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Subject: Chapter 14

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Date Posted: Thursday, March 13, 12:19:06pm
In reply to: Rita 's message, "TMTC" on Tuesday, July 24, 12:04:39pm

Chapter Fourteen


“Come,” Michael stepped aside to let Nikita in. His invitation sounded warmer this time, heartening her.

Knowing he would not speak first, Nikita jumped right in, “They knew.”

“How?” Michael understood she was referring to his conscription.

“It doesn’t matter,” Nikita shook her head. “They consented.”

“Stipulations?” Michael guessed what Nikita wasn’t telling him, reinforcing the need for heightened vigilance.

“They cut our time in half,” Nikita sighed. “We have three months to bring our numbers up.”

“We can do it,” Michael reached out to caress her cheek in encouragement, not missing the note of resignation in her voice. “We will do it.”

“Thank you.” Nikita grabbed his hand and held onto it like a lifeline, glad that whatever lingering resentment he must have had about his recruitment did not affect his support of her. “I guess I’m just more tired than I thought.”

“Why don’t you get some rest?”

“There’s so much…”

“A few hours,” Michael interrupted. “There are a few things I can see to in the meantime.”

“Like what?” Nikita asked curiously.

“Reacquainting,” Michael answered succinctly.

“You mean you haven’t raked the system yet?”

“I have,” Michael confirmed. “I meant with personnel.”

“Ah, I see,” Nikita smiled. It was midday already and Section would be busy, especially now, with everyone wanting to substantiate the latest gossip for themselves. Michael may not have been the most liked operative in Section but he was certainly one of, if not the, most respected. If she wasn’t so physically and emotionally exhausted, Nikita would have loved to see operatives’ reactions to Michael’s reentrance into Section mainstream personally. As it was, she’d have to rely on Walter and Quinn, who she knew would be at the forefront of whatever happened.

“I’ll be fine,” Michael assured.

“I know,” Nikita agreed. “Walter will be glad to help, too. I’m sure he’s told anyone who’d listen by now anyway.”

“Probably,” The corner of Michael’s mouth twitched in amusement before he sobered. “You’ve spoken to Quinn?” Raking the system, Michael had easily found the current chain of command.

“Yes,” Nikita smiled faintly. “She’s with us.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes,” Over the two years Quinn had been second in command, Nikita had come to appreciate and rely on her contributions. She didn’t doubt the woman’s loyalty and sincerity.

“Good,” He accepted her assessment as Nikita usually read people well. Besides, Quinn was one of several people he’d already decided to keep an eye on, for his own reasons.

The mention of Quinn reminded Nikita of an integral part of her confrontation with the triumvirate. “By the way, you’re now level 10. Same as me.” She told him, referring to the text message she’d received from the triumvirate on her way back from Center, formally authorizing Michael’s new status.


“Yes,” Nikita confirmed.

“Why?” Michael had expected Nikita would ask for equal status but he’d anticipated approval of level 8, the same as Walter or possibly Quinn’s level 9 at best.

“We’re in this together. Partners,” Nikita was adamant. Their rank and security clearance would be the same. “Besides, I have no secrets from you.” She added before giving him his updated access codes.

“All right,” While he didn’t show it, Michael was inwardly pleased at the development.

Now that that was settled, Nikita embraced Michael’s earlier suggestion, giving in to her exhaustion. “Okay. A few hours. In house.”

“Not the Tower?” Michael was surprised she didn’t want to retreat to her privately guarded residence.

“I promised Devon I’d stay in so his crew could take the rest of the day off.”

“I see,” Michael paused. “You could stay here. I’ve enhanced the security.”

“I’d love to,” Nikita couldn’t imagine a better place to rest – Michael’s bed.

“I’ll come for you in four hours.”

“Make it three,” Nikita sighed in deference to the amount of work in front of them. She couldn’t afford more than the minimum until they secured their future.

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Subject Author Date
Good to seeHannahThursday, March 13, 07:20:46pm
An interesting turn (r)KTFriday, March 14, 06:15:17pm
AweeeeVickieTuesday, March 18, 02:27:35am

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