Chapter 4

Beatrix Kiddo tossed the heavy blue duffle bag on the bed with a relieved sigh. After 12 hours in the air she was very happy to be on the ground in London.

Elle Driver was standing next to the other bed, carefully unzipping her small, black, snake-print suitcase.

The room was spacious, airy and bright. The furnishings were elegant but bland… and it was… like most hotel rooms… decorated in neutral colors. Yes. The room was more than adequate… but it was a double room.

Unfortunately the hotel had mixed up their reservation. Instead of the two single rooms they had booked they had ended up with one room with two double beds.

And if that wasn't quite annoying enough… every other room was booked. Ringing around had proved fruitless. Everywhere half-way decent had been reserved weeks ago… and Elle point-blank refused to stay at some grotty fleabag motel.

It hadn't taken the jet-lagged assassins' long to give in and take the room they had been allocated.

"I'm dying for a shower..." said Beatrix wearily. She felt distinctly disheveled after the long flight. "There's an ensuite" said Elle distractedly, pointing at the door to the ensuite bathroom as she started to hang clothes in the wardrobe.

Beatrix went into the bathroom, pushing the door gently shut. Too gently. It hit the frame and bounced open a crack. Beatrix didn't notice as the pulled her long blonde hair out of its ponytail, letting it fall down around her face. She grimaced at her reflection in the mirror. She looked tired.

Elle checked her weapons meticulously... making sure each knife and gun was in proper working order before hiding it away. It wouldn't do for the maids to find weaponry... and weapons were no good if they didn't work. Not that she liked weaponry much as a rule. Poison was far more effective... and far less messy.

The gentle hiss of the shower made Elle look up. The door was ajar. She could see Beatrix standing with her back to the door, pulling her black t-shirt over her head. She froze in mid-motion, unable to resist the temptation to look.

Particularly as Beatrix was wearing nothing under the t-shirt.

The younger woman's waist and hips were slender… and the skin of her back was smooth and lightly tanned.

There was a Japanese character tattooed in black ink on her lower back. Elle couldn't help wondering what it said. O-Ren would know… but she'd want to know where Elle had seen it.

Elle found her eyes wandering up to wear she could make out the curves of full round breasts… and she couldn't help wishing Beatrix would turn around…

Suddenly she realized she was staring… and if she did turn around it would obvious she had been looking.

With some difficulty she tugged her blue eyes away from her semi-naked colleague and busied herself finding something to sleep in.

As she scanned her open leather black suitcase she took off her ash grey suit pants, matching jacket and blue blouse… dropping them on the bed.

After some consideration she tugged a blue silk nightgown out the heaps of clothing spilling out og her suitcase. It may have been rather short and lacy but it was... she belatedly realized… the most modest sleepwear she owned. She didn't usually bother wearing anything to bed.

She rummaged through the case… wondering whether she should sleep in an old t-shirt instead… despite the fact that the only she had with her was even shorter than the nightgown.

After a few moments she undid the claps of her bra and picked up the nightgown… holding it up. Normally she would have heard the slight creek as Beatrix opened the bathroom door but she was tired.

Beatrix stopped in the doorway… staring at the sight of the other woman standing with her back to her… wearing nothing but a pair of lacy panties. She supposed she should make a sound to let know she was there but she didn't seem to be able to do anything but stare.

Unaware she was being watched Elle lifted the nightdress over her head and let it slide down her body.

Suddenly Beatrix could breathe properly again.

She made sure her towel was fastened surely around her before darting to her duffle bag and snagging the comfy pajama bottoms and singlet top she usually wore to bed.

The expression on Elle's face said she knew she been looking. And that she didn't mind. Actually Elle was thinking it was fair for Beatrix to have a look when she had already snuck a peek. 'Tit for tat' she thought… feeling a most uncharacteristic urge to giggle.

Beatrix's cheeks flushed slightly as she shut the bathroom door behind her.

Once safely inside the bathroom she attacked her long blonde hair viciously with the brush… annoyed at herself… both for looking… and for being emabrassed about it. She never got embarassed.

What was it about Elle that she couldn't keep her eyes off? Was it just that she was so damn gorgeous? Or did she actually like her? And why did she keep wondering whether it would be worth risking her relationship… and her career… to pursue her?

She quickly banished the image of Elle's body out of her head.

It would be stupid to even think about it when for once her life was going really well. She had a job she loved and was good at… and a man who loved her.

Not that he had said it yet… but he didn't have to. And she had never met anyone she admired and cared about as much as she did Bill. She was dangerously close to falling for him.

By the time she exited the bathroom she had resolved to keep things strictly professional with the lovely Ms Driver… no matter how good she looked unclothed.

There was one thing she knew for sure thought Beatrix with a smile as she slid into bed. It was going to be an interesting trip.