The walked slowly, first Michael then Davenport, both closely followed by Jurgen who had not removed his finger from the trigger. "The door on you left Michael, so you can see for yourself that Nikita has been well taken care of," he smiled as he nodded to the closed door. "See for yourself," he wanted Michael reassured that Nikita was not the intended target.
Michael opened the door to find Nikita sitting at the table, wet hair draped in a towel and a white terry cloth robe wrapped tightly about her body. "Michael," she smiled got up and came over to where he was standing.
"Are you okay Nikita? He hasn't hurt you?"
Nikita knew what he was asking without actually coming out and saying as much. "I'm fine Michael, Jurgen has been a gentleman," she smiled until she saw that Jurgen had something in his hand. "What is that?" She quickly inquired.
Jurgen stepped forward "My idea of an insurance policy," he nodded first at Michael and then Davenport who had also come into the room.
Michael spun around and Jurgen brought the device up as a simple reminder. Michael put his hands in the air to show him that he knew where they stood for now. "What do you want from us?" he looked into the eyes of the man who had been his trainer yet what he saw was nothing familiar. "If it's me you want, you have me, let them go," he didn't want anyone else hurt because of him.
"Michael, I'm afraid it's not that simple," he motioned both men to take a seat. "I have every intention of allowing both Nikita and Davenport to leave after I've done what I set out to do," he watched the confused looks exchanged between the three from Section.
"And Michael?" Nikita asked trying to draw his attention to her.
"Ah, Michael, I have some plans for him as well but again, all in good time," he smiled. "Is anyone hungry?" he laughed. "Mr. Davenport, if you'll come with me, we can leave these two alone for a while," he motioned to the door. Davenport sent a questioning look toward Michael whose nod was so subtle that Nikita wasn't sure he had responded.
"I'll be fine," he reassured the operative.
"Enjoy your time together but remember, there's no sense wasting any of it trying to escape. You got in because I allowed it, I will not however allow anyone to leave before I say so," and with that they were gone.
Nikita turned to Michael and looked him over from head to toe. He did the same to her drinking in her features ever so slowly. "I thought I lost you," he reached out to draw her near.
"Never Michael, you will never lose me." she closed the distance and smashed her lips tightly to his.
"When I found out you had been taken..."
She silenced him with a fingertip on his lips. "I knew you would find me. Does Section know I am gone?" she stayed beside him, his arms wrapped protectively around her.
"Yes, but Birkoff has us on Mandatory Refusal," they both knew that no one would come. Any plans would have to be theirs.
"I'm sorry Michael, if I had stayed in the farmhouse," he kissed her to stop her from beating herself up about this. "Is he really working for Madeline?" he sat on one of the stool with an arm still around her waist.
"She thinks he is but he has his own agenda," she lovingly reached up and touched the side of his face then traced a soft finger down his nose.
"Operations was instructed by George to move things up on the Madeline mission so I had no choice but to move as quickly as I did," he tried to explain why it appeared that he had underestimated Jurgen.
"George knows about Madeline?" she sat down beside him. Michael nodded as he looked around the room they were in. "I know" she smiled, "He must have copied my entire apartment," she shook her head. "Michael, what are we going to do?" he shook his head. For the first time since becoming a Section operative, Michael didn't have a clue.
The phone call she had been waiting for finally came. "I have acquired the material."
She heard the simple yet newsworthy statement. "All of the material as agreed upon?" she was sure he could hear the merriment in her voice. Her plans were going accordingly and she couldn't have been happier.
"You can come and inspect them yourself if you'd like?" he was drawing her into a trap and hoped that she in her excitement to get Michael and Nikita might not realize this.
"Soon Jurgen, very soon, I'm just not ready for them quite yet" she smiled a big toothy grin admiring her intelligence for having brought in someone who could do the job required.
"And my fee?" he wanted to know that she would uphold her bargain.
"I will keep my promise to you" she laughed. "And Jurgen, good work," and with that the line went dead.
Jurgen sat for what seemed like an hour as he contemplated what he wanted to do to Michael. Although he knew that the orders to destroy the files he had came to Michael from Operations, he thought that Michael over anyone else might realize the value of having anything that Section might fear. He didn't rationalize that Michael would have risked being canceled if he hadn't complied with the directive, he still held it against the operative that he had trained and held in high esteem.
Michael sat at the counter, finger gently tapping against his lower lip, deep in thought. "What is it Michael?" Nikita came around the counter and reached into the stocked refrigerator for some bottled water. "Want a beer?" he watched as she slowly bent over reaching for a bottle on the bottom shelf.
"Sure" he answered rather absentmindedly. "I don't understand it?" he whispered.
"What don't you understand?" she turned and twisted off the cap and sent it skidding across the counter where it twirled around like a top until it teetered and fell.
"He was standing at ground zero when the charge went off how the hell could he survive?" he knew that everything in that room, including the room had been obliterated when the explosion took place.
"I don't know" she shrugged wishing she had some answers for Michael. "He said he's not looking to hurt us," she sat beside him.
"Don't believe that Nikita" he took a deep slug of his beer. "I don't trust him," and he still couldn't figure it out.
Jurgen smiled to himself. "Good thing Michael" he laughed then toasted the monitor with his glass of bourbon. "You shouldn't trust anyone," he sat back relishing all of this. "And Nikita, you are so young and innocent to bad your heart belongs to Michael" he rocked gently in the leather recliner. He had plans for them all. He would have gladly allowed Nikita her freedom but knowing that she was Section's material, they would only hunt her down and bring her back in. Davenport would never consider switching his allegiance.
He had read his files and Davenport thrived on Section almost exactly as Michael had before he met Nikita. He could either send him back without the two operatives or he would be forced to kill him. For Michael he had plans that would surely drive him insane. He hadn't promised Madeline what shape the material was in only that he had acquired it and he really had no plans to ever let her get her hands on any of them. He wanted Madeline for himself almost as much as he wanted Michael to suffer for his betrayal. Oh, he didn't have and romantic feelings for Madeline after all any operative with a status above recruit knew that she was the one to pick and choose who would be sent to Abeyance, Operations only got the credit or the blame depending on who you talked to.
He pushed a button on the communications unit on his desk and waited for one of his people to respond. "Bring me Michael" was the simple command. "Yes, sir" was the answer. So there he sat, hands folded under his chin as he waited. He knew that as soon as they separated Michael from Nikita and he got out of the room, he would make his first move. He flipped the computer buttons on and entered the code that would allow him to see the entire thing.
Two of his men first politely knocked then entered the room moments later coming out with Michael between them walking peacefully. Something wasn't quite right. He followed their progress all the way down the corridor and right to his door yet Michael made not one single attempt to get away. This was not what he had figured from him.
The door opened and one man motioned Michael inside before closing the door and leaving the two of them alone. "Jurgen" he walked over to the desk looked at the chair than decided he would stand instead.
"Michael, have a seat, I understand you have some questions," he motioned him to sit but still Michael stood firm.
"I'd rather stand, thank you," he crossed his arms across his chest defiantly.
"Suit yourself" he sat back. "Can I get you anything?" he tried using a cordial tactic that Michael saw right through.
"No, thank you just get to the point of why we are here," he answered in a barely inaudible whisper.
"Madeline paid me, or should I say, Madeline is paying me handsomely for both you and Nikita," he watched as Michael's eyes betrayed his feelings. He wasn't about to let Madeline get her hands on Nikita and Jurgen knew this.
"So, you are working for Madeline" he snickered.
"Not exactly" he stood and came around the desk standing directly in front of Michael. "But she doesn't need to know that" he smiled.
"And me? What do you have planned for me?" he never uncrossed his arms or broke eye contact with Jurgen.
"You Michael, I had such high hopes for you," he sounded genuinely disappointed. "I thought that if anyone could understand having the upper hand on Section it might be you...tsk, tsk, tsk." he shamed him like you would a child. "I was wrong about you wasn't I?" he turned around and began pacing.
"No one bests Section Jurgen, you know that, I know that," he wasn't explaining he was simply stating what every operative knew.
"But I had them Michael, I had them eating out of my hand. I could come and go as I pleased, I had a life!" his voice increased in volume with every statement. "I had it all until you took it away. Once again you used Nikita and you took it away," he was shouting.
"I did what I was instructed to do," he stood his ground well.
"You used the one person that loves you more than life itself," he threw in his face. "You were my friend Michael" his voice continued to rise. "You were my friend and you betrayed me" his pacing became faster.
"We have no friends in Section," he stated the obvious. "We make acquaintances but we have no friends."
Michael finally decided that he would sit down, not because Jurgen so instructed him earlier but because enough time had passed that the decision was once again Michael's and not someone telling him what to do. That was how he rationalized it.
"You have questions?" Jurgen simply turned and walked around the desk. Slowly he put both hands on the desk and lowered himself into the chair. "Let me guess, you're curious to know how I could have possibly survived the explosion, am I correct?" he sat back with what appeared to be a great deal of effort.
"For starters, yes." Michael easily slipped back into Section mode.
"For starters Michael, things are not always what they seem to be," he smiled and brought his hands up almost in a praying motion to rest under his chin. Michael could see the badly scarred skin that covered his hands and wrist.
"You detonated the charge?" Michael couldn't help but stare. Upon closer inspection, he also noticed that the skin on Jurgen's face was not a smooth and unmarred as he remembered.
"Yes, Michael I did, I honestly thought it would kill me, and it almost did. It certainly took out everything around me. Oh, don't get me wrong, I sustained some very serious damage, in fact I almost died several times and there were certainly days in which I wished I had." Michael simply stared in silence. "You can thank Madeline for keeping me alive," the stunned look on Michael's face gave Jurgen a sense of pleasure he hadn't had in some time.
"Madeline?" he couldn't hide the amazement. "Why? Why would Madeline have cared it you lived or died?" He couldn't help it, he needed to know how someone who was supposed to have been canceled on a mission not only survived an almost impossible situation, but also why the person who supposedly signed his death warrant was now supposedly the very person responsible for his having survived.
"Because we are related Michael." He smiled as the operative sitting across from him blanched. "Hard to believe but it's true," he took a drink of water and as he tilted back his head, Michael saw the skin on his neck stretched and puckered from the burns he had to have sustained.
"Related? How?" he had to know more.
"She's my sister," he simply stated allowing Michael to absorb everything.
"She's the one who sent you to your death." Michael wasn't telling him anything that he wasn't aware of.
"Apparently I was more useful alive than dead" he smiled. "Besides, I am sure that she got enough pleasure keeping me from the peace of dying. She never missed any of my burn treatments" he placed the glass down on the table and Michael noticed the anger that seemed to be building. "When they did my skin grafts she was always there, always with that dam smug smile on her face," his voice rose again.
"And now you owe her?" Michael wanted to know as much as he could, he needed to know what he was up against.
"Oh, I owe her, but not what you think" he smiled. "I have no intention of fulfilling my end of the bargain." he assured Michael that at the very least, Nikita was not going to be given up to her. "I know now that Nikita was never aware that she was being used." he tapped a finger against the beautiful desktop.
"What will you do with Davenport?" Michael's concern was for the two innocents that had somehow gotten wrapped up in this entire mess.
"I only have two choices, Section or killing him." he was honest, Michael had to give him that.
"He's a good man." Michael wanted to give Davenport the best chance of survival.
"He's Section material Michael, trained by Section's finest." the compliment was just. "He won't just leave you here." they both knew this. If Davenport returned to Section without either operative or at the very least proof of their deaths, Section wouldn't hesitate to cancel him.
Nikita wandered around until she managed to fine where Davenport was being held. "I'm sorry miss but you can't go in there" a guard blocked her path. "Jurgen said I could go anywhere I wanted as long as I didn't try to escape." she stood her ground. The guard couldn't help but admire the beautiful woman standing before him. "Come on, just for a few minutes, he's a friend of mine." she decided to play the coy part to the hilt.
"It will be my head if anything happens." he resisted.
"What am I going to do? I have no weapons and neither does he." she motioned to where Davenport was sitting inside the room. "Just for a moment, if he is going to be disposed of, I'd at least like the chance to say good bye?" she worked hard to get the tears to well up in her eyes.
"For a moment" he turned to check both ends of the corridor before turning to allow her access to the room.
She didn't need a weapon. Apparently he hadn't been very well informed about Section Operatives or he would never have turned his back on her. "Sorry, but I've got no choice" she said as she pulled the metal comb holding her up her hair out and across his throat. He never had the chance to scream or call out for help as the razor shape metal cut to the bone. He dropped, mouth agape as if pleading but he was gone the next moment. "I'll have you out in a minute." she removed the keys from the dead man's hand and opened the door.
"We'd better drag him in here or someone is liable to see him." Davenport reached down and pulled the body into the room and propped it against the wall. "Where is Michael?" he took the two weapons that the guard had been carrying.
"He's with Jurgen but I don't know where" she took the semi-automatic from Davenport and checked to make sure that it was not only loaded but that it was ready. "We have to find him, no one knows we are here and no one from Section is coming" she stood up and replaced the metal comb into the pile of hair she had folded back into a hastily made chignon. "We have to contact Birkoff." he looked surprised at what she had told him.
"We are supposed to be on Mandatory Refusal remember?" she wanted the operative to understand that it was just the two of them, until they found Michael against all of Jurgen's men."