posted on 15-Sep-2001 8:44:17 AM
FIC: Belong to Me AU Mi&M
Author: becky rttavi⊕
Rating: R
Distribution: ask first.
Paring: Mi & M primary
Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Roswell or La Femme Nikita. I don't profit from anything. Original story and new characters are solely mine.
Feedback: send it to: rttavi⊕
Notes/Summary: This is an AU with Roswell and La Femme Nikita. None of the actual characters from Nikita are in this, just the idea of 'Section'. It takes place sometime after high school, maybe five years. Max, Liz and Isabel are in Roswell.I've never posted here before (or the old board)so I hope I'm doing it right....

Chapter One

When I woke up and looked around I had no idea what to do except scream, so I did. I screamed and screamed until someone came in the sterile white room I was trapped in. He was tall, dressed in solid black and I hated him the moment I saw him. What the fuck was this place?

My hands were strapped to the bed along with my legs. How the fuck did I get here? The last thing I remembered was being sentenced to death for a crime I didn't commit. The crime? Murder. I didn't do it, but no one seemed to care. I was nothing to anyone anymore. Now I wished I were back home, back to where my life was before that day. Back to the drugs and men.

"You're awake," the stranger said quietly while running his hands through his hair. "That's good."

"Who the fuck are you and where the fuck am I?"

"I'm Michael," he smiled but I didn't buy it. "You're in your new home."

"New home?" I snorted at him. "Am I dead?" That's what I had thought. This was my hell and he was the devil.

"No, you're not dead although you would be soon if we hadn't gotten to you."

"Who are you?"

"I told you, I'm Michael. You're Maria DeLuca and you were sentenced to die. We saw something in you. You have potential and we're going to mold you. Make you into something."

I stared at him. "What are you talking about?"

"This is Section." He waved his arm in the air. "You're here to help your country. You're going to be an alien hunter."

I fought back a smile. Was this guy for real? "Alien, huh?" I laughed. "There's no such things as aliens."

"Yeah, there are and you're going to hunt them and bring them here for analysis."

I shook my head; he had to be lying. This was a dream. If I could, I would pinch myself. "Aliens?"

"Aliens, Maria." He smiled at me again and I'm not sure if I still hate him. "You'll be trained to detect them and how to bring them here. After your courses, you'll be given a new life."

"Okay," I nodded. I can do this. It's obvious the man's insane I'll just play along.

"Good," he grinned and I felt my heart flutter. That was bad. "You probably want to get out of those restraints, don't you?"

I nodded. Perfect. He undid my legs first and then my wrists. Without hesitation, I jumped and tried to run towards the door. Before I knew what happened, he had me against him. My breasts crushed against his chest with only thin fabric between us. I was out of breath. He grabbed me by the shoulders and led me back to the bed. "You escape, you die."

I slumped down and noticed I was wearing white drawstring pants and a white tank top. Whose clothes were these? I opened my mouth to speak, but I couldn't find the words. After a minute, I found my nerve again. "What now?"

"You learn."

I saw a glimmer in his eye, something foreign. Something alien? I almost laughed. "Then what?"

"Then you go to Roswell, New Mexico."

"Roswell," I laughed. "You're serious aren't you?"

"Dead serious Maria." He opened a door I hadn't noticed before. "Your shower." He motioned to me and then the small room.

I walked past him and stepped inside. It was sterile, like everything else. I stripped in front of him and stepped into the tiled cubicle not bothering to close the shower door. This was fun. I washed my hair and then my body while I watched Michael watching me.

As I turned off the water and stepped out of the shower my nipples hardened to sharpened points. I brushed by him and walked back to the bed. I lay down on and spread my legs. He watched, an amused smile played on his face.

"Don't you want me?" I asked.

He picked my clothes up from the floor and tossed them on me. "Get dressed."

So that was how I met Michael Guerin. Me, Maria DeLuca, a thief, a burglar, an addict and convicted felon was working for something called 'Section'. An alien hunter. Just when I thought it couldn't get any stranger, it did.

Chapter Two

So, here I am in this clinical sterile room, still. Michael's been here to see me a few times over the last few days, but I haven't met anyone else. Some woman brings me in food, but she won't talk to me. I tried everything from being polite to screaming obscenities at her. Nothing. I guess its some type of 'Section' rule, don't talk to the new girl.

It's been about four days since I woke up here and if it's possible, I know less than before. Mr. Michael Guerin doesn't tell me shit. He strolls in my room and tells me I'm going to start all this big bad alien hunter training, but do I? Hell no, not yet any way. He's got my curiosity though. All this talk about aliens. Yeah, like they're real. I've seen a lot in my young life, but little white men with almond-shaped eyes, never. A few of the men I've been with have resembled aliens, but that's a whole other story and one I don't want to relive again, not right now. As I sit here in these stupid white clothes all I want is my leather jacket and boots back. I know they were at the prison, my only personal affects. I wonder if these government morons were bright enough to bring me my shit. It's not much, but it's all I have.

The door opens and surprise, it's mystery Michael. He's smiling and holding a large canvas bag in his hand. Doesn't he ever wear anything but black? God, he looks good in black. "What do you want?"

"I thought you might like some real clothes to wear, your training begins tonight." He handed me the bag and I tore through it. Designer names, some I don't recognize; something that I've never had before. They're all my sizes, right down to underwear and bras, which by the way, I haven't worn in years. Near the bottom of the bag is my jacket. Thank God! I bring it to my face and inhale the rich smell of old leather. "Miss the jacket?"

"It was my father's," I told him before I could stop myself. Damn, he didn't need to know that. He doesn't need to know anything more about me. But I bet he already knows more than he's letting on.

"I know," he smiled as if he's reading my mind.

Shit, I hope he can't do that. That would be a bad. He does not look good in black. He does not look good in black. "So, what do we do tonight?"

"You learn how to fit in."

"Fit into what? Like a box?" I fought back a smile and got a slight one in return from him.

"How to fit into society. The real society. Not the filth and lewdness you were accustomed to." His brows knit together. "You came from a bad place."

"It wasn't that bad," I lied. Men, drugs, men, liquor, more men, more drugs. I wanted to cry in happiness thinking that I'd never have to go back to that again. But I couldn't remember ever crying in joy. Or ever really crying much at all. When I was arrested I cried; but I was so strung out I don't know if I was crying because I was being arrested or crying because I watched a cat get hit by the cop car as he slammed into the curb to get me. Either way, Maria DeLuca was so not a crier.

"It was bad," he shook his head. "But that's over now. You're going to be doing a good thing here, the sooner you get started, the better."

"Afraid of a Martian attack?" I quipped.

"Don't take this lightly Maria, it's nothing to joke around about. We're spending time and money on you to make sure you are as prepared as you can be. It's a dangerous job and I can't guarantee you'll come out alive."

"So you rescued me from a death sentence to put me into," I laughed, "an alien death sentence?"

"You didn't deserve to die in prison," he walked closer to me and sat on the edge of the bed amid my new clothes and jacket. "You've done a lot of bad things, but you've never killed anyone. The charge was bogus."

"How do you know?" I hear my breath catch. Damn.

"Don't you know by now? We're Section, we know everything." He smiled again. He's got a great smile.

"Okay then, Michael." I stood and put my hand on my hip noticing the way he watched me move. "Do you teach me how to fit in?"

He shook his head. "No, I'll teach you other things."

Woo-hoo! I wanted to shout, but of course being the cool chick that I am, didn't. There were still things I didn't understand, a lot of things. After him telling me I was going to be an alien hunter the other day I hadn't asked any other questions during our short visits. God knows I'm brimming over with them, but for some reason I trust Michael. It may be my newfound freedom and the first person I saw or it could just be him. "Who teaches me tonight?"

"Her name is Rena and she's waiting."

I nodded and picked out a pair of jeans and a black T-shirt from the pile. I stripped off the horrid tank top first and looked to Michael. He seemed to be trying not to watch, so I stepped in front of him. I picked up the T-shirt and slowly slid it over my head.

"There are bras in this pile, Maria." He said. Wait, did I hear a hesitation in his voice?

"Yeah, haven't worn one in a while." I smiled and untied the drawstrings letting the pants drop to the floor. I smiled as he checked me out. Pulling the jeans up my legs I looked to him and he held up a pair of black panties. I shrugged and he set them back down. I tucked in my shirt and slid on a pair of black leather mules that had been on the bottom of the bag with my boots. Thank God I still had my boots. "Ready Michael?"

"Ready," he stood and led me from the room where I had been held captive for at least the last four days. Without the benefit of a clock or window I wasn't really sure of the day or time or anything else, actually.

He led me down a long steel gray corridor. As we neared the end I could hear something. Holy shit, they were voices! "What the hell is this place?" I slowed my pace down as electronic beeps filtered through to my ears.

"This Maria, is Section." He extended his hand in front of him and led me into what looked like a converted warehouse.

It was all gray, glass and mirrors. It looked so professional. I saw people at huge computers tapping away with headsets on. There was a glass window that had maps on it. Wait, they were in the glass. What the fuck? I looked up and saw what I would call an observation deck. A few men in suits were staring down behind more glass at all the people down here, me included. I waved and heard Michael sigh. "Who's up there?"

"People you don't want to piss off," he took my elbow and I felt the heat from his palm. "Come on."

He led me up some stairs and into a room. At one end was a big screen TV. Rock on! At the other end I saw magazines, books, laptop computers and clothes all on top of a huge conference table. I didn't see the woman at first standing on the other side of the table. Must be Rena.

"Maria," she walked around the table to me and extended her hand and I shook it.

She was my age or close to it, slim but not skinny. Her hair was red, not auburn, but fire-engine red. I liked her immediately. She looked me over and smiled. "She's not so bad Michael."

I turned to him and saw the flush on his neck. "I know Rena. She just needs some work." He smiled at her and I wondered if they were an item. Damn it!

"She's got the look down, I think she'll blend easily."

"She does have a look." Michael nodded and took a step back. He raised an eyebrow at me and then turned away and walked out of the room. I watched him walk away. God, look at that ass!

"Maria?" Rena was watching me. "We have some work to do. Michael has told you that you're being trained as an alien hunter, correct?"

I nodded and ran my hand through my long dirty blond hair. "Yeah. The big heap alien hunter."

"Good," her smile wasn't as nice this time. "This isn't a joke, Maria. This is a business that we do. If you can't take this seriously then I'll refer you to the extermination team."

"Extermination?" I know the color drained from my face. What the hell was I getting in to? Rena was beginning to scare me and I don't scare all that easily. "I'm sorry."

"Good," her smile this time was back to pleasant and I take back the part about liking her. I don't like her at all.

She led me to the table and we looked through magazines, fashion magazines and women's issues. Oh joy, I thought, but I'd never say it out loud. Not with the threat of extermination so close to the surface.

When Michael reappeared I was happy to see him. It was hours later and I was beat. Everything new and hip was ground into my memory. I think if they asked me to name the top ten on the billboard hits, I could, or the bestseller list or any current event, I was so the girl. I thought a few years in lock-up watching nothing but soap operas might have melted my brain. I was wrong, thank you very much.

Maria DeLuca was back among the living and had the last four years of events, fashion, music, books, and history engraved on the brain. God I missed a lot. For a minute I felt sorry for myself. I never graduated from high school. I was smart enough to, but I didn't have the time for it. It was only a year after I should have graduated that I got arrested.

"How'd she do?" Michael asked pursing his lips together.

"She's very intelligent, you were right." Rena smiled after applying fresh lipstick.

Damn, she wants him.

"I'm always right."

"Then try to convince her to wear a bra." Rena nodded towards my breasts.

I stood straighter and Michael smiled. Yeah! Score one for DeLuca.

He led me from the room and back through the labyrinth of Section. "So, everyone here hunts aliens, huh?"

"No," he said and looked around. The area was nearly empty now. Only a handful of people sat tapping away; the observation deck was dark. It must be late, or early, damn, I need a watch. "You're it in the alien hunter department."

"Me?" I pointed to myself and instantly felt stupid. Of course you, dumbass. I rolled my eyes. "What about you?"

"I'm in charge of you. You belong to me," he said and stopped walking. "This is a new division of Section. You'll report directly to me, no one else."

"What about everyone else?" I asked waving my arms in the air. "All the people that were here today?"

"Section is an anti-terrorist group. We are covert and no one who's not supposed to knows we exist. We send in teams to thwart terrorist attacks against this country and our allies."

"Okay," I nod slowly. This is too much; it sounds like a movie; maybe something with Harrison Ford in it. "You worked here long?"

"I was raised here," he looked away as he talked. "But that's enough about me. Get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow we start the physical training."

"With you?" I ask and keep my fingers crossed. I can totally see myself getting physical with Michael Guerin.

"Yeah, with me."

He opens the door to my sterile little room and I walk in. First I see the TV, then a dresser with toiletries on it. All the clothes are gone from the bed and I'm betting they're in my new dresser. An alarm clock is next to the bed and the restraints are gone. The clock tells me it's after two. I step closer and see the AM lit up. Damn it's late. Lights out in lock-up was nine PM sharp.

"Sleep tight Maria," he steps closer to me and I swear he's going to kiss me, but he doesn't. He leaves the room and I strip down to nothing and crawl under the cool sheets thinking about this new life I've been given.


Edited by - rttavi on 09/23/2001 20:06:44

Edited by - rttavi on 10/04/2001 03:01:10
posted on 22-Sep-2001 8:12:16 PM
Chapter Three

I got dressed in black sweatpants and T-shirt the next morning and waited for Michael to come and get me. Physical training? Sounded like fun. I laid on the bed and watched TV, constantly changing the channel. God, there was so much on! I didn't hear him open the door, but I sensed him. I looked and there he was in all his blackness. Black sweatpants and T-shirt, God, we could have been twins.

"Ready Maria?"

Damn straight I was ready. I think I was born ready. I stood up and he looked at me shaking his head. "What?"

"The shirt," he pointed to the black baby T that came to my navel. "Do you think that's really good to work out in?"

"I think so," I shrugged and jumped off the bed and followed him out of the room. "Hey, am I going to have to live in there forever? I feel like a fucking hamster."

"No," he smiled leading me past the hustle and bustle of Section. "Just until your done training then you're going to Roswell."

"Right, alien capital of the world. That's where they had the alien crash in the sixties, right?"

"The forties," his smile hidden behind his hand. I could get him, I was sure. Big mystery man Michael Guerin was no match for me.

We walked through yet another corridor the same steely gray as the rest, less people down this way, though. Always a good. I walked in back of him and watched him. Damn, that man looked good in sweats. I actually pried my eyes away from his ass long enough to notice the few people in different glass enclosed rooms staring at us. "Why are they staring?" I asked and stuck my tongue out at an overtly obvious woman who was gawking.

He shrugged. A man of few words.

"I'm serious," I caught up next to him. "Every room we walk by, people stare. Is it you or me?"

"It’s probably you, Maria," he said and I know there was the hint of a smile. Yes!

We stopped in front of huge glass doors and he leaned in for something, a retinal scan? You have got to be kidding me. The lights on the doorknob changed from red to green and we went inside. The gym. A retinal scan to get into a gym?

"So are there top secret barbells in here or something?" I asked walking around on the floor mat. I saw him roll his eyes. "Then why the big security issue?"

"Everything in Section is high security."

As I was nodding total acceptance he sucker punched me in the stomach. I keeled over. "You mother fucker!"

"Get up," he stood there watching me struggle. Bastard!

I got up as fast as I could and went after him, of course, he easily ducked and I went flying into the padded wall. Now my confidence was shot and I was pissed. I turned to him with my hair hanging in my face, sweating. I bit back any sign of pain and walked calmly to him. He was watching me, waiting for me to do something. I knew that look from others. I paced in front of him and then kneed him in the groin. When he doubled over, I smiled.

"Don't ever try that shit with me again," I put my hands on my hips and waited for him to regain his composure. "Asshole."

I watched as he stood and then looked at me, his eyes watering. Good. He stepped closer to me and I thought I'd feel heat coming off of him, but I didn't. It was cold.

"The next time you-"

"Do that?" I finished for him. "What Michael, what are you going to do?"

He nodded. "Maybe you're not as good as I thought you'd be."

I don't know if he meant it or if he was just saying it to get me worked up. I assumed the latter because before I knew it we were doing some type of hand to hand combat. I don't know where I learned how to do this! As he came at me I warded him off. It was very cool. I was holding my own against an obviously well trained fighting machine.

"See," he croaked as I held his neck in the crook of my elbow. "I'm always right. I knew you were the one."

The one? Did I win? Was I Charlie and just won a chocolate factory? A Michael dipped in chocolate? Damn it, as I'm wondering what the hell he means I feel myself flying over his shoulder and landing on my back. The wind clearly knocked out of me. "Shit."

He straddles me and I notice my baby-T has ridden up, I can feel the cool air on the bottom of my breasts against my sweaty skin. He glances down and I know he wants me. That's it, plain and simple. He wants me. I licked my lips still thinking about a chocolate-coated Michael. "You still need work."

"Yeah? I thought I did pretty good against you," I smile but he doesn't smile back. Sweat from his forehead drips onto mine as he hovers.

"You did okay, Maria." He doesn't budge. "But I could have killed you six different times."

"Good thing you didn't, huh?"

He raised an eyebrow and then got off me. This was so not working out the way I'd hoped. We trained more and eventually I'd tuned in on some key things. I had to be strong for this. I had to be prepared for anything. Expect the unexpected. Without words, I was beginning to understand that this could be a very dangerous thing. Fuck!

Out of breath and ready to pass out from exhaustion I sat on the mat with my knees raised, arms resting on them. I felt him sit next to me and was delighted to hear his breathing was slightly shallower than normal.

"So these aliens? They're big and bad, huh?"

"I don't know," he looked at me and I totally saw the concern in his eyes. Concern for me? I don't know yet. "We don't know all that much about them."

"What do you know?"

"That there was a crash in Roswell in 1947. We have the documentation from the FBI, the Air Force and NTSB. No one has found anything to do with wreckage, so I'm assuming whatever they crashed in is still intact."

"So there's a big spaceship just laying around in the desert, huh?" I wanted to laugh but for some reason I didn't think Michael would appreciate it. Maybe later. "What exactly am I doing here for you?" That's it. I need to know some answers and I need to know them now. Patience has never been a virtue for Maria DeLuca and I don't think now is the time to start. "I've been taught how to act like a normal member of society and how to get my ass kicked. Why? I want to know what the fuck I'm doing here!"

"We've been over it Maria," he sighed and I felt the urge to deck him. I could knock those teeth perfectly straight if I wanted to!

"This is shit," I stood up and walked in a circle behind him. "Why me? Why am I 'the one'?"

"I've been searching for the right one for this job for a long time." He sighed. I walked back and stood in front of him. "You weren't all that easy to find."

"Again, why me?" I stood with my hands on my hips. I don't think I was doing it to be aggressive, I think I was doing it to keep my arms from shaking. "Why couldn't you use one of the Section flunkies to do it. I'm sure there are so many others here that would be more qualified to hunt aliens than me."

"No," he stood up and faced me, our faces inches apart. Yum. "It had to be someone I could train, someone I could mold."

"I ain't Jell-O, buddy," I shook my head and broke away from his intense stare.

"I picked you, Maria. From an ocean of people, I picked you." He grabbed my forearms until I met his eyes again. "You're the only one I believe in that can do this."

I wanted to ask a thousand questions, but instead I sank into his eyes.

"You're strong, physically and mentally. You have no family, no friends, no one at all. You're intelligent, quick on your feet." He ran his tongue over his lower lip and I think I might have actually swooned. "You're capable and I didn't want you to die in prison."

"So…" Damn it DeLuca, get it together! "You were checking out the local pokey and came across little old me, huh?" Better.

"You could say that. Or you could say I was looking for you anywhere and everywhere."

"Me?" Good thing I'm already sweaty.

"Someone like you." He let go of my arms. "This is a big deal, Maria. I asked for this division and I got it. I have to make it worthwhile or…"

"Extermination team?" I offered earning a surprised look from him.

"Rena?" He smiled crookedly as I nodded. "She's a pain, isn't she?" He almost laughed.

A pain? Yes! "Yeah, do I have to see her again?"

"I don't know. Her review will come out tomorrow." Michael looked to the clock on the wall. "We better get you back to your room, I have a meeting."

"How much longer?" I looked to the ground. "How much longer before you decide if your keeping me or not?"

He was smiling when I faced him. "I'm keeping you Maria, I can promise you that."

Excellent. I followed him back down the corridor to my hamster cage and stripped off my shirt. His casual glances were not unnoticed. "Sweaty."

"I can see that." He spared a long glance at my chest before taking a step back. "We're back in the gym in the morning."

"Where are you going tonight?" I asked willing him to stay with me.

"I may stop back by later," he only looked in my eyes.

"Thanks," I weakened. Damn. "It gets kind of lonely in here."

Michael nodded and walked away leaving me feeling embarrassed and lonely. I didn't believe him when he said he might be back. I ate dinner with Pat Sajak and Vanna. A knock at the door sent me flying off the bed. The door opened and basic black came in. He looked at my outfit and frowned.

"I know those were not in the bag," he pointed to my cut-off denim shorts.

"They were," I smiled, "they were just a little long."

Michael stepped closer to me then walked to the bed and sat down. I joined him and turned down the volume on the TV.

"I have to know something from you, Maria." He took a deep breath. "This isn't part of training and it's not a trick question."

"Shoot." Every nerve in my body began to twitch.

"Can I trust you?"

Trust? I had to think about it for a minute. I didn't know the last time anyone had trusted me. Was it in high school? Doubtful. Prison? Yeah, right. My dad? It was my dad. "Yeah, Michael, you can trust me. You're all I got right now, so I have to trust you."

"Good," he leaned closer to me and moved in for the kill, woo-hoo! Shafted. His lips met my cheek and whispered in my ear. "Because I trust you. Like I told you before, you're the one."

He stayed with me for awhile, I don't know how long really because I feel asleep. When I woke up, he was gone. I couldn't remember the last time I had fallen asleep unafraid.

Chapter Four

It's official, training sucks. I thought it would be all tumble around on the mat with Michael, but no, I have to work. And it's hard work. It's been almost two weeks and I can see the difference in my biceps and thighs. I try to show Michael my thigh muscles all the time; he just smiles at me. Maybe I was wrong and he doesn't want me. I don't know yet, hell, lately I've almost been too tired to care. Almost.

Sleep is easier for me now. I think it's because I'm so damn tired at the end of the day all I want to do is take a shower and go to bed. I sleep through the night, too. There's something I haven't done in, God, I don't even know how long. We'll just say a long time. I feel like I barely have time to think about anything anymore, which is a good, maybe it's better this way.

I can't help but to think about Michael, but I see him everyday and he's really the only person here in Section that I've talked to. He won't let me out to run around by myself and that pisses me off. I tell him I'm not five and he just smiles. If I wasn't in love with his smile it would really piss me off.

I have to wear a sports bra now to train in, too. I didn't want to, but one too many days of getting my ass kicked was all I needed to convince me otherwise. I swear, as much as I try I'm still getting nothing back from Michael. I wonder if he's gay?

A knock at the door scared the crap out of me. I'm not used to people knocking on anything. I look and guess who? Oh yeah, the man in black.

"What do you want?" I rolled over on the bed knowing my shirt was riding high. "Don't you ever wear anything but black? You remind me of that one guy…"

"Johnny Cash?" He offers.

"I was leaning more towards The Crow," my turn to roll my eyes. Johnny Cash? Whatever. "So, what do you want?"

"I thought you might want to go out tonight." He said and looked to the floor before meeting my surprised eyes.

"Out? Like in out out? Out of Section?" I sat up hoping my excitement wasn't entirely too obvious.

"Yes Maria, out of Section. You've been here for over two weeks and I think it's time to give you a treat for all your hard work." His eyes flicker with amusement. "What do you think?"

"Hell yeah!" I jumped off the bed. "Let's go."

He looked at the T-shirt and panties I was wearing. "Do you want to change first?"

"So this isn't appropriate?" I asked slipping the T-shirt over my head and standing in front of him. "Better?"

His eyes followed every curve of my body and I thought about jumping him right there. Finally he met my eyes and raised one eyebrow. "Not tonight, Maria."

I turned around and shrugged with butterflies in my stomach so big I could have sworn they were bats. Not gay, woo-hoo! I rummaged in the dresser through my entirely too small wardrobe and held up black pants and shirt to him. "Better?"

He nodded and watched me dress. The pants were tight and were tailored cut to my body. The shirt was tight as well and had a neckline that dipped so far down I was going to have to watch that my boobs didn't pop out. Or maybe…I put on my boots and leather jacket, ran a hand through my hair and turned to face him again. "So tall, dark and mysterious, where are we going?"

He offered his hand to me as an answer and I took it. Hell yeah, I took it. We walked through Section getting stares from those working. I fought the urge to flip them off. We walked through a freaking maze before finally retinal scanning out of the building.

We stepped out into the cool dark night and I inhaled deeply. It was the first time in over four years I had been outside without fences and armed guards; it didn't even seem to matter that I was in hell and my date was the devil, because I felt great! I looked around the unfamiliar street and then to Michael. "Where in the hell are we?"

"Washington D.C." He said nonchalantly and escorted me by the hand to the curb. He hailed a cab and let me get in first.

I was in awe as we drove around the city, my face up against the window like a kid. D.C. was a long way off from Fulton County Jail in Georgia. Our ride came to a stop in front of a restaurant. Real food? I almost wet myself in anticipation. We got out of the cab and Michael led me inside the building. We sat at a table and Michael ordered wine for us. Wine? The last thing I drank close to wine that I remember was MadDog 20/20 and I don't remember much after that.

"Maria, tell me about him." Michael rested his elbows on the table and slowly scanned the room eventually landing on my questioning face. "Your father."

I stared at him. My dad? Why the hell does he want to know about my dad? "Why?"

"Maybe I want to know more about you Maria." His eyes met mine and once again, I think I swooned.

"My dad was a great guy," I smiled when I talked about my dad. "He was the best actually. He raised me, wait, do you know this already?" I had almost forgotten I was sitting across from the omniscient one.
"I know the basics, not the emotions."

I nodded, sounds reasonable. "My mom split when I was little and dear old dad took over. He was my everything. I used to be a good girl. Little Maria DeLuca did good in school, had friends, had everything. Then one day my dad didn't wake up. I was sophomore in high school. He had a brain aneurysm and died." I bit back tears. Damn it! "Then everything fell apart and I fell in the downward spiral to jail."

"You loved him."

"Yeah I loved him! He was my everything! Weren't you listening?" As I get agitated I think I see where Michael is going with this. "I told you that you can trust me. I won't bail on you and I won't fuck up."

"I hope not," the corners of his mouth twitched. "I need to make sure that you won't try to run away, Maria. That's why I'm asking. When your dad died you fell apart. I need you to be strong."

"You don't think I've been strong for the last few years? I had to be strong or they would have eaten me alive." The bitter memories of my first few weeks in prison resurface and I want to scream. I want to scream at Michael for drudging all this up. "When I tell you I won't run, believe me."

"You're going to be alone in a strange town on a dangerous mission and the temptation to run will be there, so will the opportunity. I just want you to remember one thing, Section will find you and they will kill you."

"I won't run." All of my bravado is gone, for now. All I want to do is curl up on my dad's lap and let him tell me stories. "I promise."
He nodded as the waiter appeared with our wine. Michael orders dinner for us both and I don't even bitch, score one polite point for DeLuca!
"What do they look like?"

"Who?" Michael's scanning the room again.

"Aliens? I mean are they like they way they're always depicted?"

"No, that I'm sure of. If they were, don't you think someone would have noticed by now?"

"Okay, smart ass." I grinned and it was honest. "Then what?"

"I think they'll look just like you or me. Human."

"So, I'm suppose to track down some almost sixty-year old aliens who look human?" I almost laughed. If anyone else was listening to this conversation…

"They won't look that old, they won't be that old." He pauses and I think he wants to say more, but doesn't.

"Okay," I nodded as our dinner arrived. I don't know what the hell it is, but it is damn good. Some kind of chicken and something. I devoured dinner and ordered desert. I wasn't paying the bill. "Hey, do I get paid for this alien hunter thing?"

"Of course," Michael watched me lick chocolate syrup off my fork and once again I was envisioning the chocolate-dipped Michael.

When we left the restaurant Michael walked me by the hand down the street. I noticed my breasts were close to poppage and then I noticed Michael noticing too. He grinned crookedly. I wasn't really all that ready to get back to my hamster cage so the walk along the city streets was welcomed with big fucking open arms.

I felt the hand on my shoulder first. I spun around and faced a stranger; pantyhose pulled over his head. I looked to the place Michael had been a minute ago and he was gone. Oh shit.

TBC becky

posted on 3-Oct-2001 3:07:59 AM
Chapter Five

Oh shit was right! Michael was gone. He split. Tiniest sign of trouble and he bales. Typical man. I looked back at the pantyhose man; he had a knife in his hand. At first I was going to scream and run like hell, then I wised up. Right, like this wasn't entirely too convenient? Mr. Attacker raised the knife to me and I laughed. He looked around and stepped closer to me.

"I'm not scared of you, asshole. I know you're supposed to test me, right?" I asked with the suddenly sinking feeling I might be wrong. "I think I passed by seeing the plan, go away." Please let me be right, please let me right.

Oh yeah, definitely a planned attack. I could see the awareness through the hose. He lowered the knife and met my eyes. "You pass Maria." His voice was low; he looked over his shoulder. "Michael!"

Michael Guerin reappeared and walked up behind him, he was grinning. "So Maria, you passed with flying colors apparently, because I can see you haven't even broken a sweat."

"This was stupid," I pointed to Mr. Attacker.

"It wasn't meant to be a physical attack, it was a mental test," he stepped closer to me as Mr. Attacker stepped back and then out of my view. He leaned down closer to me so our mouths were mere inches apart. "I knew you would pass Maria. I know you'll always do the right thing."

I licked my lips and waited for him to kiss me.

"I've put all my faith in you Maria, and you haven't let me down."

"I won't ever let you down," before I realized the words were coming out of my mouth, there they were! All those years of watching soaps in the pokey must have had some effect on my brain. I closed my eyes and shook my head. When I looked back to him, he was smiling that crooked smile. Damn.

"I know you won't," he grabbed my forearms and held tightly. "That's why it had to be you Maria. No one else could do it. Just you."

"What happens if I fail?"

"You won't fail," he shook his head slightly. "I searched for you because you are the only one. Right now, you're one of the few I trust."

Whoa. This was getting weird. Mr. Michael Guerin, Man of Mystery was telling me I was one of the few he trusted? This is big and I think it goes a hell of a lot deeper than he's letting on.

"I told you that you could trust me," I stumbled over the words.
He licked his lips and I wanted to faint. He leaned in closer to me and pecked the corner of my mouth. Wait a second, was that it? I looked at him expectantly. I tried to raise my arms, but he held them down at my sides. Damn! This is going nowhere real fast.

"You're leaving soon." He didn't meet my eyes with this new revelation.

"I'm not ready." Didn't I say a couple of weeks ago that I was born ready?

"You will be Maria." The look in his eyes was so severe. "You have to be."


"Or nothing. You got a new life from this. A clean record and a clean you; you don't want to fail. I told you-"

"I know, I know. Section will find me yadda, yadda, yadda." I rolled my eyes and slipped out of his grip. "When do I go?" I bit back my attraction to him, I think it might be the only way I could talk about leaving him.

"Within two weeks, I don't know for sure yet." He sighed. Wait, was that disappointment in his sigh? "Rena changed her initial review of you. She wants to work with you some more."

"Jesus," I rolled my eyes. Great, now I have to think about leaving Michael and spending more time with Rena. Life sucks.

"I'm sure it won't be anything much," he nodded and tried to hide a smile. "However, Rena's not exactly your biggest fan."

"No shit," I grinned in spite of the frenzy I was in. "So, what now?" Was I actually trying to salvage any part of this night? It was obviously a test from the time we stepped out of Section.

"Now? Like in right now?" He seemed surprised. Good. Always keep them on their toes.

"Yeah. Michael." I grabbed his hand and started walking down the street pulling him along. "Let's go get ice-cream! Do you know the last time I had ice-cream?" Oh my God, I was suddenly eight again. I saw the hesitation. "What? Does Section have a curfew?"

He looked down before speaking. "They'll be expecting my report soon." He met my eyes. "I guess we could go for an ice-cream cone." He squeezed my hand I swear I felt something electrical.

We walked hand in hand down the street like any other couple in the world. Too bad we weren't any other couple. We weren't even a couple. Too much had happened to me since I woke up screaming in Section. Suddenly I had a new outlook on life and it didn't involve liquor, drugs or men. Well, one man, but I think I might have to wear him down some more. Now my new life was starting. A fresh start. How many people can actually get a fresh start and put all of the ugliness behind them?

The city streetlights reflect puddles on the street. It must have rained at some point today, but you can't tell shit about the weather from inside Section. Section. What kind of name was that? A section of what? Every time Michael said it I thought of grapefruit. We stopped walking and Michael led me through a glass door into a little kid's dream.

The ice cream parlor looked like they did in old pictures. Cotton candy colored stools lined a counter and the young boy behind them was actually wearing a striped shirt and a paper hat. As soon as the freezing air inside hit me I felt my nipples tighten. I glanced down nicely pleased with the effect through my thin shirt. Michael was looking too, a sly smirk creeping across his face. Woo-hoo!

Michael ordered a strawberry concoction in a bowl and I ordered a chocolate cone still not being to suppress the images of Michael and chocolate. We ate our ice cream at a little table in the corner. His eyes swept the parlor and the doorways countless times. I guess I was going to have to get used to that.

By the time we were done I knew we had to get back to Section. I sighed and Michael smiled. He reached across the table and touched his finger to my lip. "Chocolate." Oh yeah, I was done now.

I nodded and felt new desires running rampant through me. At first I just wanted to play around and see how far I could go, or maybe I just wanted to get laid, I don't know. Everything seemed to change tonight. The attraction had been there, but after tonight, there was more. Holy shit, was I actually falling for Michael Guerin? I closed my eyes and counted to five, I never did have the patience for ten. When I opened them back up Michael was staring at me. All of his attention was on my face, my eyes.

"What?" I was nervous now; the way he was looking at me was so intense I wanted to scream. However, this time I didn't.

"You're very pretty Maria."

Oh God. Now what was I supposed to say? Any smart-ass comment would be so inappropriate right now, but I don't remember ever hearing those words from anyone since my dad died. So I took the easy way out. "Thank you."

He reached for my hand and we stood up strolling back out into the night air. I was quiet on the cab ride back to Section, first for everything, right? He walked me to my hamster cage and stood at the doorway.

"Do you want to come in?" I asked with the urge to rip my shirt off and throw myself at him.

He shook his head. "I can't, Maria, I'm sorry." I saw his eyes travel down my body and then meet my face again. "You don't have to try so hard."

I couldn't even come up with a response before he walked away. Damn. What a night. I turned around and noticed a slip of paper on my unmade bed. I picked it up and immediately frowned.

I read it out loud and felt my blood begin to boil. "Maria DeLuca, although Michael thinks you are perfectly ready to go out into the world and fulfill your obligation to Section, I'm not so sure. After reviewing your file, I made it a priority to have psychological testing performed immediately. I don't want to see any mistakes made by you. The confidence Michael has in you may not be justified. Please report to my office at 0500. Rena."

I read it again and again and wanted to knock the shit out of her. Way to ruin a good night, Rena, thanks! And that 0500, that’s like five in the morning, right? Damn!

"Bitch!" I slapped the wall. This was bullshit. Unjustified confidence? What kind of crap was that? Jealousy that was all there was to it. Rena was jealous that Michael and I were…Whatever we were doing and it wasn't her. Fantastic.

I stripped down to nothing and then dug out a pair of underwear and nightgown. It wouldn't have been my first choice for nightwear. The cotton gown hit me mid-calf. It was light yellow with eyelet trim. I brushed my hair and looked in the mirror. I wasn't seeing the old Maria DeLuca anymore. I was seeing a brand new person with a purpose in life besides throwing it away.

Chapter Six

Okay, I don't think I've ever actually gotten up at four in the morning. I've fallen asleep then or passed out. But to voluntarily wake up and get moving at four in the freakin' morning is insane. I know Rena scheduled this little meeting so damn early because she knew I was out with Michael. God, what a bitch!

I rolled of bed and almost tripped on the nightgown. I rolled my eyes and took it off as I stepped into the bathroom. I had woken up with my pillow clutched to my chest and dreams of my dad weighing heavily. It had been a long time since I dreamt of him. Happened a lot right after he died. Right before the first time I got high.

"Daddy, I miss you." Tears rolled down my cheeks before I could stop them as I stepped under the streaming shower water. Again, Maria DeLuca is so not a crier! I know what it was, though. It was Michael telling me I was pretty. No man had told me I was pretty for a long time. Most of the men I had been with weren't exactly interested in my face. As long as I was a party-girl, I'm sure I could have had four eyes and they wouldn't have cared. I closed my eyes and tried to push the images away. I couldn't tell their faces apart anymore, they just blended into a generic man. A mean, vulgar, sadistic son-of-a-bitch. I was done with them now, thank God.

Michael. As I scrubbed my hair the only thing I could think of was Michael. No one had ever had this kind of effect on me before. I hardly knew anything about him except he was raised at Section, or maybe he was just being facetious, and that he liked strawberry ice cream. Okay, the ice cream part I can handle, never trust a man who doesn't eat ice cream. I know he's a man of secrets, but that's okay; everyone has to have a few. I wanted to know more about him, God; I wanted to know everything about him. I guess I'll take the scraps he throws me. Wait, did I just turn into some sort of sniveling little girl with a crush? Taking scraps? Okay, I looked in the mirror as I stepped out of the shower; will the real Maria DeLuca please stand up?

I dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt, with a bra no less. 'You don't have to try so hard', that's what he said to me. I guess I had been overly obvious, huh? Well, when that's all you know how to do…Thing's are changing for me and I think they're for the better.
I smiled as I blow dried my hair thinking that I was never going to have to sleep with someone for a place to stay or drugs ever again. It was a refreshing thought and one I wanted to savor. Apparently getting a death sentence was the best thing that ever happened me. Funny how things turn out like that, huh?

A death sentence. I thought about that for a minute letting it sink in. I had only been given the sentence a couple of days before I woke up in Section, I think. That whole time was kind of blurry, really. I didn't deserve a death sentence, but then again, who does? But I really didn't. I didn't kill anyone; I shook my head as I felt the heat from the drier soaking into my scalp. This was the first time I thought about it since I'd been here.

That whole night had been blurry. Four years ago, God, it seems like yesterday. I was high, oh was I high. I don't know on what. I smoked some weed and then popped some pills washing them down with something alcoholic I'm sure. I don't remember the name of the man I was with; yeah, that hurt during the trial. The state made me look a big drug addict whore. I was never…

I turned off the blow drier and reached for the brush. I brushed my wild hair smooth thinking about that night. The night that changed everything. It was late and I was high and I was with a guy. Okay, so far that sounds like a lot of my life after my dad died. We were at a party in some warehouse, I can remember going there with him. It was somewhere in downtown Atlanta and it was hot. Jesus it was hot. We went and we partied, then we left. I can remember leaving.

Everything became a blur then. I can remember it in flashes; we were at a quick stop beer and food store, I remember stuffing packs of cigarettes in my pocket. Whoa, cigarettes? I haven't even thought about smoking since I've been here. Once again, a change for the better. The next thing I know I have a gun in my hand, money in my pocket and a dead guy in front of me. Did not look good when the cops came.

I remember I ran. I kept that stupid gun in my hand and I ran down the street. That's where they got me, on the street. The stupid cop hitting a cat before slamming into the curb to come and get me.
I shuddered. It had been a long time since I relived what I remember of that night. I guess jail was almost a good thing after that. I had to get clean overnight. I got to read and watch TV and I even made friends. More enemies than friends, though. Imagine that, not everyone enjoyed my smart mouth.

I tucked my shirt in and tried to push away the memories; I had to be in top form for Rena and her psychological review or whatever the hell it was. I pulled my hair back and locked a ponytail in place at the nape of my neck with a rubberband. One more look in the mirror and I was ready to go. I let myself out of the hamster cage and tried to retrace the steps Michael and I had taken for my first trip to Rena's.

I knocked on the door, after only getting lost once, at exactly five in the freaking morning. I heard someone say to come in and so I went. Rena was sitting at the large table where I had learned all the news last time. Today it was empty except for a briefcase at her side. She looked me over and smiled, although I don't think it was a very nice one. I smiled back, a big toothy one. She motioned to the chair across the table from her and I sat down.

"So nice to see you looking more like a respectable person, Maria." She nodded so I nodded back at her. "Are you ready to begin your testing?"

I nodded again and winced when I saw her take papers out of her briefcase. Oh shit, an actual test? Like a written test? Jesus, I hadn't taken a test in…I don't even know how long. She slid the papers to me and then rolled a pencil across the table.

"How long do I have?" I asked thinking this was like a timed thing. The less time with Rena, the better.

"You have as long as it takes," she glanced at her watch. "Like I said in my note, I don't know if Michael is only seeing what he wants to see or if you are indeed ready to fulfill your commitment to Section."

"Okay, what is all this talk about commitment to Section?" I didn't understand it before in the note and I didn't understand it now.

"I see our dear Michael didn't explain everything to you, did he?" She made a horrible clucking noise with her tongue and I wanted to scream at her. "You see dear, let's just say you're on loan. You work for Section and Section works for you. You don't fulfill your part of the agreement and Section, well, Section exterminates you."

Oh shit, here we go with the extermination talk again. "So I'm on loan? Like a movie rental?" I can't help but to roll my eyes.

"Not exactly like a movie, Maria." I was really beginning to hate the way she said my name. She made it sound choppy and cheap. Not at all the way Michael let it roll of his tongue. Damn. Almost had a half-hour without any Michael thoughts. "More like a whore. You do us a favor and we pay you."

Okay, this made me want to fly over the table and knock the shit out of her. I think the old Maria would have done it, but this new improved version wouldn't. No, the new Maria DeLuca was going to wait until she didn't see it coming, then get her. Ha! "Can I take the test now?" I asked picking up the pencil and rolling it in-between my fingers. She waved her hand and me and I flipped open the pages. I read the first few questions and nearly laughed.

I'd taken this test in prison, trying to get into another job. I had hated the laundry room and I wanted to help out in the therapy classes; I excelled there. Today just may be my lucky day. I cruised through the test and then watched with utter glee as Rena graded it, not once, but twice.

She set the test down and met my stare. "Why do you think you'll make a good alien hunter?"

I shrugged; she had me there. "I guess because this is my second chance at life and I'm not going to mess it up."

"You've messed up everything else in your life, why would this be any different?"

"It is," I was beginning to feel ill now. Not good.

"You can't give me a real answer can you, Maria?"

I hated her. Oh yeah, really hated her. She was making me feel like I was fucking five years old again. "I can do it," I said and fought back the rage that was taking over. I will not sink to her level. Oh fuck it, maybe I will. "Listen, you jealous bitch. I know you want Michael and I'm sorry if you think I'm moving in on your territory but don't use that as an excuse about me not being able to do my damn job!"

She grinned and I wanted to slap that smile right off her face. "Very well," she leaned forward. "I recommend that you are too unstable to do this for Section."

I stood up, all the demureness I thought I had leaked away. "No! I can do this! I will be the best fucking alien hunter since Predator. I will find them and I will destroy them."

She looked me over and began to clap. If this was another test…
"Very nice," she rose and met my eyes. "I am still recommending that you're not stable enough to do this. I know the loss of your father played an important part in your downfall. And I'm sure hearing about your mother's death last year-"

Oh God, I didn't hear anything else after that. Mom was dead? I fell back in my chair thinking about a woman that I hadn't seen since I was a baby. My mom was gone.

"Oh, I guess you didn't know that, huh?" Rena sat back down and watched me.

I shook my head and tucked a few stray strands of hair behind my ears. "No, I didn't know that."

"I'm sorry, if Michael would have been doing his job and not fawning over you, you would have known." I heard no sympathy in her voice.

"I am doing my job Rena." Michael?

I spun in my seat to see my knight in black leather pants striding towards me. He offered his hand to me and I took it without hesitation.

"The next time you have a problem with the way I train someone, come to me. Not the new operative, got it Rena?"

Rena glared at him. "I am doing my job, Michael. Maybe you're just getting in too deep with that one." She pointed and me and I really though about strangling her with the red hair of hers.

"No!" He raised his voice and I got shivers. "I am and always will be your superior, got it? You question my tactics, then do so in private. Never, Rena, never go behind my back and question my authority!"

"I wasn't questioning your authority, Michael," She changed her tone. "I was questioning the validity of her being able to accomplish her job. I don't know if you can see everything as clearly while you're fucking her."

Michael looked to me; my eyes were wide. "Go wait outside." Didn't have to ask me twice. I walked straight out of the room and shut the door behind me.

I sat down against one of those steel gray walls on the carpeted floor and crossed my legs. This was turning out to be a very bad day. I heard the rise and fall of muffled voices from behind the door, but I couldn't understand a damn thing they were saying. It was only a few minutes before Michael stormed out of the room slamming the door behind him. I stood up and looked at him.

His hair was slightly off, like he had been running his hands through it. His face reflected something I hadn't seen before, pure anger. Whew! Glad that wasn't directed at me. When he noticed I was looking at him his face relaxed and wait, is that a smile? I think it is.

"I'm sorry," he shook his head and took my hand leading me away from the closed door. "Rena's not exactly a very nice person. I woke up this morning with the feeling she was going to ambush you."

"Yeah," I watched the ground as we walked.

"I didn't know how ugly she was going to get." He sighed and I wanted him to hug me and tell me everything was going to be okay. "It's not going to good here with her, so I want you to leave sooner."

Say what? I looked at him and stopped walking. "When?"

"In the morning," he closed his eyes. "I don't know if you're ready or not, but I can't risk you staying here with Rena hell-bent on ruining you."

"Can she hurt me?"

"Yes Maria, she can. You'll actually be safer going after aliens than you will be here with her," he smiled that cute crooked smile and licked his lips. He leaned in closer to me and I thought he was going to kiss me. Shafted again. He was going for my ear. "I told you I trust you, now you have to trust me. I want you out of Section before she does something to you."

His breath lingered in my ear and I felt the gooseflesh on my arms before I could see it. "Will you go with me?"

"I will move you to Roswell, then I have to come back to Section." He backed away and escorted me back to my room. He closed the door behind us and sat on my unmade bed.

"What do I do if, I mean, when I find the aliens?" I asked sitting next to him.

"You call me and we'll go from there. I don't want you to tackle this by yourself. Maria. I'll be there to help once you locate them."

"Are you sure there's more than one?"

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure." I watched as the distance filtered in his eyes and knew this was important to him. I didn't know his reasons; but like I said, I trusted him.

"So I leave in the morning?" I looked down and smiled when he picked up my hand. I met his eyes and saw my reflection in the deep pools. "Man…"

"Pack up tonight. You'll have more things delivered to Roswell. A car is waiting for you and an apartment has been leased in your name. You won't have to worry about bills while you're there. You're there for one reason, find the aliens." He brought my hand to his lips and kissed my knuckle. "You look very nice today."

"Oh yeah?" I shrugged. "Funny, I wasn't trying that hard."

TBC becky

posted on 12-Oct-2001 6:47:42 PM
Chapter Seven

I packed up all these things that didn’t seem like mine. They were clothes I hadn't picked out; some things I wouldn't be caught dead in. They yellow nightgown got folded on top; I wouldn't sleep in it tonight. I looked at it as like a symbol of my new life. Okay, no, I didn't know at that point if I would ever wear it again.

It had been hours since my "meeting" with Rena. What a bitch! Michael had promised to come back tonight, I was hoping that he really would. He had seemed so distracted when he left my room earlier. I don't know what to think anymore. He's going to move me down to Roswell, but then I'm alone.

I put the suitcase on the floor and curled up on the bed. Damn it! I didn't want to be alone! I wanted to be with Michael. There, I said it. It's Michael, in some ways I think it's always been Michael. Man of mystery and here I am, totally falling for him. Maybe he's like this with all his new 'operatives', wasn't that what Rena had called me?

Maybe all the things I think I'm reading into his casual glances, overt stares and touching are nothing to him. Maybe he really is just a touchy-feely kind of guy. Hmm, for some reason I don't think Michael Guerin is very touchy-feely with anyone.

Okay, see, that leads to a whole other round of questions. Why me? Maria DeLuca, I'm no one special. I haven't been in a long time. Why me? As many times as he tells me that I was the only one who could do it, I still ask why.

"This is crazy," I sighed pulling my knees up under my chin. I jumped when I felt a hand on my thigh. I'm sorry, did I say jumped? I mean jumped and screamed. I leapt off the bed and saw Michael standing there with an amused smile playing across his lips.

"What's crazy?" He asked folding his arms over his chest.
"It's crazy that you can just freaking sneak in my room and scare the shit out of me!" I snapped feeling my heart pound. I'm not sure if it was from the scare or from Michael. Damn!

And now I leave town. "What do you want?" There you go DeLuca, be a bitch, I'm sure that's attractive.

"I came to see if you needed any help with anything," He raised his eyebrows expectantly.

"Help with what?" I pointed to the bag on the ground. "Everything pretty much went in the way it came out. I don't have anything Michael, in case you forgot. You can't pack what you don't have."

He smiled and once again, I melted. Damn! He unfolded his arms and I saw he held a small red box in his hand. The red looked so out of place even being near him. He extended his hand to me across the bed. I raised my eyebrows and took it from him. He nodded and I opened it up and smiled. A silver chain with a charm on the end. I picked it up and looked closer at the charm; it was a locket. I looked to him and slipped it over my head.

"Aren't you going to look inside?" He asked with that same smile.

I opened the locket and felt my knees go weak. How? "Oh God, how?" I was looking into my father's eyes. A tiny picture of my dad was embedded on one side of the locket; the other side was empty. "Michael? Where…?" I recognized the picture immediately; I had a copy of the same one in my wallet. My wallet, of course.

"I put it back where I found it," he smiled once again as if reading my mind. "Do you like it?"

I nodded afraid to speak. The crier that I was so not, I think I was turning into. Shit! I cleared my throat and blinked back invisible tears. "Thank you."

"You don't have much to remember him by," he stepped around the bed and stood inches away from me. "I thought you could keep this close to your heart." He took the chain out of my hands and closed the locket, dropping in my shirt. It fell between my breasts.

I nodded again and looked up into his eyes. He leaned in closer to me and whispered in my ear. "We're leaving after two. Will you be ready?"

"Why so early?" I whispered back.

"Because Rena is on the warpath and I'm number one on her list today, well, after you that is." He smiled a little bigger and I caught a glimpse of teeth. Nice. "Any way, I think it'll be better if we sneak out of here before she realizes you're gone."

"Sneak?" For some reason I was so not digging the way this was going!

"It's all cleared Maria," he said when he pulled back and met my eyes. "No one is getting into any trouble. I just want to avoid a confrontation before we go."

I nodded and watched as he walked a few feet away. "Be ready, Maria. I'll be back to get you in a few hours." I saw his face coming at mine and waited for the obligatory peck on the corner of my mouth. I was not disappointed. He left as quietly as he had arrived.

It took me a whopping five minutes to clear out the rest of my, and I use that term loosely, stuff and cram it into the bag. I went back to the bed and lay down. I didn't even know how we were getting to the creepy little town of Roswell.
When he awoke me this time, I didn't freak; maybe I had been expecting it. I rolled over and yawned. "Time to go?"

He nodded and offered me his hand, I accepted, of course and hopped off the bed. He grabbed my bag and I grabbed my jacket and I was finally moving out of the fucking hamster cage! Woo-hoo!

Section looked pretty much the same no matter what time it was. There were always people sitting in front of computers and looking smart. I felt super inadequate around them, the only computers I had ever been good at were video games. I hope he didn't have a lot of techno-shit for me to do, because I didn't have a clue and I doubt I could fake it.

He retinal scanned us out of Section the same way he had the night before. I was so full of questions, but being in the cool night air seemed to ease my quest for answers. He led me to a waiting limo. Limo? We got in after Michael handed the chauffeur my bag. I slid across the leather seat to the opposite side and looked at Michael expectantly.

"What?" He asked.

"What?" I repeated. Was he serious? I took a deep breath. "How are we getting there? What do I do when I get there? How do I get in touch with you? How long are you staying with me? Will the aliens know I'm looking for them? Will they try to hurt me? Do I have an Official Alien Hunter badge or anything?" I looked at him and got the amused stare back. Great. "Damn it Michael! Answer me!"

"You don't get a badge." I could tell he was trying to fight back a big smile. "They won't know you specifically are looking for them and I don't think they'll try to hurt you unless provoked."

"Like a dog?"

"Something like that. I don't know what they're capable of, so I want you to be on the lookout for anything. Anything strange, I mean anything at all, I want you to call me a.s.a.p."

"Like just dial out to Section?"

"We'll take care of all of that once we're in Roswell." He leaned back against the leather and seemed to relax. He caught me staring at him. "I don't like to fly."

I nodded, I didn't either. After a few more minutes of driving around the empty city, we arrived at the airport and Michael took my bag and another one from the trunk and whisked me into the airport. I followed him holding my own bag so my other hand could hold his. We walked for what seemed like miles and eventually boarded our plane. We were in first class. I sank into the seat and next thing I knew I woke up with Michael's arm around my shoulder and my head on his chest. I could feel his deep breaths and I never wanted to move from where I was. I stayed there and eventually fell back asleep.

"Maria." Was I dreaming? "Maria, wake up."

I opened groggy eyes and looked at Michael. "What?"

"We're in New Mexico," he whispered as I felt the rumble of the wheels hitting the ground.

I pried my eyes open and felt the urge to go scrub my teeth. I looked out the window to see a beautiful sunrise over the desert. The desert. Never seen one before. It looked hot. Michael led me through de-boarding and everything else. I felt like a foreigner who didn't speak the language. Michael was so aware, so knowledgeable. I held on tight to his hand and eventually we were in a rental car speeding towards Roswell.
I was right about the desert on the plane; it was hot. Very hot. I slipped off my leather jacket and turned the a/c vents towards me. I was still wearing what I had been yesterday morning and I wanted a shower. I watched out the window as we passed sand, cacti, more sand and as we neared Roswell, alien theme shops and restaurants.

"Is this place for real?" I asked looking back at Michael. I noticed he had pushed up the sleeves of his black shirt and I knew those leather pants must be hot as hell. I don't know if he answered me or not because suddenly I was sucked into mind-bending images of hot sweaty legs wrapped around me.


Oh yeah. I licked my lips and focused back on the clothed Michael, I felt a blush rise up my face. Damn! "Yeah. What?"

He slowed the car and pointed to a brick building. It had a door in the center, but it looked like it was divided into quads. I guess this was home sweet home. He parked and I got out of the car and wanted to gag on the heat. I was so not ready for the heat. He told me the average in October was in the upper seventies, they were just having a heat wave. Woo-hoo, lucky me! I stretched feeling the T-shirt ride up my abdomen; did I look to see if Michael was watching? Of course. Was he? You betcha! He took our bags out of the trunk and I followed him inside the building, which he had a key for. These Section guys are so well organized, I thought. We walked upstairs and turned left. I was staying on the second floor on the left. He opened the door and I followed him in and my breath was actually taken away.

I spun around the room and saw all kinds of things I'd never thought I'd have. There was furniture, a TV, Stereo, a computer, yikes, and so much more. It was like I fell asleep and woke up in my own selfish heaven. I flew from room to room and it was all there. Everything a girl needed to feel at home. Home. Cool, I was actually home. Although it may be temporary, it was a home. Also, it was a hell of a lot better than the fucking hamster cage! I threw myself on the queen-sized bed and smiled when I saw Michael in the doorway. His arms crossed over his chest.

"I guess you like it?"

I jumped off the bed and threw my arms around his neck. "I love it! This is amazing!" I kissed him on the lips. There, I did it. I didn't mean to, it just seemed like the right thing to do. At least until I felt the hesitation, shit! I backed away and met his eyes noticing that he was still holding me tight against him, a plus.

"I have to show you a few things," he nodded towards the window and I bounded away from him towards it. I looked out and felt him heavy in back of me; his lips less than an inch away from my ear. I saw a Mustang convertible outside and knew it was mine. It was black and old, a '65 I'm sure. "You'll have everything you need. Ask and you'll get it."

I turned around and forced him to look in my eyes. "You really have faith in me, don't you Michael?" I whispered.

He nodded and I felt his lips touch mine, no hesitation coming from either party this time. Before I could stop them, my arms snaked their way around his neck and I opened my mouth against his letting my tongue slide inside. Uh-oh, hesitation. Wait…Gone, aww…

He broke away from me first. "I can't do this Maria, not now. Too much is at stake. Things you don't…" He ran his hands through his hair and met my eyes.

I nodded and felt the weight of the world crumble on top of me. Stupid! "Sorry."

"Don't be sorry," he smiled. "I don't…" Was he at a loss for words? "I don't think this is the right time for anything. You're here for a job and I'm your superior. That's it. There can't be anything more." He shook his head and I knew he didn't want to be saying that. Score!

He walked from the room and I followed like an obedient puppy. Puppy? Maybe I could get a dog! He walked to the computer and pulled a notebook out of the desk drawer. He handed it to me. "This is how you start it up and everything that you need to do. I want you to memorize this and then destroy it. You'll be able to reach me at all times through here."

"When are you leaving?" I asked biting my lower lip still heavy with the Michael-taste on it.


"You're staying the night here?" Oh boy. "Here with me?"

He nodded slowly and looked at me. I swear I could see the hunger in his eyes. He licked his lips and I wanted to jump him. I felt urges in me I haven't felt for a long time rushing to the surface. I calculated the flat in my head to make sure I was right. One bed. Woo-hoo!

"You're not like anyone else Maria," he said quietly. "You're a diamond in the rough. A ray of light on an otherwise gloomy day." He reached to me and touched my cheek. "You make me crazy," he smiled, "and at the same time you make me feel alive again; something I haven't felt for a long time."

I smiled not knowing what else to do. "How long will I be here?"

"As long as it takes."

"Than what?"

"Then you have a life back."

"At Section?" With you? Please be with you, please be with you. He met my eyes and he didn't have an answer. This was not looking good. "Michael?"

"I don't know Maria." He answered and I felt sick. I saw the distance back in his eyes and wondered what the hell my future was going to like. It couldn't be worse than death, right? My daydreams of a future with Michael Guerin were slipping through my fingers like sand. Not a good.