Author Topic: Covert  (Read 378 times)

Meg Miller

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« on: October 31, 2016, 07:12:11 AM »
Spetses was a playground of the rich, developed for just that purpose, an island of luxury hotels and even more luxurious private mansions and villas. Stefanos Evchenko owned one of the largest of these private luxuries, a many-roomed villa complete with expansive gardens, two pools, an outdoor bath-house and sauna, and his own stretch of private beach in which to moor his yachts. AJ and Meg - or rather, Jake and Sophie - had been welcomed to the estate by the butler when they had arrived after their flight by boat from the mainland, the master of the house being engaged in sailing around the island with a few friends who had arrived earlier in the day. They were shown to a luxurious bedroom, equipped with champagne for their pleasure, and told to take their time. Their presence was only required by Mr. Evchenko for dinner, dancing, and other entertainments as the evening came on.

Meg studied her appearance in the bathroom mirror, fighting down the butterflies proliferating in her stomach. "Is he always this extravagant?" she called through the door to where AJ was probably waiting impatiently for her to make her entrance.

"What's the point in having money if you can't live a little?" he countered, as he examined his own reflection in the bedroom mirror and adjusted the tie that just didn't want to stay straight. He was formally dressed for dinner in a black designer suit that probably cost more than his monthly salary, clean-shaven, with his hair carefully combed and parted on the side.

"There's living a little and there's showing off," she countered, giving herself a last once over before opening the bathroom door and stepping out. "Will I disgrace you, do you think?"

MI6's wardrobe department had done her proud. The dress was a mouth-watering red, clinging in all the right places, plunging in others, split to the thigh on one side. Sophie was definitely a more sultry creature than her creator could possibly have described, and not at all shy in the slightest. She twirled for his amusement, flicking her dark hair from her eyes.

He was still busy fixing his tie when she stepped out of the bathroom, and he glanced over, expecting to see her looking nice, but doing a double take when he saw just how nice. "Holy s***!" he exclaimed, his eyes practically popping out of his head at the sight of her. "You look gorgeous." Not only looked gorgeous, but was gorgeous. There were no two ways about it. She was easily going to turn heads as the most beautiful woman on the island. "Just remember, you're married to me," he teased, half seriously.

She laughed, moving over to finish his tie for him. "Like I could possibly forget," she answered affectionately. Even though they were pretty sure there were no bugs or cameras in the room, it was better to be safe than sorry. "You did say you wanted to show me off a little. Something about proving to your friend that money can buy a lot, but looks and money get better quality goods?"

"Something like that," he replied, wondering if she was just playing the part now or if there was some underlying message there that took a littler reading between the lines. "I'm not sure I want to share the view," he admitted, more AJ than Jake. Then again, Jake had brought her here to show her off, and they weren't going to get the job done if they hid in the room all weekend, no matter how much fun might be had there.

Smoothing her hands over his lapels, she met his gaze. "The view is for anyone," she pointed out. "But only one man gets to really enjoy it." She laughed, gently bopping the end of his nose with a fingertip before turning away. "Zip me, please?"

"I'd rather not, but we'll never get dinner if I don't, and not even this man can live on sex alone," he told her, easing the zipper up her back and trying hard not to get too distracted by the view. It wasn't like he hadn't seen her naked before, but there was something about a woman's bare back that was even more tantalizing than if she were fully nude. Whether it was for the sake of any cameras or just for his own enjoyment, he leaned in to brush his lips against the back of her neck, his breath warm and soft against her skin.

Her smile was half for his words and half for the way he was looking at her. Sophie, naturally, would preen under her husband's praise, but Meg was not used to seeing any man's eyes dilate quite that fast just because she was wearing a dress. That those eyes belonged to a man she had more than a passing attraction to simply drove the compliment home. So was it any surprise that, when he kissed her neck, she moaned softly, her skin flushing with gentle color. "You're not supposed to seduce me until after dinner," she pouted playfully, leaning back into him. "You made me promise to behave, I think you should promise, too." The words might have belonged to her alias, but there was no mistaking slightly breathless tone in which they were spoken. This weekend was looking more and more interesting all the time.

"I'm just doing what you asked me to do," he replied, his lips sliding against her neck, doing a lot more than just zipping up her dress. Would it really hurt to be a few minutes late to dinner? After all, they were supposed to be newlyweds. "No promises, Mrs. Wright," he whispered against her neck. "What fun is there in behaving?" Maybe it was a little over the top, but it wasn't entirely a ruse.

Whether he had doubts about how real her reactions were, Meg, at least, knew he had her full attention. It was easy to give in while she was pretending to be Sophie, easy to twist against him and demand kisses that were definitely not suitable for public consumption. All right, so they were supposed to be schmoozing with the schemers downstairs, but being late never hurt anyone. Did it?

Then again, he didn't want to mess her hair or smudge her lipstick or make her undress when he'd just zipped her up, but there were other ways to indulge or to appear as if they'd been indulging in each other's company. She was wearing a dress, after all, and no pantyhose, which allowed him easy access. By the time they arrived downstairs, he was hoping to have mussed her hair just a little and brought a little flush to her cheeks. It wouldn't take much effort on his part, and it might help her relax.

If there were any bugs in the room, the men listening in were going to have trouble walking comfortably for a little while. There are few things in the world more difficult to ignore than a couple truly enjoying one another, even if it is only for a few minutes, and by the time he was done, Meg was definitely mussed. There was no way in hell their host was going to miss the fact that Jake Wright just didn't seem to be able to keep his hands off his new wife, that much was for certain. Breathless, she leaned against him, half-giggling as he let her come back down. "What a first impression to make, hmm?"

"I do have a reputation to uphold," he replied with a grin. He'd never had any complaints, and he figured neither had Jake. He smoothed his hands down her hips to straighten her dress and touched an almost tender kiss to her lips. "We probably shouldn't keep our host waiting any longer."

"And here was I, thinking you'd left that reputation behind when you married me," she pointed out, answering his kiss in kind. It took more effort than Meg was willing to admit to step away, but they had a job to do here. Seizing his hand, she pulled him toward the door. "Now come on. I'm starving."

Hopefully, that little display would not only relax her, but would satisfy anyone watching that they were who they said they were. "You can return the favor later," he told her, offering a cheeky wink, once again, only half serious. He let her lead him from the room, admiring the view of her in that red dress. He only hoped she didn't prove to be too much of a distraction as they did have a job to do.

Meg Miller

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Re: Covert
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 07:13:14 AM »
He had certainly calmed her nerves, that was for sure, and by the time they were descending the stairs, there was no time left to be nervous in. Evchenko's 'small' party turned out to consist of around thirty guests, milling comfortably together around the buffet in the ballroom and out onto the veranda, enjoying the drinks provided by passing waiters, conversing beneath the sound of the music provided by a small band. The man himself was waxing lyrical to a couple of young women near the bar - tall, and handsome in his own way, definitely of the silver fox variety, and speaking loud enough to be overheard as the spies approached.

"- sauna tonight, but sadly the work is not yet finished. My prized bath-house is a construction site, and not for the eyes of lovely ladies such as yourselves."

"Ah, but there are two heated pools and the beach to consider," AJ broke in, playing his part with a grin on his face for the man who was both their host and their mark - a man his alias was supposed to be friends with. He led Meg on his arm through the small crowd toward Evchenko so he could introduce her and acknowledge the man.

"Jake!" Turning about with an expansive grin, Stefanos Evchenko gripped the hand of his old friend, Jake Wright, and pulled him into a rough but affectionate embrace. "You should have told me you were getting married, I would have bought you something to make the wedding night memorable."

"Stefanos!" Jake returned, letting go of Meg aka Sophie just long enough to return that embrace in a hug that was almost brotherly. "It's been too long, man. We gotta do this more often." He smiled deceptively warmly as he stepped back and reached for Meg's arm to pull her forward. "Stefanos Evchenko, my wife, Sophie," he said by way of introduction. "You can look, but you can't touch," he teased the man.

Drawn closer, Meg didn't miss the predatory look in Evchenko's eyes as he looked her over, or the way he laughed it off at the warning not to touch her. "Madame, you are beautiful," the Balkan businessman told her, kissing her hand with no small amount of charm. "And very welcome here. I commiserate with you at your poor fortune in marrying this overgrown child, but I am sure you will help him grow out of his boyish tendencies."

The woman he believed was Sophie smiled back at him, glancing up at her husband. "Oh, I can assure you, Mr. Evchenko, there is nothing boyish about him," she answered, and was rewarded with a guffawing laugh from their host.

"Come, come, you must eat and tell me all about how you met," Evchenko insisted, ignoring his young ladies in favor of renewing his acquaintance with an American playboy.

"Now, Soph, what goes on in the bedroom stays in the bedroom," AJ teased, tossing a wink at their host. "Unless it's somewhere else," he added with a grin. Was it any wonder Evchenko was fond of the playboy? It was almost too bad it was all just for show. He let Evchenko lead them where he would, Meg between them, one man on each arm.

"You are a brazen opportunist, my boy," Evchenko complimented him cheerfully, signaling a waiter to load up a couple of plates and bring them to a table for his favored guests. "Sit, sit, be comfortable. Champagne for the lady ... are you still insisting on bourbon, boy?"

"The only drink worth drinking," AJ replied with a smile as he glanced to Meg. "But I think maybe I should make an exception tonight and have champagne. After all, we have reason to celebrate." And just because he could, he leaned close and touched an almost sweet kiss to Meg's cheek.

"Champagne, then." Evchenko paused, watching as his friend's wife returned that very nearly chaste kiss, locking eyes for a long moment. The older man chuckled. "I never would have believed it, Jake Wright in love. My dear, you have a magic touch."

Meg laughed, tearing her eyes from AJ's to look back at Evchenko, even as she leaned into her partner. "I think I'm the one who is enchanted, Mr. Evchenko," she said sweetly. "I'm rather like Cinderella."

"If you're Cinderella, that makes me a prince," AJ replied, letting his gaze hold hers for a moment longer than necessary, either for effect or just because he was having trouble drawing a line between the fantasy and the reality when it came to her. He'd liked Sarah, and Sophia was sexy, but it was Meg he found intriguing. "What's not to love?" he asked, turning back to their host. "Take a look at her! Have you ever met anyone as gorgeous as her?"

"I have met many beautiful women, Jake," Evchenko reminded him with a smirk, not even glancing up as food and drinks were delivered to them. He did, however, take the opportunity to look Meg over with slow greed, having been invited to look. Meg could feel her skin crawling, but she didn't show any sign of it - after all, Sophie had spent years being ogled by dirty old men, and was used to it by now. "She is enchanting," the older man nodded. "I approve. You have my permission to marry her."

"That's a good thing because I already did!" AJ replied with a grin, taking Meg's left hand to show off the bling on her finger. "Bought her this rock as soon as we got to shore," he told her, looking like a properly enamored young newlywed. He went on to share the story of their meeting and whirlwind courtship, letting her add her bits here and there wherever she felt the need, until the story was told.

They held Evchenko's attention for a good couple of hours, teasing gentle details from him about the construction work on his bath-house, his heightened security, the reason for the last-minute house party. He had excuses for all of them - that he wanted a truly luxurious sauna experience and the work had overrun inconveniently; that he was afraid one of his many ex-wives was preparing to have him bumped off (again); that he had heard about Jake's marriage, and had arranged the party purely to convince his friend to come and bring his new wife. Throughout the conversation, they ate and drank, and the two undercover agents shared more than enough touches and glances to convince even the most skeptical onlooker of their passion for one another. Before Evchenko allowed himself to be pulled away, he claimed a dance with Sophie, leaving his friend alone while he swayed the brunette about the floor.

Thus far, AJ had managed to keep his nerves and his temper in check, playing the part of Evchenko's friend, even to the point of allowing the man to admire Meg and enjoy a dance with her, but it hadn't been easy. His instincts told him to be careful. After all, Evchenko had a reputation with women to rival that of Jake's, and neither Jake nor AJ were the sharing type. So, while he might appear to be relaxed and enjoying his champagne while the man danced with his partner, inside he was a bundle of nerves.

He should have had a little more faith in his partner. Even if Sophie was inclined toward infidelity, Meg certainly wasn't, and never in a million years with a lecherous silver fox who couldn't quite hide the sleaze beneath his charm. Thus, when the inevitable proposition came, she let herself react in exactly the way she wanted to. Anyone who was watching was treated to the sight of Sophie Wright pulling back from their host with a look of absolute shock on her face, and quite obviously only just keeping herself from slapping him for making the suggestion at all. Evchenko immediately fell to apologizing, casting furtive glances to where Jake was watching them, and drew her back into the dance, but it was clear that she had lost the relaxed edge. No doubt AJ was proud.

Meg Miller

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Re: Covert
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 07:14:07 AM »
AJ was proud, but he was also seething inside, even if they'd both discussed this possibility and prepared for it. Jake, on the other hand, would likely laugh it off, and remind the man that she was off limits. Still, that dance felt like it lasted forever, and AJ was sorely tempted to interrupt. Even when a couple of Evchenko's women tried to draw his attention, it was clear he only had eyes for Sophie - or was it Meg?

The dance did come to an end eventually. Evchenko delivered her back to his friend, ready with an apology and an excuse for his behavior. "I had to be certain that she was right for you, my boy," he explained himself as Meg seethed behind her plastered on smile. "None of your others have ever turned me down."

"That's why they call it marriage, Stefanos," AJ replied, waving off the apology as if it was unnecessary, even as he moved to his feet, swaying a little from all the champagne - or seeming to. He reached for Meg's arm, a little possessively, not only to hold him up, but to draw her closer. "What do you say to a swim, Soph?" he asked, a grin on his face. "Maybe we can finish what we started earlier?"

Chuckling, Evchenko made his retreat to continue mingling before the couple could blame him for any argument he thought they might be about to have. He would have been disappointed to know that Meg was actually laughing into AJ's ear as she wrapped her arms around him, deeply amused by the tipsy acting. "Only if you promise to let me play this time, too," she countered, drawing back to flash him teasing eyes.

Maybe it was the champagne, but he wasn't quite sure if it was Sophie flirting with Jake or Meg flirting with AJ. Either way, they had managed to convince Evchenko of their romance. Step one accomplished. "You want to tuck me in, Mrs. Wright?" he asked, not bothering to whisper, as his arms wound around her waist.

"I don't think I have the patience to get to the room before you're showing the world your assets, love," she informed him, making no attempt at all to be discreet as she squeezed his backside fondly. Her lips brushed his, sharing a very covert whisper in the process. "Bath-house." It stood to reason that their best bet for the hostage location was that mysteriously off-limits bath-house Evchenko was so eager to make sure everyone knew not to enter.

He smiled into her kiss, appearing amused at her flirting, though he'd been secretly thinking the same thing. Evchenko was a little too adamant about that bath-house, and AJ wasn't buying the fact that it was just because it wasn't finished yet. He'd known the man for some years now, and very little had been hands off until now. He was definitely hiding something, but whether it was hostages or something else, he wasn't sure. "Where you lead, I follow," he replied, swaying in place just a little.

Meg let Sophie laugh, downing a glass of champagne in one gulp before responding. "Well, I don't have a leash on me," she teased, "but I can think of one way to lead you along." And given that her hand was already very intimate on his person, there were no prizes for guessing what she was going to do. It was certainly a new look at the character of Jake Wright for those in the room who thought they knew him.

His name wasn't Jake Wright for nothing. There was a joke in there somewhere, with him being her Mr. Wright; but AJ wasn't really in the mood for jokes, and he was already getting tired of the charade. It wasn't because he was tired of the flirting or the company, but this was the first time he'd ever brought anyone else into this with him, and he was worried for her safety, more than he cared to admit. Despite that, he laughed, and let her led him by the pants, letting the onlookers think whatever they wanted.

It wasn't much of a leap to play the part of lovers anxious to find somewhere reasonably private to play with each other. Meg couldn't hide the anxiety from AJ, certainly - an anxiety that had arisen at Evchenko's less than subtle advance on her, a reminder that the man was not as harmless as he went to such lengths to pretend. It was only a matter of moments before they were beyond the reach of the house lights, illuminated only by the flickering lights of the second pool, closest to the bath-house, sharing laughing comments back and forth as busy hands did wicked things with belts and zippers.

AJ had been careful to check for cameras, even as they exchanged laughs, and flirted shamelessly back and forth, but it was hard to hide cameras and listening devices near a pool, and there didn't seem to be much need. If anyone happened by, they'd just find a young couple enjoying each other's company and having fun slowly and shamelessly stripping the other of the clothes they'd so carefully dressed in for dinner.

And what pair of lovers would miss the opportunity to make the most of the only real privacy in the place? As soon as she had his shirt open and his belt undone, Meg started to steer AJ toward the bath-house, still trading kisses and laughter back and forth. Some effort had been made to make the building look as though there was work going on within it, but the lack of dust and debris hinted that not all was as it seemed. And a greater clue came when her back impacted against the wall beneath one of the high, tiny windows, her arms pulling AJ as close as possible to keep up the charade.

A quiet, frightened male voice spoke, muffled by the cladding of the internal walls. "Hello? Is someone out there?" A second voice shushed the first, fear the overriding motivation for both.

It had been almost too easy, their host practically giving away the location of the hostages within the first five minutes of meeting the incognito agents. Was he really that careless or did he just trust that AJ, aka Jake, was who he said he was and that he wouldn't know any better? While AJ's hands didn't stop pawing at his partner, his face buried in her hair, he used her body to shield him, while he whispered quietly back to those within the bath-house. "Dr. Chandler?" he whispered back, as quietly as he could without attracting any unwanted attention. They were there to do recon, not rescue, but before they passed any information along, they needed to be sure it was accurate.

"No info," Meg whispered against his ear, warning him against telling the hostages anything that might be dragged out of them before they could be retrieved.

From inside the bath-house came the sound of a terrified sigh. "Yes, I ... who are you?"

AJ didn't bother to nod, as he was supposed to be busy groping his wife and kissing her neck. He lowered his voice to that of a hushed whisper, in order to tell the man and his partner only as much as they needed to know. "I can't tell you that, but hang tight. Help is on the way."

A flicker on the edge of her vision warned Meg a split second before a heavy hand landed on AJ's shoulder. Time to play up the acting. "Oh!" As Sophie, she was torn between mortified and deeply amused at being caught, covering her mouth with her hand as she giggled at the sight of two very bulky security guards, who looked almost more embarrassed at having caught them than concerned with their location.

"Sir, ma'am? This area is off-limits for your own protection. There's a risk of falling debris around this building."

"Yeah, but ..." AJ said, like a teenager caught in the act of something he knew he shouldn't be doing and had no excuse for. He chuckled, looking more smug than embarrassed. "We were just ... you know ... I guess we got a little carried away."

Giggling like a child caught with her hands in the cookie jar, Meg let her visible hand fall onto AJ's chest as they talked with the security guards. Hidden from their eyes, her other hand worked the GPS transmitter free from his belt and pressed it into the loose mortar between the bricks at her back, brushing to cover its placement as it self-activated. "Wanna join us?" she asked the security team brightly, knowing full well that this would be even more excruciatingly embarrassing for them.

Meg Miller

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Re: Covert
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 07:14:51 AM »
The man who had touched AJ's shoulder cleared his throat, shifting awkwardly as his companion glanced away with a wince. "Thank you, ma'am, no," he said politely. "Perhaps you would be more comfortable in the rooms provided for your stay."

AJ looked properly shocked by Meg's question. Jake had already told Evchenko that he could look but couldn't touch, and the same thing applied to the security guards. "That's okay, Officer," AJ said, purposely slurring his words just a little. "My wife doesn't seem to understand that marriage is monogamous," he said, glaring at Meg as he said it.

The look she gave him was deliberately teasing, both of them drawing out this encounter just to make it more interesting for themselves. The guards were no doubt itching to get them to move on. "Are we really going to have this conversation again, darling?" she asked sweetly. "I thought we already discussed what happens to silly boys who call their wives whores."

"I saw the way you were looking at Stefanos when the two of you were dancing. Not thinking about replacing me already, are we, darling?" he asked, playing the part of the jealous spouse, even though he hadn't let Evchenko see that Jake had a jealous streak. All of this was just for show; more for the guards' sake than anything else, though if things went well, it might prove useful in another way.

Meg let the Sophie persona take over, letting the alias she had lived for a full year finally have her head to express herself. And to her surprise, she found her eyes filling with tears. "You promised you wouldn't do this," she heard herself say in a quavering tone. "You said you trusted me. Why else would I have signed that silly piece of paper if I was going to leave you, you ridiculous man?"

AJ, too, let the part of Jake take over, his expression softening at the sight of her tears. The Jake personae wasn't an abusive man, and he really loved his wife. Or at the very least, he was obsessed with her. If they were going to keep this ruse going, he was going to have to find a way to mend the rift between the two newlyweds and ensure it was only a drunken lovers' spat. "Baby, you know I love you," he told her, drawing her into his arms. "I just get crazy jealous whenever you so much as look at another man. Can you forgive me?"

She burrowed into his arms, letting Sophie have her weepy moment, much to the mild horror of the awkward duo who were watching them. It was one thing to interrupt a tipsy moment of affection; it was something else entirely to be witness to a tipsy misunderstanding that involved tears. "You shouldn't let me drink," she whimpered, blaming her behavior on alcohol for everyone's peace of mind. On the edge of hearing, she caught the soft thump of feet landing lightly on sand, and ever so slightly increased the sound of her crying. The extraction team had been paying attention, it seemed.

He heard it, too, hiding his surprise at the speed of their rescue. He knew she'd activated the GPS device, but he hadn't expected them to act on it so soon. Then again, time was of the essence. The hostages had to be rescued before they were moved ... or worse. "Come on," he told her, tipping her tearful face up to meet his and brushing the tears from her face. "Let's go back to our room, and I'll make it up to you. Promise."

She nodded, cuddling close under his arm as they turned back to the house. "Is there a way back that won't take us through the ballroom?" she asked the nearest guard, who almost winced at being spoken to.

"Uh, yes, ma'am," he nodded. "My, uh, my colleague will escort you both. My apologies for the interruption."

"Thanks," AJ murmured, almost absentmindedly to the guards as he kissed Meg's tears away. Good God, but the woman deserved an Oscar for that performance. He knew the extraction team was close, and he didn't really want them to be there when they got there, but on the other hand, what better alibi than that?

With one guard moving to lead the way, they were almost to the house when the commotion started at the bath-house. The guard with them turned away, startled, drawing his side-arm from under his suit jacket.

"What's happening?" Meg asked, duly pretending shock and fear as she half-turned toward the commotion.

She caught the briefest glimpse of Horner and Drew, before she felt the familiar sting of a tranq dart stab into her shoulder, ostensibly aimed for the security guard. She dropped, out like a light, and the guard swore as another one hit him in the backside when he bent over to check for her pulse. Drew fired one more dart at AJ, and the extraction team whirled out of sight entirely, disappearing from view as the world spun into blackness.

When AJ came to, he wasn't sure right away where he was or even who he was. It was the second time he'd been shot with a tranq dart in the last week, and he wasn't particularly fond of how it made him feel afterwards. Like he was hungover or something, only this time, he didn't wake up to find he'd been tied to a chair. Instead, he found himself in a bed, and as the room slowly came into focus, he found Meg was tucked in beside him, like they'd merely fallen asleep, rather than been knocked out.

A little more alarmingly, they'd been stripped, their clothing left strewn about the room. It looked as though a masterful cover up had been attempted by Evchenko's people - relying on what they believed to be Jake and Sophie's inebriated state prior to being knocked out, they seemed to have been installed back in their room with the intention that they would put a loss of memory down to the alcohol and not think anything of it. Beside him, Meg stirred, one hand absently rising to scratch at the puncture mark on her shoulder left by the dart that had taken her down.

Jake and Sophie might have been clueless, but their counterparts knew better. AJ groaned, a little alarmed to find he was naked, though the reasons for that became clear as his consciousness flooded back. Though AJ knew what had happened, as Jake he had to pretend ignorance, and it was still unclear whether or not they were being watched. "I need a drink," he murmured with another groan.

It was his murmur that roused Meg, cluing her in to the fact that they might be under surveillance for having been a part of what had happened the night before. She had to assume the extraction had been successful, but for now, they had to concentrate on allaying any suspicion that might have fallen on Jake and Sophie. She groaned softly, screwing up her face as she groped for the edge of the sheet. "Turn off the sun," she moaned pathetically, playing up the fuzzy feeling as a hangover as she pulled the sheet over her head.

"Or maybe coffee," he corrected, rubbing his temple, as if he was trying to ward off a headache. It wasn't entirely a ruse, as his head did feel fuzzy and there was a dull headache starting at his temples. "I wonder if there's room service," he mused aloud.

"I want a butler with a bath of coffee and a stack of pancakes the size of me," was the somewhat petulant response from under the sheet before she emerged once again, rolling onto her back to bump against him. "Ow ..." Her own hand rose to shade her eyes from the sun pouring in through the windows. "Or possibly just a massive injection of morphine."

"Morphine is too expensive," he said, leaning over to touch a kiss to the tip of her nose. "Morning, Mrs. Wright. Did we have fun last night? I don't remember!" he added with a laugh.

"Says the man who can afford anything," she giggled, nuzzling to him as he kissed her nose. "We must have done ..." She looked around the room in perfectly cast bemusement. "When did we get up here? Did we go skinny dipping? You know what happens when we drink and swim."

Meg Miller

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Re: Covert
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 07:15:34 AM »
"Yeah, I don't remember, but what's it matter? We're here and we're naked. We should do what comes natural," he said, waggling his brows at her suggestively, a silly grin on his face. "Shower, breakfast, or me? Take your pick." It was a given to anyone who might be watching that all three were going to happen at some point, it was just a matter of what order they happened in.

"Mmm, what a choice," she teased, easing her arms about his neck. "I rather think the best two out of three should come first, don't you?" She nipped the end of his nose, moving to slither away and rise from the bed.

His smile widened, as he caught her meaning. Jake seemed to anyway. "Might as well kill two birds with one stone," he replied in agreement, as he threw the covers off and moved to his feet to chase her playfully into the bathroom. As for AJ, he knew even this was all part of the ruse, the show they put on for Evchenko's sake. Though it was seemed perfectly normal that a young couple might want to shower together, there was an underlying reason for that in that it might be the one and only place the two agents could talk without risking being overheard.

Despite the fuzzy headed feeling, Meg let Sophie drive for the moment, letting out a squeal of laughter as she accelerated into the bathroom with her husband in hot pursuit. Even in there, with the shower running, they were going to have to keep their voices down, but at least they'd be able to regroup a little.

If the giggles and running water were anything to go by, the couple was having a lot of fun in the shower, despite their presumed hangovers. And why shouldn't they? What did they care about mysterious bath-houses, missing persons, and clandestine operations? They were just a couple of lovers who couldn't keep their hands off each other ... weren't they? Evchenko hoped so, but he had to be sure.

By the time the steam had filled the room, the pair were already under the water, and judging by the noises, they weren't exactly shy with each other. Meg let out a trembling moan, busily combing conditioner into her hair, before murmuring to AJ, "So what is our plan now?"

"Just keep doing what we're doing, I guess," he replied, just as quietly in return. Part of him was enjoying this little masquerade, but not so much that he let his guard down. He knew they were in a dangerous position, even more so now that the extraction team had, well, extracted the hostages ... or she he assumed. They were going to find out, sooner or later, one way or another. "We don't want him getting suspicious," he said, as he scrubbed himself clean.

"They'll be watching us today, won't they?" she asked very softly, enjoying the view as he got to hog the hot water a little while longer. It would be her turn in a moment, when she was finished convincing whoever was listening just how good Jake was with his tongue. The moans were certainly convincing, if a little silly for him to watch her producing them.

"Yeah, but they're not gonna see much," he whispered back. Except for more of the same ridiculously affectionate pawing and groping and kissing and whispering and giggling. If she was anyone else, he might have felt a little awkward being naked in the shower with her, but they'd shared a bed and a shower once already when she'd been posing as Sarah. "If he tries anything, just turn on the tears," he advised her quietly.

"Oh, you enjoyed that, did you?" she smirked, pausing just long enough to give the eavesdroppers a grand finale to their imaginings of what Jake must have been doing to Sophie. Her laughter rose again, her voice taking on a more natural volume. "That's one way to cure a hangover. Think you can handle a little tit for tat, baby?"

"I'm game if you are!" he replied, deliberately dropping the soap with a clunk and turning momentarily quiet before giving his own rendition of moans and groans and mutterings of "Oh, baby." He couldn't help but smirk a little, feeling just a little silly at his performance. He also couldn't help wondering what it would be like if they ever did this for real and not show.

She grinned as he put on his own performance, taking advantage of the opportunity to wash the conditioner out of her hair without interruptions. And her mind, too, wandered to what it would be like not to be performing - not to be pretending to be someone else, not to have an audience. The sounds he made were having an electric effect on her, manifesting in certain physical reactions that really were impossible to fake. At this rate, they were going to have to have sex just to make sure the frustration didn't blunt their edge.

He was starting to wonder if he couldn't moonlight as a porn star, though the thought of certain physical attributes larger than life on a movie screen were a little off-putting. Still, he thought it was a fairly convincing performance, all things considered, but something wasn't quite right. Maybe it was just a gut instinct, but AJ suddenly got the feeling that something wasn't right, and on instinct, he dragged her toward him and kissed her soundly on the lips.

The only warning she got was the barest flicker of his expression before she found herself in his arms, skin to skin, and being kissed with sound thoroughness. A moment later, the bathroom door opened, and Evchenko's voice pierced the steam.

"Good morning, my boy! The day is getting away from you!"

AJ spluttered convincingly, even as he soundly smacked his lips against Meg's. "Stefanos! Christ! Didn't anyone ever teach you to knock?" he exclaimed, sounding convincingly startled, which wasn't really much of a stretch.

Meg's shriek was only partially faked, and the scramble to hide behind AJ was all real.

Evchenko chuckled at the sound of their surprise, peering through the glass at the younger couple. "In my own home, I see no reason to knock," he told "Jake" cheerfully. "I was worried for you, you did not come to breakfast. I had to have it brought to you."

"You weren't hoping for a threesome, I hope," AJ said, sliding the glass open just enough so that he could snag a towel from the rack. He knew he was taking a chance exposing his bare arm, but he hoped the man still believed they were who they said they were.

"Alas, I missed my opportunity, so my security team tells me," Evchenko laughed, leaning comfortably against the wall. He was still watching them through the glass, a little too shrewdly to be taken for a harmless bit of voyeurism. "I promise you, my dear, we will not ply you with alcohol again unless you ask."

"How kind of you, Mr. Evchenko," Meg responded, keeping close to AJ's back as she reached out for a towel of her own. The second towel, however, was not in reach - it was in Evchenko's hand, and his smirk spoke volumes. Only AJ could have heard her teeth grind in irritation behind him.

But AJ hadn't grabbed that towel for himself, but for her. It didn't much matter in that moment if she was his wife or his partner - he wasn't going to let Evchenko ogle her with his eyes if he could help it. For all they knew, he might have had a look last night when they were stripped naked, but he didn't want to think about that right now, or he would have blown his cover. He wound the towel about Meg's shoulders, letting her then adjust it as she wished. It left him a little vulnerable, but presumably he had the same equipment as Evchenko, so he hardly thought it mattered.

"Coffee," AJ told the man, struggling a little to keep the annoyance from his voice, hoping it came out sounding more like a request than a demand. "I've got a hangover the size of Rhode Island."

Meg Miller

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Re: Covert
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 07:16:24 AM »
"Yes, there is coffee." It was Evchenko's turn to be annoyed now, and it showed not only in his voice, but in his body language.

Meg brushed a kiss against AJ's shoulder in silent thanks for protecting her modesty, tucking the towel under her arms to cover up everything she didn't want to think about this man seeing while she was unconscious the night before.

"Here." Evchenko tossed AJ the other towel. "I want to take you both out on the yacht. Eat, get dressed. I will not take no for an answer."

AJ couldn't help the feeling of self-satisfaction at knowing he was annoying the other man. He had to be seething with anger after what had happened the night before, but they still didn't know for sure if the hostages had been rescued or not and couldn't take a chance asking. Or maybe they could. "Do you know what happened last night?" AJ asked as he snagged the towel from their host and wrapped it around his waist, not bashful in the slightest. He had to act the part, even if he wasn't feeling it. "Last thing I remember, we were gonna go skinny dipping, and then we woke up here."

"I think something bit me last night," Meg added, peering at the puncture mark on her shoulder. "Are there mosquitoes or something around here?"

Evchenko studied them for a moment, his expression close to confused. Surely spies wouldn't draw attention to what had or had not happened the night before - surely they would attempt to avoid discussing it at all? But the man he knew as Jake had asked what had happened, and the woman he thought was Sophie had drawn attention to a very specific kind of wound. It didn't seem very professional. As he came to that conclusion, his expression cleared, the suspicion rising from his mind, and a warmer smile made itself known.

"My security found you both passed out next to the furthest pool from the house," he informed them. "I believe, my boy, that when you hit the water, the champagne hit both of you very hard indeed."

AJ moved over to look at the puncture mark on Meg's shoulder, as if he'd had no idea it was there until now. He brushed his fingers tenderly over the mark and then bent his head to kiss it, as if to make it all better. "Probably a spider. It's a good thing you're not allergic!" He paused a moment, crinkling his forehead in mock concern. "You're not, are you?" he asked, further. You can do this, he told himself privately. Just two more days.

She shook her head, smiling as he kissed the little mark. "Only to bees," she assured him affectionately, leaning into his side. She glanced over at Evchenko. "When do you intend to cast off, Mr. Evchenko?"

The older man was watching them now with an almost indulgent expression, pushing out of his lean against the doorframe. "You do not need to come if you do not wish, Sophie," he said, backtracking on the invitation that had almost been a demand. "Nor you, Jake. My home is yours to enjoy. I was going to go fishing with a few of my guests, but some are staying here, too."

"We're here as your guests, Stefanos. We came here at your invitation so we could see you, so you could meet my new bride," AJ told the man. The thought of spending the entire day in the man's company was not particularly pleasant, but then, if he was ever going to use this alias again, he needed to maintain the illusion of friendship, and if they learned something further about the man's dealings, that was just icing on the cake. It was a necessary risk. "We are supposed to be celebrating! What would you like us to do?"

"Wonderful!" Evchenko's smile deepened. "Then I will see you both at the dock in, say, two hours? Plenty of time to eat and dress and ... make yourselves presentable." His grin was lascivious for a moment before he nodded to them both. "Enjoy."

Meg watched as he left the bathroom, silent until the sound of the bedroom door closing made itself known, and even then, her words were Sophie's. "Darling, I know he's your friend, but he does know how to make me exceedingly uncomfortable with just a look."

"I know, but he means well ... and he did invite us here, and he is my friend. Is it so much to ask that we give him one day?" It was Jake who was pleading with his wife, not AJ. AJ knew Meg would understand why he'd accepted the man's invitation. Though it would have been a lot easier to fake an argument and leave in a hurry, it also would have raised more suspicion. He shrugged his shoulders at her, indicating the choice was ultimately up to her - Meg.

And as much as Meg wanted out right now, she knew it would be the stupidest move they could make. So Sophie agreed, to appease her husband. "Just ... don't leave me alone with him. All right?" She smiled, but the look in Meg's eyes promised AJ a severe punishment if Evchenko managed to corner her at all over the course of the day.

"I won't let you out of my sight for a second!" he promised, the grin in his voice not reaching his eyes. There was a promise there, too. Whether she was capable of taking care of herself or not wasn't the issue. That promise in his eyes said that he'd make sure no harm came to her, just like he'd promised her before they'd left.

"Good." Her smile softened, and for just a moment, Meg completely forgot herself, reaching up to curl her hand to his cheek. The promise in his eyes was what had touched her, and the kiss she gave him in thanks was all Meg, soft and tender, not asking for anything more than a kiss. She was blushing as she drew back, seizing on the first thought that came to mind. "Did he say he brought breakfast?"

The kiss confused him for a minute, unsure if it was coming from Meg or from Sophie. There seemed to be bits of her in both Sophie and Sarah, as though they were the women Meg might be if she lost all sense of self-control, and he found himself noticing more similarities than differences. He paused a moment as she touched his cheek and kissed his lips, determined to keep the promise he'd made to her, no matter the cost. "Coffee," he replied quietly, the word sounding almost like a promise in itself. At that moment, it was AJ who wanted to take Meg in his arms and kiss her, not Jake.

Drawing in a slow, silent breath, she let her smile relax again. "We should eat, then," she pointed out, easing around him to slip into the bedroom, inwardly berating herself. What had she done? The lines were there for a reason, they always had been. So why had she just let herself get caught up in the moment? Two more days, she reminded herself, conveniently forgetting their promise to have dinner when this mission was over. You only have to get through two more days.

He'd been thinking practically the same thing. They'd gone through training for this, been warned against this very thing. Do not let the lines get blurred; do not fall in love with your partner. But who was it he was falling for exactly? Sarah, Sophie, Meg, or all three of them? "Yeah," he sighed, pushing aside his confusion so that he could focus on being Jake. They couldn't afford to screw up now. The smallest mistake could prove deadly.

Meg Miller

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Re: Covert
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2016, 07:17:12 AM »
Just getting through the rest of this day was hard work. Confined on Evchenko's favorite yacht with him and a few others, the two agents stayed in close proximity with one another, somehow managing to play their roles despite the confusion they were both battling. Just enough teasing, flirting, touching, for them to convince everyone around them how in love they were, but every tease, every flirt, every touch only made that confusion worse. Meg found herself retreating into the Sophie persona more and more, despite knowing it would make things worse for AJ, until finally it all came to a head. They'd been having dinner in the gardens with Evchenko and a very select group of his guests, and Meg had let Sophie get a little too carried away, not even trying to hide the way she was teasing Jake when he couldn't retaliate too enthusiastically. When Sophie "accidentally" appeared to swallow a banana whole for the entertainment of the group, it seemed to have been the last straw.

It had been a confusing day, to say the least, and though they'd managed to keep up the charade, it was getting harder and harder to take his reactions to her teasing and flirtation. Or maybe it was just getting harder to pretend. It wasn't so much as his body that was betraying him - that thing that made him a man had a mind of its own, after all. It was his heart that was the problem. When Meg as Sophie went a little too far in her overly exuberant flirtation, he could take no more. He got up from the table and without a word of warning, picked her up bodily and tossing her over his shoulder.

"If you'll excuse us, it seems my wife needs a good spanking, since she hasn't yet learned how to behave."

Their companions pretty much all cheered as Jake finally lost patience with his wife. Meg felt the flare and thrill only too easily as she was hefted up and off her feet, thrown over his shoulder with a protesting squawk, one hand tugging her skirt down to protect her backside from being shown to the world. "Jake!"

"Yes, dear?" he asked, as he hauled her away from the gathering, debating somewhere a little more private than their room where they could talk, despite what he'd told their host and his guests. He knew she was just playing a role, but even that role could go too far.

"Put me down, this dress wasn't made to keep everything inside when I'm upside down," she protested, not even daring to kick her feet. That was Meg; Sophie Wright, as she had been established, was not the sort of woman to care who saw what she had, since only one man got to touch it. Meg, on the other hand, was definitely a modest sort of woman.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" he asked, as he set her on her feet. He tried to assume a husband versus wife tone of voice, but his confusion and frustration were evident. Anyone overhearing would probably dismiss it as a lover's spat, though it was anything but.

"Overcompensating for feeling like a poor relative in the middle of a rich boys' family reunion?" she suggested, glaring up at him. But there was just as much frustration in her gaze as there was in his, and not even the placement of her hands on her hips could hide the way she swayed toward him unconsciously. It could have won an Oscar, if it had involved any acting at all.

He eyed her silently a moment, his silence saying more than words. It wasn't Sophie he was trying to figure out, but Meg. They'd done what they came to do, and they'd managed to do it without raising Evchenko's suspicions. Maybe it was time to go home before things got completely out of hand. "Do you want to leave?" he asked her flat out. He was pretty sure Evchenko would forgive them after her latest stunt.

"Yes." The word was out before she could stop it, and she knew it was her own opinion, not the real desire of her alias. But being this close and not knowing whether she was talking to AJ or his own alias ... it was driving her insane. She couldn't comfortably do her job like this, and she doubted he could, either. She sighed, dropping her hands to her sides as she looked away. "I'm just not comfortable here."

He took a step closer, turning her face to meet his gaze. "Then we'll leave," he assured her, but it was growing harder and harder to tell if it was AJ or Jake saying it. If it was AJ or Jake who looked at her with something close to warmth and affection. If it was AJ or Jake whose lips touched hers in that moment, warm and soft and reassuring. If it was AJ or Jake's arms that went around her to pull her close against him, his heart beating hard inside his chest. Some things were hard to fake, and until they got out of here and reclaimed their own lives, it would be hard to understand where Jake left off and AJ began.

But it was Meg who melted into that kiss, and Meg who gasped as she drew away, knowing how inappropriate it was for her to have responded so fervently. She swallowed, almost shaking with the effort of not giving in to some very insistent urges, holding his gaze with wide eyes. "How, um, how do we explain ourselves to our host?"

"You leave that part to me." He brushed a thumb against her cheek, a soft smile on his face that was all AJ, and no Jake. "I promised I'd take care you, didn't I? And I always keep my promises." He leaned in to touch a kiss to her temple. "Come on, let's go pack, and then we'll say our good-byes and call for a car to take us to the airport."

She nodded, her jaw stiff with the effort it was taking to stay in character. Sophie wouldn't blush, wouldn't apologize, wouldn't offer excuses to run away, but that was exactly what came naturally to Meg. It was what had made Sophie a challenge in the first place, but right now, it was severely compromising her ability to speak at all. "Let's go, then."

He didn't need much convincing. He was sick of Evchenko and sick of sucking up to the man. He was sick of pretending to be married to a woman he was starting to develop feelings for. He needed to be AJ again, and he needed her to be Meg again, so he could sort out whether what he was feeling was real or not. If it was, he'd have to make some difficult decisions, but one thing at a time. Jake would make his excuses to Evchenko, claiming his wife wanted a proper honeymoon to celebrate their wedding in private. By this time tomorrow, they'd be on their way back to London, back to their own lives, and this little adventure would be behind them.

As to what adventures still lay ahead, well ... that remained to be seen.