"Silvia!" Tobin screamed as he kicked in the door of her apartment.
Wildly, he looked all over her living room. He slid along one of the walls when he saw the man, whom he believed to be Gamba, and he fired his gun at him. The man had been too quick for him and dove behind another of Silvia's African accented walls. The bullet hit a mirror in her bedroom. Then a gunshot rang out from a different gun, and Tobin flew to the opposite wall to protect himself.
Within a matter of seconds, the two men began to play a deadly game of hide-and-seek. Tobin could only imagine what had happened to her. Was she in her bathroom? From the doorway he was leaning in he could hear the shower running and see steam coming from the bottom of the door. However, he heard no sound of someone in pain. Finally he could tell the man was going to make a run for the bathroom door and frantically Tobin fired his weapon through the wall separating the two of them.
Quickly, Tobin raced into the room and found him dead from two of his gunshots. The blood began to pool across one of Silvia's ornate rugs. Without a glance back, Tobin raced for the bathroom. Wrenching the door open, he could hardly make out anything. It was like fog and heat were all that existed. His heart raced as he pulled back the curtain that contained several bullet holes.
Oh, God…he thought silently as he saw she wasn't there. Relief flooded into him like an unknown force. He headed back into her bedroom, past the body of Gamba, and out onto her fire escape. He chastised himself immediately. Of course she wasn't there, he reasoned, because he would've seen her there from the apartment across the street. He raced through the rest of the house—kitchen, living room, closet; she was no where to be found.
"Damnit, Silvia," he breathed in frustration. Where had she gone?
After calling Woods and having her drive around the block twice, Tobin went home. All he knew was that she was "going home." After listening to the answering machine, he put his head in his hands in frustration. Gamba was dead, yet something didn't feel right. Gamba couldn't have been working alone in the assassination attempt. It would all be too convenient. And what about Silvia? She was in her apartment directly before the attack, (as Tobin had seen her go into the bathroom when he noticed Gamba enter into her apartment), but wasn't even there when it happened, as if she knew it was going to happen.
"…Oh, Silvia," groaned Tobin, lost in his thoughts.
From out of nowhere he heard a small gasp, and spinning on his heels, Tobin saw the very woman who was invading his thoughts.
"Silvia?" he asked incredulously.
"I'm sorry," she muttered apologetically, standing only several feet behind him, as if she had just been approaching him.
"How did you get in here?" he questioned her, however, his tone had softened.
She waited a beat before answering. "I picked it."
Tobin just sighed, wary of what was coming.
"Are you staying?" he asked, almost conversationally.
He gestured to the couch in his living room and the pair silently sat down on it, completely aware of the other's presence and mood.
"Maybe for a little while…but I best be gone before morning—"
"Then who's going to protect you?" Tobin wanted to know.
Silvia looked to the side, out the window. Tobin had a crystal clear view of the city from his apartment, but no one to share it with, to gaze out at it beside him. She turned back to him, a nervous edge to her voice.
"I don't think I need protection anymore," she stated simply. "I'm going home."
"To Matobo?" Tobin caught on at once.
Silvia nodded in resignation. "I may not be safe there, but it's more dangerous for me to be here."
Tobin didn't know how to respond to that. She was leaving. Leaving me And just as suddenly as the subject was touched, Tobin changed it.
"Silvia, how did you know there was going to be a man in your apartment who was going to try and kill you?" there was pain in his voice on the last part.
Silvia visibly became upset. "I knew it would happen sooner or later—"
"I was right across the street; didn't you feel safe enough?" he threw back, bitterly. What had come over him?
"Don't you know there is no thing as 'safe enough'?" she retorted.
They gazed icily, or rather, heatedly, at one another for a long moment.
For the umpteenth time that day, Tobin let out a sigh.
"Silvia, what are you doing here?" it seemed to be the final question she was going to get from him, a man of few words.
So the woman of many words gave a simple response.
"Because I feel safe with you," the words had barely left her mouth and already she felt the air between them change.
The tension that the air had been wired with suddenly decreased and Tobin visibly relaxed. Silvia had become nervous once again and she slowly turned to look out at the cityscape. The night looked calm, calmer than she felt. She could feel Tobin's eyes boring into her skull, looking at her, memorizing her. He's afraid to lose me, she mused silently. We've come so close together… The look in his eyes at the UN earlier that day would be burned into her memory forever. Philippe was dead, and he was forced to be the bearer of bad news. He had been strong for her, even when he didn't have much strength of his own left to give. The knowledge of her brother's death had been haunting her all day, but the assumption had been there for so long anyway, it didn't change much. However, the man sitting across from her had turned her world upside down in a matter of only a few days. How was she supposed to just walk away from it all after Zuwanie's imminent arrival the next day? How could she ever thank this man enough?
Silvia turned ever so slowly back and met his waiting mouth halfway. Tobin pressed his mouth to hers ever so delicately, as if he were unsure of how to kiss her. His hands roamed for the back of her neck to pull her closer, and she reached to put her arms around his waist to feel his warmth. He continued to kiss her, with a reserved passion, as if he didn't want to break her or scare her away.
Soon he opened his eyes to her eyes and she smiled a rare smile at him.
"Your jacket's soaking wet," she whispered, breaking the kiss.
He smirked at her; she must've been freezing, too, after all, there had been a rainstorm in the heat of it all. Tobin slid off the jacket of his suit and removed the cardigan she had over her blouse. He brought her onto his lap and encircled his arms around her long, lean body.
"That better?" he teased her.
"Yes, thank you."
Silvia gave him the first kiss this time, and it lingered for several minutes. After a long, calming silence had fallen over the two of them, Silvia broke the silence.
"Can I stay with you…tonight?" she asked warily.
Tobin loved the way her accent highlighted every word in the sentence—the pitch, the articulation. She was very serious in tone.
For a man whose wife had recently died, there was a sense of comfort from her that he could never have expected. Maybe he wasn't being honest with himself. But just as quickly as the thought had entered his mind, he admonished it. Laurie…had left him. She was going to come back to him, but it would only have been a matter of time before she was gone again. Gone and dead…He could not and would not compare Silvia to Laurie. Silvia was complex and mysterious. Laurie was…just a mystery. Silvia, as far he knew, was honest to herself, and how could Laurie have been that way if she were dancing between two different men?
"Tobin?" Silvia's query brought him out of his thoughts.
Somewhere between his last response and her question they had managed to lie down next to each other on his couch. Silvia reached out a hand to touch his hair.
"Yes, Silvia?" he answered.
"I know what you're thinking. And I won't ask you to reveal it, because I cannot expect anymore of you than I can expect from myself. But don't let it wear on your mind," she mildly advised, though she was sincere.
Tobin sincerely replied back, "It won't."
With that, he kissed her forehead, and pulled her body closer, to protect her.
So...what did you think?Please R/R! I would LOVE to hear from you!
Side note:Previously I found alot of the words to stick together and I had no idea why (I certainly hadn't typed them that way!) so I replaced the chapter and voilia! I hopeit's better, anyway.