

“How do I look?” Irina finally asked, turning around in her black dress. “I hope, it is going to work. I have never been to that restaurant, so if you want me to change, I…”

“It’s perfect,” Jack interrupted her amused and took her hand to place a soft kiss on her knuckles. “You look absolutely gorgeous.” A flash of insecurity crossed her features for a split second, almost too faint to be noticed; yet Jack saw it. “Let’s go.” Letting go of her hand, he broke their body contact. For a moment he wondered why she suddenly seemed so insecure. Only two weeks ago she had urged him to spend more time with her and enjoyed being close to him, and suddenly she seemed to pull back whenever he made a move towards her. Was she having second thoughts?

Jack’s car was standing in front of the house. Usually there was no space left, but since it was Friday evening, most of the students were out on parties, therefore he had been lucky enough to park in a lot right in front of the house. Gentlemanly he opened the door for Laura and waited until she had gotten inside until he went around the back of the car to enter from the other side.

“How was your week?” Jack asked softly, when they were driving through the evening traffic.

“Nice… but busy. I have trouble finishing the homework I was supposed to turn in next Thursday. I probably chose a wrong topic.” That was only partly true. She was indeed having trouble, but the reason was more the pressure her handler put her under. “How was your week?”

“Fine…” Jack said, looking at her for a brief moment with a soft expression in his eyes. “Except that I couldn’t stop thinking of you and miss you so badly.”

The words caused warmth to flow through her body at these tenderly spoken words. The more time she spend in Jack’s company, the more she couldn’t help herself from thinking that he was too truthful, too generous to be deceived like this. Out of an impulse, she placed her hand over Jack’s, her thumb brushing his skin softly. They passed the rest of the drive in silence. When Jack eventually stopped the car, Irina’s hand was still lying on his, her eyes fixed at a point outside the window.

“Shall we?” At this question she turned her head to smile at him.

“Sure…”

Jack left the car to open Irina’s door and assist her to get out. It was hard for him to keep his hands off her and not touch her all the time. During the past weeks it had become hard for him to stay away from her, and after she had kindly rejected him one week ago, he spent the nights more with fantasizing about her than with sleeping. The thought of kissing her, of her body under his when he tenderly made love to her drove him crazy. He was so much in love with her that he wanted to feel that there was nothing left between them.
But he was willing to accept her reluctance to take that last step just yet if she kept on insisting to wait after tonight. Everything about this evening was planned out to be perfect. He wanted to confess his love tonight. Maybe it was still too early and he would lose her by this move, but that was a risk he would have to take.

He smiled at Irina’s surprised sound when they entered the restaurant. The interior was decorated in an old-fashioned, expensive style with soft, romantic music playing in the background.

“This is beautiful,” she gasped, and smiled at the waiter who bowed slightly and signaled them to follow him after Jack had said his name. Softly, Jack took Irina’s hand and entwined their fingers. Her eyes met his and she sank into their dark depths. Being with this man made her feel comfortable and safe – feelings that were ridiculous considering the reason for which she was here.

Reaching their table, Jack helped Irina taking place before he sat down opposite to her. He ordered a bottle of Chateau Merlot before he turned to smile at the beautiful woman. Irina returned his smile. He behaved absolutely normal again. There was no sign that he was going to repeat his attempt to seduce her anytime soon. That made her feel safe. Her handler had explicitly ordered her to let Jack take the move, and as long as he did not do so, there was no need for her to worry.

They spent the next five minutes in silence, both reading through the menu. After they had chosen, Jack ordered. The waiter nodded friendly and took the menu cards back, before he retired. Almost shyly, Irina smiled at Jack.

“You look so beautiful.” Jack’s voice was tender and his tone betrayed the feelings he had for her. Irina couldn’t help but blush slightly, a reaction that came as a total surprise to her. She had been prepared to hear compliments like that – what she hadn’t been trained for was the warmth that those words caused in her. Nobody had told her about the insecurity about what to reply.
She lowered her eyes with a smile and finally looked around in the restaurant.

“This is a really beautiful place. I have never heard of it, how did you find it?”

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“A colleague told me about this place.” Jack explained. “Apparently he was here with his girlfriend last weekend and they were both fascinated by the atmosphere.” Of course he had noted that she had blushed slightly, and it delighted him. Softly he reached over to her and touched her hand with his. Irina turned her head back to him and looked at him with her wide open chocolate eyes. He could drown in those eyes, it seemed as if they were a deep gorge which held all her secrets – even dark ones. He wanted to find out about all of them. Laura woke a need inside him to really get to know a person.

Up to now, he had always been a very distant man, not really interested in personal relationships – but when he had met Laura six months ago, she had fascinated him. Knowing many women, Jack Bristow had immediately recognized that she was different. At first he had thought that she was probably an exchange student, due to her rather exotic look. Two days later he had, by chance, met her again and learned that she was American, studying literature to be a teacher. Still, from time to time, he could hear a very slight accent in some of her words – he couldn’t define the origin though. Someday he was going to ask her, but it was still too early for that.

“Tell me about your homework. What is giving you problems?” he inquired to know friendly, but without urging her.

“I chose a short story of Hemingway as my topic, but as I know now, it isn’t enough to fill the pages. And I don’t have enough time to start anew. I should have rather chosen a realistic novel instead of a modernistic story. But enough about my homework… how was your day at work?”

“Well… working at a travel agency can be really boring sometimes. We are opening a new branch in Texas soon, and I will have to go there for two days to help them.”

“I see…” Irina nodded, knowing what the actual purpose of his journey was. The CIA most likely sent him somewhere – not Texas – in order to fulfill an important mission. It was still too early for him to trust her with the truth, but she had to get him there as soon as possible.

Jack gave the waiter a smile when he brought a pair of glasses and started to fill them with wine. Thoughtfully, Irina observed him. He did not look like the average spy. When Irina recalled the young men who had been in her training class back in Russia, she saw muscular, young men, who looked as if they had won sports awards since they had been young.
Jack looked totally different. Although he had broad shoulders and was well trained, he looked more slender than other young men. He didn’t have that relentless and sometimes almost evil expression in his eyes that Irina was used to. The men she had had to deal with during her training and later had taught her that she always had to fight and proof herself in order to stay alive. Jack didn’t give her that feeling. With him she could just feel comfortable – well, at least provided that he didn’t try to seduce her again. Now that she had found a person to be comfortable with, she wanted to hold that feeling as long as possible.
She knew that she was starting a dangerous game. Of course her purpose was to marry Jack and spy on him long-term, which required at least that she didn’t despise him. But stating to really like him and feel good when with him was a totally different thing. That kind of affection could impair her judgement and end up in big trouble.

“Laura?”

Irina lifted her eyes from the spoon she way playing with with her hand, torn out of her toughts, and looked at Jack. His eyes held hers slightly concerned.

“What is wrong? I told you it’s just two days and you didn’t say anything…” Jack took her hand from the spoon and kissed her knuckles.

“I am sorry. I was just… I was thinking that how much I would like to go with you there. I know, don’t say anything. That’s impossible and it is also probably inappropriate, since we are just at the beginning. Forget what I said…” she smiled slightly, hoping that her admittance of deeper feelings and the immediate pulling back of her would cause him to react how she expected him to.

“Don’t be sorry, Laura. It is not inappropriate. I cannot tell you how much I would love to have you there with me. But it’s impossible… unfortunately.” Irina smiled with a hint of sadness. For a moment, Jack looked at her hands and then his face lightened up. “But you know what we should do? When I am back, I will take you to Texas for the weekend. We will go there and have a nice time. Just the two of us… What do you say?”

Men were just so easy to manipulate, Irina thought triumphantly, ignoring the hint of bad conscience in her mind. “Oh Jack, that is such a wonderful idea. I would love that.” Her exclamation of joy made Jack smile.

“I just love you, do you know that?”

Irina froze and stared at him. “Wha-what?”

“I mean…” Jack pulled back, realizing what had accidentally slipped out of his mouth. “I… um… I…”

Irina was still looking at him, wide-eyed, before she started to smile softly. “Did you just say that you love me?”

“Yes.” Jack said after a while, for a moment expecting her to get up and leave. Suddenly he felt like an idiot. Why should a woman as gorgeous and beautiful as her go for a man like him? She could have any man she wanted, and still she was sitting here with a rather dry-humored, common man like him. He was sure, for her this was simply a nice way to spend her evenings. Why did he have to say anything at all? “Laura, I shouldn’t have said anything, I am sorry. Please don’t feel like I…”

Irina bend over slightly and placed her index finger on his lips, silencing him. “Shhh… don’t you dare take it back…” she whispered, softly running her fingers over his cheek. “Jack, I love you too.”

“You do?” He stared at her as if she had just opened up to him that she was from outer space. Irina couldn’t help but laugh amused. Somehow, she couldn’t help thinking that he was the sweetest man she had ever met in her whole life.

The waiter, who eventually brought their plates with food, interrupted their intimate conversation. Irina sat back, smiling and him and Jack nodded courteously and thanked him. They kept silent until the waiter had bowed and left the table. When Irina’s eyes met Jack’s again, she was still smiling slightly – a smile that wasn’t part of the mask she was wearing, but came out of her heart. Jack lifted his glass of wine without loosing her eyes and held it up slightly.

“To you,” he said softly. “The most wonderful woman I have ever met.”

“To us…” Irina corrected and they drank to it holding each other’s eyes while doing so.

They started to eat, their conversation being more open now. Irina felt as if a certain tension had fallen off Jack. He seemed really happy at the moment. For the blink of an eye she wondered how any woman could be so cruel and heartless to do to him what she was doing right now. Deceiving him, playing with his feelings and using his trust. She was sure that, when he would eventually find out, it would break him. And for a slight instance she hated herself for being the one who did that to him. But she had no choice.
If everything went well, Jack would propose within the next six months. Her handler would be really satisfied with her work and that was what she should be worrying about.

When they left the restaurant late in the night, they were both in a very boisterous mood – which might have been mainly the result of the wine they had drunk. Irina couldn’t stop giggling, her arm locked with Jack’s. Although she didn’t really feel light-headed, she couldn’t deny the fact that she might be a little tipsy – which made her laugh even more. Jack smiled when he kindly said goodbye to the waiter who was holding the door open for them.

Outside Irina stretched slightly and breathed in the cool night air, before she looked at Jack. “That was a really beautiful evening.”

Jack couldn’t help but chuckle when she was still giggling and took her hand into his while they were walking through the dark street into the direction the car stood. “Yes it was…”

“The waiter thought I was totally drunk.” She stated amused and Jack laughed. “I am not drunk!” She combined this addition with a warning side-glance at Jack, which made the man laugh out loud.

“Of course you are not.” He agreed, mocking her by the playfully ironic tone he applied.

“Don’t say it in that tone.” Irina punched him playfully, laughing when Jack tried to grab her. With a feline movement she evaded his grip and squealed when he made another move towards her.

“Mr. Bristow, are we already getting a little rusty?” Irina teased softly. In the next moment, she shrieked when Jack pounced on her unexpectedly and pulled her against his body with unexpected force.

“What did you just say?” he inquired to know, his eyes glistening playfully as he took her challenge.

“I was asking whether you get a little rusty already,” she repeated very slowly before she bend forward and kissed him very quickly on the lips. Then she wanted to turn around and go on, but Jack was reluctant to let her go, instead he bend over and touched her lips softly in a second caress. The brief touch could barely be called a kiss, and yet something happened just in that instant.
Jack’s eyes locked with Irina’s, their lips being merely inches apart. He could read uncertainty as well as anticipation in her eyes. She had to admit that his behavior surprised her – not that she didn’t like this new side on him, she just hadn’t expected him to be able to show strength and control towards a woman. For the first time the slight doubt entered her mind, that this man would a just as easy as a target as her superiors expected him to be. There was something in his eyes, something new – a deep will and also something dangerous. It didn’t scare her – on the contrary, she felt fascinated by him. Somehow she couldn’t deny the impression that he might in fact turn out to be an absolutely equal opponent to her.

His next kiss was deeper and soon it became a series of tender kisses with whispered love declarations in between. Irina leaned into him, enjoying those sweet caresses and the warmth of his body. Although she knew she shouldn’t, she came to the conclusion that she could get used to being kissed by Jack really quickly.

‘What if you fall in love with him?’

The silent question conquered her mind and the shock almost paralyzed her body. That mustn’t happen. She must not fall in love with Jack. In an almost panicked move, she broke free from the man and turned around. She went a few meters, her arms wrapped around her chest as if, symbolically, she tried to protect her heart from getting attached, before she slowed down and leaned against the stone wall of a large house.
Slowly, Jack approached her and moved his hands over her shoulders. Fascinated by her slender form, he breathed in the fresh, female scent of her long wavy hair.

Irina knew what he was thinking of, she knew what was going through his mind right now. And she also knew that, after he had confessed his love to her, he deserved that she finally agreed to spend the nights with him. But all of a sudden the mission had become incredibly difficult and she couldn’t even define why.
She had been trained to kill, had dozens of lessons in psychology and studied human behavior – and aside from that she had especially studied men’s behavior. She was an expert in manipulating men with just her looks, and technically she knew everything to be the perfect seductress. Yet, suddenly she felt weak and vulnerable.
At her first mission where she had been tasked to kill a higher ranking politician who was suspected to sell secrets, she had been nervous as well. But her rage, and the hate for the man who had turned out to be a sexiest pig, had made it easy for her. She didn’t feel that rage now. It would have been easier if she hated Jack.

“Laura…” Her name, whispered by him, seemed like a little love confession, a reassurance that he would never hurt her. She felt his lips place a kiss on her forehead while his hands moved own her bare arms very slowly to eventually entwine his fingers with hers.

His mouth trailed a path along her cheek to her lips. After another long and very tender kiss, he started to nibble at her earlobe. Irina closed her eyes at the pleasurable sensations that ran through her body. Intuitively she bend her head a little to give him better access – an offer, which he took advantage of immediately. Seductively he started to kiss and lick on her neck. A soft moan escaped her involuntarily, when he found a sensitive spot that made her shudder. One of her hands loosened from his and ran up his arm to support herself by holding on to his shoulder.

Taking her obvious pleasure as encouragement, Jack pressed softly into her body, intensifying their contact. His hand moved over her this waist and down to her buttocks to press her closer to him. He moaned, when Irina started to return the caresses. Almost shyly she kissed his cheek and soon extended her endearments to his neck. Her reactions to his tender seductions came out of her heart and the longing to feel more of him increased.

Jack felt her initial reluctance gone and became more courageous. Slowly he moved his hands over her naked shoulders, his thumbs caressing her soft, silky skin, while his eyes looked into hers. She returned his gaze through a fog, her eyes clouded with desire and need, unaware that her feelings were standing in her eyes like in an open book.
Slowly, she bent forward and started to spill hot open-mouth kisses along Jack’s jawline. When she moved her lips down his throat, he let out a deep moan. His hand moved up the side of her body and cupped her breast through the material of her dress. Irina’s aroused moan against his skin made him tremble and it took all of his self-control to not push her back against the wall and take her right where they stood.

Unexpectedly he pulled back and grabbed her hand. “Come with me…”

Her mind was still clouded and she was almost shocked at the unanticipated loss of his warmth.

“Jack…” she murmured with a hint of regret in her voice. “Where are you going?”

“I’m sorry sweetheart…” he whispered and stopped to place another deep kiss on her lips. “But I think we should continue this elsewhere… a more private place – like mine.” Just looking into her eyes, he waited for any sign of disapproval on her part.

But instead, Irina wrapped her arms around him to pull him closer for a seductive lick at his earlobe. “Take me there.”

He chuckled and they continued walking towards Jack’s car. Once inside, they began another series of seductive kisses, until they were both left breathless and dizzy. It took all of his mental strength to focus and fumble with the keys until he had finally found the right one. When he had started the car he leaned over once more and pulled the woman into a seductive kiss before he focused on the street – at least as far as that was possible with the growing bulge in his pants.

Irina looked out at the street, her hand lying on Jack’s arm. Now that the mind-clouding nearness and heat were gone, she started to think reasonably again, recalling all important points she had learned in her training on how to please a man. Their first night was the most significant one, the one that would stay in his mind, so therefore she had to be perfect.
Nervously, she stroked her hair out of her face and smiled absently at Jack when he looked at her, obvious hunger standing in his eyes. When he noticed that she was lost in thoughts, he took her hand to his lips and started to nibble at her pulse point.

“What are you thinking of?” he then asked softly, a tender expression playing in his eyes.

“You… Us…” Irina replied, knowing it was the answer he wanted to hear. She stroked his cheek with her hand, leaning her head back against the seat while she looked at him softly.

‘Show him your willingness to sleep with him, make him believe he is all you need,’ she recalled the most important rule. ‘Once you got him there, assure him how much you like what he does – even if you don’t.’ Easy in theory, hopefully equally easy now!

When they stopped in front of the house Jack was living in, Irina was surprised at how fast they had actually made the way.

Jack got out of the car and opened the door at Irina’s side. Tenderly he offered her his hand and Irina took it, looking into his eyes. After Jack had closed the door, he pressed Irina against the still warm hood of the car, starting to kiss her seductively again. Soon he expanded the kisses to her neck and throat.

Irina closed her eyes and focused on his warm touch, the feeling of his hot breath against her oversensitive skin. She allowed herself to fall again, to sink into this man and let him carry her away to places she hadn’t even known existed.

“Jack…” she finally whispered longingly and buried her hand in his hair. The man lifted her up until she was sitting on the warm hood, her legs at either side of his body. Irina moaned at this outburst of passion and her arousal was not a guideline given in some KGB manual, but absolutely real. She couldn’t deny that Jack’s sudden playfulness surprised her. She had more expected him to be the common man in bed -–but obviously the old saying was true, still waters ran deep.

Jack’s hand ran up her calves and played at the back of her knee, before he softly pushed the material of her dress up, to reveal her naked thigh. His lips played at the skin of her cleavage, licking and tasting and driving her crazy.

Encouraging him with her sighs and moans, she pulled him closer into her abdomen, locking her ankles behind him. The deep moan that followed from his lips aroused her to no end and she pulled him up to unite their lips in another deep kiss, while her hands fumbled at the knot of his tie, trying to open it.

It was Jack, who finally became aware that they were still standing out in the open and on the best way to pull off a free show for all of his neighbors. Quickly he held Irina’s hands, disengaging from her lips.

“Wait,” he inquired huskily, lifting her off the hood and smoothing her dress back in place. “Inside!”

They made the way to the house with their hands exploring each other’s body hungrily. Once inside, Jack pressed the button for the elevator impatiently, Irina pressing into him and nibbling at his earlobe, while she whispered sexy words and compliments into his ear that tempted him to just take her against the elevator door.
But he wanted this to be special, he wanted her to remember this night. Therefore he finally shoved her away friendly, when they entered the elevator.

“No touching until we’re in my apartment!”

Irina smiled and leaned opposite to him against the elevator wall that was covered with mirrors. A promising challenge in her eyes, she held his gaze, smiling softly. While the door of the elevator closed, she folded her hands behind her back, looking around.

“I don’t know, mirrors do have a certain appeal on me… what about you?”

Jack gulped and tried to shove the mental images aside that started to form in his head. “Um… maybe…” he answered her question and Irina’s eyes sparkled with amusement, when she noticed his desperate fight for control.

“We should keep that in mind for later on…” she whispered and looked around. Jack was almost glad when the plinking sound of the elevator announced, that they had reach his floor. He almost fled the small room, which to him seemed to have gotten incredible hot during the last fifteen seconds. Irina followed him until they were standing at the door to his apartment.

A little clumsy, Jack fumbled with his key and finally managed to open the door. Irina followed him inside and was just about so say something when Jack turned around and closed the door only to push her against it from the inside. His lips crashed down on hers and he pressed into her body.
They didn’t waste time with superfluous words or courteous banter. Clothes were quickly discarded and landed forgotten on the ground, until they were standing opposite to each other, only wearing their underwear. Hungrily, they let their eyes roam over the other’s body.

Irina had been to Jack’s place more often, so she knew where to go when she took his hands and led him to the bedroom. Once inside she just left him standing and lowered herself to the bed, slowly and very seductively. With an erotic moan she stretched her body comfortably, her brown eyes clouded with need. She was eager to feel Jack’s skin against hers. The rules she had learned didn’t matter anymore to her for the time being, she just wanted to find out where that deep lust and need inside her could take her.

With a smile playing around his lips, Jack approached the bed slowly, taking in every curve of her perfectly shaped body. Then he crawled over her, his eyes locking with hers in primal need. Carefully he placed himself on his side, supporting himself on his elbow, while his other hands lay splayed on her taut stomach, exploring her soft skin.

“You are so beautiful, Laura…” he whispered. “So beautiful…”

Irina let her fingers play through the soft hair on his arm, turning towards him slightly. “I love you…” she whispered and for a moment wondered whether she was still lying or telling the truth.

Jack bend down to her, laying his lips softly to her cheek where he started to lick her skin sensually. He groaned slightly, when she shifted to press herself against his body with a soft sigh. Closing her eyes, Irina let herself be turned on by Jack. She allowed him, for a little moment, to take control over this situation that was supposed to be her game. But she had to seduce Jack anyway, so could there be any false in enjoying it at least a little?

All remaining thoughts about what was her duty and what was not were erased from her mind when Jack moved his hand up and cupped her breast through the material of her black underwear. While his lips were busy exploring the skin at her collarbone, he lifted her upper body a little to unclasp her bra in the back. Willingly, Irina helped him, her head falling back while she buried one hand in Jack’s hair while the other arm was busy supporting herself on the mattress. Slowly her hand moved over his neck and muscled shoulder down to his biceps. Just looking at Jack, one wouldn’t think that he was that muscled, but knowing him now, Irina was sure that Jack was an absolutely equal opponent to her.
At first her KGB officers had presented him as the typical desk officer and that was the impression that she had gotten. But it was already during her preparation for the mission to the USA that he had been promoted and field rated. Now she was happy for that fact. The last she needed was a pig-headed desk officer who couldn’t look beyond the files and reports on his table. People like that, Irina knew that from experience, soon became arrogant persons with no true knowledge of the reality in the field.

‘Focus,’ she forced herself, pushing away the thoughts of what she should do for the sake of her country. She was a young woman after all, she deserved physical pleasure and she was determined to take it now without letting the KGB ruin it. It was true what people said. Once the government got people working for them, they were always in one’s head and that was how they controlled their agents.

Irina opened her eyes and looked at Jack, helping him to pull the bra off. She quickly discarded it by reaching out to the side of the bed with her hand and let the erotic piece of cloth drop to the ground. Intuitively she covered her chest with her other arm and looked at Jack.

Shame! She was not supposed to feel that – she had been trained not to feel it so why the hell was she afraid now that Jack didn’t like what she saw? She had studied million of books, assuring that, whenever a man was attracted to a woman, he automatically found her body incredible erotic as well. So far so good, but what if the theory didn’t work in practical appliance?

When he saw the insecurity being reflected in her eyes, Jack kissed her very lightly on the lips, softly urging her back into the mattress. Playfully he deepened the kiss, starting to seduce her with hot open-mouth kisses. Moaning into his mouth, she soon forgot her embarrassment and wrapped both of her arms around his body, her fingers stroking up and down his spine and along his strong shoulders. It was the first time that she touched a man and it was even better than she had imagined over all the lecture in the KGB lessons.

When they finally disconnected their lips, all uneasiness was gone from Irina’s eyes, being replaced by lust, anticipation and desire. Jack moved his hands down the side of her body, smiling against her skin when he found a tickling spot at her waist, that caused her to start giggling. Unhurriedly, he moved his eyes down her body, drinking in every inch of skin, admiring what seemed like perfect beauty to him. As if she was a piece of fragile glass, he started to carefully caress her skin, at first with his hands, which he moved lightly over her stomach and breasts. Then after a while, his lips joined in.

Irina relaxed into his intimate caresses and moaned when his lips closed around her nipple briefly. She moved her hand to his head, wanting him to prolong that intense caress. Slowly, Jack kissed his way to her other breast, where he fulfilled her wish. He started to softly suck at her nipple, playing with his tongue at the oversensitive skin. The young woman gasped for air and rolled her head back, unprepared for the impact of heat that struck her body, originating from her abdomen.

“Oh God…” she whispered, biting her lips and pushing him back a little, afraid of the total loss of control. Jack looked at her, her aroused reaction having had the same effect on him as his touch had had on her. Softly, Irina flipped them around, rolling him onto his back until she was sitting over him, her legs at either side of his hips. Tenderly her hands moved up his chest, playing in the soft, curly hair that covered his skin. Carefully she leaned forward, her fingers running up his neck and then running along his lips.

While Jack’s hands moved up her upper thighs and pressed her hips down to his body, she bend over and started to spill kisses along his neck, her endearments becoming more sensual when she moved her lips down his body. Her hair fell down onto his chest, tickling his skin and causing him to groan. Hungrily she let her hands wander to his stomach and then to his hands, which were lying at her hips.
She lifted one of his hands to her lips, kissing his pulse point and playfully biting him until she felt him tremble, before she eventually pinned them next to his head to the mattress. Very slowly she lowered her lips to his. She wanted to feel more of his skin against hers. Moaning softly, when her breasts brushed his chest, her tongue flicked out to move over his lips in a butterfly touch.
Jack lifted his head and pressed his lips into hers before Irina could evade his touch – an effort which he effectively prevented by holding her hands, that were still pinning his to the mattress, down so that she couldn’t push herself up. Eager to feel more of him, Irina didn’t fight lying fully on his chest, the feel of his male and well muscled thorax pressed against her soft breasts feeling new and at the same time familiar, making her curious or more.
Soon, their hands joined in the kissing again.

With every additional touch of Jack, Irina became more and more impatient and restless, finally softly rocking her hips against his without even noticing. When he moved his hand between her legs, rubbing against the material of her panties, she let out a prolonged moan against his lips.

“Oh… Jack…”

All she could do was gasp for air, when he flipped them around again. In his eyes stood infinite lust when he asked her once more if she was sure that she was ready to take this last step. She simply nodded, her hand lying at his cheek in a reassuring gesture. Jack pulled off his pants and then softly removed Irina’s panties.
He made sure that she was lying comfortable on the soft sheets, before he positioned himself between her legs. For a moment he recognized a hint of fear, of uncertainty blinking in her eyes, but it was so brief that he wasn’t even sure it had been there. Deeply she started to kiss him. He could feel her body tremble slightly and hugged her even closer. God, how much he loved her. He had never met a woman as beautiful as her.
With her, he never had the feeling that he had to be as ‘groovy’ and ‘hip’ as the other young men his age. With his twenty-one years he was already rather calm and maybe a little too serious. Results, that his job brought with. Being as young as he was, he had already killed more than dozen men, enemies most of which he hadn’t even known the name. Soldiers or security guards, who had been in his way. In the world he was living in every day the only rule was kill or die himself. Maybe it was due to that cruelness and harshness of the world that he was more unhumorous and thoughtful than other young men his age. He was never really able to forget his job – except when he was with Laura. She had something around her that lightened his days. Whenever he had had a really bad day, once he saw Laura in the evening, he immediately started to feel better.

“I love you,” he whispered hoarsely to her ear, burying his face at her neck. Irina kissed his cheek and pulled her legs closed to her body to feel his skin more intensely.

He felt her nakedness against him, while she kissed his cheek softly. Softly he moved his hand to her center, wondering how she would react to an intimate touch like that. More than a dozen times he had spent time late at night, fantasizing about how he could drive her crazy and make her writhe beneath him. He was curious to find out whether sh eliked it as much as she had in his mind.

When his fingers started to explore her female core, teasing her clit softly, Irina rolled her head back, a surprised sound escaping her lips that soon turned into a series of erotic moans. Jack enjoyed her moving intuitively against him in a feral dance. Her hand clasped his shoulder when the need pulsed through her body like a drug, bringing her whole body to life.
Thoughts were erased from her mind, missions and nationalities becoming an unimportant triviality that didn’t seem to matter anymore. All she could think of was that incredibly handsome man pressed against her who brought her exquisite pleasure.

“Jack…” she whispered his name into his ear, “Oh God, Jack!… Jack…”

He felt that she was ready for him, felt that she wanted this as badly as he did. Carefully he guided himself to her entrance and thrust into her. It took him a few seconds to understand that the outcry that followed of her part had not been one of pleasure, but of pain. He felt her body tense and her fingers dig into his skin and forced himself to still. Confused, he looked into her wide-open eyes.

“Laura… “ he whispered breathlessly, shock standing in his eyes. “God… I…”

“I’m okay… I’m alright…” she managed to say, her voice trembling and betraying that she was far from being alright. “Go on… just… finish!” she almost pleaded, wanting it to be over as soon as possible. The pain that had rushed through her abdomen when he had entered her, had erased all lust from her mind and left her paralyzed from shock. She had forgotten about it, letting herself be carried away by her desire. That had prevented her from being prepared to fight the pain and breathe through it as she had been told to.

“Laura, I will not ‘just finish’!” Jack contradicted softly. “My God, honey, why didn’t you tell me you never…? I am so sorry.” He kissed her over and over again on the cheek. Irina squeezed her eyes shut, her head turned to the side. Disaster… this was just a disaster. She wanted nothing more than leave. Storm out of the room, find some place calm and cry. “Look at me,” Jack inquired tenderly, but in a tone that didn’t allow any contradiction.

Irina opened her eyes, feeling as vulnerable and awkward as she had never felt before in her whole life. Against her will, the tears started to gather in her eyes. She had failed. She had acted so stupid by letting herself get carried away. Slowly she turned her head to look at Jack, awaiting to see frustration, or anger, or both in his eyes. But she saw nothing but concern and tenderness. Her fingers around his shoulders loosened and she tried to relax. The man kissed her cheek softly.

“I am sorry I hurt you, Laura. Please forgive me. But nothing in your behavior betrayed that you have never before slept with a man…”

He was apologizing. Irina closed her eyes. God, and the KGB was most likely listening. This was more than a disaster. It had been her job to satisfy his needs and instead she had made him apologize for doing so. All she could do was try to get out of the situation in the most elegant way. She had learned to deal with pain, she just had to apply that now. Breathe through the pain, focus on something entirely different – memories or a point at the wall.

Jack continued kissing her, softly moving to her earlobe, where he started to nibble her. Irina shifted a little, trying intuitively to move away from him and ease the pressure he caused in her abdomen. She needed to go to the bathroom to focus and regain control. But Jack held her in place softly.

“Don’t go, please.” He bent closer to her ear. “Just try to relax…I promise, I’ll make it good.” he breathed, his words tickling the sensitive spot under her lobe. When he started to kiss down her neck, he continued to whisper words of endearment against her skin. “Concentrate on what I am doing to you. With my mouth.”

He spent endless moments kissing all the spots he had discovered earlier that drove her crazy, his hands moving up and down her body. He forced himself to remain absolutely still, controlling his own desire for the moment. Soon he felt her relax against him, starting to enjoy his caresses again.

When he heard the first soft moan escape her lips, he tried to move carefully inside her. Irina, who had been prepared to have to shield herself against the pain was surprised to find that a wave of exquisite pleasure rolled over her. She gasped for air, intuitively pushing against him when he pulled back. He moaned when he felt her reaction, his next thrust being deeper. This time, her resulting outcry had nothing to do with pain. Her hands moved down his back to his buttocks, pulling him closer against him.

“Oh… Laura…” Jack groaned against her hair and Irina smiled against his cheek, breathing in his male scent.

“That’s…” she whispered, interrupted by the next involuntary moan. “… oh god… that’s good… you are wonderful…”

Automatically they found a perfect rhythm, their bodies moving in unison, each knowing what the other needed. Slowly they rocked each other higher, finding absolutely no problems in adjusting to each other’s pace. Their moans increased and soon the room was filled with their cries of pleasure. Only when Jack felt Irina shatter in his arms, her muscles spasm wildly around him when she reached her orgasm, allowed Jack himself to let go, filling her with his semen.

Exhaustedly, they sank onto the mattress, both breathing heavily and glistening with sweat. Careful not to crash her body under his weight, Jack rolled himself off her and laid down next to her, pulling her into his arms. Softly he moved his hand through her hair until he was able to form coherent thoughts again. Then he popped up onto his elbow and looked at her softly.

“Are you alright?”

“I am fine… this was just… wonderful. You are incredible,” she answered, still out of breath, which made him smile.

“So are you.”

“Jack, I…” Irina started touching his cheek. “I am sorry for not telling you that you were the first. I… I felt stupid and I thought you would laugh at me for being so inexperienced.” A lie. She had been ordered by her handler not to tell Jack that she was still a virgin. He was to find it out himself. Although, Irina was determined, to tell her handler that it had not been, as she had been told, a small pain, not worth talking about.

“How could you think I would laugh at you?” Jack asked seriously concerned. “And how can a woman like you still be… I mean… I am sure you had lots of offers.”

Irina laughed softly at his uneasiness. “You are giving me too much credit,” she joked and kissed him deeply. “I just… I wanted to save myself for the right man, the man it felt right doing it with.” She murmured, and although it was also a line she had been ordered to say, there was a deep truth lying inside. The fact was, that she was happy that it had been Jack. It had felt right doing it with him.
At her revelation, Jack pulled her close into his arms, hugging her deeply. “Thank you,” he whispered. “Thank you for seeing me as that man.”

“Always…” she whispered almost soundless, meeting his eyes. “Do I have to… I mean… do you have to get up early in the morning and rather want me to leave now?”

“No!” Jack replied almost shocked and held her tighter. “I mean, I have to get up early, but I would very much like if you stayed here tonight, in my arms. Only if that is fine by you, of course.”

Irina smiled and closed her eyes to not show him the confusion she was feeling inside at the warmth that flooded through her body at his offer. “Absolutely!”

Softly she snuggled up in his warmth. Her hand moved up and down his chest while she relaxed into his cozy warmth. She knew that she would like getting used to nights like this, and was a little bit afraid of the tenderness she felt coming up when she watched Jack doze off slowly. There was a hint of peace and happiness on his face, streaks which she had actually never seen before. Sadness always seemed to be a part in his features.
Softly she bent over to kiss the corner of his mouth, smiling at the incoherent murmur that followed. With a contended expression she laid back onto his chest and closed her eyes. For the first time in years, she felt safe and had no problems to fall asleep at once with another person in the same room as her.

~~~~~~

Two days later, Irina had finished the homework she was to write for university. Her life seemed to have changed since that night with Jack. When she had woken up the next morning, Jack had been gone to work, leaving her a note and a red rose together with the key to his apartment. Irina had felt that this was the sweetest gesture ever. Since that night, she was happy for no reason. Everything seemed to have changed.
She had left a note for Jack too, which he had hopefully found when he returned home. She knew that he had left for Texas – or wherever – the day before, and was most likely unable to give her a call, but she hoped he would do so as soon as he was back this evening.

Irina looked at her small watch and sat down on a bench at the harbor. She loved looking out to the open sea and today was a sunny day that made the water glisten as if it consisted of millions and millions of tiny diamonds.

Still two hours left until six, when she had a meeting with her handler in the nearby hotel to report the latest happenings. Her handler would be pleased to learn that her relationship with Jack had deepened and that he would soon trust her enough for her to try to make him talk about his job. The advances of this week had been great – although deep in her heart Irina felt sad just thinking about spying at Jack.

She pulled a book out of her purse and spent the remaining time reading. She loved to read books and America offered lots of new literature she hadn’t been able to get her hands on in Russia. The Russian government censored every literature and forbid books which they considered to be dangerous to the political order – a criteria which unfortunately fit on all American books in their eyes. This was like paradise to her now. She opened Henry James’ novel Portrait of a Lady and sank into the plot of the book.
Even when she had been a child and a teen, books had always been her best friends. Although her classmates and even her siblings had not been able to understand her love for the written word, Irina had been happy with a book in her hand. Through all the years, that had never changed and she was happy that her deep cover mission to the USA not only offered her the chance to read books which had been unattainable to her until now, but also given her the chance to visit a university and become a literary teacher – even if only as a cover up.

Two hours later, Irina entered the small hotel she used as a meeting point with her handler. She stated her name at the reception and the young woman handed her a key with a friendly smile on her face. “Yes, Mrs. White, your husband has already arrived. Shall we bring your luggage up to your room?”

“I don’t have any, thank you.” Irina smiled and went to the elevator. While she waited, she looked impatiently around, trying to recognize somebody, she had also seem elsewhere before. When she was sure that she hadn’t been followed, Irina entered the elevator and pressed the button for the third floor.

Two minutes later she reached the door to the room that her handler had rented for their encounter. She unlocked it and entered the room, smiling friendly at a young maid who was dust-cleaning some ancient vases on the corridor.

Irina closed the door and looked around, dropping her purse.

“Comrade Derevko… you’re two minutes late.” A man noticed from the bed and Irina’s smile faded a little.

“I am sorry, I was held up down at the reception.” She replied in her mother tongue Russian and handed the black haired man on the bed a file. “My report for the last week. The seduction has been successful and the target’s trust is gained. Not long until we can move on more straightforward.”

Sergej Ivanov looked down at the file she handed him, then he slowly lifted his dark eyes to her. “Just so we are clear, you are not the one deciding on how to proceed here. You follow the orders which I give you!”

Irina folded her arms slightly uncomfortable. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it disrespectful, officer. I was just stating what I thought were the facts.” Something she had done the last weeks as well, Irina wondered silently. But somehow her handler seemed to be in a bad mood today. Ten seconds later, Irina knew why.

“Concerning your seduction, what part exactly did you consider successful?”

“I…” she started, not knowing what to reply. Ivanov got up from the bed, throwing the file onto the nearby table with a force that betrayed a certain anger.
“You were to seduce him and satisfy his needs and not act like a hysterical American virgin! Can you tell me, where exactly you did not understand the KGB lessons, given to you?”

“I am sorry,” Irina replied. “I was nervous and I underestimated the nature of the situation. It was not as easy as I imagined it to be, but I had the feeling that it went rather well…”

He was standing with the back towards her, and nothing in his movements made Irina expect what followed next. All of a sudden he spun around, slapping her so hard that she stumbled and fell painfully against the bed. Before she was able to understand what had happened he pulled her up, throwing her onto the mattress. Her giddiness and her aching head clouded her mind, preventing her from reacting as quickly as she would have normally done. Shocked at the unexpected outburst of passion, she tried to roll off the bed, but the man held her in place, pinning her violently down to the mattress with one arm, while he opened his pants with the other.

“What are you doing?” Irina almost yelled, unable to keep the panic out of her voice. “Get off me, you bastard!”

“Shut up, stupid bitch!” he hissed, pressing his hand over her mouth. “If you don’t want me to convince Comrade Cuvee that you are committing treason by refusing to follow Russia’s orders, you should rather keep really silent.” He kissed her cheek in a quick, hot kiss, while he pushed up the thin material of the woman’s dress. Irina’s eyes started to fill with tears, while she made a last desperate attempt to free herself. Knowing that this man could not only ruin her career, but also, by his false accusations, ruin her life, she finally surrendered, allowing the man to take possession of her.
“If you knew how many weeks I have been waiting for this. Now that you slept with Bristow, I can finally have you…” His heavy breath against her cheek made her feel nauseous and she had to concentrate on her breathing to keep herself from starting to scream. This was a nightmare.

Without caring for her lack of arousal, he pushed himself inside her, not caring for the outcry of horror that followed from her. Irina bit her hand, effectively stifling her cries of pain that followed every thrust of his. She squeezed her eyes shut, her pleas to stop turning into desperate whimpers, and her hands clenched to fists next to her. The wet kisses the man spilled over her neck, the way he touched her body greedily with his callous hands disgusted her to no end.
Irina had no idea how she made it through the worst five minutes of her entire life. Finally, when the grunting of the man had subsided, he rolled off of her, his breath coming quick and shallow.

Irina didn’t move a single part of her body. Pain, not only physical, but also mentally paralyzed her. Only when Ivanov touched her neck with his hot and sweaty hand, she turned to her side almost panicked, her body shivering from the shock she was in. The man growled.

“See, that is the problem with American men. They don’t know how to treat a woman. Their behavior towards them is too kind. If Bristow was a true man, I wouldn’t have had to pay you this lesson now.” He wanted to force Irina to look at him, and when she refused, he turned her around forcefully. She stared at a point somewhere in the room, looking through him. “You better get used to this, since, from now on, sleeping with men will be a significant part of your missions. The show you pulled off with Bristow, playing the nervous virgin, is not going to be repeated, are we clear?”

She closed her eyes, wanting him to leave her alone in her shame and disgust – not only of him, but even more of herself. She had been trained for situations like this! Why hadn’t she used those skills? Why had she just let the man use her without even trying?

“I want to hear from your lips that you will not ever disregard an order again, or I will do this all over again right now!” the man warned, his voice showing no mercy.

“Understood,” Irina said as steadily as she was capable of to save herself from being raped a second time.

“Good girl,” he murmured almost friendly against her cheek, placing a last kiss on her soft skin, before he got up from the bed and dressed himself. After he had put his short hair back to order in front of the mirror, he turned around. “Get up and make sure to prepare for the next mission! The details are on the file on the table. I expect no mistakes this time, or I swear to you, you are going to regret it. If you think today was bad, there are worse ways to punish a woman. And return the key at the reception when you leave the hotel!” With these words he left the room, the sound of the slamming door resounding loudly in Irina’s ears.

Alone. She was finally alone. When the realization of what had just happened to her became fully aware to her, her body started to shake uncontrollably. She couldn’t keep herself from breaking out in tears anymore, her face buried in the sheets of the bed. Weakly, she curled up, at first refusing to touch her own body since the thought of what he had done to her made her disgust herself. But then finally she hugged her aching belly with her arms.

Naïve as she was she had thought that, after she had seduced Jack, the hardest part of her mission was over, but the nightmare had only begun. From now on she would have to use her body as a weapon and she had to find a way to deal with the shame and disgust inside her, until – someday – she would be able to take revenge on all the persons who used her now and in the future. And she was sure that day would come…

Twenty minutes later she eventually found the strength to sit up. Her body felt limp, her whole abdomen burning and stitching with pain and at first she wasn’t sure whether she was able to walk. She sank to the ground, the tears still running down her cheeks. Then she pulled herself together. She had to get through this. There was nothing she could do against Sergej Ivanov. He was her handler, a higher-ranking officer. And even if she complained to her commanding officer Gerard Cuvee, Ivanov would learn it and find excuses, and in the end she would be the one punished. When the hopelessness of her situation became clear to her, she felt as if she was unable to breathe. She would have to let the man touch her whenever he liked and there was no way to fight him.

Forcing herself to focus, she finally got up and stumbled into the small bathroom. Pulling the dress over her head, she just discarded it to the floor, her bra and panties followed. She turned on the hot water and let it rinse over her body. Carefully she washed away the proof of the abuse that had been done to her.
She would not be able to sleep with Jack for the next days without being in pain. For a moment she considered visiting a doctor, but then she thought better of it. First of all, how should she explain what had happened, and secondly, it was only a matter of time until Sergej learned about her visiting her gynecologist – and she didn’t doubt that his threat had not only been empty words.

Against and again, Irina rinsed her body with soap, feeling dirty and embarrassed. Almost fifty minutes later she finally stopped the water. It didn’t make her feel better, didn’t wash away that disgust deep in her heart. Apathically and without really thinking, she dried herself. Nothing could make her feel better, nothing seemed to help remove that feeling of shame and hate inside her.
When she had dressed, she went to the small table, which the file with her next mission was lying on. She opened the black folder and quickly read over it, her hand clenching to a fist. ‘Seduce parliament member Jeffrey Jackson. Sleep with him, retrieve information and kill him afterwards.’
Irina closed her eyes, silent tears falling onto the white sheet. Slowly, the ink dissolved in the salty liquid, turning into indefinable points on the paper. So, this was the life that she would have to live from now on?

Irina took the file and grabbed her purse, which was still standing at the door, where she had left it when she had entered the room. And if the girl at the reception had observed her more closely when coming in, she would have noticed that the young woman who left the hotel now was not the same anymore who had entered it…

It was five hours later, that a knock on his door woke Jack up. He had returned from his mission only three hours ago and longed for some sleep. Retrieving a nuclear core from a highly secured facility in Bangladesh had been a risky operation.
When he opened, he found a totally soaked Irina standing in front of his door in the pouring rain, which had started somewhere between the last one and a half hours.
Jack stared in shock at her appearance, her hair dissolved, her eyes red from crying and her body trembling from cold. She looked as if she had been walking the streets for hours.

“I’m sorry…”she whispered, her voice broken. “I just… I didn’t know where else to go.”

“For heaven’s sake! Laura, come in, honey. You will catch a cold!” Jack softly pulled the woman inside and closed the door. “What happened?” His voice betrayed concern and worry, his hand softly touching her cheek and pushing some strands of hair behind her ear. Irina evaded his touch and hugged her body with her arms. There it was. She couldn’t stand touches anymore. Forcing herself to remember that this was Jack, not Sergej, she smiled faintly.

“I… I had a bad day,” Irina lied. “I don’t want to talk about it. Jack, please, can I stay with you tonight. I don’t want to be alone…”

“Of course! I will give you some of my clothes.” He disappeared in his bedroom, while Irina remained where she was, looking around sternly. She didn’t even feel the cold of her body anymore. When Jack returned, he had a large towel, a shirt and pants for her.

“Thank you.” Irina smiled at him weakly and went into the bathroom. Totally confused, Jack looked after her.

In the bathroom, Irina leaned against the wooden door. She had been home for some time only to realize that she couldn’t stand being alone. After having showered a second time, she had gone through the streets without knowing where to go. Jack had been the only person who came to her mind. She didn’t know how she had managed to cross half of the city in the pouring rain, but somehow she had done it. All she longed for was his warmth and now she had to discover that she couldn’t even stand his touch anymore. No, she commanded herself. With all the power she had allowed Sergej to have over her by his violation of her body, she would not grant him the triumph of making her enjoy being together with Jack less. She wanted to feel as safe and protected as she had felt two nights ago. Nobody, not even Sergej would be able to take that away from her.

Slowly she lifted her face to look into the mirror at the wall. She pressed her hands to the cold, blank glass, touching her reflection.

“Laura, is everything alright?” came Jack’s voice from outside, and she could clearly hear concern from his voice.

She closed her eyes. ‘Not her, not Laura’, her lips formed out soundlessly, new tears filling her eyes. ‘Irina.’
She looked up and for a moment she was sure that she didn’t recognize the woman she saw in the mirror. That strange face had nothing left of the temper and fierce spirit she had once been. It was not her anymore… it was a strange woman name Laura, a woman she didn’t know and didn’t even feel the slightest connection to. It was a mask she would have to wear every day from now on.
In horror, she turned on the cold water and splashed a handful into her face, cooling her swollen eyelids. Then she removed her soaked clothes and dried her body.

When she left the bathroom, Jack came out of the kitchen, a cup with hot tea in his hand. Irina smiled at him and took the cup out of his hand. Thoughtfully she warmed her hands on it, not saying any word. Slowly she went to Jack’s bedroom, longing for a few hours of sleep. Exhaustedly, she crawled onto the bed and curled up, the clothes from Jack being to big for her slender form.
The man followed her and placed the cup of tea on the drawer next to his bed. Then he crawled onto the sheets next to Irina and hugged her softly from behind, covering his and her body with the blanket.

“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Jack asked softly, kissing her ear while he held her trembling body against his.

Irina simply shook her head and closed her eyes. “I just want to be with you. Please, Jack, hold me.”

“I will,” he promised. “I will be here protecting you.” He moved his hand through her hair. When he felt Irina relax against his body, he closed his eyes.

Jack had long fallen asleep, when the young woman was still lying awake, staring at the wall. The pain between her legs had turned into a dull feeling of throbbing soreness, and Jack’s warmth helped to reduce the pain in her soul. How badly she wanted to cry in his arms, but she knew it was impossible. She was his enemy, a Russian spy. All he saw in her was the innocent American student, a young, sweet girl whom he had fallen in love with.

He didn’t know of what she had had to go through today, and he would not know about the torture that was going to follow during the next weeks when she met with her handler or received a new mission. But now that she was lying in Jack’s arms, she suddenly knew that she would survive it – as long as he was there for her to keep her warm.
And someday he would know that he was actually holding Irina in his arms, not Laura. And hopefully he would then love her as much as he loved Laura – or maybe even more. Time would tell…

END

“Who is that girl I see, staring straight back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?
Must I pretend that I am someone else for all time?
When will my reflection show, who I am inside?”

Christina Aguilera, “Reflection”