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Subject: Chapter 22

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Date Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 11:18:06pm
In reply to: Juli 's message, "Angelita" on Wednesday, November 23, 10:02:58pm

Chapter 22

The next morning at exactly five minutes to eleven, Nikita and Michael walked into the elegant anteroom outside of Jean-Luc Samuelle’s private suite of offices. An attractive, dark-haired woman sat typing on a computer at a polished cherry wood desk; she looked up as they entered.

“Can I help you?” she asked in a low cultured voice.

“Do you speak English?” Michael replied in French.

“Of course,” Madeline answered, without even a touch of an accent. “Do you have an appointment?” she asked puzzled, her mouse moving quickly over its pad as she searched through her appointment calendar.

“You could say that, in a sense, we do,” Michael replied, enigmatically. “We are schedule to see him at eleven.”

“I am sorry, sir, but Monsieur Samuelle’s son in law is schedule for that time. You must be mistaken,” she said politely.

“Yes, I know. Andre made the appointment for me. Please just tell him that Michel is here,” he told her.

Madeline’s eyebrows knit at Michael’s suggestion and then lifted as she realized who he was. She looked intently at him, finally seeing the resemblance to her boss’s late wife.

“Oh, yes… of course, one moment,” she said, momentarily becoming flustered.

She stood and went to the double doors behind her desk, disappearing behind them.

A moment later both doors were flung open and Nikita got her first glimpse of Michael’s father.

Jean-Luc Samuelle was tall and thin, with graying black hair. He wore an expensive suit that seemed to be very well tailored. Nikita watched as his green eyes that were Michael’s studied them in shock.

“Michel!? It is truly you?” he asked in French, coming towards them and then stopping a few feet away.

“Yes, Father. The prodigal son returns,” Michael replied in English.

Jean-Luc’s eyes flicked to Nikita as he switched to English as well. “You must introduce the lady, Michel. Your manners…” he chastised.

“Father, may I present Nikita Wirth. Nikita this is Monsieur Jean-Luc Samuelle. My father,” Michael said formally.

“I am so very pleased to meet you, sir,” Nikita said putting out her hand.

Jean-Luc took her hand and brought it to his lips. “Enchanté, mademoiselle,” he told her. “Please do come in,” he said, offering his arm and escorting her into the plush office.

After settling Nikita in a soft leather chair, Jean-Luc turned to face his son.

“Michel…” he said, emotion choking his voice. He stepped closer and embraced his son.

Nikita felt the tears well in her eyes as she watched the reunion.

“I am sorry that I have stayed away so long, Father,” Michael said, his voice hoarse.

“No, it is I who should apologize. I was so distraught after your mother died; I could not think. I am a stubborn old man who would not admit he was wrong,” Jean-Luc explained.

The older man turned to Nikita. “Do I have you, mademoiselle, to thank for bringing my son back to me?” he asked.

“Please, call me Nikita. And, I think the time was just right for Michael to return,” she answered.

“I have heard some of your fantastic story, but you must tell me all of it,” Jean-Luc told her. “I see that André must have a hand in this, since it was his appointment I was expecting today.”

“Yes, we have been at Antoinette’s for two days,” Michael told his father.

“No longer,” Jean-Luc commanded. “You must stay at the estate with me. For as long as you like.”

Nikita smiled. The meeting was going better than could be expected.

“Your father? He is Nicholas Wirth, the banker?” Jean-Luc asked her.

Nikita nodded. “Yes. He saw a television program about a man in Bolivia that Michael had helped to rescue. This doctor had told the press of an ‘angel’ – a white woman with long blonde hair that had tended to him in the jungle village. He sent Michael looking for this ‘angel’ thinking it was my mother. Instead, Michael found me.”

“C’est fantastique!” Jean-Luc exclaimed.

Michael took up the story, telling his father of much of what had happened over the past few months.

“What have you been doing there?” the older man asked. “Before Nikita, I mean.”

Michael thought about it. “Hiding at first. Then I helped several villages with some rebuilding after floods. Soon I knew the country so well, I began helping the U.S. embassy, even the CIA, with rescue operations and other… things … in the country.”

It was Nikita’s turn to look at Michael in awe. “You never told me you worked with the CIA. That is very important isn’t it Michael?” she asked.

Michael merely shrugged it away, embarrassed to be talking so much about himself.

The conversation continued and Madeline brought in lunch. Jean-Luc told Michael about the company and asked many more questions about Michael’s life.

At one o’clock, Madeline knocked discreetly on the door and stuck her head in. “I am sorry to interrupt, Monsieur, but your next appointment has arrived.”

“Send them away, Madeline,” Jean-Luc said, with a dismissive wave of his hand.

“Oh, no! We have kept you long enough,” Nikita said, standing.

“Very well,” he replied. “You will go to Antoinette’s and take your belongings out to my house. We shall continue our conversation over dinner. And you Michel, can begin to learn what you will need to take over the company so that I may finally retire.”

Michael opened his mouth to protest, but his father simply shuffled them towards the door. Michael clenched his jaw as they were ushered out of the office without another word.

In the limousine ride on the way back to his sister’s, Michael was silent and brooding.

“Are you alright, Michael?” Nikita asked, concerned over his silence.

“Can you believe that after all we have been though, he is going on with his plans without so much as asking me if I want his company? Michael seethed.

“Perhaps he just misunderstood. By returning, he must have thought that you were ready,” she suggested quietly.

“The arrogance!” Michael spat.

Nikita laid a hand on his arm. “Do you want to run the company, Michael?” she asked.

Michael’s expression softened as he looked at her. “What do you want, Nikita? Do you want to live in New York with your father? What do you want to do with your life?”

Nikita was surprised at his change in topics. “I .. uh.. I don’t know. I have truly enjoyed my time here with your family, Michael. It seems so … normal. Life with my father is …” she paused for a long time, searching for a word.

“Frantic?” Michael suggested.

“Yes! I don’t know if I want to hide out from cameras and mobs all the time. But what other options do I have?”

Michael pulled her into his arms and held her.


At dinner, Jean-Luc rambled endlessly about the business while Michael sat sullenly listening with half an ear. He was still thinking about Nikita and what would be best for them.

As they lay together in bed that night, staring at the dying fire in the grate, Nikita lifted her head from Michael’s chest and looked into his eyes.

“If you took over for your father, would you have to live here Michael?” she asked.

Michael nodded.

Nikita also nodded once, as though making a decision. “Well then, I think you should do it. I think I will like living in France.”

Michael’s brows drew down as he digested her announcement. “You think you will like living in France?” he asked, in confusion.

Nikita’s face fell. “You don’t want me here with you?” she asked, her voice almost a whisper.

“You would do that for me?” he asked in astonishment, tipping her chin up so he could look her in the eye.

“Without a second thought, Michael,” she confirmed, love shining in her eyes.

“But your father, Walter?” Michael asked, still disbelieving.

“I will still see them. We can visit can’t we?”

“Of course.”

“Well then. I have lived most of my life without them, I don’t need to live under the same roof. I will still see them. Didn’t you say we could go to Australia to see Walter’s ranch?”

“Yes,” Michael told her, the realization setting in.

“Well, then its all settled,” she pronounced.

“How do you know that I want to take over my father’s company?” Michael asked her, his eyes narrowing.

“Don’t you?” she asked. “I could see that you could not hide your interest at dinner.”

Michael chuckled. “You are too perceptive, my love,” he said, kissing her on the nose.

“And Marie and André said we could hide out on their yacht anytime the photographers got too nosy,” she told him.

Michael shook his head. “You have it all figured out, don’t you?”

Nikita grinned wide. “Yes. It is silly for you to follow me around New York when you are needed here,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “Besides, here I will have your nieces and nephews, and sisters to keep me company. What would I really end up doing in New York anyway?”

“Very well, Miss Wirth, since you have thought it though so thoroughly, I shall inform my father in the morning. And then we can begin looking for a house,” he told her.

“A house?” she squealed in surprise, “Really??!!”

“You don’t want to live here do you?” he asked, motioning around him at his father’s home.

“No.. I just didn’t think… Oh Michael,” she said, tears coming to her eyes as she threw her arms around his neck.

The embrace soon turned more passionate, and much later, they lay entwined together amongst the riot of bedclothes as the fire burned completely out.

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Subject Author Date
Epilogue (end)JuliWednesday, November 23, 11:39:16pm
    Wonderful job, Juli.k8lynThursday, November 24, 12:42:43am
    thank youmorkovkaThursday, November 24, 02:48:44am
    Thank You Juli!!!Jennifer SThursday, November 24, 06:24:52am
    Beautiful Julie!! (NT)MichellebThursday, November 24, 08:55:16am
    Great story, Juli. Thanks. (NT)signme1Thursday, November 24, 09:13:25am
    You finished it! Yea!!!NellFriday, November 25, 12:11:02pm
    I'm glad you were able to come back to this and complete itskMonday, November 28, 01:20:33am
    thanksstephMonday, November 28, 08:50:03pm
    Thank you Julielena`Monday, December 13, 07:42:27pm

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