This story is another prequel to LB:SGA and happens before Elizabeth Weir learns about the Stargate program.

Near Seduction

Dragonlots aka Dana Bell

The cool breeze coming off the mountains brushed against her skin and Elizabeth sighed in relief as she leaned on the railing. She'd retreated to the outside balcony when a heated disagreement began between Nicolae Carpathia, the host of the party, and several of his dignitary guests over standardizing currently. Eventually, she could see that happening with the trend of globalization, but personally, she hoped it was still several years off.

Snappy music drifted out the partially open patio door followed by angry voices. A tight smile touched her lips. Carpathia was a visionary. Many of his policies were ground breaking and good for the world. Still, there were many who would fight him. Many nations were proud of their heritage and identity. They wouldn't willingly give them up.

Her eyes looked out over the city below her. It was a beautiful view. The night lights were just popping on contrasting against the deep shadows of the towering mountains. Her host must enjoy the spectacular view.

"I wondered where you'd gone."

She turned toward the softly accented voice. "I needed a respite."

Carpathia laughed. "How refreshing. A woman who says what she thinks." He came to stand close to her.

"How else could I manage to broker agreements." Weir was aware of the pure sexuality of the man. Quickly she glanced away from him reminding herself how deeply she loved Simon.

"I'm aware of your reputation." Lightly his fingers touched her bare arm. She almost regretted her choice of gown this evening, a lovely flowing black gown with a daring back and neckline. "I am forming a team of specialists to work for me on upcoming projects." He smiled charmingly. "I would very much for you to become one of them."

"I'm flattered," she heard herself say.

"As you should be." His arm snaked around her waist and he gently pulled her against his side. "You are an amazingly talented woman."

Pure heat seemed to radiate from him, making him both alluring and repulsive. "Thank you." Somehow she found the strength to step away from him. "You have a lovely view here."

"I do." Did he sound a bit puzzled? Weir couldn't be sure.

"Nicolae," one of his banker friends stepped outside. Stonagal, if she remembered correctly. "You're needed inside." His round face held a look of disapproval.

"I will be right there." Gallantly he took Elizabeth's hand and kissed it. "Until later." Carpathia re-entered his house like a future conquering king, passing close to the Stonagal.

"I'd stay away from him," the banker warned her. He used his body to bar her back inside.

"I'm a guest at his party," she replied. "Nothing more."

"Best it stays that way." He moved aside and followed her back into the main room.

It seemed the argument had ended. The group was now chatting as if they were old friends. Several had drinks and were sipping them, while a few others retired to the balcony with cigars.

"A most profitable evening," Carpathia was saying to another banker friend.

"Yes." The man was younger with dark hair. He seemed to Elizabeth a trifle nervous.

"If you'll excuse me," Weir interrupted the pair. "But I need to say good night."

"Leaving so soon?" Nicolae didn't seem happy.

"I'm afraid I must." She couldn't help but think her host was one of the most attractive men she'd ever met. His tailored tan suit fit his trim form perfectly.

"I was hoping you could stay later." His blue eyes met hers as he again took her hand. She could read the promise there and a part of her really wanted to take him up on it.

"Sorry. I have an early meeting tomorrow."

"I'm sure they'd understand if you were late." His magnetism was almost hypnotic.

Elizabeth shook herself. She'd never been unfaithful to Simon and she had no intention of starting now. "It's bad for diplomatic relations if the negotiator arrives late."

"Oh, yes. I am aware of your meeting." He gallantly raised her hand to his lips. "Perhaps another time?" His question brought a glare from Stonagal.

"I think not." She freed her hand as politely as she could, but her action seemed to cause an angry reaction from Carpathia, that disappeared almost as quickly she wasn't sure she'd even seen it.

"I quite understand." He smiled at her. "Good night, Dr. Weir."

"Good night." She retrieved her wrap and left the house thankful she'd had the foresight to rent a car for the evening. At least she wouldn't have to wait with Carpathia hovering the background like a vulture over a kill.

"Now why did I have that image?" she asked herself as she crawled into the sports car. With a final glance at the grand house, she drove down the old stone driveway, telling herself she did not regret her decision. After all, what woman wouldn't want to spend a night with a man who was destined to become one of the greatest world leaders to have ever lived?

She felt something like a hand on her face. A gentle loving one and thought she heard a voice saying, "I've saved you for me. I promise, there is going to be someone special in your life." Elizabeth held her breath in wonder and drove back to her hotel. By the time she arrived, she'd convinced herself it had all been a delusion born of drinking too much fine wine.

By morning, she'd forgotten the incident completely.