"Enemies - A Love Story" (AU)


Nov 3, 2004
Berlin, Germany

As promised, here comes another story. The ones of you who have already read "Show Me Heaven"*, know what kind of stories I write. This one is gonna be no different - on the contrary. It's probably getting even more kitschy.
But this time I tried to make Irina more the character she is in Alias (so, not a weak woman, but a strong and courageous revolutionist who is absolutely equal to Jack). That combined with the setting in old England - the times of lords and ladies - should form a passionate love story full of hate, rage and of course passion and love.
Also another difference. When I published the first chapter of 'Show Me Heaven'* I had already finished that story. This time I have only written seven parts by now, wach one pretty short, and due to my limited time I plan to publish one chapter every week, so I'll have enough time to write on. Now, I don't count the prologue as one part since it's only an introduction. so for now a longer part. I hope you enjoy this story as much as you enjoyed 'Show Me Heaven'. To me this is even more exciting now since I don't know yet, where we're going with this story. :LOL:
Oh, and we don't only have Irina and Jack in this story, but the whole bunch of Derevko sisters... I just came up with my own little Elena and I hope you liek her. ;)

I'm looking forward to a wonderful time with the characters, the plot and of course all of you... ^_^ ^_^

*Show Me Heaven => This story can be found in the OOa section of the Serenades archive.

Author: Kimberley Jackson
Title: Enemies – A Love Story
Rating: R
Category: AU/OOA (Out Of Alias)
Summary: England, 1570 - Irina Derevko is a terrorist and a spy who aims at killing England’s queen. She’s a courageous woman, hiding her dangerous life behind her noble name. Nobody at court would have gotten the idea that Lady Irina Derevko and her sisters are playing leading roles in the terrorist ring. Her cover seems perfect until one evening she’s fascinated by one of the contacts she was to meet. Not knowing that he is the queen’s chief of security, she flirts with him, even tells him her forename. The queen’s personal counselor in security, Jack Bristow, is also fascinated by the courageous and beautiful woman. It’s the start of an adventure in which two enemies have to learn to trust each other and look behind the lies they have learned to believe their whole life...

Betareader: Cmste (Thank you so much! :flower: )

This story was actually started before Show Me Heaven*, but then discarded as 'BAD'. When I pulled it out again about three months later, I found that it was quite readable and with some changes could actually be a good story. So this is why you will find Maggie in here, a character which was later also written into 'Show Me Heaven'. I thought, this might be nice since you liked Maggie a lot and I also got very fond of her. So here she is again... Old Maggie.
And another note: Unfortunately I don't know much about English history. I tried to be correct about the names and dates (thanks to my beta cmste at this part! :hug: ), but the other facts certainly did not happen as I described them. Just wanted to say that... although it shoul be kind of clear since this is not a history book and clearl marked as AU. :LOL:

Dedication: This one is dedicated to all the muses that inspire me every day and sometimes make me see a whole story in just a scenery in usual life. Although soem people don't believe in them, I do... so they deserve to be honored.


England - 1545

She was alone in the forest... all alone and she was afraid. The large trees around her seemed to threaten her. They seemed to get closer and closer together to imprison her in their midst.

Little Irina started to run.

“Mom... Mommy! Daddy!” Tears filled her eyes, and when she looked down she found herself standing in her nightclothes in the forest. The voices behind her got closer. The trees were against her, darkness was against her... they would betray her and tell the soldiers where to find her. She pressed her teddy close to her chest - the only thing she had been able to save from their house.

Over and over again she tried to run, but her legs wouldn’t move – her mind paralyzed by the pictures she had witnessed, frozen by the fear she felt inside. Suddenly, somebody pulled her into the bushes.

“Shhht... don’t cry... don’t move. It’s me...” Katya was there, her older sister by four years, covering her mouth softly with her hand and pulling her shaking little body against her own. Irina found Elena lying in her arms, sleeping. They heard the soldiers passing by and pressed closer into the depths of the bushes.

The men yelled orders to each other and slowly their voices went away. Only when they were merely whispers in the distance, the sisters dared to move.

“Where are mommy and daddy?” Irina asked under tears, her voice a hushed whisper.

Katya looked away, evading her eyes, and was about to get up. “We can’t stay here. We have to leave... remember that house dad told us about? We have to...”

“Kat... where is daddy... and mommy?” Irina’s voice was louder now, filled with panic and she grabbed her sister’s arm, unwilling to let her go. “We have to go back! We have to help them! Those men want to hurt them!”

The nine-year-old Katya looked at her younger sister and touched her cheek. Then, without the slightest hint of emotion the words left her lips – words that formed the unbearable truth.

“We can’t help anymore. Mom is dead... and they took dad with them. Come on now!”

Irina just stared into her cold face, then she slapped her sister hard while tears streamed down her cheeks.

“You’re lying! You mean little b*tch are lying! Mom forbid you to do that just to tease me! I HATE YOU!” She screamed, not caring for the soldiers who might still hear them, even if they were already far away. Before Katya could grab her sister, Irina jumped up and just fled into the darkness, not caring where she ran to. Her perfect little world seemed shattered, all her dreams of a bright future broken, since she knew deep within that Katya’s words had not been a lie.

She kept running, although her lungs seemed about to burst, until she could make out the shape of their large house in the distance. Reaching it, she stormed through the old metal gate and through the open front door into the house. Everything was destroyed, the most valuable things stolen.

Irina ran up the stairs. “Mommy! Mommy! I’m gonna help you! Where are you? I’m not gonna let them hurt you...” She searched every room, while the tears streamed silently down her cheeks, until she found the woman in the kitchen. She was lying on the table, her eyes closed, her dress soaked with blood and her skin bruised. The little girl started to cry, deafening, pulling at her mother’s hand. She climbed onto a chair, then onto the table and shook her mother’s shoulders slightly. When the woman didn’t move, she finally broke down in tears and pressed her little cheek to her mother’s chest, just as they had so often done when they were lying on the armchair where her mother had been reading to her.

She had enjoyed listening to her mother’s voice, feeling safe in her warm arms, and finally falling asleep with the rhythmic sound of her mother’s heart at her ear. Now all this was gone. The so familiar sound of her heartbeat was gone and suddenly Irina knew for sure that her mother would never read to her again. She wrapped her little arms around the dead body, unwilling to let go.

“Mom... don’t leave me... Please come back... Mommy! MOMMY...”

Her nightmare had begun with the awful sound of splitting glass and angry yells earlier that night. Shortly after that her mother had stormed into her room, pushing her outside into the dark floor, urging her to move faster.

“Run...” she had whispered. “Hide in the woods, sweetheart... you gotta go...”

“Mommy... what about you?”

“I’m gonna be okay sweetheart. Run...” She had pulled her daughter to her chest, then removed the little medallion from her neck and put it around her daughter’s little neck. “See, I will lend you this and you will give it back to me when we see one another again later. Alright? I promise, I’ll be fine! I love you, honey... now go...”

That had been the last time she had seen her mother alive. And now she was lying here, dead, her body slowly getting colder.

“Mommy... you’ve promised...” the girl sobbed then her voice broke.

It was about two days later when the woman found the little girl hugging the dead body of her mother. She was the daughter of one of the peasants in the nearby village and had barely enough to eat. So she was always looking around for work or something to steal. The broken windows and the open front door of the house had caught her attention and so she had entered the house, hoping to find anything valuable. But what she saw when she entered the little kitchen almost broke her heart. Her mind worked unbelievably rationally when she understood that the child was not dead, as she had assumed at first. She tried to pull the girl away from her dead mother, and when she refused, she softly loosened the little fingers from the clothing and took her into her arms.

“Shhh.... it’s okay, little one.”

At first Irina was unable to move, she just sobbed, her whole mind caught in a state of shock, her body weak from hunger and coldness, but when the woman went to leave the room, she started to struggle and beat the woman.

“No! NO... Mommy... Don’t take me away from my mom...”

It took the woman quite some time to calm the girl down. “Your mother is dead, darling...” she explained softly and finally Irina broke down on the ground. The woman went to her knees next to her, unable to soothe the pain of the girl. When her tears had subsided, Irina just stared paralyzed at her little teddy which was red from blood.

The strange woman started to clean her face from blood and tears and finally smiled.

“I am Maggie... what is your name?”

Irina just looked at her, refusing to let her take the teddy to wash it, instead she pressed it to her heart as if her life depended on it. Maggie’s face got serious again and she touched the girl’s cheek.

“It’s okay if you don’t want to tell me... Are you hungry?”

When Irina nodded slowly, Maggie smiled and lifted her up into her arms. “Fine... then I will take you to my house and arrange for a meal for you... okay?”

Irina just looked at her and Maggie carried her out of the house. She left the property through the gate and went onto the small stony way into the direction of the village.

“Irina...” A tiny voice finally whispered. “My name is Irina Derevko.”

“Nice to meet you, Irina Derevko.” Maggie replied, smiling.

She took the girl into her house and started to research about what had happened. She learned that the dead woman was Lady Tatyana Derevko.

English soldiers had raided the Derevko’s property that night, had raped and killed Irina’s mother, then kidnapped her father. She also learned that Irina had two sisters, one elder than her and the other one still a baby, and did everything to find them. The people in the village helped her and searched the whole region until they finally found them hidden in a house deep in the forest.

Two weeks after that, Irina’s father reappeared. He had been able to escape the soldiers before they reached the tower prison. Not able to express how glad he was that Maggie had taken care of his children despite the fact that she was so poor that she was barely able to buy enough food for herself, he took the woman with him to take care of the girls. After burying his dead wife, he left the region and settled far away in a new home.

Lord Sergeji Derevko hoped that the new place and the obviously warm-hearted, friendly woman would make his daughters forget someday about what they had been forced to experience that night.

He didn’t even guess how much the happenings had changed his two eldest daughters. Katerina and Irina had given each other the promise that they would live their lives taking revenge for the crime that had been done to their family. They were determined to kill the person who had ordered the soldiers to raid their house that night – Elizabeth, queen of England.

Part 1 – Two hearts

England 1570

The nights were dark and humid, not much of a difference to the temperature of the day. The sky was black, only the moon spending some light and millions of stars shimmering like diamonds.

There was no chance the dark figure that ran through the forest could be seen by anyone. The person seemed to know exactly where to go. The dark cape prevented her from being recognized.

Only when she could make out a small fire somewhere between the trees she stopped running. Carefully she approached the small clearing, finding a man sitting at the fire – her contact? Probably, but it could as well be a trap and she wasn’t very fond of the thought of spending the rest of her life in the Tower Prison.

She took a deep breath and decided that it was best to check the situation. She stepped out of the woods, approaching the fire slowly.

When the man suddenly got aware of not being alone anymore he jumped up and pointed his weapon on the dark figure.

“Who are you?” His voice was leveled and totally under control. He was obviously not afraid at all.

“I’m sorry, Sir, I got lost in these woods...” she said in the most miserable tone she was capable of.

“A woman?” He dropped his gun. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. Where is your maid... or your servants?”

“I went here alone...”

“Why would you do something stupid like that?” he asked with a certain amount of amusement in his voice. She decided that they had made enough smalltalk.

“I had my reasons... what are you doing here?”

“Spending the night...” he answered unwillingly.

“Alone?” That question of hers had been wrong. His mistrust immediately returned and he looked around.

“Why – is a group of outlaws waiting in the dark to rob me?” he asked and looked at her. “Show me your face.”

“The night is too dark for the elves to light it!” she murmured the keywords and saw him stiffen.

“The day is too light for the devil to darken it.” He replied his part of the keywords. “You are my contact? A woman?”

“If you have a problem, I will go away and tell our leader that you aren’t willing to talk to a woman. We’ll see whether he will still be interested in helping you then!”

“I just didn’t expect a woman to be sent on this dangerous meeting. Where I come from a woman would be scared of going alone into the forest at day – not even to mention at night.” He replied amused and sat down.

“I am not like the other women!” she replied coldly. “Can we talk business now?”

“You’re pretty straight-forward, Miss...”

“There is no need for you to know my name.” She replied and sat down opposite to him, careful to keep her face in the shadow of her cape.

“But I’m sure they’ve told you my name. That’s an advantage for you. Another advantage would be, that you can see my face, I can’t see yours!”

“I’m just here to discuss the plan, which I will deliver to the leader then. There is no need to know more of me than that.”

“Fine, but I don’t feel comfortable talking to a person I can’t see the face of. Or, Milady, are you afraid of being too ugly to take that cape off? Well, that wouldn’t amaze me - a woman who runs through a forest at night can certainly not have the class of a true...” He interrupted himself and caught his breath when she finally revealed her face to him. Her eyes were sparkling with fury - so far she had reacted as he had wanted her to, but that was the only thing he had been prepared for. Full brown hair framed a face as beautiful as he had never seen before. She must be of his age, maybe a little younger and yet she looked breathtakingly beautiful. Her eyes, which were gleaming dark in the dim light of the fire, together with her appearance gave her the most delightful exotic look he had ever seen.

“You decide.” She hissed at his provocations and her eyes never left his.

Mental note, he thought, she must be a woman of a higher rank. No other woman he had met by now had been able to look that intensely into the eyes of a man – except for the queen herself. He almost felt sorry for her when he thought about the fate she would have. As soon as she left the clearing she would be caught by his soldiers waiting in the shadows of the trees.

“So, what is your message? When is the queen to be assassinated?”

“Who is your assassin?”

“That’s none of your business!”

“I need to know!”

“No, Mr. March, you want to know. There’s a difference!” she replied dryly and he wondered whether she was married. What was her status? It didn’t take him much time to make his decision. He got up and went around the fire to sit down next to her. She looked at him with raised eyebrows.

“I have to warn you. I may seem like a weak woman, but the moment you make any inappropriate move, you will never see dawn again.” Her voice was neutral and she didn’t seem to be afraid at all – amazing, he thought to himself. Just as she had said, she was definitely not like any woman he had met before now.

He lowered his face to hers, until they were only inches apart. He felt her reaching for something and caught her wrist in his.

“Listen to me!” he demanded before she could stab him – or whatever had been in her mind. “I am not Mr. March.”

She looked into his eyes, obviously knowing what his revelation meant. “So then I take it that March is dead, you tortured him for the information where to meet me and now you’re here to arrest me. Nice... what’s your name?”

Her ability to put the pieces together was unsurpassed, he had to admit that silently.

“Bristow. My team of fifty soldiers is waiting in the forest to arrest you as soon as you leave this clearing.”

She looked at him, her expression not changing. “So then I’m going to die...”

“You’re a woman, Miss...?” He looked at her, the question standing in his face. When she didn’t react he couldn’t help but grin amused. “Don’t you think this would be a good time to tell me your name?”

“There’s never a good time for that when talking to one of the bastards who serve the queen. So, what do you expect from me? You are certainly not telling me all of this for no reason.” His eyes – good god - she had never seen beautiful eyes like his. It felt like she was drowning in them like quicksand – the more she struggled against it, the faster she sank.

“No, you’re right. I’m telling you because I offer you to work for us as a mole. You’re a woman and I would hate to see you tortured.”

“You’re helping me... interesting. What do you expect me to do? Share your bed?” she challenged with a hint of disgust in her voice and looked away into the darkness of the trees. It shocked her how much she liked just thinking about the possibility to go to bed with this man – a man she didn’t even know!

“Your opinion of me is not the best, is it?” he asked. “I want to help you and spare you the torture and prison, in return I want you to help me in securing the queen. Help me bring the rebels down, as my contact.”

“You’re asking me to save my own life by betraying my people and ideals! No man with the slightest hint of honor in his blood would agree to an offer like that!” she hissed into his face and he smiled.

“I appreciate your honesty – not to mention your loyalty towards yourself. You’re an amazing woman, ...” Again the hidden question for her name. She sighed.

“Irina...” she murmured. “That’s the only name you get from me.”

“Irina...” he repeated and before she knew what was happening, his lips touched hers in the lightest kiss. “I promise, all you have to do is inform me about the plans of the rebels. That’s all I expect...” The next kiss was deeper, more playful and set their blood to fire. When they broke apart, he let go of her wrist.

“What’s your answer?” he asked and she smiled.

“My answer is...” She looked into his eyes for a moment. “...that I can’t be bought, Mr. Bristow. It’s a gracious offer, but no thank you!” Her thumb stroked over his lip in a soft gesture, then suddenly she pushed him away hard, jumped up and fled into the darkness of the forest.

He moaned in a mixture of pain and surprise and got up to go after her, when he heard the forest coming to life. Obviously his soldiers were already taking care of her. He sighed. Never ever had there been somebody contradicting him. At court the men never did question his orders or offers and the women usually wanted to draw his attention. But she was different – she was honest. The first woman who had pushed him away – not only literally, but also practically. By doing so she had caught his interest.

About half an hour later the captain of his soldiers entered the clearing.

“Sir, she’s gone!”

“What do you mean by gone?”

“Well... she sort of disappeared!”

“Was there an army of rebels defending her?” Being asked that sarcastic question, the captain shook his head. Jack Bristow was calm, his expression neutral – which was very dangerous. “Then how can she just disappear? You were fifty soldiers against one single woman!”

“I don’t know! We’ve searched everywhere!”

“Well then search again! I want you to find her and take her to pris... no, take her to me! I want to talk to her!”

“Yes, Sir.”

The man hurried away and Jack sighed. After all, it was his fault. What had been the matter with him telling her that this was a trap? He couldn’t blame his men. If he hadn’t told her, but arrested her first, then offered her to work with him, she wouldn’t have been able to flee. But somehow her charm had enchanted his reason – which was the most amazing thing since she hadn’t even tried to be nice.

Irina, he thought. Well, she should be easy to find. Irina wasn’t a usual name and since she had been here without a horse or any other kind of transportation, she most likely lived somewhere near this forest. Next time he would be prepared for her tricks.

To be continued...
Mar 12, 2003
Hey it sux that sd-1 is down so u can't post more of this amazing story but I'm posting here to say how lovly and amazing it truly is please hurry with more please :redhair:


Nov 3, 2004
Berlin, Germany
Here are some more parts. ^_^

Thanks to cmste for betareading!

Part 2 – Comedies

Two days later

“Katya, Katya!”

The woman ran over the grass of the wide field towards the huge house. She didn’t bother to wait until the housemaid opened up, but climbed over the gate and ran to the door. Before she could knock it was opened, the strict face of the maid looking at her.

“Miss Elena, how often did I tell you to wait until I open up. A woman doesn’t just climb...”

“Sorry, Maggie... is my sister here?”

“Which one?” the woman asked.

“Oh my god, Irina is here?” Elena passed her by. “Where is she?”

“She’s in the living room... at least she was when I looked five minutes ago!”

“I thought she went to London yesterday!”

“No, she didn’t. Something went wrong on the operation two days ago. She could be recognized if near the queen. Katya went to London instead of her.”

“Damn it!”

“Miss Elena!” Maggie cried out, almost breaking down. She had raised the three women. While she had managed to make Katya and Irina true ladies – at least sort of – she had failed gloriously in Elena’s case. “For the hundredth time: Women don’t curse!”

“What’s going on?” Irina looked out of the large living room, a book in her hand.

“Oh, Irina, why haven’t you gone to London?”

“Because Katya went! Nice to see you too, by the way. Where have you been? Crawling in the bushes?” Irina looked in disbelief at the totally ruined dress of her younger sister. It really looked as if she had just been swimming in a puddle of dirt.

“Stop being sarcastic! There’s someone down in the village, asking for you.” Elena explained, trying to catch her breath. “The baker’s wife told him that a woman called Irina lived up here. When I spoke to the librarian, he told me this man is a high ranking counselor at court. And he’s on his way...”

“Damn it!” Irina hissed and Maggie had to hold on to the wall when she heard the second woman start to curse.

“What the hell did you do to catch the attention of the head of the queen’s army?” Elena asked her, panicked.

“Nothing... well... I showed my face to one of the soldiers. I couldn’t know that it was a set up!”

“And did you write your name on your forehead or what?” Elena snapped. “How the hell does he know your name?”

“I told him!” Irina admitted and now it was Elena almost breaking down.

“She told him!” she said to Maggie and turned to Irina again. “Are you out of your mind? Why not handing him a list with everybody involved, shackling yourself, and turning yourself in to prison? Wouldn’t make much of a difference, would it?” Elena asked Maggie with a huge amount of sarcasm in her voice. The old maid shook her head strictly to cut her off.

“However, your sarcasm is not very helpful here,” Maggie said sharply. “Instead of discussing what you can’t change anyway you should rather hide, Irina!”

“That’s ridiculous. I’m not hiding! You just don’t let him in, Maggie.” Irina decided, her voice certain and without fear.

“Well, problem number two. He has a letter that allows him to search every house... so he doesn’t need our permission to get in. That’s the problem when the security of the queen is endangered!” Elena reported and Irina turned around.

“In that case, I’ll really leave the house and go somewhere else...”

“Where?” Elena and Maggie asked at the same time.

“Somewhere. No need to tell you. The less you know the less information you can give away. Elena, hang your white blanket out of the window when he’s gone!” Irina said, and rushed away. Elena and Maggie looked at each other, then Maggie set herself into motion.

“Okay, Miss Elena, you look like you’ve just run here from the village – which you did, so I suggest we make you look like a lady. Here’s the plan. You pretend to be Irina. Come on... you’ve got to change!”

About twenty minutes later Elena was looking like the perfect lady. Maggie had done her best to turn her boyish outside into a female one, and she was content with her work.

Only five minutes later they heard noise at the gate. Maggie left the house.

“May I help you?” she asked the visitor outside the large metal gate and the man looked at her through the bars.

“I was told in the village that a woman named Irina lives here. I need to talk to her.”

“I’m afraid, Lady Irina is unavailable at the moment.” Maggie replied courteously and the man frowned his forehead, then pulled out the official letter which allowed him to enter the house. “Oh... I’m sorry, Sir, I didn’t know you were sent by the queen.” She opened the door and let him in.

Elena was sitting in the living room, reading. When Maggie knocked, she sat up straight and played the lady of the house.

“Milady, there’s a man who wants to talk to you.” She winked at Elena and the woman got up.

“Maggie, didn’t I tell you to send all visitors away today?”

Maggie had almost started to laugh at the arrogant tone in Elena’s voice which was usual at court. She had to admit that, even if Elena was not at all a lady to show around, she was certainly an excellent actress. “I’m sorry, Miss, but he’s been sent by the queen.”

“Fine, send him in.”

Maggie opened the door and let the man enter the room. He looked around and when he caught glimpse of the woman in the armchair, he raised his eyebrows.

“This is not Irina!”

“Excuse me?” Elena got up and Maggie didn’t believe her eyes when she behaved like a true lady in her reaction. “Have you come to my house to offend me, Sir? Isn’t it habit at court to introduce yourself when entering a house? I can’t remember you having done so!” She sounded really offended and Maggie had a hard time trying to hide her grin, since she knew that usually Elena didn’t care a penny for habits and manners.

“I apologize. My name is Jack Donahue Bristow, Lord of Kent, I’m here to talk to Irina – which is not you!” His voice was level, but the way he said the words allowed no contradiction.

“Maggie, would you tell this gentleman who I am?”

“Sir, this is Lady Irina Laura Derevko, daughter of Sir Sergeji Vladimir Derevko!” Maggie presented Elena in the most perfect manner.

“The baker told me, Lady Irina’s hair was long and brown. This lady’s hair is short and brown.”

“Um... I had it cut yesterday!” Elena explained.

“Interesting... especially since it was still long when you were in the bakery this morning!” Jack stated courteously and Elena looked at Maggie, silently pleading for help.

“Miss Irina suffers from an illness, Sir. She’s unable to measure time... she’s a little crazy.” She pronounced the last word lower as if Elena mustn’t hear it, and Jack looked at her, quite amused by the comedy those two women were playing here obviously.

“I cut her hair two hours ago.” Maggie hurried to add and smiled friendly.

“As much as I enjoy this little play, I’d rather talk to Irina herself now.” He finally said. “And I suppose you’re Elena – her sister with short brown hair.”

“What are you, a goddamned spy?” Elena snapped insulted and let herself fall to her chair, all manners suddenly gone. She hated to lose. “You’re right, I’m Elena. Irina is currently unavailable.”

“Where is she?”

“She’s in London.” Elena lied and again Maggie was surprised how convincing her words sounded. This time not even Jack Bristow seemed to have doubts.

“In London?” he asked and shook his head in disbelief.

“Yes. I assume that you’re the person who almost caught her two nights ago. She thought that you would be busy with searching for her here, because after you have seen her you would think that she would never be foolish enough to go to London. So that’s where she went.”

“Point for her!” he murmured and looked from one woman to the other. “Would you excuse me? I have to... go to London!”

“Bristow!” Elena snapped and Maggie gasped for air at this absolutely insulting address, expecting to watch her lady be arrested at once.

“Miss Elena?” Jack replied controlled and turned around once more to look at the woman.

“What do you want from Irina?”

“I want to talk to her... that’s all!” he replied and Maggie looked at him surprised, then her eyes rested on him thoughtfully.

“Oh, I believe you!” Elena said sarcastically. “Talk to her in the torturing room of the Tower, right?”

“No. Just talk to her!” he answered and turned around.

“Irina told me that it was a soldier she gave her identity to, not a Lord or higher ranking officer. I think you’re lying to us about being the one who met her.”

“I was in disguise – she probably thinks I’m just a common soldier. We could resolve those doubts if she was here to talk to me. Since that’s not the case, any kind of discussion is useless. Have a nice day.”

With these words he left. Maggie was so confused that she didn’t even accompany him out the door. The two women looked at each other, then they rushed to the window and observed him leave.

“I don’t know...” Maggie finally said as he was gone. “It seemed as if he really just wanted to talk to her.”

To be continued....


Nov 3, 2004
Berlin, Germany

Part 3 – Tricks

They waited another two hours, peeking through the small window of the kitchen to be sure Jack Bristow didn’t return, until Maggie went upstairs to hang the white sheet out of Elena’s room.

When Irina saw it, she left her hiding spot and went carefully out of the small forest over the field back to the house. She wore a blouse and the pants the tailor had made for her. Women in pants were scandalous – but she didn’t care. She needed them on her operations. Long dresses were a curse for every woman who had to run and be able to defend herself.

When she reached the large fence behind the house, she climbed over it like she and her sisters had always done in their childhood. Despite its height of almost three meters, the sisters were very well trained in climbing over it – a fact which had driven their father crazy. Irina sighed when she remembered her father. He had died eleven years ago in a revolt, killed by a soldier of the queen. The whole fight had been a massacre. The revolutionists had never had a chance, yet the soldiers had slaughtered them in the most cruel fight. When she had still been unsure whether fighting was the right way – despite her mother’s death – that day had changed her mind. She was determined to kill the queen with her own hands to take revenge for the useless deaths of her parents.

She looked to the ground, scanning it carefully for larger stones before she jumped into the garden. When she lost a shoe during the process she cursed silently. She bent down to collect it out of Maggie’s roses, when a voice startled her.

“I don’t know, London has changed a lot, don’t you think?” She spun around, her face in shock when Jack Bristow was standing right behind her, looking around in the garden. “Not at all the London I remember!”

She didn’t know what he was talking about, and actually she wasn’t even interested in learning. All that mattered was that he was here – in her garden. Fleeing into the house was not an option, neither was going the same way back since he would have caught her before she even reached the fence. But running through the front gate was possibly worth trying...

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” she finally stated and pulled on her lost shoe slowly.

“So, Lady Irina Laura Derevko.” His voice was almost tender. “Nice to meet you again.”

“I wish I could return that.” She replied coolly. “But, unfortunately, my amount of time is limited and I don’t waste it on lies!”

“Charming as always.” Jack replied coolly. “I knew that you were somewhere near the house when I found your sister and your maid playing this little comedy inside.”

“How smart you are... I’d be impressed if you weren’t such a prick.” With these words she started to run. She had an advantage. She knew this house and its hidings, he didn’t.

He, on the other hand, had expected her to try to run away. Another amazing side of her. He had never met a woman who could actually run fast. Despite her really amazing skills, he had caught up with her thirty meters later. When she knew that running had not been the successful method, she turned around unexpectedly and attacked him, her fist hitting him hard in the stomach. Although her punch left him breathless for a second, he managed to grab her fist tightly. She started to struggle against him and tried to free her hand.

When she stumbled over a stone right behind her, he hadn’t seen it coming. He tried to hold her – a mistake since he stumbled over her in the process, and finally they were lying in the grass with his body covering hers.

“May I talk to you now - please?” he asked breathlessly and looked down at her, his eyes sparkling with amusement. She returned his look with a murderous expression on her face.

“Get off me, or I’ll make you get off!”

“I don’t doubt that you’re capable of doing so... but I also don’t doubt that you’ll run away as soon as I let you go.”

“That’s right!” she simply stated and he couldn’t help but laugh.

“Your honesty is refreshing and charming in a strange sort of way...” He shook his head and got up, then offered his hand to help her up. She ignored it.

“So, you’re here to arrest me!” she stated and looked down at her ruined outfit. “Then just do it...”

“I will...” he replied, smoothing out his own clothing. “But first I wanted to...” He had only looked down for one second, but this was enough for her to bring him down with a hard punch that seemed to press all air out of his lungs. He was lying on the grass, fighting for air.

In a quick move she jumped up and ran towards the gate. She had almost managed to open it when he slammed her against the wall, holding her in place harshly. She cried out in pain.

“Let me make this clear: I don’t like to be beaten down. You’ve wasted enough of my time and I’m tired of your games!”

He turned her around harshly and noticed that she had a scratch on her cheek. Immediately he loosened his grip. He hadn’t meant to hurt her.

“Sorry...” he murmured, touching her cheek, but she avoided his touch, her eyes sparkling murderously.

“Go to hell!” she hissed and he dragged her towards the house.

“Come on!”

“Where are you taking me?”

“I’m going to lock you in your room until you’re willing to talk reasonably and listen to what I have to say!”

“You have no right to lock me up...” she started and struggled against his grip, but he tightened his hold on her wrists immediately.

“Do I have to remind you of the letter of the queen? I have almost every right I want!”

“I don’t care about your queen! She’s not my queen, therefore her rules don’t count in my house! You’re hurting me!”

“I’m sorry for doing so, but if I loosen my grip you’ll get free and hurt me, or worse try to kill me!” he replied and entered the house. With Maggie and Elena following him in protest, he dragged Irina up the stairs until they were on the second floor, then he opened the first door he could find. He looked around and found that it had a bed and a fireplace and pushed her onto the bed.

Before she could get up again he had closed the door and locked it from the outside. He took the key and turned to face Maggie and Elena who were standing right in front of him, their eyes wide in shock.

“This door won’t be opened, nobody goes in and she won’t get out. The only person who opens that door is me, are we clear on that?”

“Ye-yes Sir...” Maggie replied in total confusion, but Elena was not so frightened.

“Excuse me, but you can’t just lock her up in there! It’s her house! We have rights!”

“Miss Elena, do you want to stay in the room next to hers for the rest of the day? If not, don’t start a discussion with me!” With these words he went down the stairs ignoring the two women, and most of all, Irina, who now started to slam her fists against the wood of the door, throwing the worst curses that existed after him. He hated to lock her up, especially since it seemed to outrage her even more, but it was the only way to make sure that she didn’t start another foolish attempt to escape. He was tired of going after her.

Soon after he had sat down in the living room, Maggie opened the door and walked in hesitantly. He smiled at her friendly.

“Do you have a place for me to stay? A guestroom or something?”

“Yes, but... you...” she started and folded her arms.

“What?” he asked when he saw the amused blink in Maggie’s face.

“You just locked Irina in the guestroom, so the answer would have to be no, we don’t have any guestrooms left...”

He sighed and leaned back in the chair. “Is it the only free room?”


“Then I’ll take it. I can keep a better eye on her anyway.”

“But Sir!” Maggie cried out and Jack opened his eyes.

“Miss Maggie, your lady has been arrested! She will be charged with treason, a murder attempt, and god knows what else. So, she has no rights left. I wanted to offer her a deal, but the lady was obviously not willing to listen to me. I want to give her a little time to think.”

“That never worked!” Maggie replied dryly with a hint of amusement in her voice. “Not even when she was a child!”

“Well, this time it will...” he promised.

When he entered the room two hours later, after Irina’s furious screams had subsided, he found her standing at the open window. She was looking down, obviously thinking of an option to jump out of the window.

He shut the door with a loud bang and she spun around. Her eyes pierced him as he went towards her.

“What are you doing here?” he asked and looked out of the window. “Thinking about jumping? There are ten meters at the least. You would break your neck!”

“If you say so...” she replied sharply and he closed the window and turned to her.

“Can we talk reasonably now, or will you attack me again at the next opportunity?” he asked and she laughed sarcastically and went to the door. She found it locked. He held up the key.

“You really thought I was a jerk, didn’t you?”

“No...” she replied ironically friendly. “No, jerk would be an understatement. The words in my mind were more like prick, son of a b*tch, or a** – just to name the kindest ones!”

“Nice...” he stated, raising an eyebrow at those words. “A lady like you shouldn’t even know those words – not to mention use them.”

“I told you I am not like other ladies.” she replied coldly, leaning against the wall. “So, what do you want? You haven’t come up here just to annoy me, have you?”

“No!” he admitted. “I want to offer you a deal. I would have done that earlier instead of arresting you here, but you were in that kind of mood where reasonable talking was impossible. I have a job for you – I want you to work with me, to be honest!”

“Work with you?” she laughed sarcastically. “No way!”

“Wait before you refuse. It would only be one mission. One evening – and afterwards I’d promise to forget your name and that you were involved with the rebels.”

“You’re blackmailing me!” she stated dryly, but he shook his head.

“No, I’m offering you a deal to save yourself.”

“No, you’re offering me to sell myself... and all that I believe in! Working with you would be like collaborating with the enemy.”

“I’m not your enemy – I never was!”

“Oh, I must have missed that part when you locked me in this room – in my own house!” Her voice was sarcastic and she didn’t seem to be willing to cooperate at least a little.

“May I tell you what this mission is about?”

“I guess you wouldn’t care if I said no, so just do it – since you’ll do it anyway.”

He sat down on the bed, his eyes resting on her figure. She was beautiful, her shape very female, and yet she was worse to deal with than the angriest man. No wonder she had managed to deal with gangsters without getting seriously hurt.

“We’ll have to work undercover in the ‘Blue Star’ for one single evening. There are clues that a large smuggler-ring has its meetings there. Maybe the boss of the club himself is involved. I will be there as a guest, but I need a woman who can look behind the scenes and has access to the private rooms. That’s what I need you for.”

“The ‘Blue Star’ is a...” she swallowed the word she had meant to come up with, and closed her eyes to calm down. “It’s a place where women sell themselves.”

“I know.” He replied and wanted to add something, but Irina didn’t let him finish.

“Ah, I see...” Her voice was sharp, her expression cold now. “You think only because I’m acting like I do and doing things my way, I wouldn’t mind to work in a place like that, selling my body to bastards like you!”

“Actually, I thought of you, because you’re the only woman I could think of that would not be afraid of doing the job. You’re smart and you’re beautiful. I wouldn’t have to watch you all the time since you’re capable of defending yourself so you would be an equal partner. And by the way, for your own sake, I did not hear the last part of your sentence!” He replied amused and she looked at him, her eyes scanning his.

“Yeah, well... no, thanks. I don’t think I’ll do it!”

“Why not?” he asked at her refusal. “There would be no danger, I’d be right there, if that’s what you’re concerned of!”

“No, I’m concerned with working for you, and therefore the queen! I’m an enemy of hers and I don’t care a penny for whether there are smugglers or not. Maybe your dear queen should lower the taxes to give poor people a chance to buy the things they need legally. That way they wouldn’t have to smuggle in order to be able to afford food.” Irina explained coldly and turned around. “But why do I tell you that? You don’t care anyway!”

“I have to admit the times are not the best for poor people. But blaming the queen is just ignorant. The whole situation is bad and the death of the queen won’t change anything! If you’re unwilling to help us, I’ll have to arrest you for rebelling and planning the queen’s murder which – as I think – will lead to your execution.” He simply answered and for a moment he feared that she would attack him, when she took a few steps towards him.

“If you think you can threaten me or impress me in any way by doing so, you’re wrong! And now leave my room.” Her voice was cold and louder than normal. “I gave you my answer, and since you’re obviously deaf I’ll repeat it: NO. THANK. YOU.”

For a moment their eyes fought a battle, then he got up and went to the door. “Maybe I was wrong thinking that two hours time of thinking would be enough. I will give you some more time.”

Irina returned his look when he turned around at the door to face her one more time. She shook her head softly. “What I do, Mr. Bristow, is what I believe is right. I won’t and I can’t do anything else because I would not only lie to the people around me, but also fool myself. If you want to arrest and have me executed for that, feel free to do so, but I want you to know the following two things: First of all, there are many more people who think exactly like me and if you kill me, you could start a revolution right now. Secondly, if you think that I would just surrender, you’re mistaken. I will give you a really hard time, every step to prison until you wish you would have just let me go. Are we clear on that?”

He scanned her, his face reflecting his appreciation. “Totally... you’re a challenge, Milady, and I like to be challenged. I just have to warn you. I’ve never lost.”

“Well, then it’s about time for you to!” she replied fearlessly. The intensity of his gaze suddenly made her go weak in the knees and the thought of their meeting two nights ago crossed her mind – when he had kissed her just out of nowhere. No, it hadn’t been just a kiss – it had been the most amazing kiss of her life. Why, was a puzzle to her.

“I guess, we’ll talk soon. I’m sure you’ll reverse your decision.”

“I’m sure I won’t. Now leave... and please shut the door!” she added ironically.

“Have a nice afternoon!” he replied bemused and then left the room. Irina sighed when the door had shut behind him. When she heard the key lock the door, she let herself sink into the next chair she could find. Why did she suddenly feel unsure?

She had never been afraid of death or torture, but now she was afraid and she didn’t even know of what, she just knew that it had to do with him – Jack Bristow. It was absolutely necessary to get this man out of her house as soon as possible.

Those men who worked for the queen were all the same. They offered you a deal with the promise to let you go afterwards - a promise which most of them never kept. Irina had read the newest lines by the queen. Rebels had to be brought to prison without exception. So, if Jack Bristow wanted to catch and arrest her friends, he would certainly not achieve that by her help. On the contrary, she would make it pretty clear to him how much she respected the queen’s orders.

Suddenly, her sister Katya, who had always known how to get out of dangerous situations, came to her mind. Although her radical methods were not at all appreciated by Irina, they were most of the time very effective. She needed to send a message to Katya somehow, but for that purpose she had to get out of this room.

For now, Jack Bristow thought that she was the only person in this household involved with rebels and smugglers. It had to stay like that. She would have to flee. Maybe she could stay at the house of one of the peasants near the coast for one or two days... then she could probably get over the border to Scotland. She still had many friends in Scotland who, she knew, would support her against the English law.

In the evening when she heard the sound of the key in the lock, she was prepared to defend her freedom.

Before Jack knew what was happening, Irina pounced on him. Her fist hit him hard in the face and he stumbled back. His obvious surprise giving her the momentary advantage she had counted on.

Within a few seconds he found himself on the ground. His initial consternation had faded, and despite Irina’s strength, it didn’t take him much of an effort to free from her grip. She struggled against him, unwilling to accept that he was stronger than her.

“Irina... wait!”

She ignored his yell and smashed her fist into his stomach. The pain and the feeling of not being able to breathe made him aggressive, and so he just grabbed her and threw her against the wall. She cried out in a mixture of pain and rage, but didn’t waste a single second. Almost immediately, she resumed her beatings until Jack went to the ground all of a sudden. Breathing heavily, Irina stared at him then looked up and found Elena standing opposite to her, a skillet in her hand.

“Are you insane?” Irina yelled angrily and got to her knees to feel the pulse of the unconscious man. He didn’t move, but his pulse was regular. She sighed totally relieved, and for a moment it occurred to her that her relief was founded on more than just the fear of having murdered a man. “This is the queen’s head of security, one of the most important men in the kingdom. The least we need now is to be charged with murder! And besides I didn’t want you or Maggie involved. I wanted to escape!”

“We are not involved. He didn’t see me.” Elena simply stated and looked at Maggie who now entered the room, her face growing pale when she saw the unconscious man on the ground.

“Oh my god, is he...” she started under her breath and Irina hurried to calm her down.

“No, he is unconscious, but he is alive – which is a miracle given the fact that my little sister used your skillet.” Irina replied, still angry. Elena pulled a face at her sister. Irina shook her head and got up without reacting. Sometimes Elena was worse than a child, and being the woman of almost thirty years that she was, pulling faces was beneath her.

“Fine. I will be gone... don’t search for me and don’t give him any names! It is most likely that he will have the house and all of you observed. I’ll try to contact Katya and meet her halfway to London.” Again, she looked down at Jack and couldn’t resist touching his cheek. He was handsome – in fact he was the most attractive man she had ever seen in her whole life. If he had just not been one of the queen’s counselors... hastily she forced back those thoughts. There were more important things to do than thinking of a man. That was what the ladies at court did, but she was different. She had always been different and she would not turn into one of those emotional, ridiculous chicks.

“Oh, and something else...” Irina looked up at Elena. “You will let him go when he wakes up. Don’t hurt him or lock him up. Just let him go, otherwise the two of us will have a serious problem when I'm back...”

With these words she got up and left the room without paying any more attention to the unconscious man. She had to be very careful. Jack Bristow was her enemy and she shouldn’t even feel sorry for him...

Part 4 – Promise

The sound of fists slamming against wood resounded in the whole house.

“Miss Elena, what are you doing?” Maggie yelled angrily, finding the lady sitting on the ground in front of the door reading a book as if nothing was wrong. “Did you lock him up?”

“Yep,” Elena nodded without looking up. “I’m teaching that bastard a lesson about messing with the Derevko sisters.”

“If you do not open the door at once I will teach you a lesson about not listening to your sister’s orders!” Maggie took the key out of her hand, her eyes not hiding how angry she was. She had always been like a mother for the three girls, but mostly for Elena, who had never known her birth mother. Since their father had died, Elena, who had only been fourteen years old, had been raised only by Maggie and her elder sisters. Despite her status as maid, Maggie had always been a person Elena knew to have respect for.

The maid opened the door and found herself opposite to Jack Bristow who was raging with fury. “Sir, I’m terribly sorry. That wasn’t supposed to happen!” she hurried to assure.

“No, it wasn’t...” Jack growled, holding his head. Elena got up, her expression not even showing a hint of fear or respect. When Jack saw her, the fury returned to his eyes and he took a step towards her. Panicked, Maggie stepped between him and Elena.

“Sir, she didn’t mean it! Lady Elena is just... she’s a little stubborn sometimes and acted against her sister’s orders. But she didn’t mean to insult you.” She said sharply with an angry glance at Elena from the side.

“Oh, that’s where you are wrong, Mag.” Elena stated friendly, her voice not hiding the sarcasm as she now turned her eyes back to Jack. “Hope that was enough for you to know, that we can bring you a lot of troubles, Bristow!” she said coldly. “So if you want some good advice, return to your precious queen and leave us alone!”

“Miss Elena, shut your cheeky mouth and get to your room!” Maggie’s voice was shrill with panic and Jack’s eyes narrowed when Elena didn’t move. Then he decided that the woman was not worth any effort. He could, of course, have her arrested, but that would just raise unwanted questions. For now he was more interested in her beautiful older sister. For a moment he wondered why he was so fixed on Irina – especially after what he had learned about her family. She seemed to be the more reasonable one of the two sisters. If he wanted to arrest somebody, he should probably rather arrest Elena. He forced that thought away.

“Where is Irina?”

“For you, she is Lady Derevko!” Elena replied and sat back down in her chair, her eyes turned back on the book.

“Shut up and just answer my question!” Jack replied, knowing that it was absolutely insulting to cut a lady off, but at the moment he didn’t care.

“She’s gone...” Elena simply replied. “And you should leave too. You are no longer accepted as guest of this house – actually, you’ve never been. Feel free to get some food from the kitchen personnel for your journey back.”

Words said, the young woman got up and passed him by, expecting him to follow her. Jack shook his head and looked at Maggie. The old woman held his eyes thoughtfully. She had, of course, noticed the tender gesture in which Irina had touched the man’s cheek and she had seen the gleam in his eyes when he was talking to her. Something inside her told her that he could be trusted, although she didn’t know where this feeling came from. She grabbed his hands.

“You seem to be a righteous man. Please, find Irina. I’m afraid she’s going to do something stupid, and she’s all alone out there now.”

“I’m pretty sure your lady can take care of herself. You know that I’m going to arrest her if I find her?”

“If you had wanted to do so, she would already be in prison.” Maggie replied with unsurpassed astuteness. “And besides, the men Irina is going to contact are more dangerous than you. I’m so afraid they are going to kill her if they learn that her cover has been blown. She trusts them to hide her, but I think they will let her down.”

Jack saw that the eyes of the woman started to fill with tears.

“Sometimes Miss Irina is stubborn, but she’s a very nice and charming woman, even if you won’t believe me now. She doesn’t deserve to be tortured and killed by these men. I don’t have time to explain everything to you. Just promise me that you will follow her and make sure that she will be alright. Please...”

Jack just stared at her, unable to believe what the old woman asked of him. “You’re asking me to go after your lady, protect her and bring her back safely? You’re going to betray her?”

“No, I’m trying to save her life! She and her sisters are so blinded by their ideals that they don’t see what the men they trust are able to do. You have to promise me that nothing is going to happen to her... then I will tell you where she went.” Maggie grabbed his hands. “Please.”

For a long time neither of them spoke a word, then Jack nodded. “Fine. I will follow her and make sure that she will be alright. I will return her here safely, but I can’t guarantee what happens afterwards. I don’t know how deep she’s involved with the revolutionists.”

Maggie swallowed hard and looked at the staircase when Elena yelled for them from downstairs. Then she made her decision. She had seen the look in Irina’s eyes when she had touched this man’s cheek and she knew that Jack had wanted to give Irina a chance to spare her from prison. He wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t like her. Finally deciding that it was worth a try, she started to speak.

“The leader of the group is a man called Gerard Cuvee. I don’t know him, he was just here once. He’s why I’m worried about Irina. She works for his section, usually she just does some spying and gets information since a woman doesn’t raise suspicion. But what worries me is the unlimited obedience he demands. He won’t accept failure and he doesn’t accept betrayal. Irina once told me that he shot a man in front of her eyes because he hadn’t gotten the information they needed.” When Jack wanted to ask something, Maggie hushed him with a gesture. “We don’t have time. The group consists of about twenty people, I think. Their headquarters are somewhere near the coast... oh, and before you ask, yes, they are also smugglers. Irina wants to go there, and then, in three days, meet her sister who is staying in London at the moment. Now, I’ve told you everything I know... hopefully it’s enough for you to save her life. And maybe it will be enough to keep Irina out of this...”

“I can’t promise you that Irina will be kept out of everything.” Jack replied truthfully, then pressed Maggie’s hands. “But I do promise that I will give my best to prevent her from being officially involved.”

“Thank you...” Maggie smiled. “Go to Hampshire... it’s a small village near the coast.”

“I will, thank you...”

Jack hurried to leave the house, followed by the dark glances of lady Elena. He wondered what he was doing here. Lady Irina Derevko was a terrorist. He had offered her a deal to save herself, she had refused – instead she had admitted that she will do everything to kill the queen. He should be glad if her own terrorist friends killed her.

Yet, there was something inside him that didn’t want her dead. The same feeling that had caused him to warn her two nights ago that she was going into a trap. He just wasn’t able to resist her charm and beauty. She was unlike any other woman he had ever known, courageous and elegant and very honest in what she said. She didn’t lie just to prevent herself from trouble or please somebody. Something about her made him want to get to know her better – even more, to kiss her like he had done that night.

Did she still remember his kiss?

If he thought the whole thing over, it had already been a mistake to come here on his own. He had not told his soldiers the name of the woman they were to search for. Instead, he had pretended to not know anything about her. From a logical point he had to admit that the way he had acted was the one of a fool.

Part 5 – Someone to watch over me

The woman went nervously up and down within a range of ten meters on the beach. She didn’t care about the waves that soaked the bottom of her dress. When the wind grew stronger she pulled her cape closer around her body to shield herself from the icy wind from the east.

Finally she heard voices grow louder. She turned and ran towards the small group of three men who were heading towards her.

“Gerard... I’m so glad you came!” Irina smiled at him, but he returned her gaze strict and reserved. They had shared a bed more than once and he couldn’t deny that Irina was a very beautiful and sensual woman, yet now she had become worthless to him. Her cover was blown and she was more of a danger than of good use.

“Irina...” he simply replied.

“Please, I need a place to hide because...”

“I know!” he cut her off harshly. “One of my men told me the story. You’ve been careless. Irina, we’ve talked about this more than once! I don’t need careless people in my team.”

“Sure, it was a mistake, but I promise you, something like that will never happen again.” She noticed the two men who stepped to her sides and started to get a little nervous. “Gerard, you know I would never willingly betray you, don’t you?”

“Yes...” he replied and turned away. “Yet suddenly the highest counselor at court knows your name – even more, he knows where you live. It’s only a question of time until he knows who else has been in contact with you over the past years. Maybe he even followed you here!”

“No, nobody followed...” she cut herself off when the men behind her now took her arms and tried to bend them to her back.

“Gerard...” Irina said sharply, but couldn’t hide the hint of panic in her voice as she started to struggle against the men’s grips. “Don’t touch me... what are they doing?”

“Irina, I’m sorry, but you could ruin everything. You’re the connection which could lead the queen’s army to us. You have to disappear.”

“Yes... I know. I could go north and...”

“That would be an option if there was a chance that we could use you again someday. No, I prefer to take a nice ride on the boat with you. And, unfortunately, you fall into the cold water. Of course you are alone on the boat, so nobody will be there to help you. It is an accident, nobody will ever know.”

“Wait...” Irina started to yell and struggle in panic but the men held her mercilessly while they tied her hands and feet. “Gerard... I thought we were friends... even more.”

“We were...” he said. “At least kind of.” He went towards her and touched her chin almost tenderly. Her dark eyes filled with tears and he formed out the shape of her beautiful face with his fingers.

Suddenly loud voices drew his interest away from Irina and he looked at the three of his men tasked to watch out for strangers. They had a fourth man in their midst who struggled against being held. Irina gasped for air – Jack Bristow. He had somehow managed to find her here!

“Who is that? What’s he doing here?”

“Gerard, this is Lord Bristow. I know him, he was my superior once!” One of the men reported. Jack knew him, he had once been a lower ranked officer of his army, but then one day disappeared.

“Now, how interesting. See, Irina, your friend is here. That is what you call not being followed? Or did you lead him here? Well, however, at least you won’t have to die alone now.”

“You will regret this...” Jack cursed, temporarily surrendering to the men’s grip.

“Gerard, please...” Irina whispered. “I did not betray you – I never would.”

“Then how come he is here?”

“I have no idea!” Irina replied. “Honestly! I don’t know!”

“I’m here, to save this Lady’s life.” Jack replied neutrally. “Her family was scared for her since they obviously knew your methods.”

Gerard laughed ironically and even in the pale light of the moon his eyes gleamed dangerously. Jack really wondered how Irina had survived that long being in contact with a man like him.

“And why would an English soldier be interested in saving the life of a terrorist if she’s not working for him?” Gerard’s voice was cold and showed that he didn’t believe one single word Jack had said. Jack’s mind worked rationally and fast. He was used to situations like this and so he did the only logical thing to do, although, he knew Irina would probably kill him for this.

“That’s because Irina and I are engaged.”

“Engaged?” Gerard turned to him and approached him slowly. Irina’s eyes locked with Jack’s in disbelief. She had been able to prevent herself from asking the same question as Gerard in the last second. “Really? Then how come you are the one she ran away from?”

“Things went wrong! Irina and I have known each other for quite some time. I am on your side. I sometimes gave her information. But three nights ago things didn’t go as planned. I thought we would meet an unimportant contact, instead it was her...”

Gerard looked from Jack to Irina, back at Jack and then back to Irina. He couldn’t believe his own ears.

“Is that true?”

“Yes, yes it is!” Irina said, hoping that her voice didn’t tremble as her body did.

Gerard turned back to Jack and shook his head. “This doesn’t make sense. Why should you search for her if she was your fiancée? My spy told me you asked for her in the city.”

“I had to! Otherwise, I would have risen suspicion within my group of soldiers. I told Irina to leave her house for a few days and hide somewhere here, because I trusted you to help her. When her maid told me that you had probably already heard the wrong version of the story from one of your own men, she advised me to go after you.” Bristow’s words made sense, Gerard admitted silently, still he wasn’t completely convinced.

“So you’ve been Irina’s secret contact?”

When Jack nodded, Gerard turned around and touched Irina’s cheek. “Why didn’t you tell me that you got engaged? I thought, we were friends.”

“Well... considering the last five minutes and what you were planning to do with me I am not sure we are.” Irina replied, slowly regaining her old self-confidence and coolness.

Gerard turned and shook his head. “Fine, I will believe your story under one condition. You have to prove what you said is true.”

“How?” Jack asked.

“Well...” Gerard thought for a minute, then his face lightened up. “You told me you two are engaged. If that’s true, I’m sure neither of you would mind getting married tonight, right?”

Since he was scanning Jack’s reaction he missed the panicked gasp Irina took. Jack was absolutely cool. “Of course not.” He replied. “We wanted to marry before winter anyway.” He ignored the absolutely murderous look he caught from Irina.

“Fine... then be my guest for the next hour while I go to wake the preacher to wed you. As soon as you’re married, I can be sure of your loyalty towards us and you will be free to go wherever you want to.” He turned to his guards. “You can let go of them now, but still keep an eye on them.”

Irina felt as if it had been the better option to be drowned in the sea. Her stomach started to revolt and it took all her mental strength to maintain her composure.

After she had been freed from the ropes that were tying her, the men let her go and Jack pulled her into his arms before she knew what was happening. “It’s okay, darling,” he said softly and his eyes told her to just play the game.

When they were walking to the small house on the coast, Jack bent to Irina’s ear which looked like a sweet caress.

“Just play the game. It will save our lives.” He hissed and she looked at him darkly.

“Go to hell.” She hissed back, her rage hidden behind a tender expression on her face.

Almost one hour later she was standing with Jack in front of a preacher, who had quickly thrown over his dark cape. She felt as if she was in a nightmare and if their lives hadn’t depended on it, she'd have just laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation.

The ceremony didn’t last more than ten minutes. Irina wondered if there had ever been words which had been harder for her to speak than the words she had to say now.

“Lady Irina Laura Derevko, do you take this man as your lovely wedded husband in good and bad times?”

Irina took a deep breath and swore silently, that Jack Bristow would truly regret this whole situation. “I do.” she replied and it was not the promise to forever love him, but a more dangerous one. Jack could read it in her eyes.

“Lord Jack Donahue Bristow, do you take this woman as your lovely wedded wife in good and bad times?”

“I do.” he replied neutrally. This marriage could only provoke a scandal.

“Then feel free to kiss the bride now.” The preacher smiled happily, obviously believing that he had just unified two loving hearts.

Jack looked at the woman in front of him and it didn’t take much knowledge to read the warning in Irina’s eyes. He bent to her and touched her soft lips with his just as he had done several nights ago. He wanted to deepen the kiss, yet he knew better than to do so since he didn’t want to risk an infuriated attack of his newly wedded wife in front of the altar.

Gerard smiled satisfied and kissed Irina’s hand, then he looked at Jack. “Congratulations to a wonderful wife and to be part of our group from now on. You’re a valuable contact.”

They were now free to go wherever they wanted. Ten minutes later they were sitting on the horse Gerard had given to them as their wedding gift, leaving the small village. After they had brought at least fifteen miles of distance between them and the house of Gerard and his rebels, Irina finally spoke the first words after the shock of the sudden marriage.

“Stop! Stop the horse!” she yelled and Jack stopped immediately. Irina slid down the horse’s back without any further comment and simply started to walk into the fields. The dawn was already announced by the singing of some birds.

Jack got off the horse himself and followed the woman. “Irina!” She didn’t show any reaction, just kept walking. Finally, he grabbed her arm. “Irina, where are you going?”

She freed herself, her eyes sparkling with fury. “I am going somewhere! It’s none of your business. You saved our lives, I’m thankful. Now that everything is okay and none of us is in danger anymore, I go my way, you go yours.”

She was about to walk on, but Jack grabbed her shoulders. “Don’t be stupid!” he said impatiently. “You can’t just go away. We are married!”

“Yes, right! Thank you for that too, by the way!” Irina said and folded her arms. “So what? We married to save our lives. That doesn't mean anything. You can get an annulment in the next city. You’re the man, you don’t need me for that.”

“What do you think Gerard will assume if he learns that we separated not even one hour after we got married? I’m sure he has somebody spying on us.”

Jack was right... Irina knew that it was only reasonable to keep up their fake-marriage for at least three or four days before they separated.

“Please...” Jack murmured. “I promise you to never ever bother you again after this. I won’t have to. I know enough now to arrest the most important people and...” Irina’s hand hit him unexpectedly as she slapped his face. He grabbed her wrist hard and pulled her close to him, but she didn’t even show a hint of fear.

“That was for your rudeness. This whole situation was your fault. If you hadn’t come after me...”

“You would be lying at the bottom of the ocean, dead, I think.” He hissed angrily, his cheek burning from her slap. “Do you think this marriage was my first choice? I had also hoped for a better solution to get you out. But I promised your maid to keep you safe, otherwise, I would just have let them kill you and you would be swimming with the fishes now.” A lie. Deep inside he knew that he would have saved her even if he hadn’t promised to do so to Maggie.

“Well...” she closed the distance between their faces to look into his dark eyes. “Maybe I would have preferred death to a marriage with you.”

“Fine, I will keep that in mind for the next time you are in danger of being killed. But, for your information, I was involved too and I didn’t want to be killed.”

“Your fault. How could you be so stupid to go after me and let them catch you? I know the soldiers of the queen are not the best qualified men, but I didn’t know they were totally unable to not get caught.”

“Lady, I don’t beat women, but you’re really close to catching a slap.” He warned furiously, his voice totally leveled. Irina simply freed herself from him and went back to the horse. Jack looked after her and closed his eyes for a moment. What was up with him? What was it about her that she tempted him so much?

“Do you want to stay there forever? I want to sleep somewhere – a country bar if you want.”

Hearing her annoyed question, Jack turned and followed her. He wanted to help her get on the horse but she ignored his attempts and instead got up herself. Jack took a deep breath and got up behind her. He laid one hand around her waist and pressed her against his body – tighter than necessary to keep her from falling, but he wanted to enrage her after all she had said.

After all, their situation hadn’t been his fault. She was the stupid one who had insisted on escaping and running away on her own, so if she wanted to blame somebody, she had to blame herself.

To be continued...

Want to know how it goes on? Don't miss the next update! soon here on AllAlias...
Nov 8, 2004
I love this story, I was reading it on Sd-1, but I am so glad that you posting it here as well. You have managed to keep the charcters of Irina and Jack while putting them into a different time, so wonderful


Nov 3, 2004
Berlin, Germany
Here are the next two parts for you...

Part 6 – Battles

The sun was already rising at the horizon when they finally reached a smaller village. They had always stayed near the coast. Jack knew that the region where Irina lived was searched by his soldiers, so he thought it better to take her to his manor for now. There they could talk about how to go on.

Unfortunately, he had not yet told Irina about his plans and he feared that she would be outraged if he did.

“There’s a bar in this village, I know the owner of. The woman has rooms for rent, so in about five minutes we should have a place to rest.” He announced. They hadn’t spoken for hours, but when he didn’t get an answer, he looked at the woman leaning at his shoulder and found her sleeping.

He raised his eyebrows in surprise and pulled her closer to his body to prevent her from falling off the horse. When they reached the bar a few moments later, Jack got off the horse and took the sleeping woman into his arms.

When she felt the movements, Irina awoke from her sleep slowly, not really knowing where she was. She protested weakly against being carried, but then her head sank back against Jack’s shoulder.

“Good morning,” Jack greeted the woman who opened the large wooden door.

“Jack Bristow!” she cried out happily. “I didn’t expect to see you anytime soon! What are you doing here so early with... a woman in your arms?” Her voice didn’t hide her surprise.

“That’s a long story. We need a room! We haven’t slept all night and I will tell you everything after I have rested for a few hours.”

“Of course, come in! I hope the lady is here voluntarily! Don’t want to be involved in any woman-robbery crime. I just had a raid for smugglers last month and...”

“Chrissy!” Jack interrupted her. “I’m a high ranking officer, not a bandit.”

The woman laughed while she went up she stairs. The wood creaked under their feet and when she opened the door to a small room, it gave a loud squeak.

“This is the only room I’ve left. If you want you can sleep in the barn...”

“Not necessary,” Jack answered. “She’s my wife.”

Irina, who slowly came to her senses, opened her eyes still half asleep. “I’m not his wife...” she murmured half-hearted.

“And she’s drunk.” Jack added friendly when Chrissy looked at him suspiciously. “Does this door have a lock?”

“Sure!” Chrissy looked at the beautiful woman and for a moment envied her. Those rich ladies were sometimes very weird creatures. She herself would have done anything for the chance to be married to Jack Bristow and that lady obviously denied. “Call me if you need anything else. I will send Bruce to take care of your horse,” she said, then she left the room and pulled the door closed behind her.

Jack sighed and laid the woman down on the bed. Irina held her head and tried to fight the urge to drift back to sleep. Only when she felt someone pulling off her shoes, she succeeded. Within a second she was sitting upright.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“You don’t want to sleep with your shoes on in this bed, do you?” Jack asked.

“No! But I can do this myself, thanks!” She pulled off her shoes and let them drop to the floor, then she fell back onto he bed and pulled the sheets over her body.

When she was just about to fall asleep again, she felt Jack lying down next to her and was wide awake again.

“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked sharper than before and with a certain amount of aggression in her voice. He stared at her as if she was crazy.

“I am trying to sleep!” he explained. “And I suggest you're doing the same.”

Now for Irina all thought of sleep was gone from her mind, her rage returning and forcing away her sleepiness. “I’m not going to sleep in the same bed with you! I don’t trust you.”

He moaned frustrated since obviously he couldn’t avoid having to give her an answer.

“Miss Derevko, I don’t trust you either, but may I remind you – again – that I saved your life... not to mention my own! We would both be dead now. Can we discuss this after a few hours of sleep?”

“You saved my life?” Irina laughed sarcastically. “I was totally in control over the situation until you appeared."

Jack sat up in annoyance and pierced her with his eyes. “How is ‘about to be killed’ having everything under control?”

“Gerard would have never killed me! I know him! He was bluffing!”

He stared at her for a full minute, unable to believe what he had just heard from her mouth, and wondered if she was really convinced by her own words. This woman was unbelievable, and for a split second he truly regretted having given a promise to her maid. He would love to just leave her here.

“Bluffing?” Jack asked ironically. “They had already tied you and were about to throw you into the water. Now, if you don’t want to sleep in this bed, feel free to take the floor. There’s enough free space as you can see. Good night.”

“Bastard!” she murmured and folded her arms angrily, then she sat down on the floor, followed by his amused glance. He made her angry... No, she corrected, in fact he was not the person who had caused her anger, Gerard was. For years she had done him favors, supplied him with important information from the most trustworthy contacts, even shared his bed a few times. And now she had made one little mistake and he let her down... even worse, wanted to get rid of her. And the worst of all was that her enemy had saved her life and now she was stuck with him.

She had never needed a man to protect her. She could handle her problems on her own and if Jack Bristow thought that she was thankful to him, he was wrong. Sure, he had saved her life, but he was also the reason for her troubles. Why couldn’t he just go away and leave her problems to her?

After a few more minutes of silence, Irina finally got up and went to the door.

“Where are you going?” Jack asked and Irina found him looking at her. He had obviously not slept at all but had been watching her with all his attention.

“I’m sleeping in the barn in the hay... actually that’s what you should have offered, but since you’re one of the queen’s cheap employees, I don’t expect you to know anything about behaving like a gentleman. And since you surely have duties at court, I think I will continue from here alone, so I won’t bother you anymore. If Gerard has a spy following us, I will explain everything to him. Good night!”

She turned the key and went to open the door. Before she had even realized that he had left the bed, his hand was pressed to the wood and he held the door closed.

“You are not leaving this room!” he stated dryly and completely under control, yet there was a certain sharpness in his voice that didn’t allow any contradiction. “You will get over there to that bed and sleep. NOW!”

Irina’s eyes darkened with rage. “How dare you...” She watched open-mouthed as he turned the key. “Let me make something very clear, Mr. Bristow. You do not give me orders. You have no right to lock me up or...”

“Wrong. I had orders to arrest you, not only did you flee but also knocked me out. So, actually, I have every right to kill you at once. Now get to sleep.” There was a dangerous tone in his voice that warned her not to push him further, yet she was too furious to just accept being given orders by one of the queen’s employees.

“I will! In the barn!” She unlocked the door again and pushed him away. Before she could even open it, he had grabbed her and carried her to the bed.

“I've had enough of your damned stubbornness!” he hissed.

Irina started to struggle against him when he threw her onto the bed. She yelled some curses into his face, trying to prevent him from grabbing her hands. Panic rose in her. Maybe she had tempted him too much. She cried out in a mixture of fear and rage, wanting to catch the attention of the landlady. He tried to prevent her from doing so by covering her mouth with his hand, wanting to tell her that nothing would happen to her if she calmed down and stopped her insanity. But before he could do so, her free hand hit his face in a punch that made him dizzy. Their fight continued for two more minutes, and ended when Jack finally managed to close an iron cuff around Irina’s left wrist. She pushed at his chest and tried to kick him away with her legs until he finally managed to catch her free hand and pin her to the bed with his weight.

When he felt her body tremble and saw the tears standing in her eyes, he suddenly felt sorry for his harsh methods.

“I apologize if I hurt you...” His hand touched her cheek and his eyes scanned hers, then wandered lower to her moist red lips. His thumb brushed over them and formed them out before he suddenly realized what he was doing. He sat up to bring distance between him and her. For a moment he stared at her breathlessly while he felt some scratches at his cheek. He hissed in pain, his rage returning when he felt his hurting eye where her fist had hit him.

Irina looked in disbelief at her left hand that was shackled to the bed. She tried to open it with her free hand and when she didn’t succeed, she started to pull at the chain in despair, letting out frustrated cries when she failed. Jack held up the key for the cuff and with an infuriated cry, Irina tried to grab for it, but Jack was out of her reach.

“Give me that key, you damned son of a b****...” she cursed, while she continued pulling at the chain. She ignored the pain that originated in her wrist when the hard metal rubbed over her delicate skin. She hated being locked... and even more she hated being chained.

“I won’t, otherwise you will run away tonight.” He explained and didn’t look at her once more, but got up from the bed and took a woolen blanket from a table.

“Bristow...” Irina’s voice showed anger, but also insecurity. When she saw him head to the door, she stared at him. “Where are you going?”

“To the barn. I see that I won’t get any sleep here anyway, since I have to expect that you'll kill me once I close my eyes.” He looked at her and she still saw anger standing in his face, but also regret... “Good night. You have this room for yourself now, lady... just as you wanted.” With these words he opened the door and left the room.

“Hey! Wait!!!” Irina yelled and pulled at her chain. “Bristow!!! You can’t just leave me here... damn it! Move your butt back in here!”

But he didn’t even react. He locked the door from the outside, then she heard him leave. She continued yelling for him, mixed with the worst curses and promises about what would happen to him when he returned until loud knocks could be heard through the wall mixed with the angry voice of a man.

“HEY! Stop the noise! There are people trying to sleep here!”

Irina sank down onto the bed, her eyes filling with tears – tears of rage. Rage about being unable to get free. With a furious cry she threw one of the cushions against the wall at the other side of the room from which the strange man’s voice had come. Then she let her head sink to the bed in defeat. A terrible headache told her that it was time for her to get a little sleep and her exhaustion finally forced her to give in to the need to close her eyes.

Only for a few moments, she told herself, and only seconds later she was asleep.

Part 7 – Dreams

Jack was sitting at the small counter, staring into his glass while Chrissy prepared to open the bar for the first customers. One of her helpers, a young woman, had already arrived and rearranged the chairs and tables in the main room.

“She is a little hot tempered, isn’t she?”

“What?” Jack looked up at his friend and Chrissy grinned.

“Your wife. Not that easygoing.”

“No, she’s... she had a tough day.” Jack explained and wondered, why he even tried to defend Irina. He felt bad. Not only had he hurt her, he had also chained her to her bed. No lady deserved to be treated like that. He swallowed the remains in his glass at once and slammed it to the table. Why did he feel bad? This woman was not only unthankful, but also rude, stubborn, traitorous and a liar. She was a criminal and technically she was his prisoner. He should already have arrested her yesterday. A prisoner was a prisoner and he wouldn’t treat her better or worse than others.

“Here, take another one...” Chrissy offered to fill his glass again, but Jack refused.

“No, thanks. I had enough...” he murmured. “I think I will go to sleep now. I’m more than tired...”

He got up and was about to leave the room through the front door when he caught Chrissy’s confused glance.

“Jack, your room is...” she started and pointed at the stairs at the other side of the room, but Jack cut her off.

“I’m sleeping in the barn.” He announced.

“Oh...” Chrissy said, staring at him for a long time, even forgetting about the glass in her hand. Then suddenly she seemed to remember where she was. “Fine, that’s none of my business.” She shrugged her shoulders and continued drying the glasses.

“Damned right...” Jack murmured and left the room. He crossed the small yard to the barn and entered it. He climbed the stairs to the upper level where the hay was stored. When he had found a good place to sleep, he sank down and stared at the ceiling. Why was this woman always in his mind? He growled and forced his thoughts away from her. Listening to the sound of the horses and birds outside, he soon fell asleep.


The earth under her naked feet was cold and thorns hurt her sensitive feet when she stepped onto them in her desperate run. The forest was so dark that she couldn’t see her own hand and she screamed in fear.

When she looked down at herself, she found herself in her night clothing.

“Irina... go! Run...” She spun around and saw her mother surrounded by soldiers. She was unable to scream, unable to run back. Her legs didn’t seem to be her own. So she had to watch them kill her. Over and over again... it didn’t stop. She could feel her mother's pain as if it was her own.

“NO! NO, STOP!” She screamed and fell to the ground. “Stop it, please...” She knew this was a dream... she always knew – still, she wasn’t able to wake up. She had to see it again and again. She could never forget the pictures, the hate and the pain in her heart. She closed her eyes and suddenly she felt that she was no longer alone in the darkness. She felt arms pulling her into a protective embrace and when she opened her eyes, she was on a clearing, sitting at a fire. It warmed her body as well as her heart and soul.

She smiled and enjoyed the warmth, a wonderful warmth that gave her security and made her feel comfortable. Then she turned and looked at the man who was sitting behind her. As if she had never done anything else, she kissed Jack Bristow, her eyes drowning in his. His hands pulled her against his hot body and she moaned sensually at the wonderful sensations his touches sent through her body. All her fears and memories were erased... every little kiss made her forget until she didn’t know who she was anymore.

She pressed herself closer to him, enjoying the sweet oblivion his closeness gave her. She felt his mouth explore her body, softly caressing her breasts, then her belly. Closing her eyes, she pulled him closer.

“Jack...” Her voice was a longing whisper. His lips went down her abdomen and she laid her head back in anticipation.

When she opened her eyes again, the fire was too bright for her eyes to bear and she moaned painfully and wanted to say to him that they should move somewhere else, when she became aware of the wooden ceiling.

She turned her head away from the almost blinding light of the sun that shone into her face and found that it was a bed she was lying on, not near a fire on a clearing, and the room was empty.

It took Irina a few moments to realize what she had dreamed. Then she sat up so abruptly that she cried out in pain, since she forgot about her still cuffed wrist.

“Oh god...” she murmured, firstly because of her hurting wrist, secondly because of the dream that now got into her conscious mind. And thirdly – which was probably worst of all – due to the realization how much that dream had aroused her – even more, how much she wished that it had not been just a dream.

She turned a little to be able to reach the cuff, then she pulled at the iron with all her strength until tears started to fill her eyes, and she thought she would rip off her own hand. She slammed her fists against the wall behind her and didn’t care about the hurt in her arm. She wanted to punish herself for her dream. She hated herself for dreaming about Jack. He was an enemy, a soldier of the queen. He was a bastard, such as the men who had killed her mother had been. They were worse than any rebel would ever be. The queen’s soldiers didn’t know anything about honor and dignity.

Her rage returned, filling the deep void inside her that her thoughts had left. Rage she had felt all her life.

When she heard the key turn in the lock, she was fully under control of herself again. Jack entered the room and found her leaning against the wall. He closed the door behind him and approached the bed slowly. Their eyes were locked in a silent challenge although neither of them had said a word yet.

“How long did I sleep?” Irina finally asked emotionless and Jack looked out of the window.

“It’s afternoon, so I assume about six or seven hours.” He sat down on the bed and opened the chain around her wrist. She didn’t move her arm when it was free, just looked at the man in front of her. Jack took her hand and looked shocked at her wounded skin.

“For heaven’s sake, what did you do?”

“Nothing...” Irina murmured and pulled her hand out of his to look at her skin which was grazed by the iron chain. Only now she noticed that she was bleeding. “This is nothing... I was angry...” she finally explained and looked at Jack again. “...at you. I swear, I want to kill you.”

“Yes, I expected that.” He said and got up. He searched in his bag and finally found what he was looking for. He went back to the bed and opened a small box. “Give me your hand,” he ordered and when she didn’t react, he took her hand.

“I don’t need your help!” Irina hissed and wanted to pull away from his touch but he held her arm.

“Shut up,” he said sharply, but also with a certain softness. “You’re the most stubborn woman I have ever met. How could you hurt yourself that much?”

He pulled a bottle out of his box and opened it. “This might hurt a little, but I have to treat this.” Before she could contradict, he soaked a clean towel with the liquid and laid it to her wound. Irina almost screamed, and pulled away her hand.

“Are you insane?” she burst out and Jack grabbed her hand back.

“I wouldn’t have to do this if you hadn’t been acting stubborn!”

“And I wouldn’t have had to do that if you hadn’t chained me and then left.” She countered furiously and bit her teeth when he continued cleaning her wound with the alcohol.

“I wouldn’t need to chain you if you just started to act reasonable and stopped attacking me or trying to run away!” he murmured and finished his work by laying some leaves to the wound and binding a thin white strap of cloth around her wrist. “It should be okay again in a few days.” He then murmured and got up. “Now get dressed. I want to leave this village before the sun goes down.”

“Where are we going?” Irina asked and held her hurting wrist, feeling too proud to show her pain.

“I decided that it would be best to take you to my manor. We’ll be safe there and can decide about how to go on.”

“No...” Irina got up. “No, I have to go to London and I will.”

“London?” Jack asked and looked at her. “I don’t think...”

“I have to go to London! I swear to you, Mr. Bristow, no matter how many chains you use, I will always try to run away until I am in London.”

He stood up slowly, his eyes scanning her thoughtfully but also suspiciously. “Why do you want to go there so badly? Are you planning an attack?”

“No!” Irina replied truthfully. “I can’t tell you... it’s personal! But I swear it has nothing to do with killing or attacking anybody.” She held his eyes for a long time and finally he nodded.

“Fine, here’s the deal. We will go to London. After everything is done there, you’ll accompany me to my house where we will talk and decide about how to go on and then get an annulment for the marriage. This is under one condition. You have to promise me to not try to run away.”

“I won’t run away.” Irina assured, but Jack didn’t let it go.

“Swear.” He demanded and Irina looked at him for a long time. She had never broken a promise. If she swore, she meant it. But she couldn’t tell him that she planned to meet her sister and then return to her house. Promises had always been somewhat sacred to her, so how could she make a promise if she knew she couldn’t keep it?

“I promise.” She finally murmured and for a moment she felt guilty. Then she wondered why she even bothered. A promise given to an English soldier – worse, one of the highest ranking officers of the queen was worthless and merely a means to an end.

Jack was silent for a long time, obviously measuring how trustworthy her promise was. Then he finally nodded. “Okay. I will take you to London. If you get ready, we can leave as soon as possible. It should take us about three days to get there.”

To be continued...

Alias girl

Aug 23, 2004
great story, nice character likeness as far as attitude goes obviously becuase of the time period they're a little different but you did this well. Please pm me when you update it again :)
May 16, 2004
I love this story so much, all your stories Luna Moon are so great! I have been following this story in the sd-1.net boards and then in your own board, and was hoping to find here a new update. In any case if you could send me a pm with the following part I would be extremely grateful. :woot:


Nov 3, 2004
Berlin, Germany
Guess what? Bribery worked. ^^; Just kidding... I simply forgot updating here. but if you want a secret insider tip... :secret: I usually update faster over at Serenades. I'm some parts ahead there. ^^;

Oh and btw do you know what I just noticed?
Here's Jack: :jack1:
Ald although this is calle Syd4 it looks more like Irina in Bangkok: :syd4:


Part 8 – Whispers of the heart

Heavens seemed to have opened. Cold rain poured down at the muddy ground, accompanied by an uncomfortably icy breeze.

Irina, who was sitting behind Jack on the horse, pressed her trembling body to his and tried to pull her already soaked cape into her face to shield her skin. It didn’t work. The cape was too wet to keep her warm in any way.

She pressed her cheek to Jack’s shoulder and felt that he took her hand into his and rubbed it to warm her up.

“We can’t go on in this storm!” he said loudly. Despite the fact that she was so close to him, she had problems understanding his words. The loud rumbling of thunder could be heard in the distance, soon followed by the crashing sound of lightning.

“What do you suggest? Camping under a tree?”

“No, that’s too dangerous. We have to find a barn. The next village is still miles away and I can’t make the horse go fast when we can’t see anything through the rain.” He replied. “Do you think you can go on for another five minutes?”

“Would it make a difference if I said no?” Irina asked back and he laughed.

“No, since there is no barn here...”

“Then don’t ask...” Irina replied. They kept silent and now both looked out for a barn. Being so close to the open sea, the thunderstorm had soon reached them.

Irina had never been afraid of lightning or thunder, but now she felt more than uncomfortable. Especially when a lightning bolt hit a tree only thirty meters away from them. It gave a loud crashing, wood-splitting sound when the tree slowly bent and sank to the muddy earth.

The horse whinnied, panicked, and she gasped in shock when it was about to go up in the air and start to run in blinded fear. Jack managed to calm it down at the last second.

Irina closed her eyes and laid her head to Jack’s back. She couldn’t explain why, but somehow she felt safe when being close to him. Ridiculous considering the fact that Jack was a soldier, but for now she would just accept that feeling.

Another ten minutes later, she noticed that Jack had stopped the horse. She opened her eyes. They were standing in front of a large barn.

He got off the horse and then helped Irina down. She didn’t contradict but was thankful for his supporting arms. Due to the coldness she didn’t even know anymore whether she still had legs – not to mention how to use them. Jack steadied her and scanned her with concern until he was sure she was standing safely. Then he went to the large door of the barn.

Irina touched the horse's nose, trying softly to calm down the frightened animal. It nuzzled closer to her. Finally, Jack had managed to open the heavy wooden door. He looked inside and came out again ten seconds later.

“It looks dry and should be okay to work as cover for the night.”

Irina set herself in motion and led the horse inside. While she moved the horse into a stall with hay, Jack closed the door behind them. After Irina had tied the horse securely to one of the wooden piles, she collected some hay to dry the horse’s fur.

Before she could start, Jack softly took the hay out of her hand. “Go to sleep. I will take care of the horse. You’re all soaked and will catch a cold.”

“Fine...” Irina nodded, her hands rubbing her own arms to warm her up. “Thank you...” she added before she turned and went to look around for a good place. She found some woolen blankets in one of the empty stalls and took them into her arms. Then she climbed up a small ladder and found herself in a hayloft. It was almost warm and she turned to look down.

“It’s warmer up here!” she announced and laid one of the blankets to the hay. Then she pulled off her soaked cape. The dress followed until she was standing in her undergarment – a white, thin dress. She stretched to hang the soaked pieces of clothing onto one of the wooden beams.

Then she let herself sink to the blanket and snuggled herself into a second one. Her body was trembling and she was actually afraid of catching a cold. In weather like this it was easy to get sick and she remembered one winter when she and Katya had both been ill. They had laid in their bed with a cold for almost three weeks, both suffering from fever. She knew, in these days one could easily die from an illness.

When Jack had climbed up the ladder, he found her shivering in the hay. He went to his knees next to her and handed her a small bottle.

“Here, this is going to warm you up.”

She looked at the liquid inside, then she took a huge sip – one second later Jack was seriously afraid that she would choke at the coughing attack that followed. He helped her to sit up and shook his head.

“I didn’t say you should drink the whole content at once!” His voice showed a hint of amusement. “This is high percent alcohol, so be careful.”

Irina looked at him. “Shut up...” she managed to say under her breath. “This stuff is awful... and I don’t even feel a little warmer!” She took another sip, this time more careful, then handed the bottle back at Jack to pull the blanket up to her neck. “How long do you think this storm is going to last?”

The sound of rolling thunder seemed frighteningly close and through the small space between the wooden beams she could see the lightning outside.

“I don’t know.” He replied and Irina turned away when he started to pull all of his soaked clothes off. She sank back to the hay and looked through the small spaces into the dark night outside, hoping that her body would stop trembling anytime soon. It didn’t. Instead she felt colder every minute. Finally, she looked up and found Jack lying ten meters away on his blanket.

“Could I get some more of that drink?” she asked and he lifted a little to look at her, then threw the bottle at her. She caught it and took a huge sip. Jack saw the bottle trembling in her hand and raised his eyebrows.

“You should pull your soaked undergarment off. It’s gonna keep you cold and all soaked.” He advised and Irina laughed sarcastically.

“No way!” She knew he was right, but she would not fully undress when she was lying in a barn with a man she hated. Men were all the same when they were lying ten meters away from a naked woman.

“Don’t be a fool. You know I’m right!” Jack stated dryly, then laid back. “Fine, it’s your choice.”

Irina laid back and hugged herself with her arms, trying to keep herself warm. She took a sip of the drink, then another until her stomach seemed to revolt. She was hungry and too much of that alcohol was probably not the best idea, but at the moment she wished for nothing but that her body would stop trembling. She threw the bottle back at Jack, who took a mouthful himself then laid back. Thoughtfully, he stared at the ceiling for a long time wondering why he felt so comfortable.

Usually he didn’t feel comfortable when he was with a woman. They were annoying and b*tchy, and most of the things they told weren’t true. They talked without brains just to please a man. He had always hated that. He didn’t want a robot who just repeated his opinion. If he talked to somebody, he needed the other person to have their own opinion.

Irina was not like those women... she was more - he searched for an appropriate word - manly - in her behavior, yet so female on the other hand that she attracted him more than any other woman had ever done.

He remembered the day. Before it had started to rain he had only spoken a few sentences with Irina, but one thing he certainly knew, was that she would never lie to him just to please him.

Well, she would lie just to annoy me, betray me, and keep secrets from me, he thought bitterly, but anyway it was refreshing compared to the women at court.

His eyes went again to the woman who was lying ten meters away, and he found her still shivering. With a deep sigh he finally got up and crossed the distance between them.

“Okay, sit up?”

“What?” Irina asked and sat up when she heard his movement. He was always surprised by her fast reactions. Obviously she was used to defending herself. He wondered what had happened to her that she was so used to having to defend herself.

“Pull off that damned dress now! I don’t want to get to London with a dead person.”

“I’m not pulling my dress off.” Irina contradicted loudly and with a certain sharpness in her voice. She pulled her blanket higher and her eyes held him challengingly.

“Fine,” Jack nodded and folded his arms. His voice was absolutely neutral when he added, “You have two options. Either you do it yourself, or I’m doing it. I would prefer the last option, but I’m sure you disagree here. You have ten seconds to choose.”

She stared at him open-mouthed and didn’t doubt a second that he would do what he had promised.

“Two...” he counted. Irina pulled the blanket higher. “One...”

“Fine!” Irina burst out. “But I want you to know that I’m not doing this because I’m afraid of your threat. I’m just not in the mood of killing somebody.”

“Of course,” Jack nodded amused and turned around to grant her some privacy. Irina pulled the dress over her head and then wrapped her naked body deep into the woolen blanket until only her face and feet could still be seen.

“Ready,” she said and Jack looked at her dress, then he went to his knees and took her naked feet into his hand. They were icy.

“What are you doing?” Irina hissed and crawled back, hiding her sudden feeling of vulnerability behind a mask of aggression. Jack held her.

“I’m trying to warm you up and prevent your circulation from breaking down.”

“I don’t want...” she started but Jack cut her off before she was even able to finish.

“And I don’t want you to become ill.”

Irina surrendered to his touch since he wouldn’t discuss the subject any further. Slowly, she relaxed and laid back a little. Her head was spinning slightly and she felt light-headed – a state of mind in which she didn’t want to fight or discuss. His hands were warm at her feet and soon her skin felt better and didn’t hurt so much anymore. She wished he would extend those touches to her whole body.

Not aware that her wish was reflected in her eyes, she just stared at him and he held her gaze for a long time before he slowly moved his hands higher to her leg. She shivered – he couldn’t define whether it was caused by his touches or her coldness – and smiled softly.

He felt a little light-headed himself, otherwise he would have listened to the voice inside that told him that the alcohol had those effects on her – and him – and that it was best to not move this any further. He didn’t listen, but he pulled his hands away from her leg and moved up her body, slowly reducing the distance between their faces.

“You know how I could warm you the best?” His voice was hoarse from desire and she smiled warmly. Had he ever looked so damned cute?

“I have an idea...” she replied and framed his face with her hands. Her fingers stroked his cheek, then her thumb brushed over his lips. Unconsciously she let her tongue moisten her own lip when the vivid image of kissing him occurred to her mind. Jack stared at her, unable to turn his head away from this erotic gesture. He moved closer.

The blanket around her body slid down a little and revealed the silky skin of her shoulder and parts of her cleavage. She didn’t care, she just stared at him.

“Let me keep you warm...” he whispered, touching her bare shoulder. Irina closed her eyes for a moment. There was a voice inside her that screamed that this was wrong, that she hated him and would truly regret this in the morning. Yet, his closeness and the promise of feeling him even closer was so seducing that she couldn’t think rationally. In an incomprehensive way she felt attracted to him... which made her want to run away at the same time.

“I hate you...” she stated lowly and the way she said it would have been more fitting of a declaration of love. Jack chuckled slightly, never losing her eyes.

“I’m not so fond of you, either.” He replied playfully, using the same hint of tenderness she had used. He wanted to give her the possibility to retire and give him a sign to not move any further. She didn’t - instead she reduced the distance between their faces even more.

“This doesn’t mean anything...” she continued.

“Of course not. It’s just to keep you warm...” he assured tenderly and stared into her eyes – the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. Then suddenly his lips crashed on hers, devouring them in an almost harsh exploration. Irina met his mouth with the same passion and for a moment they fought a silent battle for control, until she finally surrendered to him and fell back into the hay, pulling him over her but never losing his lips.

Although never been married, she had slept with men and was used to passion, but nothing had prepared her for the inferno of flames that built up in her stomach now. The mixture of alcohol in her blood and Jack’s kiss clouded all her reason. A deep moan escaped her throat and she buried her hands in Jack’s hair.

His tongue licked at the corner of her mouth, then he sucked in her lower lip before he continued to explore her skin down her jaw and throat in short, passionate kisses. She laid her head back and closed her eyes at the feelings that he awoke inside her. Her blood seemed to turn into a flood of hot lava that set her whole body into an almost unbearable fire.

When Jack pulled her blanket open, he admired her nakedness for a moment before he started to claim the newly exposed skin with his lips. Her hands roamed over his back and shoulders, desperate to feel more of his body against her.

Finally, he broke free to discard the rest of his clothes and wrapped them both in the warm blankets on the hay. For a split second Irina asked herself what they were doing here, but she was way too lost in the anticipation of what was about to come.

Her body shuddered slightly when she felt his heat against her and she relaxed into the comfortable warmth. Her hands framed his face softly while she looked deeply into his eyes. She lifted her head a little to touch his lips with hers in what could barely be called a kiss – a silent invitation which he took without thinking.

His hands ran down her body while he seduced her with a deep open-mouth kiss until she was writhing under his touch and gasping for oxygen.

“You’re so beautiful,” he whispered, and for a moment he felt as if his heart broke. She was his enemy, a woman he was supposed to arrest and give away for execution. At this thought he started to kiss her more thoroughly, wanting to erase the unpleasant thoughts from his mind. He buried his head at her neck and stilled for a moment, just feeling her soft touches.

She is my wife, he suddenly thought and kissed the delicate skin under her ear. He felt her shiver and was rewarded with a soft moan of hers. Irina was his wife... yet the marriage wasn’t worth anything since she wanted an annulment – and so did he, didn’t he? He couldn’t marry a terrorist, since the queen would charge him with treason and surely have him executed as well – so marriage was out of the question. But at least for tonight, they were married...

Jack took her hand and pinned it softly to the hay, their fingers entangling tenderly. She covered his cheek with short kisses. “Jack...” Her voice was merely a whisper, yet full of longing and tenderness. She wasn’t even aware that she had said it out loud.

She locked her eyes with Jack’s deeply, unable to stop drowning in them. Over and over again she covered his skin with kisses, intoxicated by his scent and the taste of alcohol on his lips until he moved his head lower and sucked in one of her breasts.

She bit her lip when he teased her ever so slowly, her hand grabbing his tighter. When his lips touched her stomach and finally laid down on her belly button she closed her eyes. He was burning a path straight to her heart with his kisses. His touches didn’t only warm her body, but also her soul – a warmth she had longed for all her life. For a moment she forgot about everything – who they were and what had been. And she felt deep inside that she was falling for him and there was nothing she could do against it.

Jack took his time kissing every inch of her belly before he moved back up and touched her cheeks to claim her mouth again. He couldn’t get enough of her sweet lips. Carefully he shifted his body a little so he was lying in between her legs. She moaned when she felt his erection pressing into her thigh and wanted to pull him closer but he took his time teasing her with his hands and mouth until she thought she couldn’t bear it anymore.

He made sure that she was lying comfortably before he finally entered her ever so softly, silencing her and his own moans with his lips. She moved a little to adjust to him and held him close to her body. For a long time neither of them moved, they just continued to caress each other tenderly and without hurry.

“How can you be so gorgeous?” Irina breathed and her thumbs stroked his lips. He moved inside her slightly and she sighed, her hands wandering to his shoulders and clasping them. “God, you feel so good...”

“So do you...” he uttered and kissed her cheek, then her earlobe, before he forced himself to still again. He didn’t want this to end so soon – he wanted it to last forever. Irina sighed in frustration when he stopped her movements with his body and hugged him closer.

“Please... take me now.” She bit his earlobe in a playful and seductive gesture and he moaned in desire, thrusting deeper into her against his will. Her head fell back in need. “Don’t stop. Oh god...”

He complied, fascinated by the look of her, and took possession of her exposed skin. When she wrapped her legs around his body, the walls of reason finally shattered and his control broke. He thrust into her faster and their moans mingled to the age-old song of passion, joined only by the sound of raindrops and thunder from outside the barn.

Her hands held on to his back as if he was her only hold. He touched her face with his hands, his lips only inches away from hers. He wanted her to be his, he wanted her heart to belong to him – forever, not just tonight. But he knew that this wish could never be fulfilled – even more, that wish must never be fulfilled. They were on different sides...

“Irina...” he breathed into her ear like a sweet caress and she pressed her cheek to his.

“Jack... Jack!” Her voice was trembling and he felt that she was close. He stroked a drop of sweat from her slick skin and kissed her deeply, his hand running down her body and stroking her center. Her sharp cry was silenced by his lips and only heard by him. When she shattered in his arms only seconds later, crying out his name in ecstasy, he followed her almost immediately, filling her body with his life-giving essence.

Slowly he stopped his movements, his head buried at her neck. She ran her hands through his hair, still unable to open her eyes or form any coherent thought.

When the sound of rolling thunder finally reached her conscious mind again, she moved slightly and turned her head to look outside through one of the spaces. She felt Jack shift and then his lips on her neck and ear.

His lips met hers immediately when she turned her head. They kissed for a long time, neither of them willing to break contact. Then, finally, they separated.

Irina watched Jack fetching the other blankets and turned onto her belly to look out into the dark night and see the raindrops pouring down the dark wood into the barn. Her world was turned upside down. She had shared many nights with men, but no one had ever made her feel like he did. Jack Bristow touched her soul and that scared her. It was already bad seeing an enemy as your friend, but allowing him to touch your soul was your undoing.

She turned a little when she felt his body snuggling back against hers, then the warm covers around them. Jack wrapped them up in the comfortable warmth, then he laid his head to her back, her body tightly hugged to his.

“I feel dizzy...” Irina murmured after a long time and closed her eyes as the room started to spin more and more.

“So do I...” Jack placed a tender kiss on the back of her neck, his body still weary from the incredible experience they had just shared.

“The whole room is spinning...” Irina murmured and now he looked up worried. He touched her forehead, then wrapped the covers closer around her body. Maybe the effects of the alcohol on her were stronger than he had thought. “You probably had a little too much alcohol. You should sleep a little.”

“No, what if robbers find us... or lightning hits the barn and...”

“Shhh...” he kissed her tenderly. “Sleep. I’m here and I won’t let anything happen to you.”

“Promise?” she asked sleepily and Jack chuckled.

“Promise...” he replied and sighed deeply. For tonight he would do anything to protect her. But how could he promise to not let anything happen to her when he was supposed to arrest her?

To be continued....
Nov 4, 2004
(y) (y) (y) (y) (y) I got on Luna! :woot: Can't leave a message there so it's here. Thankyou so much for the update :stretcher: :stretcher: :stretcher: Brilliant and sad (n)
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