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Little Boxes
The one thing about her job that was far from fun was getting her gear across international borders with out inspection. Ayden had a network of connections, but you never knew who would double cross you and who wouldn't. So friends were not really of interest to an assassin. Associates and such were but they were never friends. And Ayden hardly stayed in a place long enough to make friends, it was a very lonely life if you thought about it.

Ayden's gear was supposed to arrive this morning. It was supposed to have been waiting on her when she got off the plan and to her apartment, but things happen and it doesn't work out the way it's supposed to. Plans rarely do.

Ayden paced in the lobby of the building. They were late! She disliked being in the lobby. She disliked being this exposed. The cold air from the open doors blew Ayden's fiery colored hair and sent a chill to the bone. The red and black plaid flannel pajama's were hardly something to keep the cold air at bay, and they had called only moments ago. "We are just outside," they said. WHERE are they? It should have taken her longer to get down stairs than for them to unload the truck and bring it in.

Other residents came and went as Ayden paced in the lobby. With a huff, Ayden decided to poke her head outside. She took a deep breath and sucked it up. It can't be THAT cold outside. But she was wrong. Ayden could feel the hairs in her nose freeze almost instantly. It was a feeling she'd never get use to. She preferred much warmer climates.

Just a few steps away, just outside the door sat her crate of gear. There were no movers along side, just sitting there for anyone to take. WTF!

Ayden pulled her gift around her and walked outside. She wished for the flames that had given her her nick name, at least it would be warmer. Ayden smiled and warmed the air around her until she was no longer shivering as she grabbed one end of the crate and tugged. It barely moved. She sighed. Anything more than warming the air and she'd likely give herself away.

Ayden quickly dashed inside to give the impression that she was freezing. She stamped her feet and shook her hands. Ayden looked around for something to assist her, but she didn't want to have to ask for any help. That would lead to questions and answers she did not have for them.

A sufficient amount of time passed and Ayden stepped outside and started tugging again at the crate, getting it to the door. It was going to be a long day. Her morning sucked. Propping the door open with the crate, Ayden started trying to move the very heavy crate over the door jab and onto the carpeted floor of the lobby. Ayden wondered how many people were being morons and just staring at her bent over form trying to lug a huge box into the building.
Continued from The Divine Truth

Connor’s mind languidly drifted up to consciousness, his bed and blankets a cocoon, softly encasing his body while his mind passed through memories and images and emotions. Finally, his mind gently broke the surface and he was awake. He opened his eyes to the golden light pushing its way around the edges of his curtains. Taking a deep breath he stretched out his arms and legs, feeling the delicious soreness of muscles and joints that came of a good day and a good night’s sleep. He looked down. Typical, he thought with a smile. Going to have to do something about that.

Swinging his legs over the side of the bed he sat up and stretched again. His mind tried to pierce the hazy gauze over last night. He had gone out drinking with some guys from work. He tried to remember how late they stayed out. Maybe 2? What time was it now? 9am. He thought about going back to bed. It was a Saturday and he didn’t have to do anything. But no. He was up. It’d be hard to go back to sleep. He thought about running. Nah. He got up and made his way into the bathroom and then the shower.

Three months earlier his aunt had excitedly contacted him to tell him about a job opening for someone with his experience in network security at a place called Paragon Security. For some reason, he found that despite everything that had happened in Moscow- including the weird revelations that the world was more magical and dangerous than he knew- he just couldn’t leave. He wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was that he found his life again here. And there was an energy and excitement he wanted to be a part of- so much so that he had found himself acting rashly, even stupidly at times. Whatever the reason, he knew he wanted to stay. He found himself applying for and getting the job. It paid well, including a signing bonus. He had found a nice place near the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, though he doubted he’d be checking that place out any time soon. Art went over his head. The Moscow Suites Apartments on Arbat street. It wasn’t a big place, but he was only one guy. And it was nice.

After the shower, he threw on some jeans and a blue t-shirt and socks and padded into the living room. It was a bit messy- his jacket throw over the chair, some book sitting spine up on the table along with an empty glass that had held some rum, an empty plate and a pile of clothes on the couch, waiting to be folded- but he didn’t care. He was hungry. Unfortunately, the fridge was empty, so he needed to go out. Putting on his jacket and shoes, he left his apartment and went to the elevators. As the car moved down, he found himself thinking back to last night. He and Vlad in particular had had a lot of fun, doing shots, drinking beer, and talking to women. There was that one girl, Katarina, with the- what did Vlad call it? The very smackable ass? Oh yes. That it was. He had her number . Should give her a call.

The elevator doors opened and Connor was greeted with a nice surprise. Talk about smackable. There in the lobby of the building was a woman bent over a large box, struggling with it. She was wearing flannel pajamas that only served to highlight her perfectly heart shaped bottom. He smiled. Her hair was a mass of fiery red. She seemed to be trying to pull a big box into the lobby. The door was propped open and the freezing air was coming in.

“Can I help you with that?,”
he said as he came over?
Edited by Connor Kent, Jun 20 2014, 08:30 AM.
Ayden cursed the movers under her breath. She cursed everyone who walked past her like this was a normal occurence. Sure she was trying to be invisible, but a petite woman trying to lug a huge crate through the door, come on! Ayden's temper started to flare, she wanted to use the gift inside her to do this damned simple thing, thankfully one kind soul stopped and Ayden let the fire die inside before turning around with a smile. "Thank you."
Ayden frowned, "You have no idea how many people passed me."

"I'll take the other end. It's god aweful heavy."
Ayden opened the other door and looked at her reflection in the plate glass window. A real looker this morning. She smiled despite the fact that her hair was a mess, she was wearing her pajama's still. Hardly the first impression a girl wants to make. But's done is done.

Ayden reached down and grabbed her end of the crate, flipped her hair out of the way and looked up to her heavy lifter and smiled. "Ready when you are."
The woman heard his voice and stopped struggling with the crate. When she turned around, she had a smile on her face, framed by a mass of red and orange hair that flowed around her shoulders like a river of fire. She looked young, but not too young- not young enough to make him feel like a skeevy old perv for having checked out her ass. The very smackable one, he thought with a smile. And she was cute, all messy in that natural morning way. Her smile, cute lips curling up to show just a hint of her front teeth, seemed genuine and put a twinkle in her brown eyes. She came maybe to his shoulder. All around, a real looker.

"Thank you. You have no idea how many people passed me. I'll take the other end. It's god aweful heavy."
She opened the door and then reached down and grabbed the other end, flipping her hair back. It was such cute and girly gesture that he smiled.

"Ready when you are."
Connor lifted the crate. She wasn't kidding. It was much heavier than he expected. What does she have in here? He wondered, Clothes? Gold clothes? Weighted down with bricks?

He was impressed that she held her end up. She was using both hands and he could tell that it was hard. But she was a feisty one it seemed because she wouldn't let go and instead moved with him to the elevator door. Thankfully, there had been no calls for the elevator, so when he reached out and pushed the call-button, the door opened immediately. They brought the crate into the elevator and put it down.

He smiled at her. "You weren't kidding about it being heavy."
He paused and realized the door hadn't closed. "What floor?"
Even with help the god awful thing was still too heavy for Ayden. She reached for her gift and used it to help, just enough to assist in moving it. At least now she didn't look super human. She smile at the man across from her. It was lonely working, and even lonelier when you go out of your way to not be noticed. Why was this time going so horridly wrong? Ayden was not as upset as she thought she'd be. But struggling with the crate probably had a great bit to do with it.

It was difficult to keep just the right amount of power and not let on that she was using her gift. Air was not her strong suit, anything other than fire was difficult. Ayden's brow beaded with sweat. At least it would match the struggle she was supposed to be having anyway.

It was not far to the elevator, but Ayden's arms ached with the strain, but she didn't add more power, anything more and she'd have lost her concentration. It really was not something she was practiced at.

Ayden gave her mover a small laugh at his comment. She had warned him, it wasn't a lie, like so many other things in her life.


A problem presented itself. She had no story. Nothing to say when he eventually asked questions. The least of which was her name. She was not here as Ayden, but Natalia was not a fiery red head dressed in flannel pajama's. Why did it matter? He would likely go on with out little issue, never to see her again. Why this time did she want to introduce herself? Playing games was tiring. But she couldn't be herself, her birth identity was dead, as was the second. This one was new, her own. She was Ayden Hayes, but Ayden was a ghost. No one knew who she was.


Ayden reached across the crate and smiled, "Ayden."
There was no time like the present to be mostly real. Today was unlike any other day in Ayden's life. She didn't want to be the assassin for hire, today would be normal, except that she carried a crate full of guns and other gear to her room with a complete stranger, who now knew her name.
Ayden laughed and it was a good laugh. She didn't titter or giggle or behave as an empty headed girl or woman. It seemed genuine and he liked her for it. He liked her, for all of knowing her 5 minutes. Plus, you know, she was gorgeous. She had one of those faces that got prettier as you talked to her.

She answered his question about what floor and then offered her hand. and her name. "Ayden."
. It was a nice name, similar to Hayden, but definitely feminine, which she most assuredly was. He liked it. And her shake was a firm one, honest and direct. Like her. That and her lack of pretense or image made him comfortable.

He grinned at her. "You're on 3? Oh no. Me too. There goes the neighborhood."
In a mock weary tone, he added, "Better talk to the super about moving, I guess."
Then he winked at her and laughed.

The elevator reached the 3rd floor and the doors opened. "Alright. Time to earn my keep. You ready?"
Then he hefted his side of the crate.

Edited by Connor Kent, May 19 2014, 12:55 PM.
Ayden was disappointed, all this mental effort to decide upon offering him the truth and nothing was reciprocated in return. It was hard not to keep the smile on her face and show the disappointment when he's cracking jokes. Ayden laughed. "I might beat you to it."

Ayden couldn't help but smile, he was charming. She grabbed the other side of the box and wrapped it with a little bit of air to help, it still wasn't far but it was hardly lady like to strain that badly. "As I guess I'll ever be."

It wasn't far to the apartment. Ayden glanced around at the other doorways on the floor and wondered which one her anonymous friend. At least it would account for one of her neighbors. Her paranoia tried to inkle it's way to the surface and Ayden pushed it down. She told her self , today is a normal day!

Ayden set her side of the crate down at the door and tried the knob. She knew it would be locked, but it couldn't hurt to be forgetful, just once. Ayden drew the key from around her neck. It was on a pink satin ribbon. It was easier to find in her purse when it wasn't just one lone key floating around. And it made carrying it out of the apartment easy. The key slide in easily and Ayden turned quickly and pushed open the door to the furnished apartment. It held the same look she had when she rented it, and it would likely stay the same with very few personal embellishments.

The box was still heavy as she picked it back up and this time took the lead. She lead the box to a corner, out of the way but accessible until she could get at it later. Even empty the large crate was heavy, she didn't want to have to move it again. "Here is good."

Ayden smiled as she dusted off her hands, they weren't exactly dirty, but the box was far from cleanly. "I was just fixing to make breakfast. Care to stay, it's the least I can do for your gallant help."

She hoped he would stay.
"I might beat you to it,"
she said, laughing. Connor's grin widened into a smile and then he laughed. She's quick. He liked bantering with her. This morning was shaping up.

They got the crate into the hall and to a door only 2 down from him. This could be interesting, he thought. Two doors down. Maybe I'll get to see more of her. Then he kind of laughed to himself. Course if she turns out to be a psycho-chick, you really will have to move. Thinking about her, though, he doubted it. She was to down to earth. When she got the door open, she turned around and once again hefted the crate with both hands, fiery hair swaying, awkwardly walking backward as she led the box into the apartment.

After putting the box down, she smiled at him while dusting her hands. "I was just fixing to make breakfast. Care to stay, it's the least I can do for your gallant help."

He was surprised. He hadn't expected that. He knew they had a little playful vibe going, but this was definitely out of left field. But a gorgeous woman was standing in front of him in her pajamas, asking him to have breakfast with her in her apartment? Hell yes he was going to stay.

Of course, he had to do it right. "Oh you don't have to do that. It wasn't any trouble at all. Really. Don't worry about it."
Then he realized that he hadn't even given his name. Rude. It said more of her that he had done that and she still was being friendly.

He grimaced and stuck his hand out. "I'm sorry. I'm an idiot. I don't know what I was thinking earlier. My name is Connor."
He then grinned and added, after a moment, "Guess pretty girls do that to me."
He hoped for a reaction.

Edited by Connor Kent, May 19 2014, 01:27 PM.
Ayden smiled and shook his hand. Connor, she committed his name to memory. It wasn't that she wasn't good with names, but rather that she didn't really care. But today was normal. She had not had a normal day in what felt like forever. She couldn't even remember back to a normal day.

Ayden didn't blush when he called her pretty, her smile widened and she dropped his hand and ran a finger across his chin playfully. "Suit yourself. I'm a mean cook."
She bit her bottom lip in thought then smiled back at him. "I'm going to go put on something more presentable, if you are here when I get back I'll cook for two. If not..."
Ayden left it hang as she swayed into her bedroom and closed the door behind her.

WHAT am I doing? A normal day? Flirting with a complete stranger. Ayden wondered what she was on. But he was nice, and charming, and attractive. Older but then there was nothing wrong with that, he couldn't be that much older than she was.

Clothes, nothing here was her's they had all been bought for Natalia. Some prim and proper girl from the States. Conservative, on vacation. A girl getting away from her Daddy's geekdom. Ayden pulled on a pair of purple jeans and a long sleeved grey pull over. It fit her body well, left things to be guess at, but not too much. She didn't want to look like she was overly desperate. But Ayden couldn't think of the last time she'd enjoyed the company of a man that was not about business. Flings and one night stands, sure, but this one, he lived next door, it could get ugly and Ayden didn't want to move, she liked the apartment.

Ayden's paranoia set in again. Why was she going through all this trouble? She sat down on the bed and tried to wrap her head around it all. Why?

In the other room a man could be waiting for a meal. Could? But would he stay? Why would he stay? Ayden took a deep breath then ran a brush through her hair before pulling it back into a low pony tail. She didn't want to get hair in the food after all.

Ayden opened the door to her bedroom and tried not to look around anxiously. But she was nervous. WHY? she kept asking herself. But she kept walking towards the ice box and started pulling out things to make breakfast with. Ayden spoke through the door, she was afraid to actually see if he had gone. It would be very disappointing. "You want something to drink?

Edited by Ayden, May 19 2014, 02:42 PM.
Ayden smiled at his words, pearl teeth behind perfect pink lips. Her eyes twinkled up at him as she stepped closer and playfully ran her finger over his chin.

The touch was a spark and his heart began a thunderous gallup. He felt a slow grin forming on his face. And then she called his little game with a sly tone. "Suit yourself. I'm a mean cook."
Busted. He had wanted her to ask him to stay. But she played her own game. He liked her now even more. His face broke into a wide appreciate smile. Touche.

And then she bit her bottom lip in that way that was guaranteed to boil the blood of every man on earth, dead or alive. All thought left his brain. Her deep large brown eyes filled his vision, the only thing he could see. Intoxicating. "I'm going to go put on something more presentable, if you are here when I get back I'll cook for two. If not..."
, her voice trailing off to indicate how sad the loss would be. She turned and walked to her room. But it wasn't a casual walk. No, not casual at all. It drew his eye. Once again, he was looking at her perfect ass. But this time, this time, she wanted him to.

What lottery did I win?, he wondered numbly. Holy mother... He gave his head a little shake to clear his mind of the fog that had settled over him. After a moment he could think a little better. The attraction between them was palpable, though. He could almost feel her moving around in her room.

He wasn't going anywhere. He went to stand by the window on the other side of the room. Though his heartbeat no longer galloped at a fever pace, it was still strong. But he relaxed. He liked this girl. Sure she was beautiful. But he also liked her easy going direct manner. He looked forward to spending more time with her. It had been a while since he had met a girl that made him feel this way. It always amazed him how it never got old, how it never stopped feeling new, that rush of potential and newness, now matter how often it happened. Especially with someone you really hit it off with. Like Ayden.

He heard the door open and she came back into the room, fiery tresses tied back into a low ponytail that still left her face framed by flame. She wore a grey shirt that did nothing to hide how very pleasing her curves were, soft and hard in all the right places. And her purple jeans showed the long and perfect sweeping lines of leg and hip, taut and firm.

She walked, seeming not to see him by the window, to the fridge and opened the door, burying half herself behind the door, arm snaking out periodically to plop something down on the counter. He was about to speak up when from behind the door, he heard, ""You want something to drink?

He walked to the kitchen. It felt good being near her. He wanted to be near her. "A drink sounds great. Thanks. Whatever you have is fine. But at least let me help you with breakfast, ok?"
Working next to her in the kitchen would He looked around and then asked, "So where are your glasses?"

Edited by Connor Kent, May 19 2014, 09:11 PM.

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