Some of you asked for it, so here's Cain's side of the story...
The moment I saw her I knew she was more than just another beautiful woman in a bar. I hadn’t had the best of days, and honestly, I didn’t feel like talking…but there was just something about her…
She was tough…it radiated from her, but there was also something searching in her, like she knew there was more to life, and wouldn’t give up until she found it.
She had green eyes that seemed familiar. I noticed that when she sat down beside me; before she spoke, before she even looked at me. They were stunningly bright, and she pursed her soft mouth below them, whistling when the bartender placed another beer and whiskey chaser before me.
“Put it on the tab,” I grumbled, and she smirked… I could only see her out the corner of my eye, but I knew she was smiling. I felt it.
“Rough day?” She asked, leaning closer until I could feel her heat and smell her scent, like honey and jasmine. I wanted to ask her what the hell my drinking habits had to do with her – and if she’d been anyone else, I would have. But those green eyes were steady and genuine, like she’d listen for hours if I actually told her the whole sorry tale.
“Something like that,” I replied, offering a ghost of a smile in return. I couldn’t help it, and besides, facing her was far preferable to facing the images in my head.
We talked a little, the woman who said her name was Annabelle, and I. It was nice - sort of distracting - and mostly, I found I was honest with her. Except, of course, when we reached the inevitable –
“So what do you do?” She asked. I told her I was in IT, a consultant – everyone’s in IT now, aren’t they? She said she was a nurse, and it made a lot of sense. She had one of those invisible protective shells around her, like she’d got used to losing people. It was a shame, I thought. I’d been starting to really like her, but there was no use thinking ahead…Annabelle would never handle the truth.
I mean…how do you tell someone who saves lives, that you’re a professional killer; a specialist in lethal explosions? How do you tell her you fake terror attacks for a living, to feed the egos of bastard politicians and sway the opinions of the world? And how do you explain that a ‘rough day’ is the day a little boy gets caught in one of your car bombs? That the news channel in this very bar is reporting your handy work?
The truth is, you don’t, and there was no point pretending otherwise. It didn’t matter if Annabelle was a nurse really…my job wouldn’t wash with any woman. Even if it had been a choice between the Secret Service or prison - Cain Andrews, SAS deserter to Cain Andrews, government pawn - and I’d never asked to be who I am.
So, I charmed Annabelle instead, and waited for her to ask me in when I walked her home…because if she didn’t take me upstairs and take my mind off that boy’s blood on the embassy steps, I knew I’d never sleep again.
* * *
The following morning, as I stood naked in her bathroom doorway, she told me she didn’t do this often…she didn’t invite strange guys from bars into her bed. I reassured her, of course I didn’t think that…she didn’t seem the type to screw around… And for once, I was being honest, she really didn’t. Annabelle’s mouth was the most truthful thing I’d ever encountered, in speech and everything else. Her tongue was masterful and practiced, but by no means mechanical. She was bitter and sweet, generous and attentive…and vicious…all at once. In truth, she’d touched my soul, and God help me, I wanted more…
“I must be special then?” I asked her, and every fibre of me willed her to say ‘yes’, to say she felt the same startling connection here as I did. When she didn’t respond, I sought the confirmation I was sure I would find, in her kiss instead. Laying on the bed beside her, my eyes locked on her green gaze and I leaned towards her.
“I know what you’re thinking,” I murmured against her lips, nipping at their softness between words. She made an inquisitive sound, but didn’t move, only trembled, until I twisted, drawing her mouth into mine. “You think…” I breathed, breaking off as our kiss deepened. “That this can’t be happening...” She pushed my shoulder and I rolled willingly onto my back, raising the intensity and gasping my next words, breathlessly, into her hot, open mouth. “You think you can’t feel this way…after just one night…but…”
I felt her catch her breath then as she clawed away strands of her hair that caught in our kiss. I didn’t need to finish my sentence, it was clear she felt it too…her body screamed it, without words. Annabelle buried her fingers in my hair and drew me tighter against herself, her graceful arms snaking around my neck and back... I knew I’d never felt anything like this before, and might never again. Maybe I could tell her the truth about my work…perhaps she would understand…
I didn’t feel her stab me until the blade hit my heart - sliding very professionally between my ribs, through my back as she held me. I didn’t understand it and I tried to say her name, to ask her why, but found I couldn’t breathe enough to speak – my chest was full of crushing air and blood. She said she was sorry and my dying eyes saw truth in hers…her impossibly bright, green eyes.
It wasn’t until the clarity of death that I remembered why those eyes were familiar. My boss had the same green eyes,...just older. And so did his son…the boy I’d left dying on the embassy steps last night. There had always been a photo of the child on my boss's desk - posing with a woman he'd once told me was his niece...