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Cast of Many
Brand New Day
Sun Apr 1, 2007 12:12

He settled next to her, a solitary cotton sheet separating their frames. She could feel his hand resting at the spot where neck became shoulder, calloused fingers slowly massaging the tension away. “She’s going to live, Katherine.” Slowly, tenderly, he pressed his lips against her temple, hand slipping from her tingling shoulder to dip below the sheets and..

Kitty jerked upright in her chair. The methodical beep of machines rushed in to dispel the notion of absolute silence. Blue eyes blinked rapidly in an attempt to rise above the cocoon of sleep. Her harsh breathing clashed with the faint noises of staff moving past in the hallway.

The blonde took a deep breath and let it out slowly before scrubbing a palm across her eyes, then peered over at the silent hospital bed. There was a tiny art noveau clock settled on the small table, red digits proclaiming it almost three in the morning. Which would explain why her bladder was screaming at her. Well, that was easy enough to fix.

Kitty availed herself of the room’s bathroom facilities, including a quick change into clean jeans and another sweater, before she decided to brave the world beyond the door. Surely one of the night staff would know where she could get some coffee. But first, she made herself check on the sleeping woman in the bed – who was beginning to look more like a refugee from a Robert Rodriguez film, with the pale skin and colorful bruises.

At least the press hadn’t managed to get past security yet.

The hallway was relatively empty, she found on inspection. There was a nurses station about halfway down the other end, so that was the direction to go. Miracle of miracles, the RN on duty wasn’t above sharing her stash of Starbuck’s mocha fraps, especially after Kitty parted with a ten dollar bill for the trouble. Evidently one of the security guards was sweet on the plump redhead and always brought a fresh tray in from his break.

Bless him.

Kitty meandered back towards her sister’s room, the nurse marching off in the other direction to respond to another patient’s paging; some little old lady who’d been mugged outside her apartment several hours before.

She paused barely four yards from the door and leaned down to adjust one of her shoes when the door to the adjoining room creaked open, and the bald man from earlier peered out, a gritty look of determination creasing his face. After looking both ways, he stepped out into corridor and made his way quickly to the stairwell.

Having nothing better to do, and assuring herself this had nothing to do with the disturbing dream, Kitty found herself trailing in his wake, slipping into the stairwell in time to catch him ascending towards the next floor. He was wrapped in a thick robe, his feet shod in loafer-type slippers, which made her feel just a little better.

The chase wasn’t all that great, it ended in a small balcony three floors above their own. He was staring over the night skyline when she peered around the partially open door, calmly lighting a cigarette. Kitty was in the process of pulling back into the hallway when he spoke, voice just as cultured as … nevermind.

“You might as well come outside and enjoy the view, Ms Burke. Care for a smoke?”

Uh… her recent decision to end servitude to the tobacco industry fell away in less time than it took to say, “Why not” and move forward into the chill air, allowing the man to light another of the white cylinders and hand it over gentlemanly.

“Thank you, ah…”

“Robert Fowler.”

Oh, that was nice. “Katherine Burke.” Except he already knew, didn’t he. She filed that away to ponder at a later date. “Kitty.”

“A pleasure.”

And there they stood, sharing another couple cigarettes, until one of the suits stepped out onto the smoking balcony and patiently cleared his throat. “Plan B, sir. Active.” Such a cryptic remark was guaranteed to perk her rampant natural curiosity, but Robert simply bade her a good evening and withdrew from the small space, a devious little smirk on his lips.

Well, hell. Kitty’d found herself a genuine mystery.

“I’m going to kill that bugger!”

Lara ducked automatically as Michael threw the phone at a couch pillow, his scowl about as dark as she’d ever seen it. His lean frame followed shortly after, settling back down at her side and resuming the toe-nail painting in quick, vicious strokes.

“You know Rob won’t let you get away with killing anyone,” Devon commented from the kitchen. He was in the process of making more popcorn, after their last bowl had run out about the same time as Fellowship of the Ring. Lara nodded agreement, and debated calling an end to the girly stuff. It was almost 3 a.m. after all.

“That’s who I’m going to murder.” Michael paused, eyes narrowing as he visibly struggled with his temper. Fingers pressed almost painfully against her ankles, before Devon appeared to lean over the couch and plant a kiss against the Brit’s neck.

“Why are we upset at Rob?” Lara didn’t know who the guy was, but he sounded important. She’d once asked Devon what he and Mick did for a living, when the actor wasn’t actually acting, but he’d told her he’d have to kill her if he did. There had been a few seconds where she’d actually believed him.

“Because Rob has activated Plan B.” At Devon’s snort, Mick gave him a shark’s smile. “I have to. Otherwise … shackles.” Green eyes held his lover’s in a long, silent conversation before Devon finally shrugged and nodded. “So go take a shower. I’ll nudge the professor awake, and drive you down.”

“That’s not necessa—“ Lara wasn’t at all in favor of the change of plans, especially when it left her alone in Nigel’s company. He’d been a complete gentleman for two days since the police had delivered the good news. She’d given in to his plea, even though her mother had arrived but three hours later and hadn’t left until she’d gotten the entire story.

Then Amanda had arranged for the locks to be changed and a professional security team to inspect the entire apartment. They were still awaiting the reported results.

Nigel poked his head into the living room about five minutes later, hair tussled from sleep and wearing only a pair of pajama pants. Which left his torso completely open to … stare at. Lara tore her gaze away, making herself concentrate on her drying toenails. Only one foot had been painted, but surely Mick would finish up tomorrow evening.

Except that Nigel stumbled over to the couch and took up the actor’s spot. Peering blearily at her feet, he mumbled something about coffee before dragging a thumb errantly against a suddenly captive ankle and flipping channels until he found some news.

At that point, Lara decided the overly large tee shirt she’d worn to bed was not nearly enough protection, and spent the next twenty minutes completely ignoring Devon’s brother until Devon and Mick had set the security alarm and left, both wearing suits. Neither looked all that harmless, either.

What did they do for a living?

“There. Christmas toes.”

Huh? She looked away from the entry to peer quizzically at Nigel, and then down at her feet. One set of toes were painted a cherry red – Mick’s contribution. The other five now sported neon green. While she was busy gaping, he reached over and hooked an arm under her thighs, thus easily dragging her right onto his lap.

Yeah. A tee shirt and thong underwear were definitely now on the ‘no-no’ list. Especially when he drew her face down to his, still half asleep, and bestowed another toe-curling kiss against her open mouth.

“You taste so good in the morning, Lara.” He rumbled, that lovely deep voice arousing portions of her anatomy that had no right to heat up so willingly.

“Nigel … this isn’t…” She bit her lip, stifling a whimper when he simply arranged her legs until they were on either side of his thighs, and then kissed her again. igniting a slow burn in the pit of her stomach.

“Laramie Sorensen, I am not going to seduce you against your will.” He shifted, sitting up a bit straighter and proving he was awake – everywhere. “What I am going to do is this..” he captured her lower lip gently with his teeth, eliciting a full whimper, and then placed a kiss against her chin.

Lara could barely breathe, her mental facilities desperately trying to spark up enough determination to protest. What came out of her mouth was entirely …

“I’m in love with you.”

Which said a lot for the sudden silence and frozen bodies.

Lucy peered into John’s bedroom, knocking hesitantly on the door. “The taxi is waiting downstairs.” The big man just grunted, stepping away from the intense lip-lock he’d just given her brother.

One of Fowler’s minions had called barely an hour ago, plucking John out of his vacation and back into professional mode. From what Caleb had told her, Rob had had a heart attack and was on enforced leave for a week (his orders from on high) and had implemented a little known contingent plan that called for a two-man team to take over his duties in New York until he was found to be medically fit for a return to work.

So John had packed up, Sean had packed up over protest from his lover and both were leaving this morning for the States. Lucy was honest enough to admit she still didn’t care all that much for Fowler, but she wouldn’t begrudge him ill health.

So, in an attempt to lighten the mood on the estate, she’d talked Vittorio and Caleb into a trip to the beach for lunch. Jamie would benefit from fresh air and a trip outside the compound, and Caleb might stop grinding his teeth. She knew her husband would never admit it, but he was worried about his former supervisor.

Heart attacks were never something to sneer at.

“Thanks, Lucy. See you in a couple weeks.”

The two men filed out of the room, each giving her a quick hug, before they vanished down the corridor towards the front of the castle house.

She let out a deep breath, then went to collect her husband and son.

“And the view of the ocean is very good, Signore.”

Ash turned away from his inspection of the bathroom to glance across the room and out the window, and found himself in agreement. This hotel was barely two blocks from the beach, one of the reasons he’d settled on it as a base of operations for the next week.

“Beautiful. If you’d put the easel over in the corner by the closet, please.” Another bellhop was struggling with the smooth contraption that traveled with him always. It was easy enough for him to lift, but the poor staffer was barely five and a half feet.

It took another few minutes, and twenty American dollars, to get both valets out of his room without breaking anything. Ash stood at the window and eyed the view of sand before deciding it was the perfect place to enjoy the noon hour.

He changed into a pair of trunks, khaki shorts, roman-style sandals and a blue Hawaiian shirt, grabbing wallet and keys, then departed room and hotel in search of food. Most of the restaurants in the area boasted waiters that spoke English, but Ash prided himself on being able to converse fluently in Italian.

After exchanging a traveler’s cheque for local currency at a small bank, the tourist meandered down onto the sand to rent a locker and board for a few hours. Clothing and wallet went into the locker, and the tiny key went into the trunks.

Livorno, Italy did not boast as many tourists as his native New Orleans, but Ash wasn’t about to complain. He simply waded into the surf and beyond, a lifetime spent swimming allowed for an easy adapt to just about any body of water he chose.

It was well into the afternoon by the time the American retreated from the ocean. The waves hadn’t been as large as he would have liked, but water was water. His mother often joked that Ash was a changeling, given to her by the water spirits of her culture in exchange for the land-locked one of his father.

Unfortunately, his appearance on the sand elicited the response of a local thug crew, a handful of miscreants who obviously had nothing better to do than pester tourists. Since he was alone, it was fairly easy to surround him, though Ash decided they lost ‘thug’ points for the smell (weren’t gangsters supposed to bath once a week?).

“Vada di nuovo al china, occhi inclinati.”*

Ash said nothing, merely set down his surfboard and waited. The first idiot rushed him, allowing for the American to simply step aside and watch his assailant tangle with empty air. And then they all rushed him.

A nearby couple from Sweden began yelling, even as Ash turned their own attacks against them without much physical damage. Aiki jujutsu did occasionally come in handy.
[*Go back to china, slant eyes.]

    • Nail Polish FiendsNigel Holmes, Tue Apr 3 01:27
      “Hey Professor, get your ass up.” Nnrgh! At least, Nigel thought he articulated the noise, but apparently not well enough due to the poking in his side. Shortly after his blanket was the victim of a... more
      • Unexpected EventsCastelluccio | Holmes, Tue Apr 3 02:18
        Note: Italicized text is spoken Italian. “ So you are still a pawn of the American government, I see. ” Vittorio didn’t mind the disdain dripping from his voice, though John studiously ignored it,... more
        • Bednobs and BroomsticksSorensen, Fri Apr 13 12:28
          Lara was seated outside in a lounge chair, her frame wrapped snugly in a robe, quietly scrawling her autograph on several sheets of a notepad borrowed from the kitchen. There were two officers... more
          • Oil and VinegarAsh, Sun Apr 29 14:51
            [ooc: Italicized text is spoken Italian.] This was getting ridiculous, Ash decided. He sidestepped the latest wild swing, wondering when the punks were going to wise up, stop rushing him in single... more
            • Turn AroundGeno Castelluccio, Mon Apr 30 01:08
              Note: Timeline has technically be rewound one day to fix stupid charries in head. “My ass still hurts.” “Well if you wouldn’t have stayed glued in that seat like a baby, it wouldn’t be hurting, now... more
              • A Night on the TownCast of Characters, Mon Apr 30 11:34
                “It does,” he allowed, “but if you keep wearing that, I’m going to take you right here on the fl—” Nigel stared as Lara ran off. “So this is Nigel the Pimp? Where’s the hat?” Grabbing a handful of... more
                • Poolside MannersVittorio Castelluccio, Wed May 2 01:06
                  “Ash. And now, Ah don’t need medical assistance, but thanks for askin.” Vittorio stared at the surfer, absolutely perplexed for several long moments. What the hell did he just say? Most certainly a... more
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