Dark Angel In Disguise


May 28, 2006
Title: Dark Angel in Disguise
Summary: A different take on what happened to Sydney during her missing years.
Timeline: AU; Beginning of Season 3; right after Sydney tells off Vaughn for giving up on her and Jack showing her the tape of her killing Lazarey
Shipper: Sarkney
Rating: NC-17 eventually
Disclaimer: I don’t own any of it so don’t sue me.
A/N: This is my first fanfic so be kind. I’m not a writer but this idea came to me and I couldn’t resist. Would love any feedback or comments. I posted this over at SD-1 and CopyThat some time ago. I decided to give AllAlias a try too.
A/N: Anything in Italics are thoughts.

Chapter 1

Sydney made her way to the JTF building for yet another day of work. She sighs, feeling the dread wash over her heart.

It has been a week since my return and nothing feels right. Yet another day of people staring at me like I’m a ghost. I am a ghost. I was dead for two years. Everyone has moved on and made a life that doesn’t include me.

Going to work used to have a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Now, it feels more of an obligation and a chore than anything else.

Not today, not anymore. Today I’m going to put that feeling of dread behind and focus on getting my life back. I just wish I could shake this feeling like I’m missing something. Of course I’m missing something! I’m missing two years of my life! I’m missing my two best friends! I’m missing my soul mate!

Enough! I can’t keep focusing on everything that I have lost.

Once Sydney enters the Rotunda, Dixon waves her into his office. The sensation of uneasiness becomes more intense as she approaches the office.

“Sydney, please have a seat. How are you doing today?”

How am I doing? Seriously? Why does everyone keep asking me that question? It’s not like they want to hear a truthful response. They want me to lie, smile, and tell them everything is just frickin peachy. Ok Syd you can do this. Sit in the chair. Plaster on a big fake smile, look Dixon in the eyes and lie through your teeth. “I’m fine. How are you?”

“Good. I know this has been a difficult time. And if there is anything I can do please don’t hesitate to ask.”

Oh give me a break. If I hear one more person tell me they know how difficult things are and offer any more help I’m going to rip their eyes out. Ok, don’t roll your eyes. Fake smile still in place? Yup, keep smiling. “Thank you. It has been hard but I’m slowly adjusting to the circumstances. So, is that all or did you need to discuss something else with me?” Please let that be all so I can go to my desk and get on with my day.

“Actually, there is something I’d like to discuss with you.” Pauses for a moment and stares at Sydney.

Damn It! I knew I couldn’t get away that easily. And why is he pausing so dramatically? I hate when people do that. Things have really changed between Dixon and I. He used to be my friend, a father figure, someone I could rely on. Now, he’s just robotic Director Dixon. Great Syd, way to pay attention to boss man.

“I would like to help with finding out what happened to you for the past two years. Obviously we had no leads of your whereabouts. Have you given any thought to where you would like to begin your search?”

No Dixon, I haven’t given any thought to it at all because of such a hectic social life right now I just can’t seem to find the time. “Yes, actually I wanted to question Sark. I know he’s been in custody but I believe he will be able to give me some clue as to where to begin looking.”

“Syd, you do realize that we’ve questioned him extensively. He has given us no information of your disappearance. Have you had time to review the transcripts?”

Ok, I know I’ve been “dead” for two years but give me a little credit. Has everyone forgotten who I am? “Of course and I know he’s withholding information. Dixon, he’s Sark. In the two years that the CIA has had him in custody he has barely given any usefully information. He was my mother’s right hand man for years. He worked closely with Sloane right before I disappeared. And he has the annoying quality of always knowing at least something about everything that concerns me.”

“Even if that is the case, how do you propose to get him to tell you anything?”

Right, definitely forgotten who I am. “Sark has made it clear on many occasions that he has the utmost respect for me as an agent. He believes we are equals in every way. That we are destined to work together. He’s tried to recruit me numerous times. I’ll use that to my advantage.”

“How can you use that to your advantage? He’s in custody. You can’t actually work with him now.”

Thank you for bringing that to my attention. If you hadn’t I would have never come to that conclusion. “No, but I can make him believe that I need his help.”

“Sydney, I don’t think that is such a good idea.”

Of course you don’t think it’s a good idea. If the CIA couldn’t get anything out of him how could I possibly believe that I could? Have you lost all your faith in me? Has everyone lost all their faith in me? “I know I know. But I need to start somewhere. Let me talk to him and we’ll go from there.”

“Ok, good luck”

I don’t need your god damn luck. “Thanks”

Sydney leaves Dixon’s office and walks towards the cell where Sark is being held. The familiar sound of the gates rising brings back memories of when she used to visit her mother. Sydney stands in front of the glass cell observing the prisoner.

They cut his hair off! What were they thinking? Ok, it doesn’t look that bad. It actually makes him look older, sexy even. But I liked his hair curly. What is wrong with me? I haven’t seen the cocky bastard in two years and the first thought I have is about his hair? He’s slimmed down too. Guess he can’t exactly stay in top form with all the interrogations and living in a box for so long. Focus Sydney! Stop checking out his looks and get to work!

“You’re dead!” Sark sits on his metal bed staring at Sydney.

Oh great, yet another one. “That’s what everyone keeps telling me. Sorry to disappoint you.”

Sark steels his expression to be one of indifference and approaches the glass partition. He stands with his hands clasped behind his back and his posture rigid. “Miss Bristow, I apologize for my outburst and shock. I was not aware of your resurrection. The CIA doesn’t really feel the need to keep me informed of current events.”

Wow, he’s really good. If I didn’t know any better I would actually believe he’s little performance. It’s a good thing I do know better. Sydney crosses her arms across her chest and glares. “Sark, please don’t underestimate me. I know you well enough. You knew I was alive and exactly where I’ve been for the last two years. So, why don’t you spare us both the trouble and just tell me what you know.”

“Am I to understand from your statement that you have no idea where you’ve been for the last two years?”

Damn it! This is not going how I planned. Of course it’s not. Nothing goes as planned when Sark is involved. Why should this be any different? Ok, pull yourself together and focus.

Sydney pushes a button on the side of her watch. “We have 5 minutes. Sark, I need to know what you know about my disappearance.”

“Miss Bristow, how is that in any way going to help me?”

Arrogant, selfish bastard! “You help me and I’ll help you.”

“A partnership?”

So typical. At least Sark hasn’t changed since I left. He’s the only one that hasn’t changed. Why is that comforting? Focus Sydney! “A partnership. I would think you have grown bored of your current accommodations. Help me and I’ll see what I can do about that.”

“Do you honestly believe that I would agree to your offer? That I would believe your offer was even genuine? The Legendary Sydney Bristow would not be so naïve.”

“Just tell me…..”

Sydney grabs her head, screams in pain and falls to her knees.

Sark yells, “Guard guard!”

Sydney continues screaming and collapses on the floor shaking violently. Two guards come running under the gates.

Guard #1 yells into his radio, “We need a medic team down in the prison area NOW!”

Dixon and Jack come running into the hall. The two men are stunned to see Sydney curled up in a ball on the floor convulsing.

Jack yells, “Sydney!” He pushes the guards out of his way and grabs his daughter desperately trying to hold her down.

Suddenly Sydney stops shaking and whispers, “Julian”

Sark stares at Sydney in shock, “What did you just say?”

Everyone is staring at Sydney waiting for her to say something. Sydney cautiously stands on wobbly legs and approaches the cell. She stands in front of Sark and raises her hand to press against the glass. She stares into his blue eyes and says, “Julian Lazarey”

Sark’s mouth falls open. He gapes at her from shock, “How did you…”

Sark grabs his head and screams in pain. He collapses to the ground and begins to shake just as Sydney did a few moments ago. The medic team finally arrives and rushes towards the cell’s door.

Sydney stands in their path, “No! He doesn’t need medical attention.”

Everyone stares at Sydney. The looks of disbelief on their faces have not changed since they entered the prison area.

Dixon composes himself enough to say, “Sydney, he needs a doctor. Just look at him!”

Again with the lack of faith! “Trust me Dixon. Just leave him. He needs to go through this. He needs to remember.”

Jack steps forward, “Remember what Sydney?”

“He needs to remember…”

A pained whisper coming from inside the cell stops her from finishing her sentence. “Julia”


May 28, 2006
Chapter 2

Sark slowly picks himself off the floor and turns to look at Sydney. She makes her way back to the glass partition. They both raise a hand and press against the glass as if to touch one another. They gaze at each other while Dixon, Jack, and the guards observe the two.

“Sydney, I didn’t mean for…”

“Wait, it’s not…” Sydney turns to Dixon and says, “Dixon, you have to put the building on lockdown immediately. Gather all employees including security guards in the main conference hall. Lock them in until I tell you to let them out. Turn off all security monitors and disable all computer terminals throughout the building. No communications in or out of the building. Landlines, cell phones, PDAs, nothing. I’ll explain everything later but you have to trust me right now.”

“Syd, you can’t expect me to take such drastic actions without some type of explanation. I need…”

Sydney cuts him off before he can finish his sentence. Her eyes flash with fury and her body takes a defensive stance. “You need what? My word alone is not enough for you? Has that much changed in two years that you lost all trust and faith in me?”

“You know my trust and faith in you is not the issue. I’m the Director now. I need to have more than your word to lockdown the building.’

“Fine, I understand.”

“Good, now can you please explain…”

“No, there’s no time. I’ll just go to someone that has enough trust in my word to do what needs to be done.” She pulls out her cell phone and dials a number.

Jack tries to reason with her. He places a hand on her shoulder. “Sydney, just explain to us what is going on and we’ll take it from there.”

Sydney ignores her father and starts talking into her phone. “Hey, it’s me.” Pauses for a few moments.

“I remember. We both remember.” Pause again. A glare and scowl appear on her face.

“Oh cut the felgercarb! You know what I’m talking about. How else did I know to call you on this number?” She waits for a response.

“I need the JTF building to be put on lockdown immediately.” Pause.

“My word apparently does not hold much weight around here anymore.” She glares at Dixon and her father. Another pause.

A wicked gleam in her eyes and a victorious smile appears on her face. “Thank you.”

Sydney hands the cell phone to Dixon smugly. He hesitantly puts the phone to his ear and listens to what the caller has to say. Recognition, confusion, and acceptance flash across his face. He finally responds with, “I understand.” and ends the call returning the phone to Sydney.

“The building will be put on lockdown. Jack, come with me to assist with the lockdown protocols.” Dixon turns to leave the prison area. Jack falters for a moment but eventually turns and follows Dixon. Both pause at the gates and turn to look at Sydney.

Dixon says with a bit of regret, “Syd, I didn’t…”

She shakes her head side to side and looks at him with disappointment in her eyes, “Dixon … Dad, we’ll talk later. Just please take care of the lockdown for now. Dad, tell Weiss, Marshall, Vaughn, and Lauren to meet in the briefing room in 30 minutes.”

Dixon responds, “I understand.”

Jack’s face remains emotionless but nods his head in agreement.

“Oh and Dixon, can you make sure Marshall allows for my cell phone to stay active during the lockdown. I need to be able to make and receive calls. Dad’s and your cell phones can remain active as well but no one else.”

“Of course, I’ll take care of it.” He turns to the guards and motions for them to follow him and Jack out of the area.

Once the two are alone they turn to look at one another again. A sad smile slowly creeps on Sydney’s face. She presses the button on the side of her watch, walks to the cell’s door and enters a code. The door unlocks and she pulls it open. Sark walks out of the cell never losing eye contact with Sydney. He raises a hand and places it on her cheek. His eyes burn resembling dark blue flames from bursts of emotions: sadness, regret, relief, and finally love.

Unshed tears sparkle in her eyes as she lifts her arms to wrap around his neck. A stifled sob escapes her mouth and she tightens her arms around him.

He wraps his arms around her waist bringing her closer to him. He starts to rub soothing circles on her lower back. “Sssshhh, love. It’s going to be okay now.”

Another sob escapes her throat and the tears trail down her cheeks. “I thought you were dead.”

His grip tightens around her waist. “I know.”

Sydney buries her face into Sark’s neck and chokes out, “I saw them kill you.”

He sighs. “I know”

She pulls back to look into his eyes. Tears are still streaming down her face and a look of anger in her eyes. “How? Why?”

He bows his head and pulls her back into his embrace. “They did it to control you.”

A sad, disbelieving laugh bursts from Sydney’s mouth. “They don’t know me very well.”

He shakes his head slightly and replies softly, “No, no they don’t.”

Sark pulls back and brings his hands to cradle Sydney’s face. He lowers his head and places a gentle kiss on her lips. Her eyelids flutter shut and a content sigh escapes her lips as she relaxes into his kiss. Sark slowly moves one hand to tangle in her hair while the other lowers to the small of back to pull her closer. Sydney’s fingers grip his short hair at the nape of his neck. He begins to deepen the kiss when a loud alarm begins to go off. Startled by the sudden noise, the couple breaks the kiss but remain in each other’s arms. Startled looks on their faces are quickly replaced by slight annoyance for the interruption. Red emergency lights begin flashing throughout the halls while the alarm fades away.

Dixon’s voice comes over the PA system, “Attention all personnel. This is Director Dixon. The JTF building is being placed on emergency lockdown. All employees please report to the main conference hall immediately.”

With his trademark smirk in place, Sark comments, “I must say Director Dixon has impeccable timing.”

Sydney lets out a tiny chuckle and amusement gleams in her eyes. “Yes, he did find a creative way to ruin a perfect moment.”

He cocks his head slightly to the side and raises an eyebrow. “Indeed.”

She lowers her head in disappointment. “As much as I want to continue this reunion we have work to do.”

After a moment, he nods his head in agreement. “Of course. Where do we start?”

A mischievous twinkle appears in her eyes and a smile tugs on the corners of her lips. “First, we have to get you out of these dreadful clothes.”

“That’s a wonderful plan”

“And into a suit.”

“That’s not exactly what I had in mind.”

“Regardless, we can’t have you walking around looking like an escaped convict. All prisoner belongings are kept in the storage area of the security room. Let’s hope the clothes you were wearing when you were brought in are still in good condition.”

“Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t remember being brought in let alone what I was wearing.”

A look of confusion creeps onto her face. “You don’t remember? But I thought your memories were restored?”

He nods his head. “My memories are intact. I was fortunate enough to be unconscious for my capture.”

“Unconscious? I don’t understand. Why were you unconscious?”

Sark sighs. “There is a lot to explain of what happened after I was taken but now isn’t the time.” Before Sydney could voice any protests, Sark places two fingers over her lips to silence her. “Sssshhhh love. I know you don’t like being left in the dark. But I promise you I will tell you everything later. We don’t have much time before the briefing. I’m going to see about my wardrobe.”

“Ok, I have a few phone calls to make.”

Sark places another soft kiss on her lips but pulls back quickly. He puts on a reassuring smile and heads towards the security booth. Sydney pulls out her cell phone again and dials a number.

“Hey, it’s me. Dixon and my dad are handling the lockdown. I need you to get here as soon as possible. We are meeting in the briefing room in…” She looks at her watch and sighs. “23 minutes. Can you make it in time?” She pauses listening to the caller’s response.

“Good. I’ll see you soon.” Sydney ends the call and stares at the phone.

She mutters, “One down, two to go.” She dials another number and waits for the other line to pick up.”

“Hey, it’s me.” Pauses for a moment.

“I need you to get to Los Angles as soon as possible.” Another pause.

“You’re in LA? That works out perfectly. Here is what I need you to do.” Sydney details her plan to the caller and hangs up a few minutes later.

She makes her way to the security room to check on Sark’s progress of locating his clothing. As she pushes the door of the security room open, a hand darts out and grabs her wrist yanking her into the room. The door is slammed shut and Sydney is thrown up against it. Sydney’s initial shocked expression melts away into a sly smirk.

“I see you were able to find your clothing. Looks good on you.”

Sark slowly approaches Sydney, now fully dressed in his signature black Armani, and pins her back to the door. He raises a hand to play with her hair as the other hand moves to her hip rubbing in a soothing circular motion. “I’ve missed you, love”

“God I’ve missed you too.”

Sark lowers his head and captures her lips in a soft kiss. He presses his body up against her and wraps his arm around her waist. He deepens the kiss which Sydney responds with a low moan and wrapping her arms around his neck. Sark smiles against her lips, pleased with her response. He nips her bottom lip gently then quickly darts his tongue out to soothe the spot. Sydney moans again. Sark takes advantage of the opening and slips his tongue into her mouth. He starts to tenderly massage her tongue with his while his arm around her waist begins to descend down towards her thigh. He lifts her leg to wrap around his waist while caressing her thigh. Sydney rakes her nails up and down his back. She smiles slightly when she gets the desired reaction of Sark moaning into her mouth. Sark’s hand moves to cup one of her breasts and begins to rub his thumb over her nipple through her clothing as the other continues to caress her thigh. Her hands start to wander to the front of his slacks when her cell phone rings. Both groan in frustration for being rudely interrupted again. The two reluctantly detangle themselves. Sydney removes her phone from her pocket and answers it in a clipped tone. “Yes.”

She listens to the caller for a moment and replies, “Ok Dixon, I’ll be there in a minute.” She ends the call and sighs. Sark mutters under his breath, “Impeccable timing.”

Sydney sighs again and says, “The lockdown is complete. We are to report to the briefing room now.”

The two stare at one another for a moment. Sark finally kisses Sydney one last time and pulls away. They both attempt to straighten their rumpled clothing and fix their disheveled appearances. Sydney strolls over to a supply cabinet and removes two tranquilizer guns, darts, and two pairs of handcuffs. She loads both guns and hands Sark one of the guns and a pair of handcuffs. After closing the supply cabinet and concealing the weapons, they both turn and leave the security room.

As they walk across the Rotunda, Sark pauses and turns to Sydney. “You do realize I fully intend to finish what we started once the opportune moment presents itself.”

Sydney arches an eyebrow. “I’ll take your word on that.”

Sark smirks and replies, “I’m a man of my word, love. You know that by now.”

Sydney chuckles in amusement and nods her head. As they are about to enter the briefing room Sark pauses again. “Before we go in, is there any place I can get a drink of water?”

“Yeah, bottles of water are in the break room, two doors down on the left hand side. Grab me a bottle too.”

“Anything for you, love.” Sark heads in the direction of the break room while Sydney enters the briefing room.

Dixon, Jack, Weiss, Marshall, Vaughn, and Lauren are all seated at the conference table. Everyone turns as Sydney enters the room. She is about to take her seat next to her father when a concealed door in the back of the room swings open. Kendall and an older gentleman enter the room. Kendall strolls over to the conference table. “I apologize for my tardiness but I was not given proper notice of this meeting.”

Sydney rolls her eyes and takes a seat. “Hello Kendall. Good to see you again.”

Kendall nods his head in her direction in acknowledgement. “Agent Bristow.”

Dixon stands from his seat at the head of the table next to Kendall. “Ok everyone, let’s begin the meeting.”

Sydney interrupts with, “The meeting can’t begin yet. Not all of the people are present.”

Kendall looks over to Sydney. “Were you able to make contact?”

“Yes, all three are in LA. They should be arriving soon. I instructed them to call my cell phone once they’ve arrived to inform them if it was safe to enter the building.”

Kendall nods his head. “Good. I know you all eager to know what this is all about. Once all of the meeting’s members have arrived we’ll begin.”

Vaughn replies in a frustrated tone, “Why don’t you begin telling us what is going on?”

“Agent Vaughn, as I just stated all will be explained once everyone has arrived.”

Vaughn turns to Sydney and continues speaking in his strained tone of voice. “Syd, what is going on? The entire building is put on emergency lockdown. No one can use their computers or cell phones. For some reason only a hand full of us are present for a briefing that includes some mystery guests. And we can’t hear the explanation until they arrive.”

Sydney stares at Vaughn with a blank expression and responds, “An explanation will be given to you in a short while.”

Just then Sydney’s phone rings. She looks at the caller id screen and smirks. She answers the phone speaking with a British accent. “Are you all here?” She pauses. “Yes, you can enter the building. See you soon.” She closes her phone and returns it to her pocket.

Vaughn jumps up from his chair and strides over to the other side of the table to where Sydney is sitting. “Why can’t you explain to us now?” Vaughn starts pacing back in forth. “It seems like you already know what is going on. You weren’t surprised that Kendall is here. For some reason you still can use your cell phone when no one else can. You obviously know who the mysterious people are that we are waiting to arrive. And why did you answer your phone with a British accent? Just tell me what’s going on.”

Sydney stands and turns towards Vaughn, crossing her arms over her chest. “As Kendall and I both told you, an explanation will be given soon.”

An angry Vaughn approaches Sydney. “Why?”

Sydney’s response was interrupted by the sound of the briefing room door closing. Everyone turns to see Sark standing by the door holding two bottles of water.

Vaughn’s face turns red from rage. His head snaps back towards Sydney. “What the hell is he doing here?!?”

Sydney glares at Vaughn with irritation. Sark approaches Sydney and places the bottles of water on the table. He turns and faces Vaughn. “Mr. Vaughn, I don’t believe your close proximity to Sydney is neither appropriate nor desired. I strongly suggest stepping away from my wife.”

Vaughn’s mouth falls open and is frozen in shock.

Due to Vaughn’s lack of response Sark decides to continue speaking, “I beg your pardon Mr. Vaughn. Do you prefer to be addressed as Mr. Michaux?”

Sark places a protective hand at the small of Sydney’s back. Sydney and Sark smirk as Vaughn’s face begins to increasingly pale. Everyone in the room has stunned expressions on their faces. Before anyone can recover the concealed door opens and three individuals step into the briefing room.

“Jules, I’m disappointed. You started the party without us, babe.”


May 28, 2006
I was reading this story on Sd-1 and enjoyed it immensely. Glad you're posting here it too because every Sarkney shipper needs to read this great story. :)
Awww Thanks! :shamefullyembarrased:
I'm still posting chapters. I recently posted an update. Hope you will enjoy reading it. :D

A/N: I’m changing the timeline a bit … well because I can. Sydney was missing for two years and 3 months. She contacts the CIA after six months not nine.
Chapter 3


“This is officer 2300844 confirmation code looking glass”


“This is Kendall”

“Kendall, its Sydney. This is the first time I could get away to call.”

“….Agent Bristow?”

“Yes Kendall, it’s me. I know I’ve been missing for six months. There’s a lot I need to explain. I don’t have much time. I’m in Rome. Can we meet?”

“….I can be in Rome in 12 hours. Do you remember where the safe house is in Rome?”

“Of course I remember.”

“Good, meet me there in 12 hours.”


Twelve Hours Later – Rome Safe House
Sydney enters the safe house and sees Kendall sitting on a couch in the living room. Kendall rises from his seat. “Agent Bristow”

She approaches Kendall and sits on a chair opposite from him. “Kendall, thanks for coming to meet me.”

Kendall remains standing. “Before we begin, we need to conduct some medical tests to prove you are indeed Agent Bristow. I believe you understand the reason for these precautions.”

She sighs and stands from her seat. “Of course. Let’s just get this over with. I don’t have much time. I was able to lose security section’s detail that was tailing me but I can’t be gone for too long.”

“Security section? Security section for which organization?”

“Kendall, let’s get these tests over with and I’ll explain everything.”


Ten Minutes Later
“Congratulations Agent Bristow, you are who you say you are.”

She rolls her eyes. “Lucky me. Can we start the debrief now?”

“By all means begin. Oh, just so you know we will be filming this debrief for later review.”

“I understand”

“So Agent Bristow, the CIA was under the impression that you were dead. Where have you been for the last six months?”

Her face and eyes darken. With a detached voice she begins speaking. “The night I was taken I found out that my best friend, Francie, was actually the second double, Allison Doren. We fought. I shot her. I shot her three times and then passed out from the blood loss and my injuries. I woke up days later strapped to a metal gurney in the back of a van. I couldn’t move, talk, or do anything. A man, Oleg Matrijik, was sitting besides me. He had injected me with a neurotoxin to cause temporary paralysis. He began telling me what happened after I passed out. A team removed Allison Doren and me from my apartment. They had dug up Francie’s body and left it in the apartment. A replacement of my body was more difficult. They extracted pulp from my teeth and injected it into a corpse. The apartment was set on fire. They knew the bodies would be badly burned and when it came down to identifying the bodies they would use DNA from the teeth.” She pauses for a moment and takes a few deep breaths before continuing.

“He then lifted the gurney so I was sitting upright. He made me watch. He made me watch my own funeral. Vaughn, Weiss, Dixon, Marshall, Dad, and you were all standing on a beach. All I could do was watch and listen to Oleg tell me my life as Sydney Bristow was over. Sydney Bristow was dead to the world and it would be best if I accepted that fact. I was then taken to a facility in St. Petersburg where I was tortured for months. Electroshock, sensory deprivation, beatings. You name they did it to me. Oleg would have IVs running into each arm. He would put me to sleep with barbiturate and then shock me awake with amphetamine. He wanted to wear me down and break my mind. Oleg was trying to brainwash me into believing I was an assassin named Julia Thorne. He would repeat facts about Julia during the torture. Nothing seemed to work. My mind seemed to be at the breaking point but something inside of me wouldn’t allow me to give in. I knew my body couldn’t take much more of the torture. I had two choices. I knew Oleg wouldn’t stop until he was successful. I would either die from all the torture or I could give into what he wanted. I decided that the only choice I had was to pretend the brainwashing was successful. I made them believe that I had become Julia Thorne. After I convinced Oleg the training began.”

“Training? Agent Bristow, you are the CIA’s top field agent. You were not only trained by SD-6 but also by the CIA. Surely your captors were aware of your abilities. What training did they make you go through?”

“Yes, they were well aware of my skills. However, Julia Thorne is an assassin. She has no conscious for taking a person’s life. My training with SD-6 and the CIA was self defense, to disarm my opponent, to neutralize my enemy and only to kill as a last resort. I was trained to be a killer, kill as a first option not a last resort.”

“I see. What other training did he provide?”

“My abilities were already in top form. They had me train to perfect all my skills but in the mind frame of a killer. In addition to my training, my conditioning of Julia Thorne was continued.”

“Conditioning how?”

“I was programmed with Julia Thorne’s profile. The details and history of her life.”

“Tell me about Julia.”

“Julia Thorne, born in London on August 2, 1973. Parents Kenneth and Susan Thorne. Brothers Daniel and Tom. Julia’s family was killed in a fire. She was 19 and the only survivor. After her family’s murder she became a contract killer. Her first hit was her family’s murderers. After that she worked as a freelancer until five years ago when she was recruited by the Covenant. She quickly rose through the ranks and became their best and most feared assassin. Julia is ruthless, without conscious or fear, and is well respected for her skills. She demands the best in everything and does not tolerate insubordination or second guessing.”

“The Covenant? That’s the name of the organization that kidnapped you?”

“Yes, do you know anything about them?”

“Not much. They are listed as an emerging threat but not much is known about them. What can you tell me about the organization?”

“Unfortunately, not much. I don’t know who the head of the Covenant is or what their agenda is but I do know that McKenas Cole is a high ranking official.”

“Cole is a high ranking official? How do you know this?”

“About a month ago my training and condition was complete, I was put through a test. I was brought to a warehouse and presented to Cole. A man was brought into the room, gagged and restrained to a chair. Cole instructed me to kill the man with a knife.”

“Who was the man?”

“I don’t know. Cole explained that identity of the man was unimportant. All that I needed to know was that he wanted the man killed and I was to kill him. I had no choice. I had to kill him. He was dead anyway. The Covenant wanted him dead whether or not I was the one to do it he was going to die. If I didn’t kill the man the Covenant would know the brainwashing didn’t work. They would have either killed me or continued with the conditioning. So, I took the knife that Cole had offered me and stabbed the man in the heart. Once I passed the test I was brought back to the St. Petersburg facility. My final conditioning was performed. I was not to remember my time in St. Petersburg as it happened. I was to believe I was working with the Covenant as I have been for the past five years. To support the illusion that they created, I was given a tour of the Covenant facilities in St. Petersburg, Rome, and London. I was briefed on the details of each city; knowledge of the street layouts, restaurants, clubs, everything that Julia would have known about the cities. Julia had an office in each facility as well as owned an apartment in each city. The apartments were fully furnished, equipped with top of the line security, full arsenals, and of course a complete designer wardrobe. The Covenant also provided several large bank accounts under different aliases. Julia is based in Rome but does spend a significant amount of time in London and St. Petersburg.”

“The Covenant gave you all of that?”

“No, the Covenant provided Julia with all of that. The façade had to be convincing. Julia demanded the best in everything. Anything less would be insulting and unacceptable. She had been working as a contract killer for years and then with the Covenant for five years. She couldn’t exactly be penniless and homeless. Julia’s profile was extensive. I was programmed with not only her history but preferences as well. Julia prefers tea to coffee, fine wines and scotch, lavish meals, designer clothing, expensive cars. She can’t be bothered with mundane details of life. She has people that take care of that for her. She enjoys remaining mysterious by dying her hair and wearing colored contacts. She kept her British accent and hardly ever shows emotions. She doesn’t allow anyone to know who she is exactly except for her outward appearance and even that changes frequently. Currently Julia is in her platinum blonde hair and blue eyes faze.”

“Why would the Covenant go to such lengths to convince you? There has to be another reason why they kidnapped and brainwashed you other than having you as an employee.”

“I agree they have another motivation other than having me as an employee. I’m not sure exactly the reason but I believe it is related to Rambaldi and the Covenant believing I am the Chosen One. During my programming I was detailed past missions. Some of them related to Rambaldi. Nothing significant but I was given the basic Rambaldi background information. I’ve only been working in the field for the last month since the completion of my conditioning. Julia usually works alone but most of the time has a backup team nearby. So far Julia’s assignments have been mostly easy smash and grabs. I believe they are still testing me to make sure the brainwashing doesn’t wear off.

“Smash and grab assignments? I thought Julia was assassin.”

“Julia is an assassin. She loves the kill. She thrives off of it. But she is also an excellent agent and excels at everything she does. The Covenant would be foolish to only use her skills as an assassin. However, I believe my next assignment is my final test.”

“What is your next assignment?”

“Actually, its three assignments: an assassination, an extraction, and a smash and grab.”

“Tell me the details.”

Three Days Ago – Covenant Rome Facility
Julia sits at her desk typing up the debrief for her last assignment. A knock on her door interrupts her typing.

“Come in.”

McKenas Cole enters her office and closes the door. “Thorne, congrats on your latest successful op! We are very pleased with your performance.”

“My performance has always pleased the Covenant.”

“Keep up the good work kiddo and that won’t change.”

“Of course.”

“Well, I came by to give you your next assignment. Actually, its three assignments but all three are very important to the higher ups. So, we need the best and well you’re the best.” He places three black manila folders on her desk. “The assignments are back to back. Details of each op are in the folders. You fly out to Moscow in four days.” Cole turns and heads for the door. He opens the door and turns to Julia. “Don’t disappoint us, kiddo.”

“I don’t intend to, Cole”

Cole exits the office and closes the door. Julia begins to review the folders. When she opens the second folder her eyes widen and her grip on the folder tightens.

Back to Safe House in Rome
“I scanned each op and saved it on a disk for you to review.”

She hands Kendall a disk. Kendall hands the disk to an agent standing nearby.

“Review the contents on the disk and provide me with an analysis and any options ASAP.” He turns his attention back to Sydney.

“The first assignment is the assassination of a Russian diplomat named Andrian Lazarey located in Moscow. The second assignment is the extraction of Sark from the JTF facilities. And the last assignment is to steal a disk from a man named Mark Thompson located in Los Angeles.”

“What are the reasons behind each assignment?”

“I was not told why the assignments were important to the higher ups or their goals.”

“And you never thought to ask?”

“No, Julia doesn’t particular care what are the reasons behind each assignment. All she cares about is completing her assignment and getting paid. Asking questions would only make them suspicious or get me killed.”

“The Covenant won’t kill you. Everything you’ve told me so far of what they’ve done to acquire you shows that you are obviously very important to them.”

“Sydney Bristow is important to them. Julia Thorne is expendable if she steps out of line. At least that is what the Covenant wants Julia to believe. The Covenant is a merciless organization. They kill anyone that gets in their way. Julia is not an exception.”

“Fine, we’ll go over the files and come up with countermissions for each. We’ll have to set up a protocol for us communicate with one another as well as dead drops.”

She jumps up from her chair and places her hands on her hips. “Kendall I didn’t contact you to become a double agent. I contacted you for an extraction. I can’t do this anymore! I want out! I want to go home!”

Kendall remains impassive to her outburst. “Agent Bristow, that’s not possible. From everything you’ve told me the Covenant will stop at nothing to keep you within their organization. You are endangering the lives of everyone you love if you leave now. The CIA does not have enough intel on the Covenant to keep you or anyone associated with you safe. Are you willing to risk the lives of everyone you love?”

Sydney begins to pace the room with her arms crossed over her chest. “No, of course not. Fine, I’ll do it but under one condition. Vaughn and my father are to be informed that I’m alive. I can’t have them thinking I’m dead. I won’t do that to them.”

“Fine, I’ll inform your father and Agent Vaughn that you are alive and are involved in a deep cover operation. But you are not to make any contact with them until this assignment is over. We cannot risk your cover.”

She stops pacing and faces Kendall. “Agreed, as long as they know I’m alive. Now, tell me about Will, Vaughn, my father, and everyone else. Are they ok? Is Will dead or did he make it out of the fire.”

“Agent Bristow, we don’t have time to go over that right now.”

“Damn it Kendall! Take five minutes and tell me how they are.”

“Fine, Mr. Tippin survived the fire. After he informed the CIA what had happened that night; he decided to enter the Witness Protection Program. Your father and Agent Vaughn both did not take your death well. Your father is currently away on a deep cover assignment and Agent Vaughn’s field rating was suspended until Dr. Barnett has cleared him. He is currently doing desk work. Now, can we continue concerning your assignment?”

She sits back in her chair and leans back. “Yes, thank you for telling me.”

“Agent Bristow, I need you to understand the complexity of your deep cover assignment. This will not be like when you were a double agent with SD-6. I will be your handler during your assignment. You and I will have limited communication. We will only meet in person if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you will notify me of your assignments through the protocols I set up for you. If necessary, I will give you a countermission. Otherwise, you are to complete your assignments as the Covenant instructs you to. You will provide me with a copy of your debrief and any other important information that you acquire. Do you understand?”

Sydney leans forward and stares at Kendall in disbelief. “Wait, you want me to actually kill anyone the Covenant asks me to?”

“If the CIA does not find a feasible way or reason for you not to kill the person, then yes.”

“You can’t be serious!”

“I am completely serious, Agent Bristow. As I stated before, this is a deep cover assignment. You will have to do things you normal wouldn’t do but is necessary to maintain your cover. I know this is not the most appealing task but is essential none the less.”

She slumps back into her seat and nods her head. “I understand, I don’t like it but I understand.”


An agent appears with three folders and hands them to Kendall.

“Ok, Agent Bristow. We’ll review these files and come up with the best options.”

An Hour Later
“Agent Bristow, are you clear on your contermissions? You are to contact Mr. Lazarey the night before you are to assassinate him and offer him a deal to fake his death. If the man values his life he will agree to your proposal and you are to continue the mission as we have outlined. Next, you are to extract Sark and report back to me with any information on why he is important to the Covenant. And finally, you are to steal the disk as planned but provide a copy of the disk with the equipment I gave you and dead drop it at the assigned location.”

“Yes, I’m clear on my orders.”


She stands from her seat and starts to walk towards the door. “I should get going. I’ve been gone too long as it is. I’ll contact you once I have any new information.”

Kendall rises and nods his head in acknowledgement. “Good luck, Agent Bristow.”


Sydney exits the safe house and makes her way back to her apartment.

Two Days Later – Private Airfield in Moscow
Julia Thorne steps out of a black Porsche and makes her way to the private plane. As she is walking up the plane’s steps she takes out a cell phone and dials a number.


“It’s Thorne.”

“Well hello there kiddo. How did everything go?”

“The first op is complete. I just arrived at the plane and will be heading to LA.”

“Super! Were there any complications?”

“No, everything went as planned.”

“That’s what I like to hear. Call me when you have completed the second assignment.”

“Of course.”

One Day Later – JTF Building
Sark is lying on his back on the metal bed staring at the ceiling. The lights go out in his cell as well as in the hall. Emergency lights that outline the ceiling and floor edges turn on a few moments later giving off minimal lighting. Sark sits up on his bed when he hears the gates leading to the cell start to rise. He watches a figure dressed in all black wearing a ski mask and gas mask approach the cell’s door. The figure places a device over the cell door’s lock. A moment later the cell door swings open.

The figure turns to Sark and speaks with a British accent. “Mr. Sark, I hope you don’t mind that I disturbed your sleep. However, it was necessary for your extraction.”

“I understand. To whom do I owe my gratitude for my extraction?” Sarks stands up and exits through the cell’s door.

“All will be explained when there is more time. For now, put this gas mask on and follow me.” The figure turns and heads towards the exit.

“Of course.” Sark quickly puts on the mask and follows the figure.

The team exits the JTF building and enters a black van parked nearby. The van quickly takes off down the road. Sark observes all the team members removing their gas masks and various equipment and weapons. The figure that extracted Sark from his cell removes the gas mask but continues to wear the ski mask. The figure reloads a few guns and grabs a bag.

The man sitting in the passenger seat of the van turns and addresses the masked figure. “Miss Thorne, we will be arriving at your car in a few moments.”

She nods in acknowledgement. “Good, I’ll meet you at the air field in two hours. Make sure the plane is ready to take off when I arrive.”

“Yes, Miss Thorne.” The man turns back around in his seat.

Sark stares at the figure now identified as Miss Thorne. “Miss Thorne, you won’t be accompanying us?”

Thorne is in a crouched position with her back to Sark loading her equipment into the bag. “Mr. Sark, I do hate to disappoint, but my presence is required elsewhere.”

Sark raises an eyebrow and smirks. The van comes to a halt and one of the men opens the side door. Thorne jumps out of the van and approaches a black Mercedes. Just as the van’s side door is closing, Sark sees Miss Thorne removing her ski mask and watches long platinum blonde hair spill out. The van quickly takes off once the van door is closed.

Thirty Minutes Later – Private Airfield Outside of LA
The ride to the airfield was silent. The van stops at the entrance to a large building next to the air strip. Two large doors are slid open far enough for the van to enter the building and immediately closed after the van has cleared the doors. The van stops and the team pile out. As Sark steps out of the van a man approaches him.

“Mr. Sark, my name is Taylor. Miss Thorne asked that I get you anything you need while we wait for her arrival. Miss Thorne thought you would like a shower, a change of clothing, and possibly something to eat.”

“A shower and a change of clothing would do just fine.”

“Of course, if you would follow me.”

Taylor leads Sark up a flight of stairs and to a back room. He opens a door and steps aside for Sark to enter.

“Mr. Sark, I believe you will find everything you need in here. Miss. Thorne arranged to have several garments in your size to be placed in the closet. Please let me know if there is anything else you require.”

Sark steps into the lavish room. He looks around and is slightly impressed with the décor. “Thank you, Taylor. I’ll let you know if I need anything else.”

Taylor shuts the door and leaves Sark in the room alone. Sark walks to the closet door and opens it. He smirks when he sees several Armani suits, dress shirts, and designer shoes.

An Hour Later – Outside of Vaughn’s Apartment
Sydney sits in her car and watches as Vaughn gets out of his own car across the street. She reaches to open her car door but freezes when she sees a blonde women exit the passenger side of Vaughn’s car. Sydney can’t move as she watches Vaughn walk around his car towards the blonde. Her eyes well up with tears as she watches Vaughn and the blonde kiss. The couple joins hands and walk toward the entrance of the building. Sydney covers her mouth and chokes back a sob. Tears stream down her face and her body begins to shake. Sydney watches as another car pulls up to the front of the apartment building. Two men are seated in the car; both are watching Vaughn and the blonde enter the building. The man sitting the passenger seat appears to be speaking into a comm. unit. The car continues down the street a moment later. The tears in Sydney’s eyes are quickly replaced with a cold, hard look. Sydney reaches into her pocket and pulls out a phone.

“It’s me. The dead drop is complete. Oh and Kendall, don’t tell Vaughn that I’m alive.”

She hangs up the phone and puts it back into her pocket. Sydney wipes the tears from her face and fixes her appearance in the rearview mirror. Once she is satisfied with how she looks, she turns on the car and pulls away from the curb.

Thrity Minutes Later – Private Airfield Outside of LA
Sark sits in a leather seat on the private jet staring out a window. Freshly showered and now wearing a black Armani suit with a light blue dress shirt with the top two buttons undone. He sips his glass of wine while watching a black Mercedes pull up to the plane and Miss Thorne step out of the driver’s side door. He observes her as Taylor approaches the car and retrieves her bags. She wears black leather knee high stiletto boots, a white skirt that ends an inch above her knees with a dangerously high slit going up the middle of her left thigh, a tight black top with a low plunging neck line, a black choker and black leather coat ending mid thigh. Her platinum blond hair is left down slightly fluttering from wind. She walks towards the plane and up the steps with Taylor following closely behind and pulls out a cell phone dialing a number. She enters the plane’s cabin and begins to walk to the rear of the plane speaking into her phone. Sark’s eyes widen in shock when he finally gets a glimpse of her face.

“It’s Thorne.” Pauses “The third op is complete. I just arrived at the plane. We’ll be taking off in a few minutes.” Pauses “No, everything went as planned.” Pauses “Of course.” She ends the call and returns the phone to her pocket. She opens a door and turns before entering as Taylor addresses her.

“Miss Thorne, where would you like me to put your bags?’

“Put them in the back bedroom. I’ll be in my office working. Bring me a glass of wine and something to eat once the plane has taken off.”

“Yes, Miss Thorne.”

Taylor heads to the back bedroom with her bags as Julia enters the office and closes the door. Sark sits in his seat still stunned from seeing Sydney Bristow alive. He clears his mind by shaking his head slightly. He sips his wine, stares out the window as the plane begins to taxi to the runway, and starts contemplating what he will do with this new information.

An Hour Later
Sark turns his head when he hears the office door open. Taylor immediately gets up from his seat and approaches her. Sark observes Sydney address Taylor without giving him or anyone else a seconds glance.

“Miss Thorne.”

“Taylor, please bring me another glass of wine. I’m going to lie down in the back bedroom for awhile.”

“Yes, Miss Thorne.”

Sark watches as Sydney heads down the small hallway and enters the last door. He stands from his seat and approaches Taylor.

“Taylor, why don’t you allow me to take Miss Thorne her wine. I would like to thank her for her role in my extraction and for her generosity.”

“Mr. Sark, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Miss Thorne does not like to be disturbed.”

“I’m sure she won’t mind and I’ll be brief.” Sark takes the bottle of wine from Taylor and picks up two glasses from bar. He quickly turns and heads down the corridor towards the back bedroom. He knocks on the door and waits for a response.

“Come in.”

Sark enters the bedroom and closes the door behind him. He sees Sydney sitting on the bed unzipping one of her boots. She lifts her head and sees Sark leaning against the door holding a bottle of wine and two glasses. She returns her attention back to her boots removing both shoes and setting them aside. She leans back on the bed with her arms positioned behind her for support and crosses her legs.

“Mr. Sark, is there something I can do for you?”

Maintaining eye contact, Sark walks towards her, fills a glass with wine, and hands it to her. She takes the glass and remains silent waiting for a response. Sark fills the second glass, approaches a bed side table and places the bottle of wine down. He turns and walks back to stand in front of her again.

“Miss Thorne, I wanted to express my gratitude for my extraction as well as your generosity for my care afterwards.”

Julia sips her wine, stands up and places the glass on the bedside table next to the bottle. She then turns with an expressionless mask in place to look at Sark.

“Mr. Sark, I was not responsible for your extraction. My employers only tasked me with the assignment. You may express your gratitude towards them once you’ve met. As for my generosity, it wasn’t I that was generous. That would again be my employers. I only made the arrangements.”

Sark sips his wine and stares at her. “Regardless, Miss Thorne, I would like to thank you for your role as well as your efforts.”

Julia stands up and walks towards her bags that were placed on top of a dresser. With her back to Sark she unzips a bag and retrieves a black silk slip with white lace trim and thin straps.

“I don’t believe your thankfulness is necessary but your welcome none the less.”

He observes her as she unclasps her choker and places it on the dresser. She lifts her top over her head and lays it on the dresser as well revealing a black lace bra. Her hands come around to the back of her skirt and pulls down the zipper. The skirt falls and pools at her feet exposing black lace boy shorts. She steps out of the skirt and places it on the dresser. She reaches back and unclasps her bra, pulling it off and placing it with the rest of her clothing. She picks up the slip and pulls it over her head and down her body. She finally turns to face Sark. He raises an eyebrow and smirks.

“Even so, you have my appreciation.” He stares into her eyes and walks towards her stopping only inches away from her. He places his wine glass on the dresser behind her. Then lifts a hand and twirls a piece of her hair while the other hand slides down one of her arms.

She presses her body against his, placing one hand on his thigh while the other glides up his chest and around to the nape of his neck. Sark wraps an arm around her waist bringing her closer. He then caresses her cheek with the back of his other hand. Julia begins to stroke his thigh bringing her hand closer and closer to his cock. She rises slightly on the tips of her toes gently rubbing her body against his. She feels his cock getting harder and presses her thigh to rub against it. They stare into each others eyes for a few moments until Julia moves her head to press her lips against his ear. He buries his face into neck and presses his lips against her skin. She exhales slowly, licking her lips and allowing her tongue to lightly graze his earlobe. His inhales sharply, a small shiver going down his spine, and then a muffled moan escapes his lips. He tightens his grip around her waist and tangles his hand in her hair.

Julia lets out a low, “hmmmmm” and purrs into his ear, “Mr. Sark, do you honestly believe that all it takes is a cock of your eyebrow and a smirk to get into my bed?” She detangles herself from Sark, steps back out of his reach, raises an eyebrow and smirks.

Sark stares at her with a blank face but his eyes flash briefly with confusion and annoyance. He cocks his head to the side slightly, raises an eyebrow, and places his hands in his pant’s pockets. Julia strolls past him and heads for the door. Sark turns to face her. With her hand on the doorknob she turns her head over her shoulder.

“It’s not wise to underestimate me, Mr. Sark. People that have done so in the past have not lived for very long afterwards.” She turns the door knob and pulls the door open.

Sark continues to stare at her not showing any signs of leaving the room. Julia turns to look at Sark. Her eyes are iced over and emotionless. When he still has not moved, she cocks an eyebrow. After a moment, Sark nods his head and walks out of the room. He pauses at the door and turns his head to look into her eyes.

“I hope you’ll give me a second chance. I believe you and I are the same and will work well together.”

She tilts her head to the side, she slowly rakes her eyes over him from head to toe, returns to look him in the eyes and smirks. “Perhaps.” And closes the door.

She walks to the bed and slides under the covers. She lifts her arm and turns off the lights. She rests her head on the pillow and closes her eyes and smirks slightly. Her last thought before she falls to sleep is, “If I’m going to be stuck being Julia Thorne for god knows how long, I might as well have a little fun doing it.”


May 28, 2006
Chapter 4

Private Airfield – St. Petersburg
The plane landed hours later. Julia stepped out of the bedroom looking well rested and immaculate wearing dark brown leather knee high stiletto boots, a white leather mini skirt, a tight dark brown turtleneck and a matching brown fitted leather coat that ended at her hips. Her blonde hair was parted to the side and swept back in a low ponytail. Sark swept his eyes over her drinking in and cataloging each beautiful detail of her body. Taylor rises from his seat and approaches her as she enters the main cabin.

“Ms. Thorne, shall I bring your bags to your car?”

“Yes Taylor that will be fine.”

Julia saunters through the main cabin swaying her hips slightly heading towards the plane’s door. As she passes by Sark, he rises from his seat. Julia continues towards the door without even a glance in his direction or acknowledging his or anyone else’s presence. She exits the plane with the other passengers close behind. After a moment of hesitation, Sark follows suit. As Sark walks down the stairs, he notices two black SUVs and a black Audi parked nearby. He follows the others towards the vehicles and pauses a few feet away. Unsure of which car to enter, Sark shoves his hands in his pockets, glances around expectantly, and resists the urge to fidget from the uncertainty. Julia walks towards the Audi. A man standing near the car pops the trunk, then opens the driver’s side door for her, handing her the keys, and closes the door once she was seated. Taylor closes the trunk once the bags were loaded and the car speeds away from the airport.

Taylor approaches Sark and sweeps an arm in the direction of one of the parked SUVs. “Mr. Sark, if you would follow me.”

Sark nods his head in acknowledgement and follows Taylor to the car. The ride was short and soon they were pulling into an underground parking garage. As Sark exits the vehicle, he turns to see Julia standing by her car’s opened trunk speaking with two men.

“Those three bags need to be returned to Op Tech.” She points to the bags which the men quickly retrieve and closes the trunk. She presses a button on her key chain engaging the car’s alarm. Julia turns, sees Sark standing by the SUV and begins walking in his direction. She stops a few feet away and continues to stare into his eyes.

“Mr. Sark, please follow me.”

Without waiting for a response, she spins on her heels and heads towards a door. Not having much of a choice but to comply, Sark hesitantly follows. They make their way through various hallways, take an elevator up to the top floor, and continue down a corridor. As they reach the outside of two large office doors, a woman seated behind a desk stands abruptly and opens one of the doors to the office.

“Miss Thorne, he’s expecting you. Please go right in.”

Without even glancing at the woman, Julia walks through the door with Sark trailing behind. The door was closed once the two entered the office. Sark stops short when he sees the man sitting behind a large desk. Julia continues to walk into the office and takes a seat in one of the chairs in front of the desk. She crosses her legs and places her arms on the armrests.

Cole leans back in his leather chair and clasps his hands in his lap. “Sark, my man! Good to see. Your Hair! That’s cool! When did you get cut?”

Sark strolls to the front of Cole’s desk and grasps his hands behind his back. “It wasn’t a matter of choice. I was in U.S. custody, as I thought you were. When were you released?”

Cole cocks his head to the side and gives a wicked smile. “That’s a good story. But that will have to wait for another time. Right now, we have business to chat about.” Cole rises from his seat, walks around to the front of his desk and perches himself on the ledge. “Thorne baby, as always, superb job. The higher ups are just giddy over your success. Now kiddo, I believe you have something for me.” Cole extends a hand eagerly.

Julia reaches into her coat pocket and extracts a disk handing it to Cole. He snatches it up with an anxious gleam in his eyes.

“Fantastic! Now, I know I told you before that you could have a week off to relax but I might need you to come in earlier.” Julia’s face remains impassive but raises an eyebrow.

Cole raises his hands in surrender. “I know, I know, kiddo. I’ll make it up to you, I promise. But there’s some big stuff in the works and I need my best girl. Why don’t you head home, take a nice long bubble bath, drink a little bit of wine, and chill out for the rest of day. I know you were planning on heading back to Rome but I need you to stay local.”

Julia stands from her chair and nods her head in understanding. “Of course.” She turns to Sark and looks him in the eyes. “Mr. Sark” and heads towards the office door.

“Miss Thorne” Sark watches as she leaves the office and then returns his attention to Cole.

“Sarkey boy, I know you have a lot of questions and I’m here to answer them. Well, I might answer them. Why don’t you take a load off and we’ll have ourselves a nice chat.”

Sark sits in a chair and lays his hands on the armrests. Cole crosses his arms across his chest and smiles. “Fire away.”

Sark keeps his face unreadable. “Would you like to explain why Sydney Bristow believes she is a Miss Thorne?”

Cole chuckles, stands upright and heads to the side of room. He pours two glasses of scotch, hands one to Sark, and returns to his seat behind the desk. “That’s a good story, one that I can tell you. You see, the Covenant wanted Bristow real bad. They were just waiting for the right moment to pop up. The night that everyone thinks she ‘died’, Bristow and Doren fought. And when I say fought, I mean the two of them went at each other like maniacs. The apartment was completely destroyed. After Bristow shot Doren, she passed out. That’s when we made our move. We took her, faked her death, set her apartment on fire, and brought her here. For months we tried to break her. That chic is one tough cookie. I mean, we tried everything and she would not break. It took us three and a half months but the cookie finally crumbled. We brainwashed her to believe she as a Covenant assassin named Julia Thorne. It took us another month and half to complete her training and programming. But hey, the finished product was well worth all the work. I mean, we couldn’t have made her better. She’s one coldhearted bitch but the best at everything she does.” Cole chuckles again.

Sark remained impassive throughout Cole’s explanation, taking in all the information but inwardly cringing. “The Covenant? You’re the man behind the Covenant.”

Cole shakes his head from side to side. “I’m the man in front of the man. I’ll be the senior-most Covenant representative that you’ll be dealing with. Anything that you can say to the big boss, you can say to me.”

“And what does the Covenant want with me? I assume there was a purpose to my extraction.”

“Ah, I’ll let my main man tell you that.” Cole presses a button on the phone sitting on his desk. “Send him in.” He leans back in his chair and waits for the guest to arrive. The office door opens and closes a moment a later. A man walks in and takes the seat Julia occupied earlier, turns to look at Sark and then eyes his drink.

“Mr. Sark, no Chateau Patreuse 1982? Your favorite, no? Cole, I would think you would treat Mr. Sark better after his detainment.”

Sark eyes the man sitting next to him. “Have we met?”

The man shakes his head. “No, but you knew my brother, Antonin San’ko. I am Ushek San’ko.”

Sark’s eyes narrow slightly in recognition. “And I suppose this is to be my last drink.”

San’ko rises from his seat and heads to the bar. He pours himself a scotch and returns to his seat. “Not necessarily. I know the bomb you placed in that vehicle was not meant for him. On the other hand, it does seem that you owe me.” He leans back leisurely in the chair and takes a sip of his drink.

Sark takes a sip of his own drink and cocks his head to the side. “And what would that price be?”

San’ko begins tapping his fingers on the armrest and stares at Sark. “800 million dollars.”

Sark begins to shake his head. “800 million dollars? I have nowhere near that amount in my nest egg.”

Cole and San’ko both chuckle and smile. Sark eyes both men with curiosity and irritation. San’ko replies, “That, Mr. Sark, you do.”

Sark looks at San’ko in disbelief. Cole clears his throat to draw the men’s attention.

“Ok, Sarkey boy, here’s the deal. Your pops, Andrian Lazarey, was a descendent of the Romanov royal family. After his timely demise three days ago, you became entitled to the family fortune that was in your pop’s trust …. 800 million dollars in gold bullion.”

Sark glances between the two men, processing the information that he was just told. “Am I to understand that the Covenant arranged my father’s timely demise? Furthermore, expects me to hand over my inheritance and in return I get to live?”

Cole points a finger at Sark. “Bingo Sarkey boy. Now, I hope you don’t go holding a grudge against us for knocking off your old man. Or Thorne for that matter.”

Sark raises an eyebrow. “Miss Thorne was the operative you tasked to kill my father.”

Cole nods his head and takes a sip of his drink. “Right before we sent her with your ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ pass.”

Sark sips his drink but remains aloof. “I see.”

Cole claps his hands together and leans forward on his desk supporting himself on his elbows. “Before you boys head off to collect our dough, we have one last thing to discuss. That is the matter of employment. Sark, my man, the Covenant would like to retain your services. I would think after six months of being cooped up in a box you would be just itching to get back into the field.”

“And what do these services in tale?”

Cole laughs and rises from his chair. “Sarkey boy, I think you’re going to love what we have in store for you. But for now you and my main man here are going to take a little trip to the Thornton Bank in the Cayman Islands to make a small withdrawal. We’ll talk shop when you get back.”

Two Days Later – St. Petersburg
Julia sits at an outdoors café, drinking a cup of tea, and reading a newspaper. For the last two days she has made it a point to rest and relax; a day at the spa, an afternoon shopping, catching up on sleep, anything to keep her mind from wondering to thoughts she is avoiding. Her attention is drawn from her reading when her cell phone begins to ring.


“Thorne baby, hope you are enjoying your time off.”

“What can I do for you, Cole?

“Always right to the point, kiddo. Ok, I need you come in and before you get upset at me for cutting you vacation short I promise I’ll have a treat waiting for you.”

Julia resists the urge to sigh loudly and have a string of curses escape her mouth. She chooses to roll her eyes and tighten her hold on the phone instead. “I’ll be in shortly.” She ends the call, pays for her check, and heads for her car.

Thirty Minutes Later – St. Petersburg Covenant Facility
Julia enters Cole’s office and sits in a chair. She nods her head in acknowledgement to the two men in the room. “Cole. Mr. Sark.”

Sark is seated in the chair next to Julia. He nods his head in response. “Miss Thorne”

Cole leans back in his chair behind his desk and rubs his hands together. “Thorne baby, thanks for coming in so quickly. We need to chat over your next assignment. Sarkey boy has agreed to join the Covenant. The higher ups have decided that the two of you are a good match. So, you two will be partnered up from now on.”

Julia raises an eyebrow. “I work alone.”

Cole throws his hands up. “Yeah, I know. You don’t play well with others but it’s what the higher ups want. So, you two are just going have to make nice because your next assignment is not only super important to the Covenant but its also long term.”

Before either can respond, Cole’s phone buzzes. He picks it up and listens for a moment. “Send him in.” Cole hangs up the phone and leans back in his chair. “Your other partner has just arrived.”

Both Sark and Julia raise an eyebrow. The office door opens and a man steps into the room. He walks over to the three and stops in between Sark and Julia. Cole rises from his chair with Julia and Sark following suit.

“Mr. Walker, good of you to join us.”

Simon Walker nods his head in Cole’s direction. “Cole.”

Julia rakes her eyes over Walker. Hhmmmm, now I can work with this. He’s cute; dark hair, dark eyes, nice body, has that bad boy look about him. Yup, definitely can work with this.

Julia’s attention is brought back to the meeting when Cole rounds the desk and stands before the three. “Simon Walker, meet your new partners; Mr. Sark and Miss. Thorne. Walker normally does freelance work but has agreed to work with the Covenant for the time being,”

Simon turns and extends a hand towards Sark. “Hello mate.”

Sark shakes Simon’s hand. “Mr. Walker.”

Simon turns to look at Julia. He shamelessly rakes his eyes up and down her body, finally making eye contact. He smirks, while maintaining eye contact with Julia he addresses Cole. “Cole, I do believe I owe you a big thank you for this assignment.”

Cole chuckles and shakes his head. Sark remains quiet watching Julia and Simon. Simon approaches Julia and stops inches away from her. Julia raises an eyebrow but doesn’t break eye contact. Simon lifts one of her hands and kisses the back of it. “Miss Thorne, it is a pleasure meeting you.”

Julia responds with, “Mr. Walker”

Simon continues to hold her hand while his other arm reaches around to wrap low on her hips. He pulls her closer to him so that their bodies are pressed against one another. His hand slips lower until it rests on her ass. “I do hope we can get to know each other better.”

Julia smirks at his comment but her eyes ice over. Of course, yet another arrogant, cocky, British son of a bitch. She tightens her grip on his hand and twists it hard. Simon lets out a loud yelp from the pain and a shocked expression washes over his face. He tries to remove his hand from her grip but that just makes her clench harder and wrench his arm more. Julia speaks with a cold, clipped tone. “Mr. Walker, please be so kind to remove your hand from my ass.”

Simon immediately removes his hand and steps back. Only then does Julia release her hold on his hand. Simon rubs his arm and cradles it close to his chest. The shocked expression has been replaced with anger. “What the hell was that for?!?”

Cole chuckles softly and chooses to address Simon’s question. “Walker, I should have warned you about our girl Thorne. She’s not too keen on people touching her when she doesn’t want them to. Oh and another little piece of advice; Thorne baby has a thing for knives. So, unless you want your balls cut off and shoved down your throat I would suggest keeping your hands to yourself.”

Simon continues to rub his arm but tilts his head, a playful look in his eyes, and smirks. “I like my girls feisty.”

On the outside Julia shows no reaction. Inwardly, she’s rolling her eyes and muttering curses. Just wonderful. Its bad enough I have to be partnered with Sark. But now I have to deal with two cocky bastards. Oh, this should be just bloody fantastic.

The three return their attention to Cole when he begins talking again. “Now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, here are the details on your assignment.” He hands each of them a black manila folder. “Since Sark and Walker are both new to the Covenant we haven’t had time to set you guys up with offices. For now, you three can bunker down in Thorne’s office. And kiddies try to play nice.”

Julia, Simon, and Sark head down the hallway towards Julia’s office after leaving the meeting with Cole. Julia addresses a woman sitting at a desk outside her office.

“Alexia, this is Mr. Walker and Mr. Sark. They’ll be working with me in my office until the Covenant assigns them one of their own. Please make sure to get them anything they need.”

“Yes, Miss Thorne. Is there anything I can get you now?”

“Yes, bring us something to eat for lunch and I will like a bottle of water and a cup of tea.” Julia turns to Walker and Sark. “Is there anything else you would like gentleman?”

Sark turns to Alexia. “Water and tea would be fine.”

Walker nods his head. “Same here.”

Alexia nods her head. “Of course, I’ll bring in everything in a few moments. And Miss Thorne, here are your messages.” She hands Julia a few slips of paper and heads down the hall while the three enter the office. Julia removes her coat and places it on a coat rack near the door. She walks to her desk while shifting through the messages. She sits at her desk, sets down the messages and black manila folder, turns on her computer and waits for it to boot up. Sark and Walker stand admiring the large, lavish office.

Walker begins to walk around the office, looking over the details. “Nice digs you got here Thorne.”

Julia looks up from her computer and in Simon’s direction. “Thank you. Gentleman, please take a seat at the table.” She gestures towards a round table with four chairs positioned to the right side of the office. “I suggest we review the file and then go over the details together.”

Sark and Walker both nod in agreement and take a seat at the table. Julia opens up the black manila folder and begins to skim the contents. Her eyes abruptly stop on a familiar word. Bloody Hell!!!!!

An Hour Later
Julia, Walker and Sark are sitting at the round table finishing up their lunch and discussing the assignment.

Julia takes a sip of her tea while skimming through papers. “Mr. Sark, your profile states that you are a Rambaldi expert. Do you know any additional information concerning The Cube?”

Sark looks up from the file he is reading and cocks an eyebrow. “My profile?’

Julia nods her head. “Yes, your profile. A copy was included in the operations file for your extraction.”

Sark continues to look at Julia. “I see. Well, I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I am certainly knowledgeable in the area. I had a great deal of experience with Rambaldi while working for my previous employer.”

Julia nods her head again. “Derevko.”

Sark tilts his head. “Yes, do you know her?”

Julia sips her tea and shakes her head. “No, I know of her. Not many people in our field haven’t heard of Irina Derevko.”

Sark nods his head in agreement. “Indeed. Unfortunately, I don’t have any further information to provide concerning The Cube.”

Simon leans forward in his seat and rests his elbows on his knees. “So, what’s the plan?”

Julia lowers her head to look over the file in front of her. “We don’t have much to start from. We need to locate the Rambaldi keys, twelve in total, as well as ascertain the location of The Cube. I suggest we start with our contacts.”

Three Weeks Later – Hotel in Paris
Julia sits curled up in a chair on her hotel room’s balcony drinking a glass of wine. She wears a dark blue silk slip with light grey lace on the edges and a matching robe. The cool night air and the Parisian lights don’t seem to calm her as she muses over the last few weeks. She sighs and takes another drink of her wine.

How do I get myself into these situations? The last three weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions which I cannot afford to show. I have hardly had a moment alone to collect my thoughts. The first two and half weeks were spent in St. Petersburg calling contacts and reviewing any intel that we acquired. Even when Walker and Sark were given their own offices, they both seemed to always find their way into my office for most of the day. We worked long hours and barely did much else besides go home to get some rest. As much as I hate to admit it, we do work well together. That is when Walker isn’t blatantly hitting on me or Sark baiting me with implied comments.

Julia sighs and takes a long swig of her wine. She runs a hand through her blonde hair while staring at the night sky.

And Kendall, what a big help he’s been. Two days after I sent Kendall a scanned copy of my mission file, I received a pleasant email response. Apparently, Lazarey was a closet Rambaldi Follower. He devoted over thirty years of his life searching for the Rambaldi keys and The Cube. He has already acquired eleven of the twelve keys. Kendall and Lazarey are working together to locate the last key and the location of The Cube. So, for past three weeks I’ve been pretending like I don’t know that our efforts are pretty much pointless. We’ve only had a few leads but all have been dead ends.

And then there’s Vaughn. I haven’t had time to even really think about him. Seeing him with another woman tore me apart inside. But I knew that for his safety and his happiness that I had to let him go. If he knew I was alive he would most likely do something stupid like get himself killed looking for me. Even though I made the decision to let him go I still feel betrayed. It had only been six months, six god damn months, and he has already moved on. Did I mean so little to him that he could just bounce right back into the dating world? That he could forget me so quickly, so easily? We weren’t together long but we were good together. Well, if I was completely honest with myself we weren’t exactly perfect for one another. I could never show him every side of who I am. He wouldn’t have accepted the fact that I have a dark side. There were times where I let it creep out for a little while. But he always seemed hesitant and almost scared of what I was capable of. And then there was the fact that it was like pulling teeth to get just a morsel of information about him. Sure, he was a great listener. He helped me out countless of times when I was a double agent and had no one else to talk to. But I feel like I barely know the man that he is. I would get so excited when he finally opened up and tell me even the smallest detail abut himself. How pathetic is that? I can’t let myself dwell on Vaughn and what could have been. As much as it still hurts I need to move on and focus on finishing this assignment.

The assignment is interesting to say the least. I do enjoy playing the coldhearted bitch living the extravagant life. I know this life is an illusion but I don’t know how long I’ll have to live as Julia. At least there are great perks; people to cater to my needs, the pampering, the clothes, the cars. It defiantly helps the situation to be some what bearable.

And then there are my partners. Simon Walker is definitely an arrogant, cocky bastard. He does have his charms and is wonderful eye candy but most of the time I want to beat him senseless. At least he’s not completely useless as an operative. He has a long list of contacts and can handle himself in the field. And then there’s Sark. I always feel like he’s watching me. Who am I kidding, this is Sark of course he’s always watching me. There are times when I feel like he can see right through me. Almost as if he’s searching and I’m pretty sure he’s searching for Sydney. I’ve kept up with the Julia façade but this is Sark. If anyone can see through my act it would be him.

Dealing with two egotistical, smug bastards has not been easy. Since Julia has a passion for knives, I always carry at least one with me at all times. In my attempts to keep the boys in their place I have habitually played with my knife in front of them. This seems most effective with Simon. I’m pretty sure it was Cole’s advice that makes him shy away from me once I start twirling the knife around. Sark has had a different reaction than Simon. He seems to find it amusing more than menacing which does annoy me to an extent. But the habit has actually become calming to me. I’ve been doing it more often when I’m deep in thought.

A knock at the door pulls her from her thoughts. Julia stands and heads to the door. She looks into the peephole and sees Sark. She’s sighs softly and takes large swig of her wine. I really don’t need this right now. Julia ties her robe closed and composes her appearance. She pulls the door open and looks into his eyes with a blank expression. “Mr. Sark.”

Sark slowly takes in her causal appearance. “Miss Thorne, may I come in?”

“Of course.” Julia steps aside and opens the door further to allow Sark to enter. He steps into the room and approaches the sitting area. Julia closes the door and walks to the bar. “Can I get you something to drink?”

Sark watches as Julia refills her glass of wine. “A glass of wine would be lovely.”

Julia fills another glass and hands it to Sark. The two sit opposite one another, drinking their wine, and staring at the other. They are silent for a few moments until Sark sighs, lowers his head for an instant, and then returns his gaze at Julia.

“We need to talk, Sydney.”

Outwardly, Julia does not flinch or avert her eyes. She sips her wine and tilts her head to the side. Inwardly, Sydney is panicking and reviewing all exits to the room. “I beg your pardon.”

Sark sighs again and drinks more of his wine. “I believe you know what I’m referring to, Sydney. I know the Covenant’s attempts to brainwash you were not successful. That in fact you have been pretending to be Julia Thorne the entire time. And I have proof to support my claim.”

Sydney keeps her calm exterior while debating in her mind if he actually has proof or is trying to trap her into confessing that she is still Sydney. She drinks her wine and remains silent.

Sark sets his glass down on a table and leans forward placing his elbows on his knees. “Sydney, I’m not trying to trap you into confessing. I do in fact know that the brainwashing was ineffective. I do not plan on sharing this information with anyone.”

Sydney stands and walks to the window. She wraps her arms around herself protectively and stares at the night sky. “What do you want, Sark?”

Sark gets up and joins Sydney at the window. “I want to help you.”

Sydney abruptly turns to face him and scoffs. She hastily retreats to the adjoining bedroom. Sark hesitates a second but decides to follow her. As he enters the bedroom he watches as Sydney quickly throws her clothing into her luggage. “What do you think you are doing, Sydney?”

Sydney continues her packing not bothering to turn around to address Sark. “What does it look like, I’m packing.”

Sark swiftly makes his way to Sydney’s side and grabs her arm. “Sydney, you can’t leave. If you leave the Covenant will come after. They will stop at nothing to get you back. They will kill everyone you care about.”

Sydney attempts to rip her arm from Sark’s grasp but he just tightens his hold. “I don’t have a choice. You know the truth. If I stay the Covenant will torture me again until I break. I can’t go through that again. I won’t go through that again!”

Sark grabs Sydney’s other arm and pulls her to face him. “Were you not listening to me earlier? I don’t plan on telling anyone I know.”

She laughs loudly and shakes her head. “I’m supposed to believe you.”

Sark sighs. “Yes, you are supposed to believe me. I know that is difficult with our history but I swear that I would never let the Covenant do that to you again.”

Sydney stops laughing and immediately becomes angry. “I’m supposed to believe you! It’s difficult with our history?!? You kidnapped and tortured my best friend! You killed my other best friend and replaced her with a double to spy on me! You tried to kill me numerous times! Are you joking, Sark?!?”

Sark eyes flash with fury. “I know our past. I don’t need you to recite it to me. Regardless, what I said was true. I will not tell the Covenant.”

Sydney’s face is flushed with anger and her body is shaking. “Why the hell should I believe you of all people would not want the Covenant to hurt me?!? This seems right up your alley! I wouldn’t be surprised if you would be rooting on the side lines and giving them god damn tips! Why the hell would I believe you wouldn’t betray me?!?”

Sark’s face is red with rage. His grip tightens on her arms and starts to shake her. “Because I dedicated my life protecting you!”

Sydney’s mouth opens to respond but the words don’t make it out. She stands stunned and unable to speak. Sark’s eyes widen in realization of what he confessed. The two stare at each other for what seems like hours but really only a few moments. Sark yanks Sydney towards him and crashes his lips onto her for a smoldering kiss.

Chapter 5

My mind cannot fully comprehend what is happening. I can only catalog where our bodies touch and the intense feelings washing over me. His soft lips are pressed forcefully against mine. His strong hands grip my arms holding me in place. Our chests flush against one another. My head is spinning from the emotions that are coursing through my veins like fire; passion, lust, desperation, pain, regret, and love. I’m confused of where these sensations are coming from, when did they start, and how did they form. I can’t quite regain control of my mind, my senses, or my body no matter how much I will myself. I feel the world around me spiraling into oblivion leaving only him, me, and this kiss.

I fall deep into a trance and find myself leaning into his body, my rigid posture relaxes against him, and I begin to respond to the kiss. My hands move to rest on his hips and I dig my nails into his skin through his pants. I step forward closing the remaining distance between us. I part my lips slightly and slowly drag my tongue over his bottom lip. I nip his lip with my teeth then quickly begin to softly suck the spot to soothe the injury. His lips part and his tongue traces the crease between my lips. I open my mouth slightly allowing him entrance. Our tongues massage one another; gently at first but quickly escalating into anxious movements.

Abruptly, Sark rips his lips away breaking the kiss. My eyes snap open in surprise from his sudden action. I inhale sharply as I gaze into his eyes. His wild eyes are a dark blazing sapphire. The intense emotions radiating from his gaze startles me but I can’t bring myself to look away. He’s panting hard, trying desperately to catch his breath. He releases his hold on my arms and turns away.

I stare at his back in confusion for a few seconds. I close my eyes, attempting to regain some control to understand what had just happened. I lift my hand and brush my fingertips over my swollen lips. The tingling sensation is replaced by a sting from the loss of contact. The fire burning through my veins begins to dissipate but doesn’t extinguish completely. The fog gradually lifts and my hazy mind starts to clear. I take deep breaths calming my nerves so I can recover my focus. I sort through the most recent events attempting to rationalize and assess the situation.

After several minutes of contemplating I have come to only one conclusion; I don’t understand any of it. His words, his actions, my reaction, the intensity and various feelings I felt that I still feel. None of it makes sense. The most surprising realization is that I don’t feel angry. I should be furious with him for kissing me, for everything he has done to me and the people that I love, for everything he stands for. I should be infuriated with myself for kissing him back, for feeling everything that I did that I still do, and for wanting more. But the anger is not there only confusion, longing, uncertainty, and desire.

I finally open my eyes to find him with his back still turned to me, a hand placed for support on a wall, and his head bent down. I remain silent, not sure what to say or if I should say anything at all. I begin to feel apprehensive after the minutes tick by and he still hasn’t moved or said anything. I take a few deep breaths and address him tentatively. “Sark”

I see his body tense and his head rise a few inches when he hears my voice. I cautiously approach him and lay a hand on his shoulder. I try to compose myself but my voice comes out timidly. “Sark.” I notice his shoulder flinch and warily remove my hand. A few minutes have passed and he still hasn’t acknowledged me. Unsure of what to do next, I take a few steps back and decide to leave him alone. I walk towards the bedroom door but stop in the doorway when I hear his voice. “Sydney”

Even though I was the one to initially break the silence, anxiety sweeps over me and I am unable to turn to face him. I lift a shaky hand to support myself on the doorframe, willing myself to calm my pounding heart. I feel, more than hear, him approach me. He stops closely behind me and speaks softly. “Sydney, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have forced something so unwanted on you. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

I slowly turn around to face him. I need to continue bracing myself on the doorframe when I see his warm eyes full of sincerity. My knees begin to feel weak and shake a little. I shake my head and my voice comes out almost fragile. “I’m not upset; I’m confused; I don’t understand any of this.”

He sighs and I’m not sure if it’s from relief or annoyance. He places his hands in his pockets and nods his head. “I have a lot to explain and I’ll tell you everything that I know. Why don’t we sit, this will most likely take awhile.”

I walk to the living room and take a seat. Sark grabs the wine bottle from the bar, refills both of our glasses, and finally sits in a chair. He sips his wine and then shifts his eyes to meet mine. “Sydney, there aren’t many that know what I’m about to tell you. In fact there are only two people and I’m not certain if they know the entirety of it. I never actually had to tell anyone before. The two people that know have been there through most of it. But if there is anyone that I would tell, that I believe deserves to hear it, the person would be you. All I ask is that you let me tell you everything before asking any questions. As I’m sure you are well aware of, I’m not the type of person to bare his soul or give details of his life. The process will certainly be difficult for me and I’d rather tell you the whole explanation without any interruptions.”

I regard him for a moment and nod my head in agreement. “Ok, but can you first tell me how you knew I was pretending to be Julia.”

He nods his head. “Of course, I actually had my suspicions when I first realized you were Julia Thorne. Cole confirmed my instinct when we first met after my extraction. He explained how the Covenant kidnapped and faked your death. They brainwashed you into believing you were an assassin working for the Covenant named Julia Thorne. After hearing that you were brainwashed, I knew you were faking it.”

My eyebrows rise. “How?”

He tilts his head to the side. “Project Christmas.”

I look at him in confusion and shock. “Project Christmas? What does that have to do with any of this?”

He takes a sip of his wine and responds. “It actually has everything to do with this. During your training under Project Christmas, you were hardwired to withstand intense torture and brainwashing. The programming is so extensive that you are in fact impossible to brainwash.”

I slump back in my chair, take a large gulp of wine, and mutter. “That explains the feeling.”

He looks at me with a puzzled look. “What feeling?”

I sigh loudly and turn to look out the window. “When they were torturing me, I could feel my mind at its breaking point but there was something inside of me, this feeling that wouldn’t allow me to give in. I wasn’t sure what it was until now.”

I remain quiet mulling over the new piece of information. Out of the corner of my eye I see him stand and walk to the window. He takes in the Parisian night while drinking his wine. I patiently wait for him to begin speaking again.

After a moment, he sighs but does not turn to face me. “I was born Julian Nicoli Lazarey on March 2, 1975 in Moscow. My parents were Andrian and Evangeline Lazarey.”

I tense when I hear the name Andrian Lazarey but remain silent. I try to relax by sitting back in my chair and intently listen to him.

“I don’t remember much about them. My mother and I loved each other very much. We would take trips to Galway, Ireland where she had grown up. She didn’t have any relatives living there; her parents passed away when she was young and she was an only child. Nonetheless, Galway always seemed to give her peace. It was our own personal haven that we could escape to. Our house in Moscow had the opposite effect on us. There was always a cold, tense atmosphere. My father was not around much. He would always be away on business. When he was home it was never a happy reunion. He would get drunk every night and lash out at my mother. After he got tired of my mother, he would turn on me. It was always a relief when he left but the dread of when he would return was always held over us.”

He pauses a moment and takes another sip of wine. “I was six years old when my mother died. At the time I was told that her car lost control during a bad rain storm. The car crashed off of a bridge and into a river killing her instantly. It was years later that I discovered the truth of my mother’s death. A group of mercenaries were pressuring my father for information. When he wouldn’t comply, they killed my mother to persuade him. After my mother’s funeral, my father and I returned to our house. My father took me into his study and sat me down. He told me I was going away to a year-round boarding school in London for gifted students. I was to remain there until I completed my education. He then escorted me out of the house where a driver waited to take me to the airport. That was the last time I saw my father.”

“My time at The Hill School was not pleasant but the level of education was exemplary. I was taught at an accelerated rate in all normal areas of study in addition to various languages. I excelled in every subject and was eager to learn more. It was a year and half after my arrival at The Hill that I met Irina. Most of the students had just left for a month long break. I, of course, remained at the school with a few other students and teachers. I was called into the headmaster’s office one day and there stood Irina. She introduced herself as a friend of my parents. I was suspicious of her because I have never met her before. She explained that she had been living in America for many years and only recently returned. She told me that she had made a promise to my mother that if anything ever happened to her that she would look after me. Irina invited me to stay at her London flat with her so we could get to know one another. I wasn’t a very social child but staying with Irina was better than staying at the school alone for a month. Also, I was intrigued to learn more about her and her relationship with my mother.”

“For the next month we spent most of our time together. We told each other stories about my mother. We spoke of my education; what I was studying, my progress, what areas I enjoyed. I felt something that I hadn’t felt since my mother was killed; peace. Soon after I arrived at Irina’s flat she asked if I would like to learn a few new skills. She said she saw promise in me and thought I would do extremely well. I didn’t want to disappoint or anger her, so I agreed. She gave me various tests and instructed me on techniques. She seemed pleased with all of my results which made me happy. Once the month was over, I returned to The Hill. When Irina dropped me off at school, she asked if I would like to spend more time with her. I enjoyed the time I spent with her and was glad she wanted to see me again. For the next seven years, Irina and I would meet at least once a month. I was trained in various martial arts, weaponry, game theory, cryptology, surveillance, interrogation techniques, amongst other beneficial areas. I was also instructed in the finer things in life as well; food, wine, clothes, art, music, and so forth.”

“I completed the equivalent to a high school education at fourteen. Irina encouraged me to continue my education by attending Oxford. I moved into her flat and enrolled in several courses. I continued to study at an accelerated rate for two and half years and completed a triple major in English Literature, Russian Literature, and Theoretical Physics. I continued at Oxford for another year and half to complete my graduate degrees in the same three fields.”

“Irina was usually absent during the time that I lived at the flat. She would visit, usually briefly, once a month. For the duration of the visits, we would discuss my education, books, and various other topics. Occasionally during her visits we would train. Even though my training with Irina was complete once I graduated from The Hill, I did enjoy fine tuning or updating any of my skills when the opportunity arose. When I was sixteen, Irina sent me on my first mission. I started off with simple missions but as I acclimated to field work my missions became more complicated. I was not sent out often while I was in school but did take on at least two missions a month. Once I completed my studies, I began working for Irina full time as an operative. I quickly rose through the ranks becoming her best field agent and eventually her Director of Operations.”

“Out of all the conversations we had over the years, there are two that I will always remember. The first occurred shortly after I began studying at Oxford. She told me that my seven years of training was special, unique. She began outlining the details of Project Christmas and how it would impact my life. The version of Project Christmas that I went through was not the same as the other children that were in the program. The program was only to last for one month and the children’s memories were altered before they were sent home. They were to believe they attended a camp and had a good time. I went through seven years of an altered version of the program and remember everything. The purpose of the extended training was to ensure that my skills were unsurpassed. That night I realized that my destiny had already been written.”

“The second conversation occurred on April 17, 1991. I had just returned to the flat from class and heard a noise coming from the study. When I went to investigate the noise I found Irina in a frenzied state. She was reviewing a file on her desk, flipping through the pages furiously. After I announced my presence Irina motioned for me to take a seat. She handed me the file and the first thing I saw when I opened it was a surveillance photo of a beautiful teenage girl with brown hair and big brown eyes.”

“Irina began speaking with a distant tone and a far off look. She explained that the girl in the photo was her daughter, Sydney, and today was her sixteenth birthday. She then began telling me her story; her time as a KBG agent, her assignment, Jack, you, and faking her death for her extraction. After her extraction she felt betrayed when her own government imprisoned her. She gave up the two people she loved most in the world for her country and they thanked her by throwing her in a cell. After a year of imprisonment she escaped and began forming her own organization. Over the years, her organization grew and became more powerful but her identity as the leader remained a mystery that only a few knew.”

“Her tone changed from distant to serious. She explained that while she couldn’t be present in your life she kept tabs on you. The most recent information that she received has led her to believe that Jack put you through his own altered version of Project Christmas. She was enraged because she didn’t want this life for you but at the same time relieved that you would be capable of defending yourself. She told me that you went through the same training as I did with a few inconsequential variations but you were still my equal.”

“She then spoke of her organization, that only a few knew her identity as the leader but even fewer knew the true purpose of her organization. Almost all the employees believed it was about power and wealth but that was a façade. It allowed her to work towards her true goal with hardly any complications. Irina then began telling me about Milo Rambaldi; who he was, his inventions, but most importantly his prophesy of The Chosen One. She explained that you, Sydney, were The Chosen One and were destined to bring forth his works. She knew once people discovered the identity of The Chosen One they would do anything to exploit and harm you. Her organization’s true intention is to stop anyone from harming you at all costs.”

“Once Irina finished speaking I was dumbfounded. Throughout the years that I have known her, she was not one to speak about the details of her life. The magnitude of information and level of trust that she shared with me left me speechless. What Irina did next changed my life forever. She rose from her chair, sat besides me and grasped my hands. She looked into my eyes and asked me if I could be trusted, if I would promise to keep her secrets which I immediately agreed to. She then asked if I would promise to help her with her organization’s goal, to promise to do everything I could to protect Sydney. I looked her in the eyes and without any hesitation or reservation swore that I would do everything I could to protect you. Irina then smiled, kissed me on my cheek, and thanked me. Until today I have done everything I could to keep both promises. I have broken the first promise to her by telling you all that I have. I truly hope I will not fail her and break the second.”

Sark finally turns from the window and looks at Sydney. His eyes widen when he sees her staring back at him with tears streaming down her face. He walks cautiously towards her and kneels down. He lifts a hand wiping away the tears and whispers. “Don’t cry, Sydney.”

She shakes her head and more tears escape her eyes. “I’m so confused. I don’t know what to believe. If what you just said is true than why did you kidnap and torture Will. Why did you kill and double Francie? Why have you tried to kill me on almost every mission that we have encountered each other on? How am I supposed to believe you?”

Sark sighs and lowers his head. He stands up, pulls a chair closer to sit in, holds her hands in his and stares into her eyes with a sad look. “What happened with Mr. Tippin was not something that Irina or I anticipated. I told you that there are only a few who knew the purpose of Irina’s organization. The only person that I was aware of to know the purpose was Alexander Khasinau. For his own reasons, Khasinau began secretly working against Irina. He began feeding Mr. Tippin information that would lead him to discover the existence of SD-6. Since Mr. Tippin was not covert with his researching, SD-6 Security Section would have eventually discovered his investigation and killed him. Khasinau couldn’t kill you. Consequently, his goal was to hurt you by having your friend killed. I did not discover Khasinau’s extracurricular activities until that night in Paris where we first met. He justified his actions by stating the Mr. Tippin had information on the Circumference. I began working with Khasinau to investigate his true objective. When I was ordered to kidnap and torture Mr. Tippin I did everything I could to control the situation. I had to make it look believable but with the least amount of pain. We both have been through torture; it could have been a lot worse. Once Irina was certain that Khasinau betrayed her, she killed him.”

“As for Miss Calfo, Irina and I were not aware of the situation until it was too late. Irina was still in CIA custody and apparently Sloane did not trust me enough to involve me. I was informed of the plan once the doubling process was complete. I was told that Miss Calfo would be kidnapped and detained until Doren completed her assignment. Sloane changed the order to kill Miss Calfo as a precaution without notifying me. Once Irina was extracted, she ordered me to get close to Doren. We were concerned after what happened with Miss Calfo that Sloane or Doren would decide to kill you without involving us.”

“I believe your next question was; why did I try to kill you on every mission we’ve encountered one another on? This is actually a simple answer, if I actually tried to kill you, Sydney, you would be dead. If you are actually honest with yourself, you know that I have had a number of chances to kill you but I haven’t.”

“As for your belief in my statements I can only offer you my word. There is one other thing you should know about Irina and I. We have been working as anonymous informants to various government agencies for several years. Irina does not trust government agencies which is understandably so. We couldn’t directly work with an agency so we chose to indirectly work with several of them without their knowledge. We both acquired several contacts in all the government agencies and would periodically provide information. For our protection we never met with our contacts. We set up contact protocols in which we would communicate through emails, encrypted newspaper ads, ftp sites, and so forth. You are one of my contacts at the CIA. I believe you know me better as Ange Foncé.

Sydney gasps and her eyes widen. “You’re Dark Angel?”

Sark chuckles and smiles softly. “Yes, the name was Irina’s idea. She said it was appropriate which I never understood.” Sark smile fades and he sighs. “Sydney, it’s late. We should both try to get some rest. We can talk more tomorrow.” Sark rises from his chair, leans forward and kisses her on her forehead, and walks towards the door.

Sydney remains seated; ringing her fingers and softly says. “Stay.”

Sark stops mid stride but does not turn around. Sydney walks towards him and stops a few feet away. She continues speaking in a soft tone. “After everything that has happened tonight, I don’t want to be alone. I know this might be asking too much but would you stay and hold me tonight?” When he doesn’t turn to look at her or respond she begins to feel foolish for asking. “It’s ok, just forgot I asked. I don’t know what I was thinking. Good night, Sark.” Sydney turns to head towards the bedroom.

Sark quickly turns and touches her arm to stop her. “Sydney, I’m sorry for my moment of indecision. I was caught off guard by your request. Of course I’ll stay, that is if you still want me to.”

Sydney nods her head, takes his hand, and leads them into the bedroom. Sydney lets go of his hand, removes her robe placing it on a chair, and slips under the covers. Sark remains standing staring at Sydney. She looks at him questioning. “Sark?”

After a moment he moves to the opposite side of the bed, removes all of this clothing except for his black silk boxers, and slips under the covers next to Sydney. He lies on his side facing Sydney, unsure of what to do next. She scooches back until she is pressed against his chest. She reaches back for his hand, intertwining their fingers, and drapes his arm over her waist. She snuggles against him a little more and sighs. Sark remains still and then slowly relaxes.

An hour later, Sark is finally drifting off to sleep when he hears Sydney sniffle. He tightens his hold around her waist and kisses her hair. “Sydney?”

She sniffles again but then turns to face him. When Sark looks at her, she has tears flowing down her cheeks. He pulls her closer to him and she nuzzles into his chest. He rubs her back and kisses her forehead. “Ssshhh, love. It’s going to be alright.” He tightens his hold around her and mummers reassuring words to her. After some time she relaxes in his arms, he looks down to see that she has fallen asleep. He keeps his arms wrapped around her tightly, kisses her forehead, and closes his eyes finally drifting off to sleep.

The Next Morning
Sark wakes from a restful sleep. He opens his eyes to see Sydney still curled up against his chest caressing her fingers over his bare skin. He smiles softly and mummers. “Good morning, love.”

Sydney looks up and smiles. “Good morning.”

Sark kisses the top of head and tightens his arms around her. “How are you feeling?”

She snuggles into him. “Better.” She pauses for a moment. “Thank you for last night.”

“Your welcome.”

Sydney detangles herself from Sark and gets out of bed. “I’m going to take a shower.”

Sark climbs out of bed and begins putting on his clothes. “Ok, I’m going to head back to my room and take a shower as well. We should meet afterwards and discuss what we are going to do next.”

Sydney nods. “Ok, we can call room service and have breakfast here.”

Sark walks over to her and kisses her forehead. “Sounds perfect. I’ll call Simon to let him know.”

Sydney stiffens and a panic look washes over her face. “Simon?”

Sark looks at her with a perplexed look which is quickly replaced by realization. “Sydney, I’m sorry. I didn’t explain about Simon last night. I told you that there are two people that know my story. Simon and Irina are those people. He and I met at The Hill. We’ve been friends for years. Si works for Irina but only she and I know this. He poses as a freelancer and gathers intel for us. He knows you are Sydney Bristow.”

“Oh, does he know the purpose of my mother’s organization.”

Sark shakes his head. “No, as far as I know I am the only employee that knows. Regardless, Irina has a standing order that you are not to be harmed. Si knows this and will help us with whatever we plan to do. I trust him, Sydney.”

“Ok, is there anything else I should know?”

“He doesn’t know you are The Chosen One. Irina did her best to keep that secret even after The Prophesy was revealed.” Sark turns to leave the room but Sydney grabs his hand.

“Wait, there’s something I need to tell you.” She leads him back to the bed and they sit down. She continues to hold his hand but lowers her head. “It’s about your father.”

Sark reaches out and lifts her chin to look into her eyes. “Sydney, I already know that the Covenant tasked you to kill my father. Cole told me right after you extracted me. I don’t hold it against you. I understand that you were under orders and didn’t have a choice. He wasn’t a good man and I didn’t even know him.”

She shakes her head and her eyes shine with unshed tears. “No Sark, you don’t understand. I didn’t kill him. Right after I got my orders, I was able to contact the CIA. I agreed to work deep cover until the CIA could obtain enough information on the Covenant. My handler ordered me to make a deal with your father. We faked his death and he is now in CIA custody.”

Sark looks away. “He’s alive?”

Sydney squeezes his hand. “Yes”

“What were your orders pertaining to me?”

Sydney sighs and looks at their joined hands. “I was to determine what the Covenant wanted with you.”

Sark turns back to look at her. “And what have you determined?”

Sydney shrugs her shoulders. “Besides retaining you as employee, nothing.”

Sark sighs and looks away again. “My father was a descendent of the Romanov royal family. When you ‘killed’ him, I was entitled to the family fortune. The Covenant wanted me for my inheritance, 800 million dollars.”

Sydney’s mouth falls open in shock. “800 million dollars?!?”

Sark nods his head. “I was to turn over my inheritance and in exchange I get to live.” He pauses for a moment. “Is there anything else I should know?”

Sydney looks down at their hands again. “Ummm…”

Sark lifts her head up to look at her. “Whatever it is you can tell me.”

She looks back at him for a moment and sighs. “You are really not going to like this. Lazarey is a Rambaldi Follower. He’s spent the last thirty years of his life searching for the Rambaldi Keys and The Cube. He has been able to obtain eleven of the twelve keys so far. He’s working with my handler to locate the last key and the location of The Cube.”

He looks away, contemplating the new information. “Has Agent Vaughn and my father found any useful information?”

Sydney looks at him in confusion. “Vaughn?”

He turns back to her and tilts his head. “You said my father was working with your handler.”

She shakes her head. “Vaughn isn’t my handler. Everyone at the CIA believes I’m dead. My only term when I agreed to this assignment was that my father be told that I was alive and involved in a deep cover mission.”

“I apologize, I shouldn’t have assumed. Will you be ok with telling Simon about you working with the CIA?”

She looks at him attentively. “You trust him, right?”

He nods his head and squeezes her hand. “I trust him.”

She nods. “Ok.”

Sark squeezes her hand again. “What about your mother?”

Sydney sighs and looks away. “Does she already know I’m alive?”

“Yes, I contacted her soon after my extraction. That is how Simon got involved.”

She looks back at him. “Ok, but I need some time. Not a lot but just some time. There’s a lot for me to take in and get used to.”

He nods his head. “I understand. I should go now. I’ll be back soon.” He rises from the bed, kisses her forehead, and leaves the room.

Sydney sighs, after a few moments rises from the bed, and gets ready for the busy day ahead of her.

Thirty Minutes Later
Sydney is just finishing getting dressed when there is a knock on the door. She looks through the peep hold and sees Sark and Walker. She opens the door and the two men enter.

Sydney closes the door and curls up in a chair in the living room. “Perfect timing, I was just about to order breakfast.” She picks up the phone and dials room service. “I was going to order the entire breakfast menu so we can pick and choose what we want. Is that alright?”

Both men nod in agreement. Sydney places the order and hangs up the phone.

Simon leans forward and places his elbows on his knees. “So, what’s this all about?”

Sydney raises an eyebrow and looks at Sark. “You didn’t already tell him?”

Sark shakes his head. “I thought it would be best to wait.”

Simon looks between the two baffled. “Tell me what?”

Sark turns to look at Simon. “That I know the brainwashing wasn’t successful and she is pretending to be Julia Thorne.”

Simon’s eyes narrow. “What do you mean she’s pretending to be Julia Thorne?”

Sydney looks at Sark in confusion. “He doesn’t know?”

Sark sighs and shakes his head. “No, I wanted to determine what you were doing first. When I couldn’t come up with an answer in the past three weeks I decided to confront you. That is why I came to you last night.”

Simon jumps up from his chair and starts pacing. “Bloody hell, Laz!!!” You could have told me she was pretending this whole time!!!”

Sark stands up from his chair and places a hand on Simon’s shoulder stopping his pacing. “Si, I know I should have told you but I needed to find out what she was doing first. I couldn’t risk Sydney finding out I knew and fleeing.”

Simon sighs and sits back. “Fine, so what’s the plan?”

Sark returns to his seat and clasps his hands together. “That’s what we are here to talk about.”

Simon chuckles. “Laz, thanks for allowing me to be apart of the planning.”

Sark shoots him a warning look.

The entire time Sydney sat quietly observing the two interact. She shakes her head and starts chuckling.

Sark and Simon look at her questioningly. Simon raises an eyebrow and asks, “What?”

Sydney continues to laugh for a little while longer. She smiles wickedly and her eyes gleam with mischievousness. “Cute pet names you guys have for each other.”

Sark glares at her while Simon smirks. Sark shakes his head in disbelief. “If you are quite finished, I believe we have a lot to discuss. We still need to fill Si in on the details.”

Sydney sits up straight and attempts to put on a serious face but fails when her eyes twinkle with amusement. “Of course, Mr. Sark.”

One Hour Later
For the past hour Sydney, Sark, and Simon have gone over all the options they have concerning The Keys and The Cube.

Sydney sighs in frustration. “So, the only thing we can do is continue doing what we have been. Look for the remaining key and The Cube.

Sark places his cup of tea on the table and looks at Sydney. “I know this is wearisome but it really is our best option. We can’t do anything to draw attention to ourselves.”

Simon looks up from his plate of food. “Look on the bright side; we only have to find one key instead of twelve. Besides, we have the CIA helping us, even if they don’t know it.” He smirks and continues eating.

Sydney sighs again and looks away. “Fine, but I want to find out what is the purpose of The Cube. It’s a Rambaldi artifact and that can only mean trouble. There’s no way in hell I’m going to hand over The Cube to anyone unless I know what it is for.”

Sark nods his head. “I agree but that may be difficult to ascertain. Most likely the only way we will find out its true purpose is by a Rambaldi manuscript. Given that The Covenant is interested in The Cube it would be safe to assume that they are in possession of the manuscript.”

Sydney drinks her tea and looks at both Sark and Simon. “Well, the next topic of discussion will probably help with locating the manuscript.”

Simon puts down his fork, wipes his mouth with a napkin, and raises an eyebrow. “And what would that be, babe?”

Sydney leans back in her chair, crossing her legs and folds her hands in her lap. “Devising a plan to destroy the Covenant.”

Simon’s mouth drops open. “Are you bloody mad?!? How are we to destroy the Covenant?!?”

Sydney continues to stare at Sark and Simon unfazed by the outburst. She picks up a knife from the table and begins twirling it around. “The same way we took down the Alliance; with information.”

Simon laughs disbelievingly. “With information? That’s your genius plan to take down the Covenant?”

Sydney looks down at her hands playing with the knife. “You should not be so quick to dismiss the power information has. My father worked with the CIA as a double agent within the Alliance for over ten years. I worked as a double with him for less than two years. All it took to take down the Alliance was information. The right information in the right hands can cripple even the most powerful organization.”

Simon stares at Sydney dumbfounded. Sark leans forward and rests his elbows on the table. “What are you proposing?”

Sydney meets Sark’s eyes and smirks. “I’m proposing we find and access the Covenant’s equivalent of Server 47.”

Simon raises his hands in exasperation. “Fine, even if we find this information how do you suggest the three of us to handle such a large job?”

Sydney tilts her head her head. “Simon, you really shouldn’t underestimate me or our assets we can utilize. Sark and I are the best agents in the business. I have the CIA’s backing and resources. And I’m sure my mother wouldn’t mind giving us a hand. I am her daughter after all and Sark is her protégé. I’m not oblivious to the fact that this will be difficult and dangerous. But after everything they did to me, I will put an end to them even if it’s the last thing I do.”

Simon nods his head. “Alright then.”

Sydney shifts her eyes to the knife again. “There is one more thing. I think it would be best if you two don’t call me Sydney, even if it’s just the three of us.”

Simon looks at her bemused. “Whatever you want, babe. Any particular reason why?”

Sydney sighs. “I can’t afford to compromise my cover. Also, this assignment is hard on me. Slipping in and out of my Julia alias is tiring. It would help me if I stayed in character at all times.”

Simon looks at her with understanding eyes. “No problem, Jules.”

She looks at him and smiles. “Thanks.” She looks at Sark and tilts her in anticipation for his response.

Sark eyes dance with amusement and smirks at Julia. “I always told you we were destined to work together.”

A Week Later – Rome
Julia sits alone in her apartment reading over the new intel that she received from a contact. She sighs and sets the papers down on the table. She sips her cup of tea and thinks about the last week.

I never thought I would ever be in this situation. I’m working with Sark, Simon, and my mother to take down an evil organization that kidnapped me, faked my death, tortured and tried to brainwash me into working for them. After Paris, we returned to Rome. I blame exhaustion and temporary insanity for inviting Sark and Simon to stay with me at my apartment. It actually hasn’t been that bad and I do have plenty of space to share. I find myself trusting them both more each day. I’m becoming comfortable around them. A part of me is terrified that I’m going to get myself killed by letting my guard down. But the other part that I’m more inclined to listen to is telling me to trust them; that they are helping me and won’t betray me. Surprisingly enough they have both been on their best behavior and have been complete gentlemen. Well, they are behaving as well as one can expect from the two of them.

Julia twirls a piece of her newly dyed hair and sips her tea.

I like the new color. I really needed a change in my appearance to go with all the things that happened in Paris. A day at the spa was definitely one of my best ideas. Sark and Simon of course didn’t see how a day at the spa was more important than work. I didn’t waste my energy to try and explain. The massage, facial, pedicure, and manicure certainly helped me relax. The new hair style was a compromise between Sydney and Julia. The dark auburn color undoubtedly goes better with my complexion than the platinum blonde did. The subtle blonde and light brown highlights were a suggestion from my hairstylist. He thought it would give dimension to the auburn color. I have to agree; the highlights do look rather nice. I decided to keep the length long, down to the middle of my back, and usually wear my hair wavy. The change felt good.

Too bad everything else can’t be as easy as going to the spa. We haven’t had much progress with locating The Cube or ‘Server 47’. I didn’t expect a solution overnight but I’m getting agitated from the lack of information and dead ends.

I still haven’t gotten the courage to talk or meet with mom. I don’t even know if Sark told her that he broke his promise to her. I haven’t asked him mostly because I’m afraid to bring up the subject of mom. He’s been incredible patient with me lately. I know he won’t push but I have to face her soon. I’m just terrified that I will be disappointed by her once again. I don’t think my heart could endure another disappointment from her; especially now when I need all my strength to take down the Covenant.

And then there’s Sark. I can feel almost every part of me screaming for me to trust him, to let him in, to believe all he’s told me, to finally let go of everything I thought was true about him. There’s a small part of me that is telling me if I let down my defenses that it will kill me; that he will be my downfall. But that part is becoming smaller each day I spend with him. He’s been so kind, patient, and understanding. He hasn’t tried to kiss me since Paris. I know he’s giving me the space that I need. All of this and the small doubt I have, makes me feel incredibly guilty. He trusted me with something so immense and I doubt him. I suppose it is a natural reaction after all we have been through together. I wish I could let it go.

The apartment door opening breaks her out of her thoughts. Sydney looks up to see Sark. She tries to smile but it comes across as more of grimace.

Sark’s eyes are filled with concern and approaches. “Julia, is everything alright.”

Julia sighs and nods slightly. “Yes, I was just thinking.”

Sark sits next to her and averts his eyes. “I know this situation is new but you can talk to me about it. I’m here for you … for whatever you need.”

Julia feels the doubt slowly slipping away. She smiles softly and places a hand on his cheek. “I know. Thank you.” She leans forward and kisses his other cheek softly. Julia pulls back and smiles at him genuinely.

Sark leans into her palm on his cheek. He lifts a hand to rest on top of her hand. They gaze into each other’s eyes for a moment. His eyes shift down to her lips, unconsciously, he licks his own. He leans towards her, hesitating briefly, and then continues until their lips brush gently. Julia wraps her arms around Sark’s neck and presses her lips harder against his. Sark encircles her waist with his arms. He pulls her into his lap straddling him. His tongue glides over her bottom lip asking for entrance to her mouth. She nips his lip in response but swiftly slips her tongue out to soothe the spot. His mouth opens slightly and she mirrors his actions. Slowly, he slides his tongue into her mouth. They deepen the kiss and tighten their hold on one another.

Sark moves his hands down to cup her ass. He stands, picking her up with him. Julia wraps her legs around his waist. Sark walks them towards her bedroom. She breaks the kiss but begins to drag her tongue down his neck. He tilts his head to the side exposing his neck. In the hallway towards her bedroom, she sucks on his pulse point causing him to stumble. He slams her back into the wall to regain his balance. He leans forward and catches her earlobe between his teeth. He bites it causing her to gasp. He pulls the lobe into his mouth and sucks on it softly triggering a low groan from her. Sark continues down the hall making it to the bedroom and kicks the door shut with his foot.

Besides the bed, Julia unwraps her legs to stand. Her hands slide from his neck to the buttons of his shirt. She begins to unbutton the shirt while placing soft kisses on the newly exposed skin. Sark stops her movements by placing a hand to lift her chin. He gazes into her eyes, “Are you sure?” She looks at him for a moment and then presses a gentle kiss against his lips, “I’m sure.” He crashes his lips against her and tangles his fingers in her hair.

She struggles with his shirt then tugs harshly at the fabric ripping all the buttons off. She forcefully pushes the shirt off his shoulders. He grabs the hem of her shirt and yanks it up over her head. His hands find their way to the clasp of her bra and with a flick of his wrist unhooks it. He slides the straps down her shoulders and then tosses it aside. His fingertips slide up her sides and underneath her breasts. He cups her breasts while his thumbs rub against her nipples. She groans, “Sark.” He pulls back, breaking the kiss to look in her eyes. He caresses her cheek with the back of his hand, “Its Julian. Even if it is for only tonight; let me be Julian and you, Sydney.” She leans into his caress, “Ok Julian.” He leans down and recaptures her lips. Her hands slide down his chest to his belt. She unhooks the buckle and pulls it through the belt loops dropping it on the floor with a clang. She unbuttons and unzips his pants while he kicks off his shoes and socks. His hands move to the front of her pants to pull down the zipper allowing the clothing to pool at her feet.

He guides them to the bed until the back of her knees bump into the bed frame. They collapse on the bed kissing passionately. She rolls on top of him straddling him. She kisses down his neck to his chest. Her teeth rake over a nipple and then tease it with her tongue. She kisses licks and nibbles her way down his toned stomach. She grips the sides of his boxers and drags them down his legs. She scratches her nails up and down his thighs while leaning back to take a look at his naked body. She draws her eyes down his chest, abs, to his very large erection. She raises an eyebrow and smiles devilishly, “My, My Mr. Sark.”

Sydney leans forward and circles the tip of his penis with her tongue. She licks him from base to tip. Her mouth descends down to his balls taking one in her mouth. She rolls her tongue around it and sucking lightly. He throws back his head, grips the comforter, and moans. She repeats the actions on his other ball. She holds the base of him in one hand while licking him up and down until finally taking him into her mouth. He entangles a hand into her hair and cries out, “Oh god Sydney!” Slowly, she sucks and rolls her tongue around him. He groans and tugs on her hair. She moves up and down his shaft while playing with his balls. His moans encourage her to increase her speed and tugs on his balls gently. “Oh God Sydney! I’m going to cum!” She encircles him with her tongue and squeezes the base of penis causing him to cum. She swallows drinking in every last drop of him as he spills into her mouth. She licks him one last time and then her lips.

She crawls back up his body and watches him as his breathing returns to normal. His eyes flutter open and stare at her. He runs a hand through her hair, “That was amazing.” He pulls her closer and kisses her softly. Her hands grab his hair and she deepens the kiss. He flips them over and begins kissing down her neck. He licks her collarbone trailing down to her breasts. He draws circles around her nipple with his tongue while pinching her other nipple. He sucks on her nipple, rolling the tip of it with his tongue causing her to groan. He moves to the other breast lavishing it with the same attention. He slowly makes his way down her stomach kissing and licking teasingly. She grabs his head and tries to bring him back up to her, “I need you now, Julian.” He turns his head to kiss the palm of her hand, “Patience, Sydney. I’ve wanted this for almost twelve years. I never thought I would ever get to have this moment. I’m not in any rush. I want to relish every second of this.”

He continues kissing his way down her stomach until he reaches her panties. He slides them down her long legs and drops them on the floor. He picks up her leg and begins to kiss his way up to her thigh. He repeats the same process with the other leg until he reaches her opening. He lies on his stomach and spreads her legs wider. He breathes her in for a moment before tracing her lips with his tongue. He teases his way around her opening until thighs begin to tremble and her moans become loader. He pauses a moment, then leans in, opens his mouth, and exhales slowly washing a hot breath over her clit. She arches her back, throws her head back, and screams in pleasure, “Julian!” He flicks the tip of tongue over her clit causing her to groan. He spreads her lips apart and presses his opened mouth on her swollen clit. He rolls his tongue over the nub and then begins to suck lightly. He brings a hand to her opening and teases it with his fingertips. Slowly, he inserts a finger and then draws it back gradually. He adds a second finger and pushes in deeper. He increases the pace rubbing his fingertips along her g-spot. His tongue begins to push harder and flicking faster against her clit. Her thighs are trembling and her hips are bucking against his face. He holds her still with a hand on her hip and rubs soothing circles along her hipbone. “Julian! Don’t stop! Please don’t stop! Oh my god! Make me cum!” Her hands grip his head pulling him closer to her. He sucks her clit and flicks his tongue causing her to cum. He laps up all of her juices pouring out of her. She starts to come down from ecstasy when he rubs circles over her g-spot with his fingertips. She throws her head back and screams, “Oh god!” He continues rubbing her while his mouth returns to her clit. He sucks lightly and draws circles around her nub with tongue. Her hips buck uncontrollably again, “Oh my god! I’m going to cum again! Julian! Julian!” She arches her back and her body begins to shake.

He crawls up her body, kisses her forehead, and caresses her cheek. Her body is still trembling and her breaths are coming out as pants. Finally, her breathing returns to normal. She slowly opens her eyes to see him intently watching her. She reaches up and strokes he’s cheek, “You’re incredible.” He leans down and places a few soft kisses on her lips, “I’m just getting started, love.” He gazes into her eyes and trails a hand down her body to her thigh. He lifts it gently against him and positions himself to enter her. He kisses her softly again and looks into her eyes for reassurance. She pulls him slightly closer and opens her legs wider in response.

He slowly slips into her and groans, “Sydney.” His eyes close tightly and leans his forehead against her. Her hands tighten around his neck and she moans, “Julian.” He begins to slowly move in and out of her. His hand squeezes her thigh while the other runs through her hair. His head dips down and kisses her neck. He trails kisses to her shoulder and bites leaving a small red mark. He moves his head down to her breasts taking in a nipple and suckles it softly. Her nails dig into his back and then drag down his spine leaving a red trail. He quickens his pace and returns his mouth to kiss her. She moans into his mouth, “Faster.” He reaches up and pushes her arms above her head. He entraps her wrists with one hand to hold her in place. He roughly clutches her hip with his other hand. He starts to ride her hard. She arches her back and screams, “Julian! You’re going to make me cum again! Oh god! Julian! Julian!” Her walls clench around him causing him to groan but he keeps up the furious pace. He pounds into her causing her to scream louder, “Julian!!!” He thrusts into her one more time before spilling into her. He clenches her hip harder, his head falls onto her shoulder, and he groans, “Sydney! Oh god! Sydney! Sydney!!!” He collapses on top of her panting frantically.

He kisses her shoulder and rolls off of her but pulls her to lie on his chest. After a few moments, she looks up at him with glazed over eyes and grins, “That was unbelievable.” He kisses her forehead and tightens his arms around her pulling her closer to him. She cuddles up against his side, lays a hand on his chest over his heart and giggles, “I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.” He chuckles softly, lifts her chin, and kisses her softly, “Sydney love, I’m not quite through with you yet.”


May 28, 2006
Chapter 6

I sense her breathing evenly still asleep in my arms as I slowly wake from my deep slumber. I feel a slow smile tug at the corner of my lips. I can’t believe after twelve years of dreaming of this beautiful woman she is finally in my arms. I honestly never considered that this moment would ever truly happen. I accepted the fact long ago that she would believe the façade for the rest of her life and hate me for everything I’ve done to her. I knew that once I told her my story that things would never be the same. Selfishly I hoped that she would see me in a different light. See the real me; who’s world has revolved solely around her for so many years without her ever knowing.

She begins to stir in my arms and I feign sleep. Even with her assurances I am not completely confident she won’t regret last night. I’m not sure how I will be able to handle her rejection and return to acting indifferent towards her. I finally have her and I don’t think I have it in me to give her up. I feel her turn in my arms to face me and a hand lies on my chest drawing undefined patterns over my skin. The sensations of her fingertips are causing my skin to burn with need. I build enough courage to open my eyes to face the beauty in my arms. She looks so innocent, so stunning with her body curled up next to mine. I tighten my hold around her and kiss her hair, “Good morning, love.”

Her eyes sparkle with what I hope is joy and genuinely smiles at me, “Good morning.” She leans closer and places a kiss on my chest.

I hold in a sigh of relief and close my eyes. She doesn’t seem to regret last night. In fact, she seems content to remain in my arms. I hear her hum as if she is pondering something and her fingers continue skimming over my chest. My eyes cautiously open to see her deep in thought. A wave of panic washes over me and I believe the consequences of last night’s events are finally occurring to her. I pull away slightly to look her in the eyes, “What are thinking about?”

I suspect she senses the trepidation I am feeling and smiles reassuringly at me, “I’m trying to decide on what to call you.”

I look at her in confusion, “And why would you need to ponder on what to call me?”

She giggles at my question and leans in to give me a soft kiss, “Well, I can’t really call you Sark anymore. It just doesn’t seem right.”

I laugh at her silliness and relax now knowing she is not feeling guilty, “Well, I do think you should still refer to me as Sark when we around other people. I do have an image to uphold. There is always Julian; I do believe I could get used to you calling me by my given name.”

She giggles again and cuddles closer to me, “Of course, but I meant a pet name for you; one that is only mine. Si calls you Laz when it’s just the three of us.”

I kiss her forehead, smiling at her request, “Alright, what options have you come up with?”

She grins happily at me, “Well, Jules is definitely out. Si calls me that and it would be really confusing if I start using it. There is J, Lian or Ian from your first name. As for your last name there is only one that I can come up with since Si calls you Laz and its Rey, which I really don’t think fits you.”

I look at her and see how happy but nervous she is. The only person that I have truly allowed to call me by a nickname is Si. I don’t really mind her calling me by a pet name. It seems to be an intimate gesture between us. I consider the names for a moment and grin, “Well, if I have a say in the matter I do believe I prefer J.”

She grins brightly and the nervousness is swept away. “Good, I like J as well. I think it suits you the best.”

I look at her to see how pleased she seems to be for something so small. I warily admit, “I hope this doesn’t put a damper on your choice but my mother actually called me J.”

She looks down and her fingers become very interesting to her all of a sudden. “Oh, I didn’t know. I can think of some other name. It really isn’t that big of a deal. I was just being silly.”

I lift her chin and kiss her nose. “Shhhhhh, love. I didn’t mean that you couldn’t call me J. I just wanted you to know that it was something my mother used to call me when she was happy. I know you wanted one that was all your own but if you don’t mind I would like it if you would call me J.”

She doesn’t seem too convinced and averts her eyes. “Are you sure? I don’t want to call you something that might bring up painful memories.”

I begin running my fingers through her hair. I grin at how things are so different now between us. She is so unsure of her pet name but I see it as adorable. I do believe I will enjoy getting to know this side of her. “Actually, if anything it would make me happy. I know it might seem odd for you to call me by a nickname my mother used. However, I believe my mother wouldn’t have had it any other way. She would have loved meeting you.”

She looks down slightly embarrassed and unsure. “Ok, if you’re sure.”

I lift her chin to look into my eyes. “I’m sure.” I kiss her gently to reassure her. “So, what pet name do I call you?”

She smirks and says in a serious British tone, “You already have a pet name for me, love”

I laugh at her playfulness and shake me head slightly. “Yes, but I meant more of a personal pet name. What is Julia’s middle name?”


I raise an eyebrow at the irony. “Anastasia, it’s fitting. It means ‘resurrection.’ Let’s see there is Ana, Tasia, Asia, Stacey, Stacia, Tash; what do you think?”

Her eyes twinkle with excitement. “Ana, I like it; it’s close to Sydney’s middle name Anne. But I like Julie too.”

I pull her closer to me and kiss her forehead. This feels so normal. I don’t remember the last time I felt so at ease with someone else. “Well, I like Julie too.” We grin at each other for a moment. I tilt my head slightly and wonder out loud, “Do you think that it is a coincidence that our names are so similar? You were given the feminine version of my first name and we both have Russian middle names.”

She looks away and her expression turns cold. “Don’t forget I was made to be British, blonde, blue-eyed, and a coldhearted assassin who has a fascination for the finer things in life.”

I frown thinking this is all she sees in me; all she will ever see in me. “Is that how you see me?”

She shakes her head and begins playing with strands of her hair to avoid looking at me. “That’s how I used to see you but now you’ve showed me another side of you.”

I’m not completely convinced that her view of me has entirely changed. I wonder if it will ever completely change. I think of how to explain who I am so she will understand. “Mr. Sark is just a guise that I created. I needed to produce an illusion for the world to protect who I really am. Julian is the man behind the mask but not many have seen this side of me.”

She appears to be unsure if she should ask a question. I tilt her head up to look at my questioning eyes. She sighs and finally asks timidly, “How did you come up with name Sark?”

It is my turn to look away. I begin to run my fingers through her hair to try to soothe the painfully memory I haven’t let myself think of in years. “It is actually from the Isle of Sark. It is one of the channel islands of England. My mother and I took trips there for the Midsummer Show. It is an annual competition for the best gardens to the best jams. It was the last trip my mother and I took together before she was killed. I couldn’t use my real name anymore but I wanted some part of my past to remain even if no one else knew.”

She runs her fingertips over my chest and it helps ease the pain. She quietly asks, “Why doesn’t Sark have a first name?”

I sigh softly and continue to play with her hair. “First names are too personal. People use first names to feel more intimate in a situation. Sark is all business; there is no need or desire for people to get closer. I chose Sark in the beginning as just a name; whether it was a first or last name it was what I was to be called. It eventually became Mr. Sark out of respect.”

She nods her head in understanding. “Makes sense, everyone at The Covenant calls me Miss Thorne or Thorne. It keeps people at a distance and more professional.”

I laugh a little thinking over the situations I’ve seen her and other Covenant employees in. “You do hold an air of respect and fear amongst our coworkers.”

She smirks at my comment. “That could be The Covenant’s doing or possibly my reaction to unwanted advances.”

I frown, thinking of different disagreeable situations. “Unwanted advances?”

She has a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Let’s just say that there was a little incident during a sparring match where my opponent was not as smart as Si and didn’t remove his hand where it wasn’t welcomed.”

I grin at the possible harm she could have inflicted. “And what happened to your opponent?”

She laughs and grins. “He ended up in The Covenant’s medical service unit for a week.”

I return her grin. Of course she can take care of herself. “I suppose he learned his lesson after that encounter.”

She nods her head and the grin is still plastered on her face. “As did the rest of The Covenant’s employees. It didn’t take long for the rumors to start circulating. I haven’t had to deal with too many incidents after that.”

I chuckle thinking of the probable rumors that could be floating around. “I can imagine. I have always complimented you on your skills as an agent. You have extraordinary talent but even I was taken aback by your Julia alias.”

She looks down at my chest and sighs. “That’s because it’s not all an act.”

I’m not sure how to take her admission. I feel her tense in my arms and I begin to rub comforting circles on her back. “What do you mean?”

She responds but her voice is lower, distant, and cold. “There was always a part of Sydney that I suppressed; a darker side. Agent Sydney Bristow was the CIA’s top field agent, their prize golden girl. Always did as she was told and got the job done. The patriotic agent; loyal to her country until the day she ‘died.’ There were times when I wanted to scream at the political bulls**t that I had to blindly follow everyday. It was twice as bad when I was a double agent. Having to follow orders from a sadistic bas**rd like Sloane was hard enough. Dealing with the CIA and their archaic methods almost pushed me over the edge. I had to work twice as hard and keep more of myself from the ones that I loved.”

“The times that I would let the fierce side of me creep out; I could see the fear in the eyes of my coworkers. It was as if they saw Irina Derevko or they were scared of what I was capable of. It didn’t matter how much I sacrificed, how much good I did, how much of my life I dedicated to the CIA and to my country; they saw what they wanted to see. Sydney Bristow would always be Irina Derevko’s daughter, The Chosen One, or Project Christmas poster child.”

“The thing that hurt the most was that my dad, Dixon, and Vaughn would look at me in fear. The three most important men in my life were supposed to be my family, to know me better than anyone else, to love me unconditionally. But they could never give me that; not without reservations. I could understand people fearing what they don’t know or understand but not the three of them. They were not supposed to be afraid of me. They were supposed to love and support me. They did to an extent but I could always see it in their eyes. I despised the way they looked at me at times. I detested the way they would try to keep me under control as if I would lose it one day and turn into what they feared most.”

“When I had to become Julia, I knew it all couldn’t be an act. So, I let the brutal side of me out. I had to allow that side of me to take over and repress my calmer Sydney side. It was the only way to completely deceive The Covenant. As I became more accustomed to Julia, I subtlety transformed her identity to be one of my own. I like to think of it as a compromise, a balance between Julia and Sydney; the dark meeting the light. I wear dark and light colors together, leather and silk, sexy skirts with tasteful tops. I dyed my hair auburn; a settlement between brown and blonde; but then put in subtle blonde and brown highlights. I keep up the cold, expressionless persona at all times except when I’m with you and Si. I allow the two of you to see the softer side of me. It’s a delicate balance but it allows me to keep a part of Sydney while I’m Julia.”

I kiss her lightly and look into her eyes. “I understand maintaining a delicate balance of who you are. It was difficult for me in the beginning but I learned to find equilibrium between my identities. Is that why you wanted to have pet names for each other; to have a balance between us?”

She nods guiltily. “Yes, I know it seems like I’m hiding from reality but I’m not. I can’t fully be Sydney and Julia at the same time. But I can be a little bit of both and I thought we should give that part of me a name. I see it in you too. You’re different but not completely.”

I smirk at her recognition. “A mix of Sark and Julian.”

She returns my smirk. “And that makes J.”

I grin at her teasing. “And it makes you Julie. For the record, I’ve always seen the darker side of you. You hid it well but I could see it in your eyes. It was as if there were burning embers in your eyes that would flare up when you were angry or passionate. I would enjoy watching the flames in your eyes. I would even provoke it at times. I saw how you repressed that side of you. I had my suspicions those close to you were trying to control you. I would enjoy encouraging you to let that side out.”

She sighs and nods. “I always thought you could see it. You had a way of seeing through my masks. I never understood how you could do it. It infuriated me how easily you could get under my skin. My mother is the same way. When she was in custody she had a way of reading me no matter how much I tried to hide.”

I tense slightly, unsure of her reaction to my next confession. “I’m not sure how you will feel about this but Irina would talk to me about you. Every year on your birthday she and I would get together and she would tell me what you have been up to that year. For just a few hours she would let her softer side come out and boast of all your accomplishments. I always thought of it as her letting Laura Bristow out. We would never discuss you any other time of the year; at least not in that manner. I don’t believe she ever discussed you to anyone else in that way. I grew fond of the few hours I got to hear Laura talk about you.”

I can sense her apprehension when she asks softly, “She talked about me?”

I kiss her forehead and hold her closer. “Irina is still your mother. She is very proud of you and the woman you’ve become. She has always loved you and your father very much even if she couldn’t be with the two of you.”

I’m aware that she still hasn’t relaxed but I feel it slowly dissolve. She looks up at me and there is dread in her eyes. “It’s still hard to accept the truth when all this time I thought she was evil. That she betrayed my father and me in so many hurtful ways. I convinced myself that she never loved us. That it was all an act to gain information for her assignment or her own personal endgame.”

I caress her cheek hoping to relieve the fear. “It wasn’t all an act. She loves you. She has devoted her life protecting you the only way she can. I know it’s hard to accept the truth but I hope you will give her a chance to at least explain.”

The fear has diminished but I can see it still present in her eyes. “I know I should give her a chance. But I’m petrified that she will disappoint or deceive me again. I don’t think I could handle that again.”

She closes her eyes but not before I see the unshed tears. I stroke her hair and place kisses over her eyelids. I feel the sorrow radiating from her. I hold her close as I whisper into her ear, “I know it’s difficult to let someone back into your heart after so much has transpired. It’s even harder to accept everything that you believed true was a lie. She never wanted to hurt you but she did. It may be asking too much to give her another chance but she really does have your best interests at heart. I won’t push you to forgive her or to see her. I do hope you will though.”

I pull back and see her face contort in emotions of grief and fear. She takes a deep breath and lets out a long sigh. Her eyes open and I see the determination replacing the tears. “I’ll see her but I don’t know if I can forgive her; at least not right now.”

I smile at how strong of a woman she is. “That’s my girl.”

I feel her stiffen in my arms. She looks at me with a stunned expression. “Your girl?”

I try not to show how unnerving her reaction is causing me to feel. “If that’s alright with you. I know it might be too soon for you. You have dealt with an unimaginable amount of life altering events recently. I’ll understand if you’re not ready; if you still have feelings for Michael Vaughn.”

She sighs and pulls away from me. I watch as she sits up and curls her knees up to her chest protectively while keeping her back to me. I can’t seem to ignore the dread that is washing over me. After what seems like forever, she turns to look at me nervously. “This is all very new; whatever is happening between us. I don’t just mean last night. It has only been a week since you’ve told me the truth. It means a great deal to me that you told me; that you’ve let me see this side of you, Julian. I think that we’ve been very honest with one another and I don’t want to hold back from you. I’ve had to hide some part of myself from everyone in my life as Sydney. I know we don’t know everything about one another and that’s fine. But I want to get to know you and you get to know who I am.”

I will myself not to drag her back into my arms. I can feel she needs the space so instead I opt to grasp her hand and squeeze it in encouragement. “I want that too.”

She lowers her head to look at our joined hands. She intertwines are fingers and her grip tightens. Even though she seems to be distancing herself from me I find comfort in the fact that she still hasn’t let go of my hand. Her voice comes out strong and even; nevertheless, I can sense the grief that she is feeling. “The two years before I was kidnapped by The Covenant were difficult. In the beginning I thought my life was as close to being perfect as one could get; I had a fiancé that loved me so much; two best friends that I adored; I was studying for my graduate degree in English Literature; and I was serving my country as an agent doing good for the world. My world collapsed the night I came home and found Danny dead in the bathtub. The future I dreamt of for so long was suddenly ripped from my heart. When I found out the truth about SD-6, I wanted revenge. I regained Sloane’s trust and went to the CIA for help. That’s when I met Vaughn.”

“For almost two years he was my rock; my guardian angel. I couldn’t talk to anyone else about what was going on in my life except for him. He listened to me, it doesn’t seem like much but it was what I really needed to get through it all. We weren’t together long before I was abducted but I loved him so much. Through the torture and conditioning I allowed myself to detach from the situation and think of everyone I loved. It was one of my ways to escape all the pain. Vaughn was a big part of what I concentrated on.”

“I wasn’t entirely honest with you when I told you that the only condition I had for my assignment was that my father be told I was alive. Initially, I wanted both Vaughn and my father to be informed. After I extracted you from the CIA, I had another mission to complete; a simple smash and grab. Once my job was finished I went to see Vaughn. Even though I agreed that I would not make contact with anyone I had to see him. But when I got there he wasn’t alone; he was with another woman. I watched from across the street as he kissed her.”

“At first I was heartbroken and then furious. I couldn’t believe that he moved on so quickly after my ‘death.’ Then I saw a security section team watching Vaughn and the other woman. Although it hurt I knew I had to let him go. I have no idea how long I will be Julia. He has already moved on with his life and is happy. I would only be putting his life in danger if I let him know I was alive.”

“The next few weeks after seeing Vaughn were pretty busy. I didn’t have time to think of much else except for our new mission. The small amount of time I did have, I looked back on our relationship and I realized that maybe we weren’t meant to be. He couldn’t accept all of who I am and I felt like I hardly knew the man he is. Most of the time we were together was spent going over missions or him listening to me rant over my latest problem. He hardly ever spoke of his personal life. He usually listened to me or talked about work and hockey. There will always be apart of me that will love him for everything he has done for me. But I’m not in love with him anymore. So, I’ve let him go and moved on with my own life.”

She finally lifts her head to look at me. I’m taken aback by the amount of emotions that seem to be emanating from her; sorrow, betrayal, and acceptance. I tighten my hold on her hand in support to continue. “The one thing that I’ve learned from our line of work is that life is too short. I realized that you gave me something that no one else has ever been able to give me; acceptance. You accepted all of who I am. I don’t have to hide any part of me.”

I slowly take in all that she has told me and try not to feel too overjoyed. I begin to feel her uneasiness from my lack of response. I want to reassure her that I feel the same. I stroke her cheek with my fingers and stare into her eyes hoping to alleviate her discomfort. “Michael Vaughn is just a boy who could never comprehend just how astonishing of a woman you are. He is a fool to ever give up on you. I accept all of you because it makes you who you are. You are a magnificent woman and I want all of you; the good and the bad. I don’t want you to keep any part of you from me. I do believe we both have had our fair share of hiding. I knew things would change between us once I told you the truth and I do hope it is for the better. I don’t want to keep things from you anymore either. It will take time for us to adjust to this new situation. I’m not accustomed to sharing everything about me. I hope you will be patient with me.”

Her eyes gleam with mixed emotions; sadness, relief, comfort. “I think we both have issues to work on. We have a hard time trusting people and revealing the truth. It will take some time but I’m willing to be patient if you are.”

I pull her towards me and kiss her lightly; enjoying the fact that things seem to be working out between us. “I don’t believe that will be a problem for me as long as I have you.”

She responds with her own gentle kiss and smiles cheerfully. “Good. As much as I would enjoy spending the rest of the day with you in bed; I do think we should get up. If nothing else I need to shower and eat.”

I groan at the idea of ending our peaceful morning. “I suppose if it is absolutely necessary.” I smirk and pull her body flush against mine with playfulness dancing in my eyes. “A shower does sound quite promising.”

She detangles herself from my arms and I reluctantly let her go. I watch and admire the view from the bed as she saunters to the bathroom in all her naked glory. She pauses at the doorway and turns to look at me with lustful eyes. “Coming darling?” She smiles devilishly and disappears into the bathroom.

Not one to pass up an opportunity; I quickly jump out of bed as I hear the shower being turned on and join her. Like everything else in her apartment the bathroom is large, sleek, and stylish. Gleaming white marble tiles and chrome fixtures decorate the room. Black and silver fluffy towels, robes, and bathmats contrast with the brightness of the room. An oversized bathtub with jets sits in one corner. However, my eyes are drawn to the large stand-alone shower on the other side of the room. The shower covers the entire wall with glass doors for entrance.

The glass has already begun to fog from the heat of the water. I can still distinguish her gorgeous form as the water cascades down from several shower heads. I feel my c**k begin to harden at the sight of her. I hastily make my way into the shower, eager to be close to her body. I slip in behind her and wrap my arms around her slender waist. She leans into my body and rubs her a** against my c**k. I groan from the sensation that shoots through my body because of the contact.

Not wanting to give in too quickly, I reach for the shampoo bottle and pour some of the contents into my palm. She turns to face me with an innocent appearance and tilts her head back to allow the water to saturate her long locks. She steps towards me, out of the spray of the water and I squash the urge to take her right then and there. I begin to massage her scalp with the shampoo. It is entirely sensual to watch as her eyelids flutter close and her body relaxes from my touch. I guide her back under the spray to wash away the suds. Running my fingers through her drenched tresses, I place butterfly kisses down her exposed neck.

Picking up a wash cloth, I begin to lather it with body soap. I start to cleanse her neck and slowly make my way down to her chest. The act of washing her body clean brings flashes of how it got so dirty. The images build my deep yearning and I have to steal myself again from my desires. I pay extra attention to her breasts by rubbing large circular motions towards her nipples. I lean down and capture one of her erect nipples with my lips. Sucking gently at first, I then drag my teeth over the bud resulting in a surprised gasp turned into a throaty moan escaping her plump lips. Wanting to continue my exploration, I move to the other breast while washing her toned stomach. Placing my hands on her hips, I direct her to turn around. While bathing her arms and back with the soapy cloth, I admire her striking figure. I kneel down on the tile floor to have better access to wash her toned legs and supple a**. Trailing kisses over her slick skin, I am pleased to feel her legs begin to tremble.

I steer her to sit on the tiled shower seat but remain on my knees. I lift her leg and rub the wash cloth over her foot. Keeping my eyes on her face, I take her big toe into my mouth while massaging the arch of her foot. I watch, memorized by the sight of her arching her back and moaning in pleasure. I rub the cloth up her calf making my way up her thigh. Descending down her other thigh; I purposefully ignore her heated core. A smirk cannot be contained as I hear her groan in frustration. I spread her legs to open wider. A startled look passes over her face as I grab the backs of her knees and harshly drag her to the edge of the seat. Pausing only a brief moment, I savor the shock quickly transforming into waves of passion radiating from her entire being.

Placing one of her legs to drape over my shoulder I gently guide her other leg by the ankle to rest her foot on the tile seat. I begin to rub her lips with the towel taking my time to clean her until I reach her throbbing cl*t. Methodically I draw painfully slow circles around her nub causing her thighs to quiver. Leaning forward I purposefully brush against her heated form to turn on the side showerheads. The water flows down her body magnificently rinsing away the bubbles. Once all the soapy remnants have been washed away I turn the valve off.

My d*ck is agonizingly aching with need to be inside her now. However, my desire to learn every inch of her body, every sensitive spot to drive her wild surpasses my personal wishes. One remarkable evening was not nearly enough to explore and discover. I rub her thigh that is still draped over my shoulder soothingly with my thumb. Leaning forward I blow a cool breath over her opening, then dart my tongue out to lick the juices that have started to drip from her. Enjoying how my actions cause her face to contort in delight, I lap up all of her and finally make my way up to her swollen cl*t. Dragging my tongue over her nub, I reverse the motion grazing her with my teeth. Spreading her lips with my fingers, I soothe the area by sucking tenderly. Vaguely I hear her moans, gasps, and barely coherent murmurs of “Yes”, “More”, “Julian”, and “J”.

I tease her opening with my fingers only allowing the tips of two to enter her. My throbbing c*ck begs for attention but I squash my desires for what seems like the millionth time and focus on pleasing her. After I’ve taunted her long enough I glide a finger inside of her and feel her warm, wet walls clench around my finger. I add a second finger leisurely sliding in and out of her moving my fingertips in circular motions. I greedily devour her cl*t and twirl my tongue. Her moans and hands gripping my short hair tightly increase my need to have her cum all over my face. I intensify my exploits satisfyingly pushing her over the edge and her screams echoing off of the tiled walls. Wanting to prolong her climax as long as possible, I deepen my actions to enhance her orgasm. Her hips thrash against my mouth as I am gladly rewarded with louder screams and incoherent mumblings of satisfaction. Slowly bringing her down from her high, I lap up all of her wanting to taste every last drop as her body quakes around my head.

The sight of her purely satisfied boosts my healthy male ego as I remove her leg from my shoulder and stand up from my kneeled position. Kissing her lips softly but affectionately, I proudly watch her flushed body come down from her orgasm. Moving under the water spray, I continue to smugly observe her struggle to regain her composure. Quickly I wash my hair and body and take pleasure in the fact she still hasn’t caught her breath.

Her body rests limply against the tiled wall. Hazy, chocolate eyes finally flutter open and are glazed over with satisfaction. She eyes me with fiery desire; slowly taking in my body from head to toe. The heat of her gaze burns my skin, leaving a scorched and tingly trail. Pausing at the sight of my arousal, her eyes flicker with scarcely controlled hunger. Standing on unsteady legs she beckons me to come closer with an extended hand. Incapable of denying her, I approach anxiously awaiting her next move. Her hands wonder over my wet skin while holding my searing gaze. I’m not entirely convinced the steam billowing throughout the room is solely from the warm water.

She forces me to sit on the shower seat with strong hands gripping my shoulders. I comply readily allowing her to take control. Knees push apart my legs giving her room to stand in between them. My rock hard pe*is excitedly jumps when she kneels down mirroring my earlier position. Her fingernails rake down my chest causing my muscles to stiffen. She extends a hand to turn on the side showerheads and warm water washes down my body. Her nails scratch lightly down my thighs, followed by her lovingly massaging the red marks away.

In attempt to clear my hazy mind and maintain some control over my body, I close my eyes when she begins to trail kisses over my chest. A sharp hiss escapes between my clenched teeth from the scraping of her teeth over my nipple. The motion of her tongue twisting around the sore area triggers a low moan to rumble from my throat. My abs clench from the sensations her licking is causing me to feel. I can’t contain the gasp when her hand surrounds my excruciatingly stiff d*ck. She laughs at my response but I ignore it when she continues her soft, torturous kisses. Tangling my hand in her hair, she unhurriedly travels down my torso. My grip tightens when I feel her hot breath over my throbbing erection. The suspense nearly rips apart my well practiced self-discipline. Her tongue drags up my shaft and I pant from her torturously slow pace. Finally she takes all of me into her warm, wet mouth. I restrain myself to not force her head down faster when she takes her time reaching the base of my c*ck. The craving for completion pounds through my veins nearly ending this experience before it began.

Her head bobs up and down while massaging my d*ck with her tongue. Everything she does is causing my blood to pulsate with pleasure throughout my body. I groan in frustration when she removes her mouth. However, my eyes snap open in surprise when I feel a new sensation enveloping my c*ck. Tilting my head down slightly, I almost cum when I see one of the most erotic sights. She presses her breasts together to surround my d*ck. The water spilling down my body pools at our juncture.

I am entranced by the vision before me as she begins to bounce on her knees rubbing my d*ck between her soft mounds. Her head tilts down and I feel her tongue encircling my tip. Squeezing my eyes tightly closed when her motions vigorously increase and presses her tits together further to rub my c*ck harder. I throw my head back in ecstasy as she spreads the pre-cum over my tip with her velvety tongue. I feel her move a hand down to play with my swollen balls while keeping her breast in place with her arm. I tighten my grip in her hair and can’t stop the pleading screams of, “Oh God, Julie! That feels so good! I’m going to cum! Don’t stop! F*ck! PLEASE DON’T STOP!”

I’m about to cum all over her chest when abruptly she leans down and takes all of me into her mouth. “F*CK!! JULIE!” The warmth of the inside of her mouth and the tightness of her lips surrounding my aching c*ck causes me to explode. I continue to moan her pet name as she moves her head over my shaft until I’ve emptied all of me into her mouth. Gasping for air to fill my lungs, my body is humming with bliss. My eyes snap open to look down at her when I feel her lick me one last time and release me from her mouth. The sight of her eyeing me seductively with a coy smile plastered on her face as she swallows doesn’t help me regain control over my motor functions or cause my breathing to even out.

I reach out a hand to help her stand but my numb muscles don’t do much to assist her. Her knowing and arrogant expression is my punishment for my previous smugness. However, it is a punishment I will gladly accept if it always results in feeling like I do now. I tug her towards me and she straddles my lap. Wrapping my arms tightly around her waist; I need to feel as much of her skin pressed against mine. Pulling back I look into her eyes. The connection that we possess exceeds spoken words. It is a bond that has always been present but one she has denied until recently. Her acceptance not only strengthens the link but our trust in one another.

My hand pushes back a lock of wet hair behind her ear and then cups her cheek. “You’re absolutely exquisite, do you know that?” She remains silent but leans into the palm of my hand and traces the contours of my face with her fingertips. Content with the intimacy, I emulate her actions and outline the striking curves of her face. I rub her plump bottom lip with two fingertips. Her tongue creeps out to lick my fingers and draws them into the confines of her warm, moist mouth. My breath stills as she begins to suck lightly and swirl her tongue. Her hips begin to gently rock back and forth in my lap and I feel her slick folds stroke my already half-harden c*ck. My free hand massages her breast provoking a muffled moan to sound deep in her throat. I reluctantly free my fingers from her delectable mouth and press my lips tenderly against hers.

I feel her fingernails roughly scrape against my scalp as she deepens the kiss and her hips grind into my throbbing d*ck. Unable to restrain myself any longer, I lift her hips and impale myself into her forcefully. We both still and moan loudly from the overwhelming sensations of being intimately connected. All of my well practiced control seems to disappear whenever I am around her. My energy and thoughts all focus on giving this one woman as much pleasure as I possibly can. I move my hands to cover her firm a**. Squeezing her round cheeks, I thrust my hips upward. I watch entranced as she throws her head back and gasps out her enjoyment of my actions. Her hips begin to move in time with my slow but steady thrusts. Her name escapes my lips on an exhale and our eyes connect. Both sets of irises a brilliant cerulean; one set real, one set an illusion but both burn with equal passion.

The need for completion slowly but steadily builds inside of me. My hands tighten their hold and shift her hips to a new angle so I can pound into her. Our moans and screams of ecstasy echo throughout the steamy room. I feel myself losing control as my body demands release. My lips latch onto her slick collarbone licking the water that streams done her tone body. The scorching, drenched walls that surround my engorged d*ck begin to pulsate. Her nails break the skin on my back as I thrust my hips faster and harder. The pain only brings a new level of physical bliss. I know I can’t hold back for much longer. My thumb moves to where we are joined to rub her swollen cl*t. Her screams of pleasure only makes me more determined to f*ck her senseless. I press my hand on her lower navel in hopes to push her over the edge from the inside too. The reward for my new position is her momentarily pause while I plunge wildly into her. Her back arches dangerously far, her hands grip painfully at my shoulders, and she screams my name while shuddering in my lap. I finally let go of my restraint and pour everything I have into her. The tight, pulsating grip of her walls only pulls me deeper into her and heightening my orgasm. I know my grip on her a** is unyielding enough to leave bruises but I can’t lessen its hold. I scream her name and latch onto her shoulder biting hard enough to leave a nasty bruise. As the world around us fades away, I feel her falling into her second orgasm. The bursts of light behind my clenched eyelids draw me further into euphoria. With one last thrust that pushes her to cum again, I collapse against the shower wall.

A/N: I’ve had the worst case of writer’s block. I’m not sure if/when I will update again. I will do my best to write the ending but I can’t make any promises. In any case, hope you enjoy Chapter 6! :shamefullyembarrased:
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