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Even under the turbulent conditions of grey skies pouring rain and flicking lightning onto skyscraper points, when the lights below hit the belly of a chrome aerowing, it produced an opulent gleam that caught the eye. Jean sipped at her cup as she watched the vehicle cruise the sky, its swept back wings gave the airship a commanding presence. It took one's mind off the billowing trail of ugly black smoke that puffed behind it. A bolt of lightning struck the nearby tower, in seconds the room quaked with the rolling thunderclap. Jean Clemant was not alone in her apartment.

Jean's coat and skirt were strewn on a nearby table in the apartment. She was covered by her shirt, with several buttons undone and pulled aside. She wore a satisfied smile with a dreamer's look as she leaned against the balcony railing. A cloth awning of the apartment kept her covered from the rain, save for a light spray that refreshed her. She was giving the shut-ins in the nearby towers something of a show if they could see her through the mists. If they were that dedicated, she thought, let them have a quick gander. She turned her head when she heard a woman's voice call her name and walked back into the room.

"I hope I didn't disturb you, I wanted to take in the storm," Jean said. She stood mid-step, looking on in surprise as Anna Zorka had begun to scramble for her clothes. In terms of physical looks, the two shared several key differences. Anna had a petite build with shoulder length black hair. Her skin had a soft paleness, an alabaster quality to her looks created by years of having to spend time in doors in the middle of Russian winters. Her eyes were a deep forest green, lacking any glimmer or sheen, dark eyes that drank in all they took in. When green eyes met Jean's crystal blues, Jean had little chance to escape the look. She wanted to lick her lips, she actually wanted to lick Anna, although that moment had passed hours earlier.

"I cannot stay, Jean, I'm sorry," Anna said, "Alexi has never been one to question where I have been. He's always been understanding, but I am not sure about the others." Anna stood, her eyes taking in Jean's athletic figure. The only similarity between the two was in hair length, Jean's color was a rich brown, sometimes red in certain lights. Jean's skin was a shade tan and athletic from exercise and living a life where the sun shined and the snows were not quite as thick. Anna smiled and stepped close to Jean, the latter held her breath as the pale woman was in arm's reach. Anna's slender pushed a few strands of Jean's hair over her ear and said, "Is everything arranged?"

Jean said, "I have a meeting with my contact later today. If it goes well, I'm suppose to call you and read off some code to confirm."

Anna shook her head, "No phone calls, please. The Company man is new, a very serious fellow they brought in from Siberia to serve as the security chief during our stay here. Right now he's very watchful over Alexi."

"All the more reason to come over to our side," Jean noted, "Alright. No calls or code words." She grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down a few terse instructions. She elaborated on the choice words she had written down, "I need you and Dr. Zorka to be at this address... let's say day after tomorrow. Make it about 8 o'clock. It will be a rush hour, that will make the room crowded, less likely that anything drastic would happen at that point. We'll have one of our people pass on something that will give you instructions from there. Understood?"

Anna nodded, as her hand reached for the note, the side of her finger brushed against Jean's hand. The feeling was electric for the red head, she so wanted to reach out and kiss the Russian! Anna read the obvious looks of desire and responded by pocketing the note first. She leaned close, their lips brushing against one another in a brief but lingering kiss. Anna was the first to withdraw. She walked over to a nearby window to check her makeup, making sure everything was perfect. "Day after tomorrow at 8 with this address. What building should I look for?"

"A building called Club Moderne. It will have a neon display at the top and a gathering. You won't miss it," Jean said quietly. She drew her lips in to absorb the projected taste of her lover's saliva inside her. To her, a sweet and forbidden taste, the method in which she went about recruiting the Zorka's was dangerous. Such trouble thoughts pushed aside when Anna turned from the front door and blew one more kiss at her. She smiled, offering a soft wave to the fast closing door. The ambiance of the room grew cold as Anna left, the drone of the rain and air conditioning was constant and comforting. It allowed Jean time to think about her next step. She had lined up a potential asset to recruit, now it was up to her to finalize the offer with the competition. After spending a moment drinking in the drone, Jean crossed the room and picked up the telephone. It took a few minutes before she reached the office of her contact, a man named Bob West.

"I've just had some dental work, so I am not in the mood for trifling news," Bob's voice issued like a growl through the receiver.

"If you're sore, we can go out for drinks. A little bit of alcohol should numb those gums," she said, "This is business talk, so the drinks can be a company expense."

"The company isn't in the habit of springing for drinks on penny ante updates. Is this real business, or you really that desperate for good bourbon?" West asked. In the distance he seemed to yell at someone that Jean did not recognize. Bob West had a small staff that served as liaison for people like her. Extraction specialists.

"It's actual business, Bob. Meet me in an hour at the Huntsmen, I will have a dossier for you." She hung up after he said okay. The only people that could afford to extract a man like Dr. Zorka was Allied Enterprises, a corporation that operated in North American borders. A lucky fine, Jean mused, that the Zorka's were on the shores of that very continent for conference reasons. She reflected that it was how she and Anna met. A late night bar where Anna seemed a little lonely for company. It came out later after spending the night together that she was not only the wife to a asset like Zorka, but that she was willing to get him to switch sides. After speaking to West, Jean gathered a few papers together and made a few notes before placing the files in a black attache case. If West could be convinced the value of the project, she would have the support she would need to launch the extraction. If not, Jean mused, perhaps she could find another to fill her life. There were dozens of girls out there, Jean thought. When she looked in her mind to try and picture one or two possible candidates, all she could see were the dark green eyes staring back at her.

Jean shuddered, fixed herself a glass of water, and turned on the radio while she got dressed. Looking out the window, she could see in the distance that the dark clouds had caused the neon lights to glow and another chrome aerowing with swept back wings pass by her tower.

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