Chapter 2

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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Kudos and BBC. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

CONTAINS MATURE CONTENT

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The next time she saw him, Alexa was at a hotel bar, and this time, it was Lucas who approached her. His eyes searched her face, studying her features, and for a moment, Alexa saw what looked like embarrassment fill Lucas' face, his cheeks coloring, as if remembering their first encounter.

She smiled. "Lucas," she said, extending her hand. They shook hands and Lucas asked if he could join her for a drink.

To an outsider, it looked as if they were on a date, perhaps meeting each other for the first time. They seemed shy, keeping their distance from each other, courteous to a fault.

But it was not too far from the truth and Alexa and Lucas knew it. They had met each other during a much different time, when they were both not exactly themselves. She felt as if she knew him, yet she was keenly aware that she knew nothing about him.

She only knew the bits that she'd made up to make him more real during the days when she waited for him to come back for her in Moscow. And afterwards, when she'd heard that he'd been captured, she'd made up more things just to make herself believe that he was alright, till one day she simply believed him to be dead.

Alexa sipped her drink, avoiding his gaze. The feelings she had felt the first time she had seen him the day before did not surface, and she was grateful for it. She'd been at the shooting range to work all her feelings out, requiring additional ammunition when she ran out. She did not care what other people thought. The feel of the gun against her skin, the slamming of the recoil against her small hands, was her therapy.

"How long have you been back?" She asked as he ordered a drink. Whiskey.

"Two weeks," he lied. He had barely been back thirty- six hours, driven in the cover of darkness the night before Remembrance Day, a black hood over his head the entire time, wondering if today was the day when they'd finally kill him.

But of course, he was wrong. Eight years after he'd been betrayed in Moscow and imprisoned, Lucas had been traded in exchange for a Russian spy caught on English soil. He was finally free. Well, at least that's what they told him.

Lucas looked drawn, his pale skin taut against the classic slope of his cheekbones. His thin lips managed a wry smile as he looked around him, his eyes absorbing the life that had gone on without him for eight years. "It's like I never left. How are you?"

"Fine," Alexa replied.

"Good to know," he said.

They sat for a while, not speaking. Lucas turned towards her, his expression curious. "How did you know it was me? It's been what - nine years?"

Alexa shrugged. "You saved my life. I can never forget that, even if I wanted to." And believe me, she wanted to tell him, I did.

She'd memorized his face during that night in Moscow. She'd held onto the memory of his face and his touch till she returned on English soil just to know that it had all been real.

They returned their attention to their drinks, their eyes absently watching the football game on the television screens overhead. All around them, people laughed and celebrated little moments amongst themselves - a touch on the cheek, a pat on the shoulder, a tender kiss on the lips. Yet all that faded as soon as Lucas turned to face her again.

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