Chapter 7

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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.

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 "It is a wise child that knows his own father"
Homer 

Alexa heard Lucas get up, awakened by the ringing of his phone. She felt him slip off the bed, leaving a cool space behind her where he had been as he quietly slipped outside the room to answer the call. A few seconds later, he slipped back into the room to bring the covers behind her and give her a light kiss on the cheek.

"I've got to go," he whispered but Alexa kept her eyes closed, not wanting to deal with the awkwardness of good-byes. It wasn't as if she was going to make him coffee and make him breakfast, but ever since seeing him, Alexa felt uncomfortable knowing that their beginnings were far from the norm.

Where would such a relationship go? she wondered. How could it even work? Definitely not something that had the promise of a long-term relationship, or any kind of relationship for that matter, she thought as she listened to him close the door behind him again. Except for the sex.

Alexa moved carefully from her position on the bed, uncovering sore spots as she did so. The smell of sex still lingered in the air and as she slid off the bed, wrapping the sheet around her, she padded over to her dresser and stared at her reflection on the dresser mirror. Lucas had left bruises on her wrists where he had held her down and on her neck and chest were marks from the bites he had inflicted upon her. She had driven him mad with hunger and longing and she had enjoyed every second of it.

Her skin prickled at the thought of last night and Alexa wrapped the sheet tighter around her, sitting down as her knees threatened to give way at the memories that began flooding back. She had never expected her body to react the way it did around Lucas. It was as if her body seemed to recognize the essence of him, breaking down all the walls she had fought so hard to put up since returning from Moscow nine years ago.

For over five years, she had devoted herself to Liam and nothing else simply because she could not handle anything more than that, especially after Nathaniel died. No matter how strict he had been, he had only her and Liam's well-being in mind, and watching him slowly fade away from the cancer that ravaged him took something out of Alexa. When he died, she and Liam were truly alone. Her mother, an Argentinian national, a daughter of an ambassador herself, did not have any family in England.

But of course, there was Harry, her father's devoted friend who was never too far away, even sending his own people to check up on her whenever he couldn't. Harry could have been out saving the world, but he still managed to keep up with being her godfather, in any way he managed.

When Alexa finally decided to tackle dating, it was nothing short of disastrous, her nerves always getting the best of her. It did not matter how they looked or sounded. Each man she found herself alone with always had something that reminded her of Mikhael and the thought of even the touch of their hands upon her skin was enough to make her gag.

She saw features in him in every man who expressed desire for her, no matter how they looked. A glint in the eye, the way that he smiled, the way he spoke, or the way he smelled. It did not matter what it was, there had always been something. It all triggered the loathing and the fear within her and Alexa knew she wasn't ready. Not yet.

She wasn't embarrassed to admit that she'd sought the comfort of women for a time, seeing none of the fear that being with men had caused in her. There were no cold sweats, clammy hands, or nausea to accompany their caresses, nor their kisses, and more. She felt safe with them, often the memories of the three Chechen girls invading her thoughts, remembering their innocence.

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