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Seeing Red

Who is this strange person inside me? Who have I become? This is not me.

At least, this is not the me I always knew before she came to Section. Before Nikita came in to my life.

I'm worried out of my mind. I've been calling her over and over. On her cell. On her home phone. No answer. No ring. Could something be wrong?

Could someone have tracked her down? Have we been careless in a recent mission? The memory of when she first started to do missions and was taken by her terrorist 'friend' fills my mind. My thoughts cause my feet to start running up the stairs of the apartment.

I never used to be afraid. Or worried. Definitely not frantic. Before she came, I never cared about anyone but myself.

Yet here I am, running up flights of stairs, barely conscious of what's going on around me. My only goal in life, at this moment, is to reach her door. Save her from whatever has kept her away.

The numbers 412 flash before my eyes. I've made it. I take a breath to calm myself, incase I find nothing wrong at all. I wouldn't want her to know how petrified my own imagination led me to become. And then I knock.

No answer. I knock again, harder, more persistent this time. Could it be that I wasn't wrong? Please let that not be the case.

The door is opened. Nikita is before me. And she seems just fine, if not a little upset that I've come. My mind racing to figure out why. But before it can come to any logical conclusion, a very male voice calls out to her. Asks, who is it?

It's me. But who is he? And why the hell is he here? In Nikita's apartment? A man, in her apartment...

Nikita looks slightly flustered and annoyed as she opens the door all the way. She's trying to mask it but fails. "It's uh..." She can't think. She's frozen in thought at the situation.

I, as usual, take over. "It's your cousin Michael." I whisper, trying to save her.

But her face only twists in her private anguish. "It's not a good time, Michael." She tells me under her breath.

The simple sentence leads to all the pieces falling together. I understand it all now. The phones unanswered. Madeline pressing me to come check on what was going on. The man. The flustered look. I notice that underneath her short robe, she's bare.

My throat constricts, making it hard to breath. Worry turns to anger. "Since when do you decide when it's a good time?" I retort, trying to withhold my fast spreading fury. Hell is upon my thoughts, it's turning my body hot. Is it that warm in here? Is it just me?

I kiss her cheeks, put on an act so false, it's almost an insult to her. I wonder if that's what I'm going for. A big smile is plastered on my face. I wasn't aware that I was able to do that anymore. But I wasn't bound to just turn around and leave like a whipped dog, even if that's how it feels. I'll let her squirm a bit. After all, she put me through enough in the last hour while she was having her fun.

Introductions. This man is Gray. I wasn't all that fond of him when we worked with him for the mission. I despise him now, while I refuse to self evaluate why I feel this way.

Gray is cooking. Somehow, it only adds to the fire that burns deep in my chest. "I'm sorry to burst in." I say next. After all, I am. I hate that I had to witness this. It feels like betrayal. It affects me more than it should. "I tried to call but I couldn't get through." I spot the phone cord, hanging limply, not attached to the wall. "See? It's disconnected. I wonder how that could have happened?"

Nikita is glowing in her own anger. She knows nothing of the feeling. Not compared to me. "I unplugged it." She says, with the bold hint of a dare in her voice. She wants to turn the tables. I won't allow it. I'm in charge. She's in the wrong. I'll make her feel it. Anything to take away the thoughts of why nagging my brain.

Gray asks me if I'd like a glass of wine. Anything he touches, I feel would scorch my flesh. I shouldn't get close to him. Just in case my hands would find their way around his neck. Again, I push away the thoughts that tell me I shouldn't feel this way, just for my material. A piece of my flesh heats where my wedding ring should be. There's another reason why I shouldn't be acting like this.

I take the glass anyway. It gives me an excuse to stay just a little longer. And I could use something calming. My blood pressure must be through the roof.

The bad part though, is Gray thinks he's allowed to talk to me. He asks me questions. I make up lies that are seamless. I'm getting too good at this job. I can even fool myself now. Yet I can't stop the smile of ice that is upon my lips. I wonder briefly if I've grown fangs. Or if I started growling from trying to protect my territory and failing.

Nikita grabs my attention. She has a smile of her own. It's mocking. And terribly fake. She's making her message clear. She's furious. And she wants me the hell out of here.

She wants to know why I'm here. Dozens of reasons pop in to my mind. None that I can reveal to her. And it has nothing to do with Section.

"It's your Aunt Josephine. She's uh...still not doing well. So I told her you'd drop by in the morning."

"Fine." She sneers at me.

"Good." I retort, then look back at Gray. Somewhere deep inside, if I have anything deep anymore, a part of me feels sorry for the two. It ebbs away at the jealousy I won't admit I feel. Because I know this won't last. Nikita is still innocent to many of Section's ways. But I am not. I know all about having relationships while inside Section. It won't end well for either of them. I hate that a part of me rejoices in that. It's cruel and monestrous. But it's there, nonetheless.

I lift my glass and toast the man in front of me. "Welcome to the family, Gray." I know that by the time I get back to Section, there won't be a single operative that don't know about Nikita's new love. There also won't be a single one that won't be giving me looks. Yes, I've heard the rumors of what they think. About the relationship they believe is going on between us.

Obviously, they've been proved wrong.

But I've grown use to the thought. I hate myself, but I have. I promised that I'd never have feelings for another. I'd never get involved. I saw the results play before my eyes. I'm an expert in knowing how these things end.

I can't help it. It don't go away.

I just saw Gray. But as I walk down the hallway, I'm seeing red.

-K.S.-