Epilogue - Part 2

The Okhtinskaya hotel was not on the tourist circuit, but instead catered primarily to Russian and East European businessmen. Jack checked in without incident, posing as a sales representative for a Bulgarian firm, and made his way to the 6th floor. Irina had said she would make contact with him upon arrival. Their time together several days prior had been necessarily short; a disproportionate amount of his flight time to Russia had been consumed considering the various ways she might 'make contact'. He picked up the phone, ordered room service, and lay down for a quick nap.

Jack was awoken from a light doze by a knock on the door. "Obsluzhivanie Komnaty (Room service)," he heard.

Quietly, Jack pulled his gun from under his pillow and made his way over to the door. Standing to one side, he turned the knob. "Vhodite (Come in)," he called in flawless Russian.

A cart trundled into the room, followed by...Irina. In a room service uniform.

"You ordered dinner, sir?" she said, continuing in Russian, loud enough to be heard in the hall. Then she winked.

"Da," Jack choked, taking in Irina's disguise. "Why don't you set it up over there?" he said, pointing toward the small desk in the corner.

Jack leaned against the wall and took in the vision of his wife, in a room service outfit that appeared to be two sizes too small, laying out his dinner. Breathe, he told himself.

"I brought you dessert, sir. Compliments of the house." 'Dessert' was a banana covered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Sweat started trickling down Jack's back.

"Is there anything else you want, sir?" asked Irina, grinning .

Jack closed his eyes and swallowed. "N-nyet," he said, his throat dry. "Thank you."

Irina left pushing the cart, hips swaying. "I'll be back later," she called over her shoulder. "To pick up your tray," she added.

Weakly Jack swung the door behind her and looked at his dinner. He wasn't that hungry any more.

**

Snick. Jack was instantly awakened by the soft sound of the latch to his window. As he groped for his gun, his eye caught the glow of the clock next to the bed. 3am. His eyes rapidly adjusting to the dim light, he picked out a shape moving across the room. "Ostanovites' (Freeze)!" he barked, leveling the gun at the shape.

"Oh, we're playing that game, are we?" Irina smirked.

Jack sighed in exasperation and reached for the light.

"What are you doing?" he asked, noticing that she was dressed head to toe in black. And had climbed in through his window.

"Just tidying up a few loose ends," said Irina innocently.

"You weren't breaking any more laws, were you?" said Jack with a long-suffering look. "I've just finished your plea deal; I'm not sure I can add anything else to it."

Irina looked thoughtful. "I don't think I broke any *American* laws," she replied honestly. "I just needed to, er, 'borrow' something from another hotel guest."

Jack rolled his eyes. "I'm having a little difficulty imagining your transition back to a boring domestic life."

"Good. Because I promise you," her eyes twinkled, "it would never be boring."

"Come here," he said, patting the bed next to him.

Irina crossed the room gracefully and sat on the bed next to Jack. "You know, while you're here, you could practice your Russian," she purred, caressing his chest.

"I don't know," demurred Jack. "I'm a little rusty. How do you say 'Take off all your clothes'?"

Irina's eyes darkened. "Snizite vsju vashu odezhdu," she replied.

"Snizite vsju vashu odezhdu," said Jack, in a low voice. Irina sucked her breath in quickly, then hastily complied.

"How about, 'You're beautiful'?"

Irina swallowed. "Ti takAya krasIvaya."

"Ti takAya krasIvaya," Jack said softly, pulling her down next to him in the bed. He lightly traced her face with his fingers. "Pocelujte menja (kiss me)," he commanded.

Irina looked at him suspiciously. "I thought you were rusty?"

"It's all coming back to me now," Jack grinned.

**

"Jack?"

"Hmmm?" he asked contentedly.

"I'll be here, you know. In the morning. When you wake up."

"Ja znaju. No ja ne planiroval spat' (I know. But I wasn't planning on sleeping)."

*****fin*****