Chapter 12

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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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 "This life's dim windows of the soul distorts the heavens from pole to pole, and leads you to believe a lie when you see with, not through, the eye."

- William Blake

Alexa was dreaming, lost in a sea of faces she did not recognize.  As she looked about the hall, she sought Liam’s face and saw him sitting on one of the chairs by the wall.  Next to him was Nadia, taking her babysitting duties quite seriously as Alexa worked the room like she always did in such events.  

This time, it was some sort of gala, a fundraiser for her foundation, Found Hope, but no one in the crowd was a familiar face.  Yet everyone was looking at her, staring at her and she wondered if she had worn something inappropriate, or nothing at all. 

Something told her that this was no dream - that this was a memory.  Only now she felt like a stranger was looking in.  

Alexa looked down at herself and saw that she was wearing a deep teal gown, one that accented her slim waist and long legs in the way the long folds fell to the floor, each vertical fold accentuating her slim figure.  One of her late mother’s diamond necklaces graced her neck, the glistening stone resting coldly between her breasts.  She wondered why she was wearing such  a revealing dress at such a respectable event, and as she looked up, she saw a man coming towards her, a knowing smile on his face.

Alexa recognized him immediately, though something told her to look away, and pretend she barely knew him.  He had come by the office that afternoon, saying he was picking up some brochures for his company that had just moved into London.  Tall, with graying hair cropped close to the scalp, the man wore dark framed glasses that accented a set of friendly looking eyes and an easy smile.  He wore a pretty expensive suit under an equally expensive wool coat.  

He had acted a little familiar with her and her employees at the office, something that unnerved Alexa.  As his gaze had flicked towards her that afternoon, she felt a shiver travel down her spine.  He’s looked at me like before, she had thought then, and looked away.  Should I know him?

To Nadia, he had smiled at her in a way that made the girl tremble so that Nadia had to excuse herself to work in the back room where the only thing that had to be done was sort old clothing supporters donated.

When her employees, both of them Russian, urged him to speak in English, he insisted in speaking only in Russian, asking them penetrating questions about where they were from, what village they grew up in and where they had been taken prior to their rescue.  And he had done it all with the same easy smile on his lips, yet Alexa could see that behind the friendly eyes was a cold and calculating man.  Should I know him?

After he had left the office, Nadia returned to her desk.  The girl was still shaking, her hands trembling as she picked up a pen to write something on a report.

“Do you know him?” Alexa  had asked and Nadia looked up, startled.  

“No.  No, I don’t know him.”

“Why were you afraid of him?”

Nadia shrugged.  “He just, how do you say it in English, creeps me out.”

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